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


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Old September 3rd, 2004, 10:20 PM   #16
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<<<-- Originally posted by Waldemar Winkler : During set-up and testing I monitor from the audio mixer. My mixer of choice has the following features: ... -->>>

Waldemar,

What brand/model/link mixer do you use?

Your setup sounds definitely like a high-end setup to me. How many weddings did you shoot before you starting using such a system?
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Old September 3rd, 2004, 10:27 PM   #17
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I sure could use some help from some of you wedding audio gurus on selecting a wireless system for use in weddings.

If any of you have a few minutes to look at my post/question in the "Which wireless system" thread, and give me a few comments/guidelines/pointers, I'd be eternally grateful.
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Old September 4th, 2004, 01:46 PM   #18
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the Senny G2

nuff said ;)
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Old September 4th, 2004, 04:57 PM   #19
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Before I answer, let me say my professional career was as an audio visual professional in the meetings and conventions industry. Managing several different kinds of microphones during business meetings was a common occurance. In corporate meeting environments, all persons speaking must sound exactly alike; crisp, clean, and strong. That means using a lot of carefully placed microphones to insure voices are picked up clearly. A voice too far away from a microphone is weak and really bothers me.

I shot my first wedding just to have something different to do and did not approach it very seriously. I just used the on-camera microphones...and was immediately unhappy with the quality of sound. My next wedding had a wireless microphone on the officiant. No more mics were used because of all of the complaints I got from the wedding party. One mic was better, but I was still unhappy with the bride and groom's voices. They were too far away from the mic. There were also musicians and family/friend readings during the ceremony (which I didn't know about at the time). I thought they were barely audible on the video tape. At that point I decided that if was to do any more weddings I was going to handle sound in a way I knew would return good results.

I don't regard my approach as high end so much as it is just what is necessary for me to get good sound from every place I need it from. I don't charge extra for any of the gear.

I use one of three audio mixers, depending upon the audio requirements. The 8 ch. is a Behringer UB2??? (no longer made, but very close to the UB2222FX-PRO ($280-$340), a Mackie 1202 4 ch (around $400), or a Samson Mixpad 9 3 ch mixer. All of these are desktop or console units. Sincy by choice I only shoot ceremonies from a tripod in a fixed location, this is not a hinderance. By contrast, I shoot receptions with only camera, spare batteries, and a monopod.

One thing I noticed in my area is that the church sound systems are getting better and better. If I can get a clean audio feed from the house PA system, that significantly reduces the amount of gear I actually use.

i hope that answers your questions. Feel free to ask more.
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Old September 4th, 2004, 07:41 PM   #20
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<<<-- Originally posted by Bob Harotunian : Don's post about officiants is absolutely true...they don't want to be wired and I don't bother asking them anymore."

Personal opinion: I really don't care what the officiant does or does not like about wearing a mic. One way or another, they are going use a microphone that is connected to my camera. If that means wearing a mic then that is what they will do, and I have no problem making sure they understand. It is not their wedding and they are not paying me to document it. Tact is everything. In 30 years of micing people on stage, I've never had to intimidate anyone. My whole reason for being at a wedding is to make a documentary of the event, and good sound is an important part.

"Never, ever think about putting one on the bride."

I could not disagree more. I tell every one of my clients that I prefer the bride to wear a wireless mic, right along with officiant and groom. I've had extraordinary success with everyone wearing a mic, and see no reason to change. However, I've spent most of my professional life working with microphones, and there is always more than one way to mic an event. Bottom line, the decision is always up to the bride.

I have had a few events where everyone has refused to wear mics. So I used a collection of carefully placed directional mics.
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Old September 5th, 2004, 10:05 AM   #21
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never really had a prob apart from stubborn clients who refuse to wear them.. yes you DO get them, no matter how much u convince them.. on teh day, some people jsut dont want to be bothered, and they dont want to see you whatsoever..

