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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old May 6th, 2004, 12:28 PM   #1
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ME-66 OK for weddings ?

Hi

Can anyone perhaps give me advice what professional mic to use at weddings other than the sub standard mic that comes with the camera. The ME-66 is within my price range but is anyone out there actually using one at weddings to pick up ambient reception sound and dance music as well as speeches although I might consider running a seperate handheld interview type mic for the speeches into, say input 1 on the PD-150, then have the ME-66 pick up general ambient sound and music from the floor, into input 2 .... then just lay down accordingly in post. Is this a good idea ... will it work effectively and is anyone doing this successfully. Would the ME-66 be effective in picking up good quality sound even though the camera would be moving around panning people dancing etc. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 01:22 PM   #2
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Paul, I think I answered this on that other forum but just in case we missed each other ;-)

Yes, I use ME66's on both of my 150's for weddings. The ceremony s generally not a problem. I mic the groom and that gives me the B/G and much of the officiant when he's standind with the B/G. The rest is from the churches PA system. Most of the places I work in have decent systems and the ME66 picks it up very well. Depending on the church and the situation I may or may not use another wireless system to my 2nd camera for the readers podium. The singer and musicans generally are fine with the ME66. Please remember though that many of the weddings I'm doing are locations I've shot at many mant times before so I know how the audio is going to be.
Now as for receptions thats a different gig entirely. I.E., some DJ's forget they can play music at something less than full out volume, so what I do is for the intros, toasts,cake cutting and usually the 1st dances I use the MIC setting on the camera. I then will place a 10db ateenuator by PROCO on the mic and that generally takes enough of the edge off to give me really good audio but for the rare occassion that the DJ is a complete idiot and has to run in the red, I don't use the PROCO but switch the camera audio to MICATT, a 20 db drop. I had 1 earlier this year, I swear the DJ was deaf and I ended up using both the PROCO and the on camera attenuator for a 30db drop and I was still very watchful of the music but it did work out well.
Anyway the point is the ME66 in my opinion is a very good mic for weddings if used properly. Are there better? Yes, but I believe for the money you can't go wrong.
Of course, thats just my opinion and maybe it's because I own a couple of them...

BTW, the only time I run a 2nd mic anymore is for doing guest comments but I have once in a while in the past set up a wireless handheld by one of the speakers and used that as a 2nd lind of defense for the music. However I no longer do that as I do not find it necessary anymore.
Good Luck,
Don
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Old May 6th, 2004, 05:38 PM   #3
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As Don say's he's familiar with the locations in which he shoots.

I think you can get into trouble a bit too easy with the 66. Once overdriven, the sound is just noise and not useful.

I stopped using shotguns in weddings or events because of their inability to handle overload gracefully (unless, like Don, you are fully prepared before it happens). I tend to shoot weddings outdoors and always in a different venue. Not that I do that many mind you.

I find my self either using a cardiod (Shure SM81) or the microphone that came with my DSR-300 on-camera for receptions and the like and a dynamic either wired or wireless for interviews, etc. I sometimes tape a dynamic (Shure Beta58) to one of the PA speakers and wireless that to the camera (PD150).

As does Don, I use a wireless lav for the groom to capture vows with a minid-disk backup on the officiant.

Knowing the location and the DJ are two of the greatest advantages you can get.
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Old May 7th, 2004, 06:29 PM   #4
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So what do you all do? Just tape a dynamic mic to the top of the
DJ's speaker? What about the idea of putting up a mic stand?
I suppose with this technique, you're only getting one channel of the DJs audio, right? Will this matter much in the final result?
Also, how could I connect a wireless bodypack transmitter
to a handheld?
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Old May 7th, 2004, 06:54 PM   #5
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Dave,
I do a couple of things.

A) I mount the mic on a liteweight lite stand with a mount on it so I can place the mic where it will be out of the way and get the best pickup.

B) I still use my shotgun and will use the best track for the effect I want. Sometimes it's the shotgun sometimes the wireless, but more and more I'm using the shotgun. (less stuff to carry in and with the 10dbattenuator I'm now using, I get really good sound-YAAAAA!)

C) I mount the receiver to my battery. I use the big batteries (960's) and they stick out far enought from the camera to be able to velcro the receiver right to it OR I use a longer XLR cable and a little tool type pouch I got at a local home improvement store that the receiver fits into nicely and it has a clip on it so I can clip it to my belt. Just gotta remember it's there when I set the camera down.

