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Old September 11th, 2009, 09:47 PM   #1
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Wedding Ceremony Audio

Hi Guys

I would be interested to know from those that use radio mics at the ceremony?? Do you record to both channels from the receiver (and presumably the lapel mic on the groom) or do you run the radio mic into one channel and a shotgun or similar into the other channel??

Admittedly I couple the receiver output to both channels but wondered how useful another mic might be for any audio away from the lapel that would be better recorded by another mic??? When it comes to readings I just dump a minidisk recorder under the podium with a lapel mic clipped onto the house mic but I was essentially interested if anyone uses independant channels for the actual vows etc etc???

Chris
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Old September 11th, 2009, 10:02 PM   #2
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OK once more into the brink ;-)

Years ago, I sent my wireless to 1 channel and oncam mic (shotgun, hyper whatever) to the other channel.

When I started using 2 systems I used one on each of my cams and sent the wireless to 1 channel and the onboard to the other camera.

Now I use the AT1821 receiver (2 channel receiver) and I send 1 wireless to 1 channel, the other wierless to the other channel and kill off the on cam mic. Since it's a hypercaroid it kinda sensitive and picks up a bit of extra stuff I don't want anyway. I use an AT897 on my 2nd camera and while shotguns generally suck indoors it works well to get the music.

I've been running this way for a good long time and for me it works well and actually makes the post-time pretty easy.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. ;-)
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Old September 12th, 2009, 12:12 AM   #3
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Thanks Don

Where does your 2nd lapel mic usually live???? I normally just put one on the groom and for now I send the mono input into both left and right. Our officiants normally stand between the B&G so audio is fine for all three people.

Hmmm I have been toying with the idea of a 2 channel receiver but our officiants normally won't allow you to wire them!! They have their own mic hooked to a rather pathetic PA system!!! Most wedding here are outdoor and if we do have the occasional reading the person tends to stand in front of the B&G so audio is again fine!!

Chris
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Old September 12th, 2009, 01:43 AM   #4
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We use three cameras. Each has a dedicated AT897 which acts as the on board mic - the Z1s' mics are useless - whenever there isn't something else to go in. Our radio channels are non-diversity VHF shared (ie licenced) channels by Audio Ltd. I'd like them to have been diversity but they came out of the ark and still work perfectly so why fix it?

We put an MKE-2 on the groom and send that to Camera 2 (normally with an eyeline to him).

We tape a second MKE-2 to the lectern or some adjacent furniture or in desperation clip it to mic stand for the readings and send that to Camera 1 (normally an eyeline to the bride).

If the officiant isn't a vicar or priest (who invariably project well, unlike civil registrars) and especially if they have a table between them and the bride and groom we'll also put an MKE-2 on the registrar and send that to Camera 3 (normally high at the back of the church or room).

That gives us six options for all the sound.

At the reception we stick MKE-2s on the groom, bride's father and best man and send each to a different camera so again six options. Only if there's more than one speaker eg becoming quite common two best men. Then we stick an MKE-2 on the second best man and send that to Camera 3 which, because it is the overview camera has the least usable sound from its AT897.

I should add that at the reception cameras 1 and 3 are co-located opposite the top table, Cam 1 tight on the speaker, Cam 3 high and wide, whilst Cam 2 is sited off the end of the top table taking reaction shots.

None of this is writ in stone (eg if any speaker has a pacemaker you can't stick radio mics on them at all) but is what we generally find works best. Hope that helps Chris.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 03:36 AM   #5
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Hi Phillip

Thanks...gosh thanks for the wise words about pacemakers!! Can a UHF transmitter also cause grief to these patients???

I normally clip the transmitter in the grooms back pants pocket so it should be quite a long way from the pacemaker!!!!

My only reason for asking is that one groom knocked the lapel mic out of it's clip and it vanished into his belly area under his jacket!!! With a shotgun only 15' away I could have saved the day but luckily he noticed the error and clipped it back on for me!! I may not be so lucky if it happened again..however that's the first time someone has actually dislodged a mic!!!

Thanks for sharing your setup!!

Chris
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Old September 12th, 2009, 05:02 AM   #6
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To be honest I knew that wearers of at least some types of pacemaker have to be very careful for example a pal of mine with one can't ever undergo an MRI scan - apparently the scanner magnetism would attempt to rip the thing out of his body.

However, I didn't know about radio mics specifically until a father of a bride refused to let me attach one. Apparently he doesn't own or use a mobile phone. Naturally I obliged and with his agreement, hid it in the flowers in front of him at the table.

When, unannounced the chief bridesmaid sitting beside him decided to stand and make an impromptu speech about his deceased wife I thought how convenient the mic placing since I hadn't considered miking her. Unfortunately the bride's father fiddled with his cutlery during her speech so it wasn't all great.

So, it may be that the precise truth about pacemakers/radio mics is like mobile phones causing cancer. My basic advice would be to be aware.

If the caution is accurately justified, I'm sure it wouldn't matter whether it was VHF or UHF, except that I believe UHF transmitters are typically twice as powerful in mW output than VHF. Again perhaps an audio guru could confirm.

Finally, re placing. My wife, who normally fits the mics since she started in sound before video, clips the transmitter on the same layer of clothing as the mic ie in the jacket pocket if it's on the jacket, in the back pants pocket if it's on the waistcoat. The objective is to avoid the cable between mic and transmitter pack being stretched as the wearer takes his jacket off.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 05:23 AM   #7
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The introduction of high quality miniature soild state audio recorders, like the Olympus - LS-10 (or even the Olympus - WS-210S if the budget is really tight!) gives a pretty good alternative to the radio mic option. Certainly easier than the old 'real time download' minidisc option.