As the Senn wireless mic is omnidirectional, i mic up the groom.. theres no need to mic up the bride, and on the groom, it doesnt look too bad. And as all the mixing is done on-cam and in post, i dont need to run a mixer and make a big deal of what im doing..
I try to keep invisible.. some people are differnt, they want people to see them at work.. That no reflection on anyone here, its jsut a differnt way of doing things..

I guess thats where my Audio background comes into play, as i personally try to keep my gear at a minimum.. i carry what i need and onlyuse what i will actually use..
Sure it might look impressive to say, "yeah we carry a mixer" but in all honesty, people DONT CARE what u use.. so long as it sounds good..

In my case, dvx1 is using the standard Pana MK100 shotgun and onboard cam mics, dvx2 will be using the Sen ME67 + K6 module and a Senn Evo2 wireless kit.. all monitored..
The wireless is usually on the groom, OR plugged into the venues PA where i can get a direct feed.. I prefer using it on the groom though as that way i can get all the lil whispers ;)

during the reception, we go onboard mics to get a ncie stereo spread depending on the PA system of the venue and offer a stereo scope of the event.. Surprisingly, the onboard mics of the DVX are quite good with all ranges.. during the speecehs, we plug into the DJs rig.. while the rest of it is onboard.

Like i said, for wedding work i try to be invisible.... its what sells and its what people want.
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Old September 5th, 2004, 11:24 AM   #22
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"Never, ever think about putting one on the bride."
"I could not disagree more. I tell every one of my clients that I prefer the bride to wear a wireless mic, right along with officiant and groom. I've had extraordinary success with everyone wearing a mic, and see no reason to change."

Of course you can do what you want but I will never recommend a microphone on the bride. Why? Because they won't and shoudn't just for starters. A lavalier on the groom always records the bride and officiant loud and clear during the most important parts of the ceremony. Another lav on the podium records readers and anything relevant from the officiant. A MD catches all other ambients needed. That's what works for us.
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Old September 5th, 2004, 01:34 PM   #23
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But where do you guys get them to put the transmitter. After all it'a around (or larger) than a packet of cigarettes. On a bride there is surely not many pockets in her dress and on the groom then it kind of ruins the cut of the suit if it is in one of the pockets.

Just curious...
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Old September 5th, 2004, 03:10 PM   #24
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<<<-- Originally posted by Stephen M. Crawford : But where do you guys get them to put the transmitter. After all it'a around (or larger) than a packet of cigarettes. On a bride there is surely not many pockets in her dress and on the groom then it kind of ruins the cut of the suit if it is in one of the pockets.

Just curious... -->>>

It really depends upon the design of the dress. Some designs simply won't allow a transmitter pack to be concealed. Others will. It is a subject that is always discussed with the bride beforehand. Some brides are quite enthusiastic about the idea and have no issues with working out a way to wear a mic. Others are not the least bit interested. It is her day, and she can have it any way she wants to have it. I simply mic the ceremony in a different way.

Typically, I suggest the transmitter be placed at the small of the back behind a decorative bow or something similar. If the dress does not have that design feature then I suggest it be worn inside the dress.

In an earlier post on this subject I noted my preference for having all mics have the same quality. I feel the best way to do this at a wedding ceremony is to have officiant, bride and groom all wear a mic. It is not the only way, of course. My job is to use the tool that best fits the task given the limitations. That is why I always have a variety of microphones available for use on site as well as allowing myself at least 1 1/2 hours to set up.

Through experience we each will utilize the tools and techniques that work best for the way we work.
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Old September 5th, 2004, 06:10 PM   #25
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What kind of connections are you guys finding when plugging into the DJ? And the Church PA?? Dont they often only offer a mono jack?? Is their an adapter i assume to an xlr cable for this? Or do you find them all using XLR?

Ok so Im thinking my me66 on a stand placed strategically cabled to DVX1 and sennheiser G2 mic on groom going to DVX 1.. Then DVX 2 on monopod with on camera sound while i get shots around the room at ceremony..

Any suggestions or ideas about this layout??

