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Old March 22nd, 2005, 07:51 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
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Using mixer for ceremony audio?

Hi all,

I've shot weddings using a wireless on the groom attached to my main camera, and a back camera for ambient sounds. But I've seen some reference to using a mixer at the ceremony, as opposed to what I do which is mix in post.

I now have a minidisc and may purchase more, so I was wondering if some of you who use multiple sources could give me advice for using a mixer.

How?
Why?
Equipment?
Horror stories? :-)

Thanks a bunch,
JL
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 08:31 PM   #2
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Re: Using mixer for ceremony audio?

<<<-- Originally posted by James Landsburger : Hi all,

I've shot weddings using a wireless on the groom attached to my main camera, and a back camera for ambient sounds. But I've seen some reference to using a mixer at the ceremony, as opposed to what I do which is mix in post.

I now have a minidisc and may purchase more, so I was wondering if some of you who use multiple sources could give me advice for using a mixer.

How?
Why?
Equipment?
Horror stories? :-)

Thanks a bunch,
JL -->>>

The main reason for using an audio mixer in any audio situation is to get control of several different channels of audio and manage the quality of audio in a purposeful and pleasing way. Most audio mixers allow adjustment of each audio channels in terms of input sensitivity, tone control, pre-fader (full strength signal) send to a secondary audio processing unit, post-fader send to additinal audio processing or secondary audio mix, mute/re-direct, stereo pan control, etc.

I use an audio mixer exclusively for ceremonies. It allows me to determine on the spot which audio signals I want to send to the camera as well as how I wish to send two other mixes to secondary recorders for use in post. Unlike a lot of wedding videographers, all of my wireless mics are rack mounted. I don't use on camera wireless receivers. This approach restricts me to shooting from a tripod during ceremonies. No problem for me as I do not believe a mobile camera is appropriate for ceremonies. I also shoot alone most of the time, so having control of all equipment close by is important.

Essentially, I decide how I want my audio to sound during the event rather than waiting to do the same process in post. Depending upon how complex I want to get I can still have original, unprocessed audio to use in post.

Most of the time I use a four channel mixer, meaning that it accepts four mono XLR inputs as well as four stereo inputs. It is sold as a 12 channel mixer. I own three; a Mackie 1202, a Behringer model something, and a Samson Mixpad 9. They all work. The Mackie is the most expensive (around $600US when i bought it). It is bullet proof and by far the most flexible. The Behringer is the cheapest (around $100). Does almost everything the Mackie does. Just not as well. The Samson is a delight, very reliable, but also limited in flexibility. Each has their place.

Horror stories? A badly balanced mixer is a nightmare. Go to Behringer's website and download a user's manual for a model that interests you. Study it. Behringer specializes in making good sounding equipment at a reasonable price. OK for most things, but don't try to use them in a recording studio.

Can't take more time to expound, but feel free to ask more questions.
Good Luck!
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