OK, you've still got the problem of 'sync' with the camera audio in post, but once you've 'calibrated' the recorder/camera combination once, that shouldn't really be too much of a hassle.

I did a procedure for a friend of mine a couple of years back - it's here if you're interested:

My Video Problems :: View topic - Synchronise external and camera audio tracks.

Lots of variations on that theme possible of course, but it works pretty well.

Better than risking killing the guy with the pacemaker!!
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Old September 12th, 2009, 05:39 AM   #8
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Roger I apologise for writing only about radio mics and obviously there are other options.

We use a Zoom H4 for recording music etc and could take voice with it if necessary. However, you've highlighted at least one drawback - sync - although as you say it's much faster to get in than mini-disk. Mind, I haven't yet felt ruthless enough to get rid of the mini-disk!
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Old September 12th, 2009, 05:50 AM   #9
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We mic the groom with a wireless lav, then me and my colleague both tune to that lav, (very easy to sync in post) this gets fed into channel 2 of our camera's, channel 1 on the camera uses the onboard mic for ambient sound, until a reader steps up to the lectern or wherever else they're going to read from, at this location i've placed another wireless lav, the 2nd reciever for this is on my camera feeding channel 1, so when the reader steps up i just switch ch1 on the camera from internal to external, then back to internal when the finish reading.
This works great.

Paul.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 06:02 AM   #10
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Chris,
I stopped asking officiants to be mic'd a long time ago EXCEPT and unless it is a non church type ceremony (golf course, park, beach..) and I need to. Sometimes I don't.
Anyway, I park my 2nd mic on the lectern where the readers will be reading from.
Here in almost every religious ceremony, there is at least 1 reader reading scripture and with my mic there I get good audio,with shotgun or whatever, it's really pretty bad.

I'm old school, I NEED to hear my audio and monitor it so I don't use stand alone recorders but it's up to the individual.

I've never heard of anyone really having a problem with pacemakers but it is of course both possible and likely I guess. I DID have a groom a couple of years ago who wore an insulin pump which he never told me about. I was hearing some odd noises at regular intervals during the ceremony thru my headphones and was really scratching my head over what it was. After the ceremony I mentioned the noise to the groom and he told me about the pump. It wasin;t a problem in post as it was barely noticaeable and I was able to get rid on most of it but anyway, I digress.

I have used as many as 4 wireless units but find that 2 wireless and my 897 work well in about 99% of the weddings I do.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 07:03 AM   #11
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Don

I hope I didn't mislead you in my previous. My impression was that the father of the bride with the pacemaker was concerned that the radio mic transmission would affect his pacemaker - aren't some of the modern ones adjustable in that way? It never occurred to me that I might pick it up, though you make a good point.

I agree 100% about headphones.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 07:47 AM   #12
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Hi Don

I have the opposite problem!! Most of our weddings are outdoors and the celebrants (that's what they call them here) have their own cheap system and refuse to be wired!!!
I usually try to convince them to stand between the couple so I can get them with the groom's lapel. However some just insist on standing away from the bridal party (and I mean away like 50'!!!) and use their quality PA system with it's top grade 3" speakers. It's a bit rough when the guests cannot even hear the celebrant due to either distortion or feedback!! Churches are a more stable environment and a radio mic on the groom and one at the reading's lectern is enough!!

Chris
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Old September 12th, 2009, 09:23 AM   #13
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Phillip,
no you dodn't mislead me, I just haven't heard of any problems with a wireless and a pacemaker. Of course that doesn't mean it couldn't happen. Yeah that would be great, I can see the headline. "Videographers microphone kills father of the brie at wedding". Oops, sorry 'bout that. I just can't see it happening though since there are so many people that have them and so many different radio waves running out there in todays world.

Chris, yeah outdoor ceremony's are tough. Can you possibly put a mic in front of the little speaker with a wireless xtransmitter back to your camera so at least you can have some sort of audio from the celebrant?

Whenever I do an outdoor ceremony tha'ts what I do although most around here IF they wear a mic at all, it goes thru the DJs speaker since in most cases the DJ is suppling the music for the ceremony. In cases where they aren't, I mic the celebrant and simply tell them if they don't wear the mic, no one will hear them and the B&G WANT him/her to be mic'd. That usually works although generally they don't have a problem with it.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 02:25 AM   #14
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My guess is that you and they're using "unlicensed " or "common" frequencies. Of course, I don't know what frequencies are available to you in the USA but in the UK at least your experience shows the value of investing in licenced channels.

In UK the situation is very confused due to the actions or planned actions by the regulator. I believe (someone will correct me if I'm wrong) but there was (maybe still is) a campaign organised by the London West End theatres especially - who are extensive users of radio mics - to persuade the regulator to modify plans which become effective in 2012.

If the worst comes to the worst I dare say you'll find more wedding people taking your route, but I have to say candidly that given the additional work synching up the wild tracks to the video it will be a regression.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 02:30 AM   #15
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For what I'm doing using a voice recorder, I have been doing for the last 5 years. It works very well. It makes editing a lot easier with an extra clean audio. I'm sure if everything works well with all the expensive equipment, wireless lav would be a better option. But for what I need and the low cost of investment, voice recorder works just fine.

One time the church people just bluntly grabbed the voice recorder off the groom saying that will interfere with their wireless system. I got it back on to prove it to her mine is not a wireless mic.
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