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Old January 17th, 2010, 07:15 AM   #31
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I have had 2 main problems with taking sound from the board at churches, schools and hotel lounges:

1) The level of hum - mainly but not exclusively harmonics of the 50Hz mains. This gets a lot worse if there are any guitar pedals in the system and it doesn't seem to matter whether they are battery or mains powered. I do know how to minimise earth loops/ground loops but it is still an issue.

2) Operators messing with (OK then, 'adjusting') the trims as well as the faders. This means the prefade routing is not always reliable. Again, guitarists with pedals that are not properly adjusted for unity gain are often to blame.

I do like guitarists, really I do.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 05:30 PM   #32
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Well, there have been a bunch of really good posts to this thread. Many have been of the "this is what I do" variety. In that spirit, this is what I do:

Most of the time I work by myself .... a clarifier for my approach.

Wireless lapel mic on Groom.
Wireless lapel mic on officiant (unless I am in a house of worship whose sound system I understand)
Two wireless hand mics on floor stands for family/friend commentary and musicians.

Those four microphones feed into a microphone mixer which is placed within easy access of my left hand at my primary camera location. That mixer feeds, at my option, the most important mic or collection of mics, into camera 1 in either mono or stereo mode. I need to decide the mono/stereo mode before the ceremony at this point in time. If mono, then Camera one has some kind of hard wired microphone feeding the other channel.

Camera 2 is almost always a camera mounted shotgun with the specific assignment of recording ambient sound. Sometimes I will add another wireless receiver tuned to the groom's mic and mix the signals (L&R) with a below camera 2 ch mixer.

Camera 3 is my DSLR, always nearby. Its purpose is to grab short clips whenever relevant or convenient. Sound is only relevant for sync to other audio tracks.

Lastly is a mp3 recorder attached to some other kind of microphone which is placed at the best position possible to provide a backup for the ceremony commentary.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 05:51 PM   #33
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Kinda depends upon where you are physically located. I've got two fixed frequency mics in my wireless kit, and they can get wiped out in the weirdest situations. In church #1, just a few blocks from my home, everything works wonderfully. In church 2, just two blocks North of church 1, one of the fixed frequency wireless systems produces nothing but static.
26 miles north, at a ski area restaurant placed at 10,000 ft elevation, that same wireless frequency is subject to unexplainable dropouts. At the very low end of the VHF freq. spectrum for wireless mic systems, and no visible presence of anything human for at least a couple miles, there are no TV broadcasts, no licensed commercial channels, no police or fire channels.
Back home, at the local art museum theatre, which borders a residential area, one of my UHF systems behaves wonderfully during rehearsals mid-afternoon. But, just before curtain, when the house is full of 250 cell (mobile) phones waiting for call, and every residential neighbor has fired up their wireless broadband internet connections, that system fails to receive a signal from a microphone just 3 meters distant.

Wireless is an adventure. When it works, it is wonderful. When it doesn't, you wish you were somewhere different.


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Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
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 18th, 2010, 10:12 PM   #34
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yep and that's why about 12 years or so ago I got out of fixed frequency units and went to mulitple freqency units.
I've worked in venues that are on the same block I'm on but with a little bit of freq movement by me it's never been a problem.
Now of course with clear scan receivers life is good :-)
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Old January 19th, 2010, 06:21 PM   #35
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One thing I discovered, after a lengthy discussion with my wireless microphone's manufacturer, is that some guitar audio feeds will broadcast a very low level radio frequency that may have a range of 2 or 3 meters. The issue is focused upon a specific and narrow frequency range. The fix is rather simple, but requires a trip to a qualified electronics repair shop with expertise in electronic music instruments. Multiple frequency microphone systems usually allow a quicker fix. I would not be surprised to find other accessories for electronic music would also produce similar interference. My personal experience was with a bass guitar.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin McDonald View Post
I have had 2 main problems with taking sound from the board at churches, schools and hotel lounges:

1) The level of hum - mainly but not exclusively harmonics of the 50Hz mains. This gets a lot worse if there are any guitar pedals in the system and it doesn't seem to matter whether they are battery or mains powered. I do know how to minimise earth loops/ground loops but it is still an issue.

