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


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Old November 18th, 2009, 05:25 AM   #1
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"I don't need a mic"

Filming speakers at weddings and meetings I have had this comment about placing a mic on them, "I don't need a mic, my voice is loud enough". I have had sometime during lecture that I mic the speaker and he wears it during the main talk but rip it off then it comes to andswering questions from the audience. And on other occation the speaker promise to stay put by the podium mic but wanders off and even goes in front of the podium. This is mainly if the venu is small and no need to amplify.

Now I say that I NEED them to wear a mic no matter what.
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Old November 18th, 2009, 06:03 AM   #2
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I normally put a transmitter on the lectern and it's lapel on the lectern mic. If the speaker does wander off etc etc then I have a Rode Mic on the B camera so I can follow them and still get reasonable audio!!

However it's always better to set your rules before the event!! That way you can ensure you get decent levels..if they say they can talk loud enough, just tell them that your camera's ears are not as good as theirs!!

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Old November 18th, 2009, 08:40 AM   #3
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I've never had that particular problem - but I always tell them they *must* wear my mic or they will not be recorded.

The problem I have is when the venue does not give me all the info I need. For example - two weeks ago I was hired to record a business seminar. Wireless mics were used in the audience for the Q&A sessions. I connected a digital recorder to the mic mixer to capture the questions. Unfortuantely, half the mics were connected to a separate mixer on the other side of the room and I was never informed. I missed recording half of the questions.
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Old November 18th, 2009, 08:46 AM   #4
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similar situation to Chris. That's why at weddings I mic the DJs/bands speaker with a drum mic and use a hypercaroid on the camera. At least 1 of them will get me something to work with.
The seminar I did last week similar to Chris except we didn't even have a mixer or PA. Small room, 45 people and while the presenter was mic'd back to my camera, I had a handheld at the ready for the supposed "Q&A" session. EXCEPT the presenter opened the floor and took questions on the fly. The first hour he paraphrased the questions from the audience so it wasn't too bad but during the break, I took my hypercaroid, threw it on a stand, plugged it into my phantom box,plugged the plugin transmitter on, placed the stand at the front of the room just out of the shot and that helped tremendously for the rest of the seminar. Not perfect but not as bad as I thought it might be.
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Old November 18th, 2009, 09:04 AM   #5
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I was running sound in our chapel at church and a guest speaker came in and told me the same thing - I don't need a mic, I'm loud enough. This was for an informal study class.

My response... If you want ME to hear YOU, you will wear this mic. Otherwise, I guarantee I'll have no clue what you've said.

After a break, she started talking before her mic was turned back up. As I moved the volume back up, the people directly in front of me turned around and said "Thank you".
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Old November 19th, 2009, 08:00 AM   #6
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It seems as if the speakers think that the loud voice will guarantee the proper acoustics. Very wrong thinking. Very often I come across very poor sound quality even during weddings. The band can play and as soon as you cross half-way the dance floor the quality drops dramatically. Most of the venues are not design for proper sound - echo and sound losses are the most frequent issues.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 08:36 AM   #7
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Like Chris said, I have also not had a problem.
I tell who ever is being recorded that if there is no mic on their person, then you won't have audio.

For a ceremony I only place a wireless (or recorder with lav) on the groom, and recorders on the lectern or where ever else needed and sync in post.

For cooperate shoots the wireless always has gone on the presenter or if they are already being wired for sound and don't want to be double miced, I will take the feed from the board either by wireless or recorder. If they are already wearing a wireless and it's the same system that I use (and bandwidth) then I will simply tap my receiver into that frequency.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 09:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot View Post
I will simply tap my receiver into that frequency.
Interesting - I never thought of that. I actually have a very nice wide band receiver that gets most everything from 15kHz to 1.3GHz. I'll have to throw that into my kit.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 02:50 PM   #9
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I agree, this is one area where you need to stand your ground.

Often people being recorded are not performers and do not think rationally in the heat of the moment. Nor are they audio people and know that distance, not volume is waht determines audio quality.

Also know that every speaker wanders away from the podium!
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Old November 27th, 2009, 08:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asvaldur Kristjansson View Post
......"I don't need a mic, my voice is loud enough".......
Sounds to me like they have misunderstood, and think the mic. you're suggesting is for sound re-inforcement (PA). I always (try to) explain "it's for the video recording, and NOT going to come out of speakers in the auditorium".

But ultimately - like everyone else here - I feel that if they resist, you have to play the nuclear option and tell them: "no mic, no recording".
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Old November 27th, 2009, 11:50 AM   #11
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Good point Martin. I have a shoot of a piano recital in a few days. I mentioned to the teacher that I will put a wireless lav mic on her. Her first reaction was that everyone would be able to hear her just fine without it. It was funny when I explained that it wasn't for PA but to allow people to hear her on the video. You could see the wheels turn as she "analyzed" this concept. Then, the light bulb went off and she was happy with it. People don't necessarily understand that PA sound and recorded sound aren't one and the same.
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Old November 27th, 2009, 02:28 PM   #12
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I think you may have hit on the answer - explaining that the mic is to have a clean audio track without any outside noises on it, like coughing grannies and crying babies, for use in editing might help them understand it better...

IF it's the groom balking you can always joke that the bride asked you to be sure to get his vows clearly in case he needs a reminder sometime down the road! Wouldn't want to upset the bride after all!
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Old November 27th, 2009, 03:26 PM   #13
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I agree with all that's said but I go 1 step further. If someone declines to wear a mic I wirte a statement saying the subject refuses to wear a mic (on the back of the service agreement) and I make them sign it. I've never had anyone refuse to sign it and have only had 1 person refuse to mic up in the last 7 or 8 years. I guess I'm lucky but the point is if someone refuses to wear a mic make them sign off so you don't get run over by the bus.
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Old November 28th, 2009, 12:34 PM   #14
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If someone doesn't want to wear a mic, you might remind them that all the professional speakers you see on TV and at other live events wear a mic. If that doesn't work .. then yeah, just let them know it's necessary.
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