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Old May 4th, 2009, 02:31 PM   #1
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Audio Capture during Reception- Best Practice

Hello,

I have an Iriver, I usually ask for a feed from the DJ to record the audio from the reception, I sometimes get an aux out or tape record out, last Saturday, I got a feed from tape record out. I uploaded the file today and I got zero recording. With no time to test, as in most cases, any best practices you like to share. tape out vs. aux out?

Much appreciated.

Note: It's a good thing I miked the Groom separately during his speech.

Thanks.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 02:36 PM   #2
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I never trust an audio source unless I have listened to the playback. I just record a few seconds, stop, and listen.

Sometimes you get a reception hall (like a VFW or church basement) that has a super-simple PA with no aux or tape output. Then I'd put a recorder near a speaker or on the table in front of the B&G.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 02:41 PM   #3
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Thanks Chris, I know I should have done a test but it is one of those weddings where you barely have enough time to set-up lights.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 02:44 PM   #4
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We've all been there-done that. Non-repeatable events will always have these problems. All we can do is remember next time and thank God we at least had some sort of backup.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 03:08 PM   #5
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After having been burned once or twice with DJs audio plugins, and hating the most simple approach of simply using a shotgun for receptions I started playing with using some sort of mic at the DJs speakers using a wireless plug to my receiver.
I tried every combintion I could think off and for the last few years have been using a Sennheiser E604 drum mic placed a few inches in front off and slightly below the DJs speaker. I use my plugin transmitter back to my camera to Channel 2 on my camera. I combine that with my AKG300SE/CK93 Hypercaroid on the camera to channel 1 and I can honestly say that in the last few years of using this system my reception audio has been about as good as it gets. Very little if any sweetening in post.
The drum mic is made to take the high SPLs and does a great job of picking up the low end of the spectrum and the hypercaroid does a wonderful job of getting the high end and the room noise so it doesn't sound like the track is just layed in and I get to monitor the sound thru out.
While it may not be the most preffered method it works for me.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 06:37 PM   #6
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Hi Noel,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel Lising View Post
Hello,
I have an Iriver, I usually ask for a feed from the DJ to record the audio from the reception, I sometimes get an aux out or tape record out, last Saturday, I got a feed from tape record out. I uploaded the file today and I got zero recording. With no time to test, as in most cases, any best practices you like to share. tape out vs. aux out?
For the past two seasons I've been taping an iriver to the toast mic - a 700 series that has the mic input at the top - and using a button mic from Giant Squid:

Mini Gold Plated Mono Microphone

The input level is set pretty low - around 42. I use 3" wide gaffer's tape - cant even see it when they're holding it. I love the looks I get from the staff at the halls - "what the $@%& is this on the mic?"

Last edited by Joel Peregrine; May 5th, 2009 at 03:12 AM.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 03:42 AM   #7
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Most DJs today have self powered speaker systems like the JBL Eon series. Instead of trying to figure out how to get out of their mixer, simply plug into the line out at the back of the speaker. It's an XLR connector. Very simple and Foolproof!
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Old May 5th, 2009, 05:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Peregrine View Post
I love the looks I get from the staff at the halls - "what the $@%& is this on the mic?"
I had a good laugh at this Joel - I used to do the same thing and get those same looks..!

Now I use a 1GB iriver out of the DJ/house gear and am very happy with it - levels set at 40 which seems to be pretty safe and recording at 320kbps. The only thing I dislike is you can't monitor it live so it's a bit hit and miss. I don't like putting all my audio eggs in one basket so usually have an alternate option in place - lapel mic taped to fixed lecturns or similar as a backup.

I'm gradually building my 'collection of connections' to cover most things. RCA outs have been available in most situations but last wedding I used a 6.5mm mono connector. Like Warren suggested - I actually purchased an XLR connector today to get direct line out of the speakers when the situation allows.

The other thing I've found is syncing up in post can be a bit of a pain as you get some drift in the audio but it's generally worth the relaticely small inconvenience.

Cheers,

Matt.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 08:42 AM   #9
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Thanks for the input guys. I never thought of getting the feed from the powered speaker, I will do that this Saturday. The mono mic should work wonders in the church. As in almost all churches, you can't access the PA system.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 09:43 AM   #10
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A digital recorder plugged into the DJ station, an H2 mounted near the bridal party's table with the gain cranked to spy on them (ok, a little creepy), an H4 mounted up above to get a good ambient mix, and shotgun mics on all the cameras....

Might be a bit overboard, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 10:32 AM   #11
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My setup is simple and quick, no matter where I film. I can set this up in 5 minutes flat. And I can setup my Reception lighting in 10 minutes.

I take a mic and attach 2 audio recoridng sources to a mic stand.
1. Sennheiser plug on transmitter to it, and also
2. Small recorder like Zoom H2 or Zoom H4n

The mic stand is placed near a PA stack or on stage with a band.
Here's an older setup that I used to use, the one I mentioned is similar.
LVProductionsTools of the Trade: Mobile Audio Rig

I now have 2 audio sources in which I can use in post. This is normally the recorder audio, and then I use the wireless feed for backup or sync purposes. There are times when I will take a board feed, if I'm comfortable with the DJ, but I actually prefer a live sounding mix. So I would take the board feed just for mi purposes.

This is the smallest and simplest of my setups, as I have other recorders (Marantz PMD620 or 4-channel Edirol R44) and recording options that I use as well, for different circumstances.

BTW, be careful of plugging into powered speakers, as the power could fry your recorder circuitry.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 11:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot View Post

BTW, be careful of plugging into powered speakers, as the power could fry your recorder circuitry.
Thanks for the heads-up, I was about to post that question. That's a cool set-up btw, can't afford to invest right now on an H4.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 03:50 AM   #13
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When you have the budget I'd always recommend radio mics on each person speaking unless it's a female when I either take her from a radio mic on the man sitting next to her or an AT31a on a table stand into an H4. We use three z1s so we have six channels available and have AT897s on each second channel for ambient/backup unless four or more people are speaking.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 11:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot View Post
BTW, be careful of plugging into powered speakers, as the power could fry your recorder circuitry.
As someone who does both videography and DJ work, let me shed some light on this. A lot of DJs these days use the JBL or Mackie self-powered speakers. One of the features of these speakers is to be able to run "thru" one speaker to the next speaker to have a chain of sound without the extra long cable runs. The output from the sound board plugs into an XLR input in the speaker, then another XLR runs from the "thru" output to the next speaker.

The levels coming from the board are "line level" as opposed to "mic level" so the signal is a little hotter than a mic. The thru signal also comes out as line level because the amplifier for the self-powered speaker is only amplifying the signal toward the speakers, not back into the thru output. Most XLR cables are not designed to handle power from an amp.

So you shouldn't have a problem plugging into the last speaker in the chain and running it to your recorder. Just remember that most recorders (such as my Edirol) have a switch to toggle between line level and mic level. Also, always check the input levels on the recorder to make sure you're not running too loud. Much easier to boost moderate levels than it is to fix clipped audio.

Your mileage may vary and it's a good idea to be familiar with some of the speakers you're liable to encounter. Here are a few common ones...

JBL :: Product

The JBL EON product only has Neutrik connectors.

Mackie - SR1521z

The Mackie product has XLR thru outputs.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 11:44 AM   #15
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Hi Aaron,

So it would be safe to plug in the recorder as long as you make sure it's the speaker at the end of the daisy chain?

Thanks
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