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Old January 13th, 2010, 03:08 PM   #1
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What kind of microphones do you use for the wedding ceremony?

I am currently using a Azden wireless lav mic for the ceremony. How do I pick up the singer, speaker etc.? I was recently advised to get a zoom mic for my SonyVX1000.

I was told that rather than mincing up everyone who will speak, why not try a zoom mic?

With this mic, the pickup pattern is keyed to your zoom level. Zoom in on the happy couple, it's a shotgun. Zoom out for a group shot, it takes on a standard cardioid pattern.

This has the added benefit of dispensing with bodypacks altogether. What advice do you guys have for me?
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Old January 13th, 2010, 03:53 PM   #2
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If it were only that easy!
There are zoom (= variable focal length) lenses, and there are audio products branded "Zoom" but there ain't no zoom microphones doing the equivalent job to zoom lenses.

"Shotgun" microphones do not work like zoom lenses unfortunately. The nearest audio equivalent to a zoom lens is a parabolic reflector, a large device like a satellite dish used for the likes of wildlife filming and surveillance work. These tend not to be used at weddings :-)

Helpful links please anyone?

Last edited by Colin McDonald; January 13th, 2010 at 03:56 PM. Reason: Rephrase
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Old January 13th, 2010, 04:06 PM   #3
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Cary, why not not mic the speaker from the sound system (as opposed to the human speakers)?

And as far as a zoom mic.... not for me unless I every else I had failed. You want your mic close to the sound source - at least if you want good sound. I'm not sure of the audio characteristics of a zoom mic - but I can't imagine they're very good.

You might think lavs are a PITA, but they typically produce far superior audio - especially of a speaker unless you have some standing next to the b&g with a mic on a boom pole. I've used a Senn G2 system for the ceremony but am anxiously awaiting the arrival of a Countryman mic to go with it. It is common to double record the vows onto a separate system just in case.

I also use a Senn Me66 at the reception where I'll sometimes mic the sound system or the speaking podium.

Also you may want to get a little mic mixer and play around with it.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 04:14 PM   #4
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for a typical ceremony, first I mic the groom-that get's most of what's said up front. Bride, groom, officiant. I also place a wireless lav on the lectern where the readers speak, the officiant does the gospel there and in many cases also does the homily from there as well. I use an AT1821 dual channel receiver for those mics so both go back to my primary camera and I kill off my hypercaroid on the camera. I don't need it since I don't want a lot of ambient sounds anyway. On my 2nd camera I use an AT897 shotgun. Now while shotguns generally don't work well inside unless it's within a couple of feet of the person speaking I only use it to capture the music that's being played during the ceremony and since the music is considerably louder than a person speaking it does a very nice job of getting the music.
Again, this is for a typical ceremony. Some ceremonies are different so I adjust accordingly but by and large this system works well for me and I've been using this type of setup for about 7 or 8 years although before getting the AT1821 I used 2 seperate systems but still ran both to my A camera.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 07:14 PM   #5
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Can I just buy a couple more lav mic's and use one on the speaker and one on the singer...all on the Sony VX1000?
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Old January 13th, 2010, 07:33 PM   #6
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Nope you can't unless you plan on having a seperate receiver for each transmitter OR use a dual channel receiver to your A camera. A camera so that you can monitor the sound of course. Remember too the VX1000 only uses the mini plugin and kills off the onboard mic so that might be problematic for you.
Getting mics on the right people can be a real problem, so again, if you use one on the groom and one on the lectern your voices are pretty well covered then use another camera to capture the music or get it from the 2 lavs you set up.
As for plugging into the sound board at the church many have a very basic board and or operator that either won't let you plug in or simply don't know how. Then of course you ahve the problem of "is it line level or..." and then the operator might mute the output to you or futz with the levels during the ceremony then you've got problems.
As for the reception same thing as ceremony IMO as to plugging into the board. Many DJs won't let you or really have no clue about their gear or just don't care so I never plug in the board. I use a Sennheiser E604 drum mic with a plugin transmitter back to the wireless receiver on my camera and also use my Blueline Hypercaroid on my camera. Each going to a seperate channel of course and other than the once in a while thing during toasts when the person holds the mic down at their waist my audio is generally just very ightly sweetened during post. No clipping, levels are generally even as can be and I've saved a couple of hours at least in edit.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 10:49 PM   #7
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Thank you so much for the advice and input. I will do some additional research this week. I'm very grateful you people are here. It is appreciated.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 02:42 AM   #8
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I'll share what we do. We actually use Olympus digital voice recorders. We place Azden lav mics on 2 of the units and place those on the groom and the officiant. We also place other DVR's with the stock clip-on mic attached to pick up sound from lecturns, or pianos or even just gaff tape the DVR on top of a speaker.

The avantage to this system? We get incredible sound from the DVR sources, but we also leave each of our videocameras open to record their own audio (one of which always has a shotgun mic attached). So we can come away from a ceremony with 5-6 different sound sources and that is really beneficial.

