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


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Old February 11th, 2009, 11:32 AM   #1
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I love church sound guys.

I'm loading footage from the wedding this past Sat. We used 2 cameras, the camera up near the alter had a Sennheiser lav and the balcony camera had my AT shotgun mic. The audio from the AT is beautiful with the exception of the faint sound of music that was bleeding through the sound board into the churches speakers. You couldn't hear during the ceremony but the shotgun picked up. Good thing the lav picked everything up.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 11:59 AM   #2
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I love church sound guys too. I am one. In fact, the only place I really want to tape a wedding anymore is at OUR church where I KNOW I can get good sound.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 01:27 PM   #3
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Most of these guys are volunteers (I'm a church video guy, I work alongside the sound guys). Every church is different, but there's usually one guy with more training/experience than the others. But you have understand their limitations and work within them.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 02:12 PM   #4
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Old February 11th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #5
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Hope I didn't offend anyone, I was just venting. As someone who has run sound professionally its just a little frustrating.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 05:59 PM   #6
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No offense. And you're correct. There should NOT have been music coming from somewhere else.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 07:34 PM   #7
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As mentioned earlier, most church sound guys are volunteers. Of those, few have any real understanding of the equipment they operate. Nor should they have to be knowledgable. They just want the sound system to work ... and hopefully the person who talked them into the sound system they have really understood the real needs of the church. I have found the opposite is far too common.

However, there are two easy ways to resolve audio feeds from church PA's IF they use a reasonably sophisticated audio mixer and IF you can get permission to make a few minor adjustments.

1st: Connect a camera to the audio mixer's RECORD OUT RCA connections. This is a constant high level feed from the sound board that is not affected by any adjustments made to the board's master control, but any adjustment made to any individual audio channel will be immediately obvious. Set the camera to LINE INPUT or use an interface.

2nd: Use the AUX SENDS to feed your camera. They are the two control knobs directly beneath the tone controls and above the pan control.
Most audio mixers have two audio sends (often labeled as AUX 1 & AUX 2) that are not directly related to the main audio outs. Their purpose is to redirect an incoming signal from a microphone or instrument to a more sophisticated audio processor, which is then returned to the mixer and blended with all other channels to get a more precise sound mix.
AUX 1 is usually PRE-FADER, meaning the audio signal is identical to the incoming signal but not affected by the fader setting on that specific channel.
AUX 2 is usually POST-FADER, meaning it is affected by any individual channel's fader setting, as well as tone control & pan settings.
Both AUX 1 & AUX 2 have their own master, independent of anything else going on with the sound board, and do not necessarily have to be returned to the mixer. I suggest connecting to the AUX 1 OUT on the back of the board. It is usually a 1/4" mono connection. You bypass any church sound board settings and any church sound guy's behavior. The down side is that the audio is a mono feed, and you will have to do audio tweaking in post. At least you will have a stable signal to work with.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 07:58 PM   #8
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Waldemar,

You offer excellent advice. That was definitely an option but since I was set-up in the balcony I didn't want to run any cable up the balcony. I think I am going to invest in a second lav set-up with an instrument style attachment on the transmitter side that I can use strictly for patching into the house mixers.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 04:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldemar Winkler View Post
...

1st: Connect a camera to the audio mixer's RECORD OUT RCA connections. This is a constant high level feed from the sound board that is not affected by any adjustments made to the board's master control, but any adjustment made to any individual audio channel will be immediately obvious. Set the camera to LINE INPUT or use an interface.

....
Not necessarily, Waldmar, it depends on the board's manufacturer. On Mackies, the RCA outs parallel the main outs, albeit at the -10dBv consumer line level, and their levels follow the master fader just as do the mains.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 07:37 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Waldemar Winkler View Post
However, there are two easy ways to resolve audio feeds from church PA's IF they use a reasonably sophisticated audio mixer and IF you can get permission to make a few minor adjustments.

1st: Connect a camera to the audio mixer's RECORD OUT RCA connections. This is a constant high level feed from the sound board that is not affected by any adjustments made to the board's master control, but any adjustment made to any individual audio channel will be immediately obvious. Set the camera to LINE INPUT or use an interface.

