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Old January 14th, 2011, 05:24 PM   #31
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We always mix audio from multiple sources at different levels. It's the best way to enhance what you want the viewer to hear.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 05:42 PM   #32
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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.
I have always believed that if you can see action, or perceive there are actions going on, you should also be able to possibly hear some of the sounds associated with those seen or perceived actions.

This is one of my favorite fun music videos, but after you watch it a time or two you realize you do not hear sound #1 come from the crowd around the stage, at all .

YouTube - Leningrad Cowboys & Red Army Choir - SWEET HOME ALABAMA
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Old January 15th, 2011, 10:53 AM   #33
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I put my hand up for being one who had forgotten to turn on the audio recorder on the groom! Worst, I used an old battery on my backup recorder, so that one died as well..

Last week I finished editing the ceremony and luckily my 3 RODE videomics have captured the audio acceptably!

Nevertheless, I have added a Zoom H1 in my gear list plus some powerex/eneloop batteries..

My setup now is to mic the officiant, groom, and if possible audio out from a mixer in the church; all into audio recorders (the H1, Olympus DS-30 and Sony NetMD). And there's always the 3 RODE recording.. I found the RODE gives more realistic audio with the ambience etc.. while the officiant/groom mic specifically for vows and other important speeches.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 11:39 AM   #34
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I just did a wedding on Saturday, and I go to plug into the DJ booth as usual and place some ambient mics. I don't have LAV's or radio transmitters, so I usually rely on the DJ's feed and camera mics, however I just bought an H4N for another backup source.

So the DJ does his mic test, and I tell him there is this horrible buzzing sound coming from the feed, as well as the speakers. He tells me that the officiant isn't speaking loudly enough and that he had to turn it up really loud and that was creating the buzzing, (BS.) but he told him to speak louder so it should be fine now.

So, not trusting this already incompetent DJ. I unplug from the booth and put my H2 near where the bride and groom will be standing, facing away from the speakers as much as possible.

So the Ceremony starts, I'm up with my 50mm near the bride and groom on my shiny new fluid monopod, getting my best ceremony footage ever, and over my headphones I hear that horrible overpowering buzzing, I take my phones off, and the same thing, buzzing! I look back at the DJ and give him a "WTF" look, he does nothing. I can hear the guests mumbling about the buzzing, it was just awful. Not wanting a confrontation I don't say anything to anyone. And again during the speeches it happens yet again! I can't believe that this guy would let this horrible buzzing continue. So hopefully upon review of the audio I can filter this garbage out, in the mean time this guy needs his mix-master license revoked, as I don't know any way to have done this differently and not got that buzzing sound this save from using a throat mic on the bride, groom, and officiant.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 01:41 PM   #35
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It pays to keep in mind that DJs are 'entertainers'. Anything they know about sound is just coincidental. All of the carry-on while they play music isn't enhancing the sound, it's damaging it - especially that #$%@$# turntable. They don't play records with it. In fact, they don't even have any records. They use it to make that horrible scratching sound while they gyrate to make it seen that they are actually playing the music themselves. They will often suddenly jack up the volume while a song is playing to add to the intensity of the 'experience'. The best thing to do is to assume the DJ will hack up the sound and record the sound as independently as possible. One of the most difficult problems is those sudden blasts of feedback. Even if you are recording sound independently, your equipment will unavoidably pick it up and it's virtually impossible to filter out. Many DJs use feedback to set their sound level. They crank up the volume until they get feedback and then back it off a little. This often leaves them on the edge of feedback so you get that slight ringing on the sound when people speak. Since it's on the edge of feedback, it often breaks into screeching feedback again when someone moves or a different person speaks.

In more diplomatic terms I prepare the B&G that some audio problems caused by the DJ can't be fixed. That way they are at least forewarned. If you try to explain this after the fact, it can just sound like you are making an excuse.

It's worthwhile to record a feed off of the DJs board in case it turns out OK. But NEVER let that be your only sound source. If you do, you WILL regret it oftentimes.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 02:00 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Paul Hildebrandt View Post
I just did a wedding on Saturday, and I go to plug into the DJ booth as usual and place some ambient mics. I don't have LAV's or radio transmitters, so I usually rely on the DJ's feed and camera mics, however I just bought an H4N for another backup source.

So the DJ does his mic test, and I tell him there is this horrible buzzing sound coming from the feed, as well as the speakers. He tells me that the officiant isn't speaking loudly enough and that he had to turn it up really loud and that was creating the buzzing, (BS.) but he told him to speak louder so it should be fine now.

So, not trusting this already incompetent DJ. I unplug from the booth and put my H2 near where the bride and groom will be standing, facing away from the speakers as much as possible.

So the Ceremony starts, I'm up with my 50mm near the bride and groom on my shiny new fluid monopod, getting my best ceremony footage ever, and over my headphones I hear that horrible overpowering buzzing, I take my phones off, and the same thing, buzzing! I look back at the DJ and give him a "WTF" look, he does nothing. I can hear the guests mumbling about the buzzing, it was just awful. Not wanting a confrontation I don't say anything to anyone. And again during the speeches it happens yet again! I can't believe that this guy would let this horrible buzzing continue. So hopefully upon review of the audio I can filter this garbage out, in the mean time this guy needs his mix-master license revoked, as I don't know any way to have done this differently and not got that buzzing sound this save from using a throat mic on the bride, groom, and officiant.

