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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old January 8th, 2009, 01:45 PM   #1
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Omni or cardoid mic

I'm looking to improve the audio I get at wedding receptions. What are you guys using for shotguns or mic setups? I was using the AT897, but it's a pretty directional mic. I didn't like the way the music changes level when I turn the camera during pans and walking around. I don't know if a field recorder would be the way to go, and just use the on camera mic on an Xh A1. Set up the recorder somewhere near the speakers or something? Or maybe get a mic with an omni or cardoid pattern?
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Old January 8th, 2009, 02:47 PM   #2
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if you're talking about the audio at receptions perhaps you could try this.

I use a hypercaroid to channel 1 on my camera and a Sennheiser E604 drum mic in front of the DJs speakers, well 1 speaker anyway, that runs to my wireless receiver going to channel 2 of my camera. This way i get the best of both worlds. No real drop off from the hyper which does a great job of picking up the room ambience and higher end of the spectrum and the drum mic gets the music on the mid and lower end of the spectrum so in post I have little if any work to do on the reception audio. For toasts and such, the hyper will get the speech as will the drum mic since the person speaking is using the DJs wireless mic running to the speakers. Even if the person talking lowers the mic from their mouth the hyper will still get the audio.
Otherwise there really isn't anyway to do it simply because when you turn away from the music the level will drop no matter what and there is a barrier of people between the mic and the music. The only other thing you could do is to ride the audio levels manually.
BTW, I used to use an AT897 before I started using the drum mic and simply split the audio. Channel 1 on AGC and channel 2 manual and I rode the wheel. I still use the 897 on my 2nd camera and am very pleased with it.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 03:39 PM   #3
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That sounds like a good setup. I like that it's simple but still gets all the audio without having to spend a lot of extra in post to sync. So you just use a plug in transmitter (XLR) for the drum mic?
Thanks for the advice
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Old January 8th, 2009, 05:04 PM   #4
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As far as the sound changing when you are walking around, at receptions. I set up my shotgun on a tall stand with a wireless to my camera. No matter where I go, the sound stays the same.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 05:37 PM   #5
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Harry makes a good point.See another way to do things. Yes, I use a plugin transmitter on the drum mic. I also set the hypercaroid to -10db and the transmitter gets set to -6db. I would like it to goto -10 but it works just great at -6. Like I said, it never clips and I hardly ever have to do anything to my reception audio.

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Old January 12th, 2009, 10:08 AM   #6
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do you guys know of a particular shotgun that is closer the omni pattern to pick up ambience? I'm thinking use a mic on a stand in front of the speakers (like you guys mentioned), then a shotgun on camera to capture ambient noise. Do you guys just use a hyper for the on cam mic, or have you guys had any experience in using an omni for that purpose? I know there aren't many options for omni mics, or maybe I just haven't been looking in the right places.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 05:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Swan View Post
do you guys know of a particular shotgun that is closer the omni pattern to pick up ambience? I'm thinking use a mic on a stand in front of the speakers (like you guys mentioned), then a shotgun on camera to capture ambient noise. Do you guys just use a hyper for the on cam mic, or have you guys had any experience in using an omni for that purpose? I know there aren't many options for omni mics, or maybe I just haven't been looking in the right places.
There are an abundance of omni mics on the market. Unfortunately, for an on-camera mic, they all have the same defect of, well, being omni. That means they're going to pickup sound from all directions equally well - not only what the camera is pointed at but also your fingers on the focus ring, your breathing, your burp from that extra canape you swiped from the buffet table, all the stuff that's NOT part of the program and you don't want on the tape <grin>. And since your burp is much, much closer to the mic than those background sounds you're trying to capture, guess what's going to be recorded loudest on the tape. Omni mics have definite uses and places to be, just on-camera isn't one of them. OTOH, if you're going to hand a stick mic to guests to record their congratulations to the couple, it's not very likely that they're going to know how to work a mic like a professional announcer would and a rugged omni dynamic mic would be an excellent choice for that application.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 06:16 PM   #8
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Those are great points Steve. I'm a pretty big fan of the buffet table, so I guess an omni is out of the question for me.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 02:59 AM   #9
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We use AT897s on each camera (with the other channels usually going to Audio 2000 radio mics though during receptions, dances etc they'll be unused).

Our solution for the background buzz or music is to use a Zoom H4 and drop the background in at the edit. It gives you control over what of the stuff you record on the AT897 is actually heard in the programme.
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