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Old December 29th, 2010, 03:49 AM   #1
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Voice Recorders, etc

Hello everyone.

Am doing a wedding in a fortnight. I am a pro-am; want to move into pro in due course.

Is a portable voice recorder (eg Olympus/Sony) with its own builtin mike (and placed on groom/celebrant)
better than a lav wireless to a recording laptop?

Any recommendation as to a voice recorder unit you have had good results with?

I am in Australia so choice may not be as great as North America.

Many thanks.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 04:11 AM   #2
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A wireless lav connected to a laptop is always risky, sometimes laptops crash while you are recording and you lose everything its always better to have a dedicated recording device like a Zoom H4n. If you are looking for something small have a look at the Zoom H1 which is highly recommended and extremely affordable.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 06:02 AM   #3
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The H1 is small and have built in sterio mic and also possible to plug in external mic. I have one and is easy to use, records to wav up to 96/24 bit or mp3 at 46-320 kbit. Auto or manual gain. Battery lasting 10 hours. Has a lock button. Recording to a laptop is ok if you trust the laptop to run for extended time.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 07:49 AM   #4
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Hi David

I'm old school so I use radio mics. At least I know if the unit is recording and I can monitor it and adjust the level if needed. I have heard too many horror stories about DVR's being put in the groom's pocket and then been forgotten to have been turned on!!!

With weddings always have a backup somewhere!! If you miss the vows you are in big trouble!!! I make sure I have a camera fairly close to the couple with the Rode VideoMic turned on plus 2 x wireless lavs. Even if both lavs fail I at least have some audio to use!!! If you can, backup your backup too!! you can always hide another DVR near the couple as well.

Chris
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Old December 29th, 2010, 10:07 AM   #5
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From the information in this thread, I chose to go with Yamaha Pocketrak CXs and Giant Squid Lavs. Anyways, lots of good input here.

Digital Voice recorder or Wireless Mic
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Old December 29th, 2010, 05:35 PM   #6
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We moved away from wireless mic's years ago. We've been using various models of the Olympus brand DVR's with great results. 99.9% of the time the audio has been perfect. The only real issue is that depending on the model you may have drift in the audio, which a bit of a hassle but is easily fixed.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 05:59 PM   #7
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Vows

Does anyone mic the Officiant in addition to the groom? I've noticed sometimes the Minister will speak while not so close to the groom and there's a noticeable difference in audio quality between him and groom.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 07:35 PM   #8
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We always mic both the groom and the officiant. We also mic the church or DJ speakers and record out to a Zoom H4N.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 07:54 PM   #9
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Zoom H1

Thanks for the good info guys.

I just bought ONE Zoom H1 so will test it out shortly.

Seems like TWO might be a good idea but will see the results first.

Dave
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Old December 30th, 2010, 08:36 AM   #10
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Two H1's would be ideal, try to get external Lav mics for them at a later stage as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
If you can, backup your backup too!! you can always hide another DVR near the couple as well.
This might sound weird but what Chris says here is important, have a back-up for your back-up - it's saved my ass having three point audio sources.
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Old December 31st, 2010, 01:00 AM   #11
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IMHO the serious drawback with separate recordings of any system is the accuracy of the synchronisation and the time it takes to get even close. I think none of the kit mentioned in this thread is professional in the sense that it is properly synchronised to the video (anyone else here remember the palaver of synching sound to film?).
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Old December 31st, 2010, 08:01 AM   #12
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Philip the days of complicated audio to video synchronization is long gone thanks to award winning software called PluralEyes. We use multiple audio sources and let PluralEyes do it's thing, the days of manual synchronization is over, accuracy with PlrayEyes is incredible. If I could give any awards I could declare PlurayEyes product of the decade.

Singular Software - PluralEyes
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Old January 1st, 2011, 06:56 AM   #13
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David, attempting to answer your OP:

If you intend to make a living from your interest, hobby, skill etc then your capital expenditure needs to be applied in the most effective way.

Rather than simply spend x$ on something now to make do, it might be worth getting something of better quality that will last you well into your first three years.

To that end, I purchased Marantz DPM 661s. Very affordable media (SDHC), excellent quality with differing format settings. XLR with phantom power options as well as an internal mic array. Rugged construction and long battery life at an affordable price, circa: $US 650.

Better to use a lav radio mic on the Groom (check out Audio Technica radio mics). A bit pricey, but if you are intending to do this for a living then you really do need to step up to the plate here.

But what of your Camera mic/audio setup? As often as not (and I speak using a Sony Z5 and NX5) the hypercardoid (short shotgun) on the camera can be a life saver shooting from about 10-12 feet away - not ideal, but it can be very acceptable.

:)
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Old January 1st, 2011, 08:21 PM   #14
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Nicholas, my reading is that Plural Eyes is clever, it gives only a rough accuracy compared to "proper" sync and furthermore doesn't address the drift inherent in these consumer recorders discussed by the OP. I don't use the term consumer derogatorily - indeed I use a Zoom H4 myself - but it has such serious limitations I would never use it for key sound and never when the option was to record in sync on the camera.

Claire's general point about investment is spot on, this is a serious business and there are few cheap short cuts.
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Old January 1st, 2011, 11:05 PM   #15
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I agree 100% Philip!! That's why I still use radio lapel mics for primary audio. I have also read too many horror stories where the Zoom was accidentally left on standby and no vows were ever recorded!!

Of course, the lack of real-time monitoring is still my main concern with a stand-alone device and it's sure comforting to be able to listen to the vows audio and even adjust the level if needed without having to rely on hoping the DVR is doing a good job!!

Miss the vows audio and you have a serious problem as to the professionalism of your operation

Chris
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