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

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Old April 27th, 2010, 01:59 PM   #31
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I do the same as Paul, and yes, the audience (especially the parents) are just as obnoxious here. If it's not a tap or stomp number and there's no audio of any value coming from the stage, I just use the recorded track if I can get it. The camera audio is used only for sync, then muted for export.

But just to play it safe I keep the Zoom right at the front lip of the stage in case they can't get me the CDs I need, and sometimes I mix in a bit of the cam audio to get more room presence. And I don't cut out the whooping and outbursts -- if enough people get annoyed at this they'll make an announcement to shut the hell up.
"It can only be attributable to human error... This sort of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been due to human error."
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Old April 27th, 2010, 02:06 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
My pet hate is the constant whooping and screaming that happens at all these events no in the UK - do they do this in the States? Instead off clapping, the teens and even older girls in the audience whoop and yell, and even yell out names "Come on Stacey!" I spend far too much time chopping these bit out, and often end up with far more dry track and less room sound than ideally I'd like - but audiences seem so loud nowadays.
Yes ... we suffer from the same shouting of names. I find it highly annoying ... but then again, I'm an old fart compared to these people.

In the past (when possible) I put a wireless near the speaker so that it's not a closed sound ... I still got good audio as well as audience response.

This year I'm retiring my wireless system and I'm going with the H4n (as mentioned earlier) and PockeTrax CX nearer the speaker instead of my wireless. I'll still take a feed if available from the board and run a shotgun on my second channel. Between those four I should have it covered. More than likely ... the H4n will be my main source of audio since I like a more natural sound.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 02:11 AM   #33
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I did rather think it was some British thing - I'm pleased (well maybe not pleased) that it's a world wide issue!

The main trouble with dance is that the music really counts, and if, for example, it's a very bass heavy track - then this never works very well with even decent mics recording what comes out of the PA - always sounds muddy and dull, so the proper track is critical. With material such as ballet orchestral, it isn't so important and sometimes the more ambient sound from the recorded 'room' sounds quite nice. I often use the non-whoopy bits I record to use in replacement of the annoying bits, so one track fades, audience applause creeps in and vanishes again as the track runs - but leaving just enough there to sound 'live'.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 02:51 AM   #34
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In 10 years of stage shows we have always had great sound by using a shotgun on the camera, and mixing with CD for the music. Now I use my H2 to get a PA feed so it's easier to cut both vision and audio tracks together and less likely to get out of sync than when using separate CD tracks for every act.

When we do 2 camera shoots we have stereo sound from the shotguns on both cameras PLUS the PA split. And if the audience yell so be it, after all, they're the ones who'll probably be watching it, and it does add to the excitement!

For cameras we use EX 1's and our stance on all the different halls is we try never to overexpose the dancers, (unless they're moving through a 2K at the front of the stage, designed to put shadows on the back of stage backdrop). If the kids in at the side of the stage are in shadow so be it, most theatre people will not even bother to change it for the production next year, so that's the way it is.

The darker acts still confuse some cameramen, they start winding up the gain, but basically, if the dark
stage is dark blue, then the LCD screen should be the same colour, so I encourage my guys to only use the LCDs and not the viewfinders, so they can always look over the screen to the stage and relate to what they're seeing. That way the cameras will be pretty closely matched for editing.

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Old May 17th, 2010, 08:21 AM   #35
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Just finished the weekend at another recital. This time with the Rode's mic turned down 10dB and with a Zoom H4 at the front of the stage. It takes a little effort to get each dance synced up, but I am happy with the audio now as well.

I have also figured out a few other parts of the Sony CX550 -- it produced an excellent product. There is nothing I have a problem with in the picture quality. And despite a poorish review it just received at another site, I am perfectly happy with its results.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 09:53 AM   #36
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Glad to hear you're getting dialed in - I just shot a couple shows last week, with 500 series Sonys (last years models with nearly identical guts), and once again the results are very satisfying. One little trick you may want to try is to adjust the AE preset between -2 and -4, it will help keeps highlights from blowing out (or at least keep them away fron the edge). These cameras have enough latittude that you won't lose anything in the shadows.

Don't worry much about the mediocre "reviews" - the proof is in the RESULTS in a live shoot, not in some (none too well done IMO) lab testing. I've posted the flaws in the methodology in the AVCHD threads here, FWIW, but this is why it's importatnt to ask USERS of a camera and take a look at results actual users are getting before making a decision. Lab tests have their place, certainly, but if the methodology is flawed or ignores the fundamentals of camera physics resulting in a skewed "conclusion", it can unnecessarily lead to a "poorish review". Was it the camera or the reviewer that was not up to snuff....?

In the end it's the RESULTS than matter, and these cameras deliver when the conditions are tough, or should I say "typical"! To me that's what counts, I've got a CX550V on the way myself, to upgrade a XR500V, looking forward to playing with it, already know it will match my other cams nicely.

I've been debating the new wide lenas range of the 550's, and the loss of the "long" end of the lens, but I watched very carefully while shooting last week, and I think the new wide range will prove itself useful - one show REQUIRED me to mount up the .7x WA lenses on two of the cameras, and I never got that far into the long end, even with the closeup/tight shots. I think it will work, and I'll keep a couple 500 series- should be a nice mix!

AS an aside, even as I unpacked and set up, I had a line of people who had seen some of the shows I've shot (I mainly shoot shows for my kids/famiily) begging for copies and gushing over how good the video looked, so something is working... People can see the quality difference over your basic "consumer" camera, even though the 500/520/550 series are still technically "consumer cams", and are cheap enough to make multicam shoots a feasible possibility.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 09:53 AM   #37
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Hi Randy,

I Still do a lot of recitals and am just going into my busy time. Everybody wants to have their spring recitals before the school year ends so it gets crazy this time of year.

I currently use a Sony EX3 as my main cam an a Canon HV20 for backup and wide shots. For sound I always get a direct feed from the board which I record to a Tascam HD-P2 and have two Rode M3's feed directly into my EX3. I also get a copy of the music mix for each performance. Post I remix the three sources. The board feeds are never very good as they are mixed for the house and not video.

Unlike many of the other comments I don't mind the yells and whooping from the audience. Part of what makes people want to purchase the DVD are all of the things that make the live show unique. That may be a mother calling out to her son or daughter or a group of younger girls going crazy when the older girls they look up to hit the stage. The key is to mix it correctly so it isn't annoying or gets in the way.

I've been doing a lot more movie's lately (they don't make me a lot of money yet but are a lot of fun and at this point I'm having to pay my dues in that arena) and one thing I've learned is the importance of a good mix. I am no sound expert and have no desire to become one, but I do work with a few very good sound designers and what they can do to change your experience when viewing material is incredible. So, I've come to finally accept that sound is really more than 50% of the viewing experience.

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Old May 17th, 2010, 10:43 AM   #38
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I wonder if you would mind giving me a brief summary (as much details as is appropriate for a forum thread) on what you mean/do by remixing all three sources.

Yes I am hijacking my own thread and going a bit off topic.
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