In addition, they don't transmit/receive, so you won't get interference. For us this is benefit enough to use them. The side benefit is that sometimes church's or other venues will get nervous about outside mic systems, but once you explain that your devices just record and don't transmit ... you get a free and easy pass. It's wonderful.

The only real disadvantage is that the audio from the DVR's will drift over time, meaning you have to sync up the audio to the video and adjust the speed of the audio to match it. Sometimes, for a longer recorded segment you may have to resync the DVR audio at some point.

For us it's a minor annoyance and is a totally worth-while trade off for the stellar audio we get from the DVR's and for the flexibility of 5-6 sound sources. We even use the DVR's during toasts and dancing at the reception (again, gaff tape to the top of a DJ's speaker). So we get great audio from the toasts and dancing and so forth. You could also tap a DVR into a DJ's sound system, but we generally don't like to trust our audio to a line connection as you're left at the mercy of the DJ's expertise.

Anyways, that's our strategy. Hopefully it helps!
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Old January 14th, 2010, 02:59 AM   #9
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I use senheiser wireless lav G3 mics.... and rode NTG2...

I have been known to place the NTG2 on a mic stand in front of the PA if there is no direct inlet... The Sound is actually quite good so long as your volume setting on the camera arent to HOT.... keep in mid to 3/4 range....

One time i duck taped the G3 lave mic to the PA system speaker and let it hang in front the of speaker... work liked a charm as there were 15 speakers at the event!!! no way do i have enough patience or mics to mic up 15 people....
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Old January 14th, 2010, 04:07 AM   #10
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We use up to four radio channels with MKE-3 mics - AT 897 short guns on any unused channels of the six available on the three cameras. In addition a Zoom H4 with mics suited to subject - AT835 stereo or two AT4040 large condenser mics depending on the subject, general music/speech or "proper" music eg string quartet). Incidentally the Zoom needs and has an external battery for wedding work. None of us compromises on the image quality - why do it with the sound?
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Old January 14th, 2010, 02:39 PM   #11
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Anyone micing brides during the ceremony? We've run into trouble with quiet brides, especially when there is background noise (shutters, coughing, passing vehicles). I have heard of using a little white mic and an mp3 recorder to get crisp audio from the bride... think it was from Patrick Moreau.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
We actually use Olympus digital voice recorders.
Could you share which Olympus DVRs you use?
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Old January 14th, 2010, 02:53 PM   #12
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I wouldn't dare to try and hang anything on such an important dress. In any case, everything the bride says (in church or civic ceremonies at least - maybe other reigions are different - we don't do them) is said about 10 inches from the groom's corsage which is where we put our mic - if that's not good enough my suggestion would be to get a better mic.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 03:29 PM   #13
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I did that 2 times in the past. Both brides were in tv news and while I tried to explain the drawbacks to it, they insisted.
See the big problem is where to put the bodypak or recorder. There are really only 2 options. 1) is inside the back of the neckline of the dress so you can only see the antenna and clothing clip or 2) hanging off the back of their underwear. WAIT FOR IT!!!! Yep, both hung it off their underwear. They didn't want to spoil the line off the dresses. Guess who had to hang the bodypak and run the mic up to the front of the dress. Luckily I'm an old man and a TOTAL professional but still....:-)
In the end, (no pun intended) the audio was really no better than simply mic'ing the groom. Both had voices that projected well and the grooms mic picked it up very well, so I really see no need to mic up the bride.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 08:49 PM   #14
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I use a Rode NTG2 on one Sony V1U camera (usually the steadicam), a Azden twin UHF wireless lapel mic setup (one for the minister and one for the groom) usually on the V1U on tripod / Kessler crane, and last but not least a Rode Video Mic on the little Canon HV20 backup camera I have on a wide shot.

I filmed a wedding where the minister somehow moved the wireless lapel mic to where it picked up a lot of clothing noise and had other issues. Luckily during the ministers words and the vows the Rode NTG2 on the steadicam rig was only about 12-15 feet away and the audio was great from it.

At the same outdoor wedding I had thought I would have to dub in the music later since it was recorded music from the DJ's speaker pointed out from the reception area approximately
50-70 feet from the ceremony / camera positions but amazingly the sound from the Rode VideoMic on the little HV20 was very usable.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 09:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik Andersen View Post
Anyone micing brides during the ceremony? We've run into trouble with quiet brides, especially when there is background noise (shutters, coughing, passing vehicles). I have heard of using a little white mic and an mp3 recorder to get crisp audio from the bride... think it was from Patrick Moreau.
We don't, but mostly because we don't feel it's necessary. We'll have a mic on the groom AND the officiant, so we pick up the bride just fine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik Andersen View Post
Could you share which Olympus DVRs you use?
We currently use the Olympus DS30's. The form factor is really small and compact. They are easy to use and produce excellent results. Even when taped down on a speaker during the dances they handle the audio really well without peaking. Truly amazing little devices. We've been using Olympus DVR's for 5 or 6 years now, and we're very happy with the results.
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