I have only done a few of these and I have been acquiring this equipment.. So Im still kind of learning. I own the one DVX100A, ME66 and G2 ; ) just bought...and rent the other DVX 100 locally...

Thansk for the help guys
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Old September 7th, 2004, 04:40 AM   #26
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Hello,

I'm trying to decide on a wireless mic system for weddings. Would a Samson UHF Series One with UM1 receiver, UT1l transmitter, and Sony ECM-44 mic be a good choice?
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Old September 7th, 2004, 09:21 AM   #27
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<<<-- Originally posted by Larry Wilie : Hello,

I'm trying to decide on a wireless mic system for weddings. Would a Samson UHF Series One with UM1 receiver, UT1l transmitter, and Sony ECM-44 mic be a good choice? -->>>

Probably. Specs on the receiver look OK. Couldn't find much on the transmitter using Samson's search.

Samson has always made good products. Before purchasing, do a search on televison broadcast stations in your local area to see if there will be any frequency overlap. My favorite site for this kind of search is Audio Technica's site (look in their support section). I've found AT's site to be very user friendly.
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Old September 7th, 2004, 05:11 PM   #28
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Why has this thread changed without helping me with my question? Talk about hi jacking.. Someone please help...
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Old September 7th, 2004, 06:01 PM   #29
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<<<-- Originally posted by Scott Plowman : What kind of connections are you guys finding when plugging into the DJ? And the Church PA?? Dont they often only offer a mono jack?? Is their an adapter i assume to an xlr cable for this? Or do you find them all using XLR? -->>

When connecting to other Pa's I have run into just about everything. I use a direct box. It converts incoming audio signals to a low impedance balanced audio sgnal using either XLR connection or 1/4" balanced (tip/ring/sleeve). Mine is the PRO-CO brand AV model, and features 1/8" mini-plug mono, RCA mono, 1/4" mono input connections. Costs about $60.00. It also features switches on the input side to adjust for high/low impedance, instrument, speaker, or line signal strength; also a ground lift switch if the incoming audio signal has a 60 cycle contamination. It is totally passive, meaning no batteries. I run an XLR cable to my audio mixer, than a stereo mini-plug to my camera's mic input. Camera's mic attenuation is usually set to high. Done. clean incoming signal.

If I am connecting to a church PA I find it rare to have a sound person who is really knowledgable. I usually attach to their record feed, usually an RCA line as most of their audio recordings will be done on cassette. It is almost a gauranteed clean signal path. Their cables my be bad, so I always carry a 6' stereo RCA pair as backup. CD recorders will use the same type of line. Most church systems are set up to be idtiot proof, but the audio record feed is usually the most reliable. It is in stereo, so I use a "Y"- connector to bring it down to mono. This goes into my direct box. All sound gets recorded onto stereo channels with equal balance. I don't concern myself with stereo imaging during ceremonies. Receptions are altogather at different matter.

DJ's equipment is, I think, uniformly bizarre (something to do with the mind set of the designers). I look for the same RCA audio feed (usually a record out) to connect to my direct box.

<< -- Ok so Im thinking my me66 on a stand placed strategically cabled to DVX1 and sennheiser G2 mic on groom going to DVX 1.. Then DVX 2 on monopod with on camera sound while i get shots around the room at ceremony..

Any suggestions or ideas about this layout?? I have only done a few of these and I have been acquiring this equipment.. So Im still kind of learning. I own the one DVX100A, ME66 and G2 ; ) just bought...and rent the other DVX 100 locally...

Thanks for the help guys -->>>

Assuming each mic you are using is going into a separate channel on each camera, and you select/delete appropriate audio programs in post, I believe your plan is fundamentally OK, and will work, although it is not the way I woud do it.

My approach is to run individual audio signals through an audio mixer, which is then sent to cameras. I decide on site what signals are to go to the cameras rather than waiting to do it in post. Just my preference. If I didn't use audio mixers on site I would follow a method similar to yours.
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