2) Operators messing with (OK then, 'adjusting') the trims as well as the faders. This means the prefade routing is not always reliable. Again, guitarists with pedals that are not properly adjusted for unity gain are often to blame.

I do like guitarists, really I do.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 03:45 PM   #36
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After years of fighting my wireless setups (all great quality dual UHF systems from AudioTechnica and Letrosonic) I decided to also go with Olympus digital recorders. At first I was worried because I couldn't monitor the audio in camera... But once I realized that there was nothing I could do anyway it didn't matter. If my wireless started getting interference what was I going to do? Run up there during the vows and adjust it? LOL... The only thing I would do was sit there and sweat worrying that I had no good audio! Now I just mic it with a LAV, click the "hold" switch and let 'er rip!
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Old January 20th, 2010, 07:54 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
I'll share what we do. We actually use Olympus digital voice recorders.
Just curious about a few things b/c these look like the best thing for my situation...

Do they peak much? do they control the recording volume automatically? or do you have to set them up for the volume that you want then hope that the DJ doesn't decide to crank it.. haha I have had one do that before and peaked the crap out of my audio..

Thanks
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Old January 20th, 2010, 08:03 PM   #38
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David, my primary concern when I switched over to DVR's was peaking .. especially since the DS30's don't really offer much in the way of level control. I actually made the switch to DVR's before anyone else I know of, and I took a lot of flack on various forums from others for promoting the use of them. The long-time wireless users just refused to believe that a simple DVR could provide the same (or better) results as a pricey wireless system.

The answer is that they can and do. These Olympus DVR's are one of the absolute best purchases we've ever made. We've NEVER had a peaking issue with lav mics during a ceremony .. and this is after years and years of using them. We also usually tape one down onto one of the DJ's speakers, and we really expected the audio to be unusable once music was playing. But quite often even then there is no peaking, despite the fact that the DJ has the music cranked super loud. It's pretty amazing.

Hopefully I answer your question. d;-)
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Old January 20th, 2010, 09:54 PM   #39
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Travis,

Thanks, and you are right... if you are going to go wireless then you need to get better than the bargain bin if you want good quality. since you brought this up these things are looking like gold :) Might have to get some, at that price and they give the quality that you are saying? simply put I'd be a fool not to try them out..
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Old January 20th, 2010, 10:16 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Grinnell View Post
Just curious about a few things b/c these look like the best thing for my situation...

Do they peak much? do they control the recording volume automatically? or do you have to set them up for the volume that you want then hope that the DJ doesn't decide to crank it.. haha I have had one do that before and peaked the crap out of my audio..

Thanks
I also use an Olympus DS30 as well as the Olympus WS100. As Travis said no peaking problems whatsoever. I gotta agree with Travis on this, they are the best change I made to my setup!
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Old January 21st, 2010, 01:20 AM   #41
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I'm also using an Olympus voice recorder and a lav mic. I ditch the wireless setup long time ago as there're range problem and interference problem. Now with the voice recorder, I have an additional voice clip to use. I wrote that in my blog Wireless Mics vs Voice Recorders | L.A. Color Blog
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Old January 21st, 2010, 09:10 AM   #42
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Actually it was your blog that helped convince me to change to the digital recorders back in 2007/2008.

Thanks!
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Old January 21st, 2010, 10:41 AM   #43
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Triple check the input setting!

I also use the Olympus DS-30 thanks to Travis' review. There down to 77.99 at B&H Photo.
Just remember to set the input level to "Dictation". "Conference" and "Lecture" will add unwanted gain in the audio track.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 12:20 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Dontigney View Post
Actually it was your blog that helped convince me to change to the digital recorders back in 2007/2008.

Thanks!
Thanks! I'm glad I can make a difference =)
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Old January 21st, 2010, 04:00 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Schuchmann View Post
I also use the Olympus DS-30 thanks to Travis' review. There down to 77.99 at B&H Photo.
Just remember to set the input level to "Dictation". "Conference" and "Lecture" will add unwanted gain in the audio track.
Correct. The 'dictation' setting works the best. Very clean audio.
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