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


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Old January 14th, 2010, 10:26 PM   #16
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Thanks Travis, will have to pick a couple up!

We use Tram TR50's, so I don't think mic quality is the problem. We also mic both the groom and officiant, which 4 out of 5 times works perfectly. But now and then there is a very loud officiant who talks over a soft spoken bride. Add to that strong background noise and... well, it's one of those less than ideal situations so common in weddings.

Another challenge is when the b&g speak into a microphone over loudspeakers. In my experience, the mic is always of poor quality, with a cable that seems to be 100 years old, so we don't even bother getting a feed from it. Of course, the loud, booming mic more or less kills the audio we would be getting straight from the b&g.

On one occasion it was so atrocious that we post-synced the vows. Luckily it came out very well.

We're going to try micing the brides at a few weddings this spring, and I'll report back with the results.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 12:45 AM   #17
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Erik,

If you're going to mic the bride, take a look at these if you don't already know about them. They come in 6 different colors - and the performance is outstanding.

B6 Omni .1" Diameter Lavalier - Countryman Associates, Inc.

I just ordered the slightly larger B3 version to go with my Senn G2 wireless system. B3 Omni Round Lavalier (.2" dia.) - Countryman Associates, Inc.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 02:19 AM   #18
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Just an FYI, the Olympus DVR's do not have XLR inputs .. so those mics would not work with them.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 05:46 AM   #19
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I'm with Travis - I've had problems with wireless systems including interference and a reluctance from the church to allow me to use them. I now use Olympus WM-311 recorders (one of the groom and one on the lecturn) with audio-technica lav mics. I also put a zoom H2 set to front and rear record as near the action as possible as a fail-safe. this leaves my rode shotgun mic on the camera as yet another source.


Apart from compensaing for the audio drift during the edit it's been pretty much a trouble free setup for me

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Old January 15th, 2010, 05:57 AM   #20
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Reluctance to let you use wireless? I've read this before, it must be something in the UK because I can honestly say I've never had the problem here in the states. I have had a few raised eyebrows mostly people un-educated in the proper use of wireless, (afraid I'm going to mess theirs up but when I explain they run on a freq that is no where near mine and it doesn't go out on the PA they're usually OK) but never been told I couldn't use it.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 07:50 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Erik Andersen View Post
Anyone micing brides during the ceremony?
You're joking, right?? With today's dress styles (universally here in UK anyway: strapless, sleeveless) any micing of the dress will involve running a cable INSIDE the dress from the top/front. I can't see ANY bride allowing that. No-one interferes with the dress, especially in that area, especially in the tension before the service.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 11:23 AM   #22
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I suppose it depends on the dress. I've never mic'd a bride but checkout this earset mic. - I guess you could use it if she had the right hairstyle.

E2 Earset - Countryman Associates, Inc.

They make each mic to suit - depending on the connectors needed. So you special order each one.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 12:41 PM   #23
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I'm not going to say a bride should never be mic'd, but I would tread very carefully in this area. Brides on their wedding day want to feel like the most beautiful woman on the planet. For most of them, everything has to be perfect and feel just right; hair, makeup, the dress, the jewelry, the shoes. All of it is very feminine and designed to make the bride more beautiful.

Once you try and add a mic to the bride you alter that experience for her. Obviously if the mic is visible then you've taken away from her appearance, and that is huge. But even if you cleverly hide the mic, many brides aren't going to like it because they're going to feel the mic and know that it's on them. A mic is not a feminine 'accessory'. It's not something that adds to her beauty. Mentally it IS going to affect how they feel about themselves.

Again, I'm not saying never mic the bride, but I would definitely recommend against it.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 02:23 PM   #24
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A mic is not a feminine 'accessory'.
Now that sounds ike a nice challenge for the audio industry - a Gucci/Sennheiser or Versace/Schoeps wedding accessory range for example?
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Old January 15th, 2010, 02:51 PM   #25
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You're joking, right??
Wish I was! It's just that I've been comparing the sound of the bride's voice in our videos to those in a "certain other company's" (Still Motion) and found quite a large difference. I couldn't figure out why their audio was so immaculate.