It's just stuff I've come up with over the years, you know "Necessity is the Mother of Invention" and no not the late great Frank Zappa kind ;-)

Hope that helps,
Don
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Old May 7th, 2004, 07:34 PM   #6
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Do you get the mic up pretty high? I'm concerned about
picking up chit-chat of the folks standing around the mic.
How far away from the speakers do you usually end up
placing the mic?

I just got the 10dB attenuator, myself, after getting the cam's
pre's distorted from a loud DJ.

Now I just have to figure out a way to connect the
Sennheiser body-pack transmitter to the XLR mic.
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Old May 7th, 2004, 08:24 PM   #7
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I use an Azden handheld with the transmitter built in. As for chitchat, I keep the mic kinda close but off to the side of one of the speakers so it's pretty much out of the way. I get chitchat from the shotgun anyway and what the heck, it's part of the day. Kinda like when the photographer walks in to your shot at the ceremony. :-)

I have grown to know and love my 10db attenuator!

Don
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Old May 8th, 2004, 03:09 AM   #8
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Well, to the original poster, I will say, you'll need to get
a 10 or 15dB attenuator for the ME66. Maybe even a
20 dB model. Monitor with decent headphones.
You'll be able to hear if there is distortion.
What camera are you using?
Incidently, there are some who believe the ME64
is a better mic for indoor use than the ME66.
Interestingly, the Sanken CS-1 mic doesn't
come up much on this board. That's fine, as
for the money it is way over-rated.
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Old May 8th, 2004, 12:58 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dave Largent : Do you get the mic up pretty high? I'm concerned about
picking up chit-chat of the folks standing around the mic.
How far away from the speakers do you usually end up
placing the mic?

---------------------
That's why I tape mine to the top of the speaker with the ball (Beta58 encased in a fur windscreen to avoid mechanical noise) sticking just over the top front.
-----------------------------

I just got the 10dB attenuator, myself, after getting the cam's
pre's distorted from a loud DJ.

Now I just have to figure out a way to connect the
Sennheiser body-pack transmitter to the XLR mic. -->>>

The stereo input socket on the body-pack uses one signal pin for line, the other for microphone input. Make up a cable or buy one that connects the balanced output pins of the microphone to the microphone and ground connections of the mini-jack.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 05:25 PM   #10
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Now I'm considering using the mic that comes with
the PD150 instead of the dynamic handheld to mic
the loudspeaker. I have a Denecke phantom powering unit.
I would think the PD mic would get a better sound.
Looked but couldn't find any specs on that PD
mic though, as I was curious about SPL. It could probably handle being next to a loudspeaker without being over-driven, right? It is not particularly sensitive.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 08:26 PM   #11
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It might work but being somewhat insensitive doesn't necessarily mean it can handle high SPLs. And sound better than a Beta58? I don't think it can do that on its best day with a following wind.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 08:39 PM   #12
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Well, I'm gonna do A-B testing of it around loud music
as compared to my dynamic, which is the Samson R11Q,
an inexpensive mic.
In my search for info on the PD mic I came across
someone selling the mic itself for around $400.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 11:33 PM   #13
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Well, I did the A-B testing. I guess the PD mic sounded a
bit fuller, but neither one sounded very good. The recording sounded like AM radio. This was going wired into the PD. I tried both mics with the Airline UHF plug-in transmitter,
which puts out 5mW, which is not that much
compared to most other wireless transmitters. The sound was all muffled. Perhaps it was overloading at the transmitter. I did have the test music blasting
to simulate DJ loudspeakers. The Denecke phantom powering unit does have a
15dB pad switch, which I'll mess with tomorrow
as it's too late now to be blasting speakers.
Another idea I got is to try this nice lav mic I have.
It's by DPA. I have the XLR adaper for it to use
with the Denecke. The specs say the max SPL is 134dB
before clipping with 48V phantom. That wouldn't
be exceeded by the DJ speaker, would it?
The max SPL on that Samson dynamic is 130dB.
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Old May 10th, 2004, 01:03 PM   #14
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for loud weddings the me can be to hot but for funerals it can do exellent job , it will pull the the sound from the deaths :-)
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Old May 10th, 2004, 01:30 PM   #15
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A competitor has used the sytem of mic'ing a
loudspeaker using the Senn 100 system and
has told me that he does get drop-outs
occasionally. I was wondering if it would help to cut down on drop-outs by getting the transmitter up
high, say on a tall tripod or light stand,
or even taped to the wall (up near the
ceiling) with gaffers tape?
I wonder if they make a longer Tx antenna,
or if one could be fashioned?
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