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


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Old January 2nd, 2011, 04:55 AM   #16
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Philip & Chris agreed, I have four radio mic's myself however David asked for advice on voice recorder not radio mics & recording to a laptop which would indicate his camera doesn't have XLR inputs to begin with. I'm not aware of any noticeable drift with the Zoom H4n & I'm a stick for perfection, a clever high quality compromise can be achieved with the latest voice recorders - the Zoom H4 on the other hand does have documented drift.

Live monitoring of audio is the best solution for troubleshooting and avoiding disasters but from all the weddings I've done audio has been good to perfect using radio mics, portable recorders as back-ups & I've done very little in terms of monitoring & tweaking.

Recording at 96khz/24bit gives me the latitude to set a recorder at an acceptable low level to avoid distortion & boots the levels in post without getting any hiss.
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 12:53 PM   #17
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I can't help but laugh a bit at the argument that using DVR's is not a professional solution. I heard the same argument when I switched to DVR's years ago and started trying to get others to give them a try. I'm glad I didn't listen back then. 6 years and dozens and dozens of projects later and I can still say I've had no problems (ZERO) with using the DVR's. Many others in the industry are now using DVR's and loving them but some people continue to make the argument that they are not a professional solution. I guess my experience and the experience of many others will have to disagree with this opinion. d;-)

Also, FYI, I've had no issue at all with drift with our H4n.
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 03:28 PM   #18
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I also moved away from using wireless mic. Now I'm using an Olympus voice recorder for vows. Then use a zoom audio recorder positioned to the speakers for continous audio recording. It works so well

Check out this video the sound is recorded with a zoom H2
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 11:52 PM   #19
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I can't help but laugh a bit at the argument that using DVR's is not a professional solution.

Also, FYI, I've had no issue at all with drift with our H4n.
Travis, a small correction, my comments were not that to use DVRs is unprofessional, but that the machines themselves don't meet professional specs - as has been reported here and elsewhere.

Since you've not experienced drift I can only congratulate you on a very fortunate purchase.
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 10:16 AM   #20
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Sorry about that Phillip. Upon re-reading your earlier post I see what you're saying.

That said, I do experience drift with the DVR's we use but it's a pretty quick correction since the amount of drift stays consistent per device. For me, it's much better than dealing with interference because that is something that cannot be corrected in post. The primary reason we moved to DVR's was to avoid transmission-based audio and the interference that can come with that technology.

But yeah, no drift with the H4n.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 07:55 AM   #21
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I use Irivers for the vows and directly tap into the DJ's mixer during reception. The only draw back for the Irivers is you can't monitor sound as there is no levels to look at. For back-up I rely on my Camera's shotgun microphone. Here is a sample of directly tapping at the DJ's mixer.

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Old January 12th, 2011, 08:13 AM   #22
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I use Irivers for the vows and directly tap into the DJ's mixer during reception. The only draw back for the Irivers is you can't monitor sound as there is no levels to look at. For back-up I rely on my Camera's shotgun microphone. Here is a sample of directly tapping at the DJ's mixer.

Armie Rivera's 18th- Spice Girls on Vimeo
Do you feel you lose the ambient sound of the excitement of the guests?
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Old January 12th, 2011, 08:32 AM   #23
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Hi Michael, for the dance portion, I don't feel the lose of ambiance, I do switch to the shotgun mic for the applauses after a speech or the first dance coz the podium microphone won't capture the applauses that much.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 08:50 AM   #24
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How are people using these recorders? ie do you set them at a certain level and hope they don't peak yet still pick up enough volume, or do you use AGC and hope that it doesn't raise the level too much in quiet parts?

I've been thinking of ways to become more mobile when shooting weddings single handed (ie - how can I move around the church to get different angles without screwing up my audio consistancy?) and Digital Recorders seem like the answer. A few of them placed strategically (groom, officiant, lecturn, etc) would let me stop stressing about audio by having multiple back-ups/options, then I'd be able to leave my primary camera (which I use to monitor audio from the wireless lav and shotgun) unnattended for short periods while I move around to reposition cameras or get cut-aways.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 10:24 AM   #25
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John, the Olympus DVR's we use don't allow you to set a specific level, so we use the DICT preset and the results have been great. The AGC on these works very well with that preset. Audio is never too low and never too hot. Could you get it slightly better if you were monitoring levels manually in real time? Probably, but not by much.

With the Zoom H4n, on the other hand, we do set levels.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 11:34 AM   #26
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I feel that dance video was a little bit "dry" that it doesn't have much ambiance sound. I tried several method that I found having a Zoom H2 positioned near the speaker gives the best results. If that is not possible, I will have the voice recorder placed on top of the speaker and have a wired lav mic dangling in front of the speaker.

Either case, AGC is off. Some recorded volume is low but it can be fixed easily in post without any distortion.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 12:26 PM   #27
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Hi Michael, for the dance portion, I don't feel the lose of ambiance, I do switch to the shotgun mic for the applauses after a speech or the first dance coz the podium microphone won't capture the applauses that much.
Hi Michael,

Some day, for giggles and grins, when you got the time, try mixing the shotgun and the feed together. Set the feed audio a tad higher so it remains your dominant audio source, and set the shotgun audio just below that, to fill in when the feed drops to that level. See if you like the results of the two together.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 01:31 PM   #28
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Hi Michael,

Some day, for giggles and grins, when you got the time, try mixing the shotgun and the feed together. Set the feed audio a tad higher so it remains your dominant audio source, and set the shotgun audio just below that, to fill in when the feed drops to that level. See if you like the results of the two together.
This is what I do a lot and it works very well. Sometimes people say hi to the couple or are singing to each other (without the DJ or band mic) and the camera mic picks it up very well.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 09:10 AM   #29
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Thanks for the feedback Taky & Michael. After watching an MTV Super Sweet 16 episode, I did find the ambiance lacking for the dance.

Clip that was a brilliant advice, for the main edit, I'll do exactly what you told me to.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 10:35 AM   #30
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Hi Michael,

Some day, for giggles and grins, when you got the time, try mixing the shotgun and the feed together. Set the feed audio a tad higher so it remains your dominant audio source, and set the shotgun audio just below that, to fill in when the feed drops to that level. See if you like the results of the two together.
I usually do something similar with wedding ceremonies. If the sound from the officiant's and groom's mic are the only sound source used in the edit, the sound is often too flat and colorless. It doesn't matter if it's a recorder or wireless. The result is the same with either. I position a recorder to record ambient or 'room' sound and mix some of that when I edit. This provides a much more realistic sound.
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