THIS is why you must NEVER rely on "ambient" audio or someone else's equipment/skills... There's a reason to have either a recorder/lav or a wireless (or both) in the "hot zone(s)" during the ceremony, and if possible the reception.

While SOME DJ's might know their equipment and the technical aspects, many are just some kid hired to show up and "spin". They know about as much about electronics as they do their (ab)normally droopy drawers.

Even with knowledgeable DJ's, sometimes equipment failures happen, people "forget" to turn on mics, feedback happens, etc. etc. etc. Some of it you simply can't avoid, but other things you can, with careful prep/planning and "redundant" systems.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 04:30 PM   #37
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I just seem to have bad luck with sound, my first 3 weddings that I did for free, I plugged into the DJ booth and had great sound that I used from that. A paid wedding that I did, he forgot to send the signal to the "record" jack on the output. Another wedding, the officiant kept resting his bible on top of the microphone, muffling the sound. And at this wedding, the buzzing! I can't catch a break with sound! I guess i'm going to have to get some LAVs, but how do you mic the bride?
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Old January 17th, 2011, 04:45 PM   #38
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Hi Paul.

You don't mic the bride for the ceremony. Just put a radio lav on the Groom and his proximity should take care of the coverage of the Bride.

If you are to get the breaks, you really need to think through the "what ifs... and have a back up plan. Relying on the DJ to provide you with a clean feed is often hit/miss. Make alternative arrangements to get your own coverage and don't rely on anyone else except yourself.

Good luck Paul.

:)
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Old January 17th, 2011, 04:49 PM   #39
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Which is exactly why I didn't plug into the DJ booth last time around, so instead of relying on him I had 4 redundant mic sources in the room. Leave it up to him however to broadcast buzzing. Would a lapel mic not have picked this up as well?
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Old January 17th, 2011, 05:08 PM   #40
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Hi again Paul.

It appears that the DJ was leading the audio rig and you were left to pick up the scraps by the sound. One reason why it's useful to attend a rehearsal of the ceremony to make note of the logistics and what coverage you do need at any point in time. But it's a big mistake to rely on the house coverage. The DJ and a "house" PA system is not going to give you the right results.

The only coverage you need to focus on (in my thinking) is the ceremony and vows. For that you just need to mic the Groom. If the house DJ is popping, cracking and buzzing there ain't anything you can do about it except complain later (after the event). Placing mics around the room in the hope of capturing something is going to make things worse (if you can't isolate those tracks) especially if the DJ is freaking.

:)
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Old January 17th, 2011, 07:36 PM   #41
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Generally a lav in the "hot zone" either on the groom or the officiant will primarily pick up the officiant, and the all important vows. better yet, a mic on each, for redundancy. While it is possible to get white lavs, generally you wouldn't mic the bride - you may need to boost her in post vs. the groom, but you should get pretty usable signal.

If the buzz was as loud as you say, it might have created a "noise floor" high enough to cause problems, but generally the idea behind the lav is to pick up stuff in close proximity, not "house" or ambient noises - thus why it's the preferred method, whether feeding a small digital recorder or a wireless (both have their proponents here, I have BOTH a customized bluetooth mic with lav added for the Sony handycams up front, AND iRivers with GS mics, plus a couple more bluetooths that can be hung in close proximity without being obtrusive. I believe in triple redundancy if at all possible, because nothing ever goes wrong, as you're finding out <wink>!
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Old January 17th, 2011, 07:41 PM   #42
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I have one lav on the groom and it's easy to pick up sound in his near proximity. Check out this video

However, that doesn't work at Catholic weddings. Now I also have a different method to place another audio recorder near the DJ speaker
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Old January 17th, 2011, 10:48 PM   #43
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Hey Taky, what kind of mics are you using on your olympus? I have olympus with giant squid pavs and they're awful, every time the groom starts speaking it peaks really high and distorts its rare that I get anything good from the DVR.

I thought it was because of the AGC but I bet its just my lavs are too poorly made.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 11:58 PM   #44
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I'm using an Olympus Michael. Check out the link here.

Wireless Mics vs Voice Recorders | L.A. Color Blog

I do have to switch the Michael sensitivity to low to avoid distortion.
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Old January 18th, 2011, 07:57 AM   #45
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I often try to position one of my camera near the speaker.. that way, whatever the audience is hearing, I'll be recording it. In one instance, I even put my RODE on a light stand, place it near a speaker, and pull an extension cable to my camera. Works well.

I've actually tried planting a digital recorder with the lav sticking to the speaker stand (around 2 m below the speaker) and the audio actually turned out well. The stand must've carried the audio through and the lav was able to pick it up.

Don't rely on the mixer/DJ as they could do things that unknown by you might ruin the quality of the audio.
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