Then I read the "gear list" ... look under audio.

the stillmotion gear list stillmotion

Once you've heard how good this sounds in SM's videos, it's tough to be happy with some of the audio we've been getting from the bride via the groom's lav. As mentioned, it's usually great, but once in a while not good enough.

Of course, we would never ever *insist* that the bride allow us to mic her, in fact I've been hesitating to even ask for almost a year because of ... "personal space concerns" (though we do have female videographers who would look after this aspect).

We have an extremely exacting and enthused couple for a wedding in March, and that may be the place to start.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 04:38 PM   #26
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Does the DS30 have an audio output?
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Old January 15th, 2010, 09:16 PM   #27
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I'm similar to Travis, I guess. I use iRivers with lav mics on the groom and podium. I also have a Zoom H2 for extra coverage depending on the ceremony and the church.

I'm always rushed because of the way our scheduling works, so I'll plug in to the church system if I can, but it's rare that I have the time. I barely have time to mic the groom and podium before the ceremony starts. I almost never mic the officiant, except for outdoor weddings, where it can be very useful.

I used to use wireless, but find them just a bit too long to set up, and once I did create interference. Thank god I did a sound check just before the wedding started. With my mic on, when I spoke into the PA, I got a godawful noise. Had to shut off my mic. Almost gave me a heart attack.

As a side note, getting sound from the church system is not always better. I'm editing one now where I piggybacked a lav to the podium mic, and plugged into the board as well. The church sound was full of popping because everyone was too close to the mic, but my lav was a foot farther away, and the sound from it was great.

I've been plugging into the dj with the Zoom at the reception, and that's been a huge plus. So far, the djs have been most accomodating, and the sound is great. Just plug into the tape out/record on the board using RCA. The djs, however, often have no idea how to do this.

As Travis mentions, you get some audio drift, but it's no big deal.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 11:01 AM   #28
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One of the problems with using sound from a sound board is the lack of control you have over the way the board is operated. One of the worst problems that you can have is to have the volume turned up on the board in the middle of the event so much that you overdrive your recorder and you get clipping. There is a way to get more margin with this. If the board operator is savvy enough to do so, use stereo out and set one channel 12 or 18db lower than the other. You can choose to use only the lower channel output when you edit if you have a problem with clipping.

Another thing you can do to prevent clipping is to set your recording level deliberately low. Even though your signal to noise level isn't optimum when you do this, that's less of a problem than badly clipped audio.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 09:01 PM   #29
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Jim's right. I don't think I would look at plugging into a board as something more than an extra source for insurance, not as a primary sound source that you rely on. Because you never know what the sound guy or dj might do.

Believe it or not, they often don't know much about the equipment and/or may not care about your needs. So levels might be unreliable or worse.

I edited an event for a client last year who plugged into the board only to have the sound man cut off her feed halfway through. On-camera sound only from then on. Sounded terrible.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 10:32 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Snow View Post
One of the problems with using sound from a sound board is the lack of control you have over the way the board is operated. One of the worst problems that you can have is to have the volume turned up on the board in the middle of the event so much that you overdrive your recorder and you get clipping. snipped
I have little experience of DJ's currently equipment styles but I would recommend to any video person wanting to take the route of using the PA sound in their videos to invest some time learning the sound business as well as they know their cameras.

Many professional mixing desks will have Auxiliary outputs to which the outputs of all channels can be sent pre-fade ie they'll remain unaffected by whatever the operator is doing to the main faders - and the levels of each channel going to these outputs adjusted by aux out pots.

I still wouldn't rely on these arrangements for my own wedding sound personally, but it's a perfectly adequate and inexpensive way of taking event sound - and avoiding the calamity which Jim rightly cautions against.
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