2nd: Use the AUX SENDS to feed your camera. They are the two control knobs directly beneath the tone controls and above the pan control.
Alright, let's see you find those "knobs" on our Yamaha M7CL! (which I would consider a "reasonably sophisticated audio mixer") :-)

I could give you a feed but, in our case, I'd rather just record to CD and hand you the CD afterwards.


Earlier this year, I was running sound at a wedding in our church. I'm not sure where they found the videographer but he didn't even have an external mic on anybody in the ceremony. Don't know if he used it but I did give him a CD with EVERYTHING mic'd.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 10:50 AM   #11
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Waldemar,

You offer excellent advice. That was definitely an option but since I was set-up in the balcony I didn't want to run any cable up the balcony. I think I am going to invest in a second lav set-up with an instrument style attachment on the transmitter side that I can use strictly for patching into the house mixers.
When you begin shopping for that 2nd wireless system, check to see if the transmitter has a gain control, sometimes labeled "volume". Often this control sets the sensitivity to an incoming signal. Fully clockwise is mic level. Fully counterclockwise is line level. Adjustment usually requires a very small screwdriver. Those systems with "instrument" switches simply pre-set sensitivity to incoming signals.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 10:56 AM   #12
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Not necessarily, Waldmar, it depends on the board's manufacturer. On Mackies, the RCA outs parallel the main outs, albeit at the -10dBv consumer line level, and their levels follow the master fader just as do the mains.
You're right. RCA record outs can be wired to parallel the main outs. It is easy to test, and should be part of a sound check. However, once set, main outs shouldn't need to be adjusted during a ceremony. I always ask sound board operators to check with me first before shutting down the board.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 11:35 AM   #13
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Alright, let's see you find those "knobs" on our Yamaha M7CL! (which I would consider a "reasonably sophisticated audio mixer") :-)

I could give you a feed but, in our case, I'd rather just record to CD and hand you the CD afterwards.


Earlier this year, I was running sound at a wedding in our church. I'm not sure where they found the videographer but he didn't even have an external mic on anybody in the ceremony. Don't know if he used it but I did give him a CD with EVERYTHING mic'd.
I've not used that particular board, but I did look it up on Yamaha's web site. In my opinion, it is quite a bit more than reasonably sophisticated. I'd be very surprised to find a volunteer with limited experience operating it. Still, just by looking at the manufacturer's brochure it didn't take me long to find the AUX sends. On the other hand, because it is a digital board with a LCD control interface, I'd have to spend a few hours with the manual to figure out the signal routing workflow. This board also appears to have several sub-master sends. I'd simply ask you to assign appropriate audio channels used to an unused sub-master and use that feed.

Providing the videographer with a CD recording of the ceremony is a very generous gesture.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 02:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldemar Winkler View Post
When you begin shopping for that 2nd wireless system, check to see if the transmitter has a gain control, sometimes labeled "volume". Often this control sets the sensitivity to an incoming signal. Fully clockwise is mic level. Fully counterclockwise is line level. Adjustment usually requires a very small screwdriver. Those systems with "instrument" switches simply pre-set sensitivity to incoming signals.
I could be wrong but I believe the Sennheiser can be used either way and does have a sensitivity setting in the menu. I'll have to double check the one I already have.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 02:36 PM   #15
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On the other hand, because it is a digital board with a LCD control interface, I'd have to spend a few hours with the manual to figure out the signal routing workflow. This board also appears to have several sub-master sends. I'd simply ask you to assign appropriate audio channels used to an unused sub-master and use that feed.
Exactly. The board was installed while the new sanctuary was still being constructed. We were happy it was! Working only a couple hours on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings, it took two weeks just to figure out how to get sound out of it. Spent the next couple of weeks setting up our current routing. By the time of the first service, we had a pretty good handle on it but even now, two years later, are still fine-tuning the setup and finding new ways it can be used.

It's a different concept when the wire plugged into input #14 is actually on slider #1! Totally alien to the analog boards. It's the first electronic board I've used but the more I use it the more I like it.
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