Complete audio setup for wedding & event at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 21st, 2003, 01:19 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 88
Complete audio setup for wedding & event

I am about to start shooting weddings, and I am absolutely clueless when it comes to audio gathering. 15 different kinds of wireed mikes, different kinds of mixers, types of mikes to be used, ect, and futhermore, can't figure out how I would use all the above to actually position and get the actual sound.

I will be shooting with 2 GL2 cameras. It looks as if I need to use some sort of additional shotgun mike at the bare minimum, plus a few wireless mikes to a base station. Probably also need a portable mixer which would likely mix out to a minidisk player's stereo minipug input jack. Then I'd record all the mixed tracks bvalanced off of the wireless units.

I just really don't know how to do this. As it stands, we're planning to use the mics guilt onto the cameras. Can someone provide a very clear, sure fire solution to this problem?

I'd planned to get a shotgun (probably Senn ME66) loaded directly onto the camera I will personally operate with head phones to adjust as needed. This will aslo include a unit to convert the large XLR plug to a mini plug to put into my camera.

I could also set up some sort of wireless setup, nice high quality mics, some sort of recieving base, and possibly a minidisk recorder taking the feed off of some sort of trasnportable audio mixer board. This way I'd have everyone miced (maybe 3 or 4 wireless LAV's and spun all down to the wireless reciever and mixer which goes to the minidisk (standard consumer model cheap off of ebay, I plan to get) . THen just use this to hold the audio until I get back to the studio.

I was hoping by setting up a total stand alone system by doing it this way, then on my camera, I can plug in a nice shotgun mike to try to get a better sound off of the wedding party. The last camera would likely just use its onboard for crowd noise which could blend in further at some other time.

Is this what I need, or am I overkill here.

Basically what I'm asking here, is "what do I need to get good autio, as I've got squat now, and need to produce a good, clean, and quality sounding final production, and in this world, audio is everything.

Help help. I don't even know how I'd start putting all this stuff together.
Kevin King is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2003, 02:27 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
I don't shoot with the GL2 but audio is audio and it's 70% of what you see in a wedding video.
Everyone will have differing opinions and way to do things, this is how I do it but keep in mind you have to be FLEXIBLE with all things wedding related!

I use 2 wireless mic's; 1 on the groom ALWAYS and the other one either on the officiant OR more and more on the speakers podium.

As I use 2 PD150's for the ceremonies, I run the grooms mic to the primary camera where I monitor under a good set of sony phones, the other goes to the 2nd camera which is set to a specific sound level for the wireless. The 2 shotguns on those cameras are for the ambient sound and vocalist thru the venues PA system. Some folks use MD's and swear by them, I'm a wireless kind of guy. It's simple but I 've only had an interference problem 1 time and the sound guy at the church switched HIS freqs and the problem was solved. Well thats what I do, I'm sure others will have their suggestions as well, find the one that works best for you.
To each their own.
Hope that helps
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2003, 02:48 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 316
Some churches have the sound all set, and it really isn't that bad. You may be able to hook the stationary camera directly into their sound. Other times, I have know some churches to audio record the service right onto a CD which they give to you. I would see if you could get that from the wedding party. This can also be troublesome if the levels weren't set right or you can't adjust anything. But, it is another form of insurance if nothing else works out.
__________________
I understand everything about nothing.
J. Clayton Stansberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2003, 04:28 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 202
Here's a couple of wedding audio tidbits:

If you shoot from the balcony you better have audio mics somewhere else because the sound up there is usually crap.

My FAVORITE thing is the still photographer. Most of them still use the old style cameras that shoot (I don't know what it is) film larger than 35mm and have manual winders. So, all through the vows you hear, crank crank crank, snap . . .click. crank crank crank, snap . . .click. crank crank crank, snap . . .click. crank crank crank, snap . . .click. The only good thing is they only have ten rounds on those things and they have to stop often to reload.
Alex Dunn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2003, 04:32 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 202
But seriously, you asked about a field mixer. Behringer makes an awesome one for $99. It's eight channels (four of them XLR) and has several output options. I'd go straight in to one of the GL2's so you get the benefit of it's CD quality sound, rather than purchasing a DAT.
Alex Dunn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2003, 05:21 PM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,922
A field mixer is battery powered , easily carried and usuqlly limited to 2 to 4 inputs. The lowest price I've seen is the samson mixpad4 at $180. It's a bit fiddly but still a true field mixer. Dave Mintzer uses one.

http://www.samsontech.com/products/productpage.cfm?prodID=66&brandID=2

marenius make a single buss mono for $340 (MM3100 ENG Mono Mixer) and a stereo for $725. (MM4210 ENG Stereo Mixer)

http://www.marenius.se/indexeng.htm

Shure have their FP24 and the creme de la creme Sound devices 302 , 442 or one the many Wendt's. ( the FP 24 is really a Sound devices Mix Pre either is a 2 channel and costs $700)

The 302 is an amazing little mixer, extremely small and easy to use. It's built like a brick poop house, setup is software selectable, it has 3 inputs and all of the features you'd ever want. It's around $1000. I bought one a few months back and I'm really happy with it.

Sound Devices was formed by ex Shure Engineers. Their dedication to technical excellance and super customer service is easy to see.

http://www.sounddevices.com/products/302master.htm

Wendt looks like nice stuff but too rich for this cat.
Bryan Beasleigh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2003, 07:09 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 229
Another two stereo field mixers with low prices are the Rolls MX54s 3 channel and the MX124 4 channel mixers.

Rolls also offers the MX442 which is a more serious 4 Channel field mixer priced at about $800

PSC (Professional Sound Corp) just introduced a new 3 Channel mixer specifically for the DV market at under $500.00. It is bigger in size then the Sound Devices 302 and also does not have that many features as the 302, but it offers more then enough in terms of quality and functionality for most DV camera users.

One nice feature of the new PSC mixer is that it has a Dedicated Microphone level output jack for use with cameras not equipped with XLR's. so it can take the place of Beachtek and similar boxes.
Marty Wein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2003, 08:16 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Alex,
The cameras in question are medium format and they use either 120 or 220 film. 220 in the6X7 format gives 20 shots and date way back, I used a 6X7 (Graflex XL) back in the early and mid 70's when I did stills. The SLR types ARE very noisy but the photogaphic quality is outstanding. Also could be a 6X6 format, 24 shots on a roll of 220.
Comman name brands, Mamiya,Hasselblad-both very very popular with wedding,portrait and fashion types. Also about as expensive with lenses and film backs as a PD150 with a few toys.
I still have a film back from a MAmiya RB67 dates back to about the late 70's, broken but a great paperweight!

Photo lesson for the day ;-)
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2003, 09:51 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,922
Nostagia time. I used to have two Mamiyaflex TLR's and 6 lens sets. You could drive a truck over those puppies and not even scratch them. The Honeywell Strobonar used to sound like a jet warming up when it recycled and when you fired the flash it made one hell of a noise. I just threw the strobonar out a few months ago.
Bryan Beasleigh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2003, 10:30 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
I had one of those also but no extra lenses and I had a Rollie TLR. I really liked my GraflexXL and my Nikon F's (bought in the PX overseas and shipped home) with the hugh assortment of lenses (I loved those lenses) BUT my favorite was my Lieca MII-WOW! Then some scumbag stole it. BOO HOO!

I had 2 Singer strobes, a 50w/s for on camera (only cause the battery was just the size of a size 12 shoe) and a 50/100/200 Singer that must have weighed about what a small import of the time weighed. I used that as my umbrella light. Didn't make a lot of noise generating up but when it went off, BAM! A very nice POP in the key of 'C' I think ;-0
Along about '75 I think it was I got a Metz auto flash with the battery box and tilt head, man I was in tall cotton then. An automatic strobe, no more guessing or strings or flash meters. Then I figured out I was really better off with my monster flash anyway.
Ahhh, those were the days!
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2003, 11:33 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 88
Uh oh, Medium format cameras? What's that got to do with sound? Aren't we a little off topic? ;-) j/k

Seriously, thanks everyone for the input (no punn intended).

If I'm understanding correctly, I could for example, use one of these portable mixer units. I would feed the signal lines from the wireless mic's into the unit, plus, say, a shotgun mic, or maybe even the church's PA feed. This would all be mixed into a single 2 channel (stereo) output, which I would feed back into one of my cameras (or a minidisk player?) via the external microphone port (1/8" stereo jack). I could monitor sound from that camera and adjust the levels on the mixer for the various inputs as needed. Am I following?

Another question I had is regarding wireless LAV units. Which should I get? I've seen a few that seem a bit high priced, have large bulky base stations, and can run many many mics at once. I just need some sort of hip mountable portable unit that will work as a reciever for 2 to 4 mic's. There's got to be a fairly inexpensive system out there that is small and easily portable without going to a unit designed to mic and entire band for a stage production.

Second question - will a Lav placed on the groom properly pick up the officient and the bride's vocals? I've only used lav's once, years ago, and as I remember, they were highly directional. Seemed to only want to pick up the voice of whoever they were attatched to. I was thinking I'd have to figure a way to get a Lav on every single person to get the audio I was after.

And finally.... (last question today, I promice) - why doesn't somebody place a stage mic on a short stand located in front of and below the wedding party, and just use that mic via a wireless unit to pick up sound from the whole deal, instead of mic'ing individual people with Lavs?

Thanks again everyone. I know I'm making this much harder than it needs to be. For the first 2 or so, I'm going to try to go with rental equipment if I can find a house that puts out all the pieces I need. Otherwise it looks as if I'm into another $1000 or so to get myself a full audio setup - having not done a single ceremony yet, I don't know if I'm willing to make that investment just yet. (BTW, these first 2 deals are not paid, I'm doing them on my own tab to build my demo reel. I've got experience elswhere, but nobody wants to see a demo of race cars and pit crews as demo tape for a wedding artist. :-) ).
Kevin King is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2003, 02:15 AM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Palmerston North New Zealand
Posts: 44
I've only been shooting them for the last year or so but find the setup Don mentioned earlier to work fine for getting good audio. The main concern I would have with the mixer and lots of inputs is that you may end up missing the action on camera while worrying about the sound.

If you have a dedicated sound person then no worries! :).

I mic the groom with an omni lav(the ME-2 that came with my sennheiser wireless mic) and either use another ME-2 as a plant mic at the podium or hook up to my ME-66/64 for any musical numbers singers etc. The wireless is fed into one channel of my PD150 and the other wireless into my DSR-250. The on camera mics are on channel 2 and give me ambient from two locations(the PD150 set wide at the back and the 250 up front both on tripods).

I end up with 4 audio tracks to play with in post and mix and match to suit.

Not sure about the fixed mic on a stand up front - I can just see a wedding dress or bridesmaids outfit catching it on the way to signing the register.....;)
Jon McLean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2003, 02:18 AM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,922
Kevin
A mixer give you a whole lot more flexability, not necessarily a standard procedure. As an example, i recently had to record speaches in a room with a PA system. The hotels mic and PA amp were crap. The amp didn't even have a decent aux feed. I used my mic into my mixer, fed my camera and a marantz flash recorder and the house PA amp. I would have been screwed without it. I ran the recorder so I had an uninterupted record of the whole procedings.
Bryan Beasleigh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2003, 11:49 AM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 360
We shoot weddings with two GL2s and I try to keep things as simple as possible. Primary camera is fixed and has wireless to groom with an ME66/K6 onboard for ambient sound. Second camera roams for different perspectives, readers, etc. and it has a Senn 300MK shotgun which works fine. The problem with this setup happens in large, cavernous churches where there is an echo problem when the officiant moves away from the wireless mike. Next year, we're getting rid of the ME66 and going totally wireless for both channels on the primary camera. Also, if you're planning on using the ME66/K6, have it modified by Sennheiser under warranty. It will badly distort any loud audio into a GL2 even if you keep the audio at safe levels.
Bob Harotunian is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:01 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network