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Old January 27th, 2011, 03:54 AM   #1
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Zoom H2 placement for Wedding

So Ive done several weddings where I have placed a zoom H2 on a stand next to the speaker. I do this so I can capture the audio from the priest, and bride and grooms vows without the need mics on all 3. Though I was thinking of trying what some people here have done and stuck lav mic to the priest with the h2 in his pocket to capture audio. I noticed at the last wedding, the speakers being used were pretty staticky and so gave pretty poor audio results when I reviewed it in post. So for those who prefer to mic the priest with a lav, do you get nicer, cleaner audio as opposed to the speakers? Also, how well does it pick up the bride and grooms vows?
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Old January 28th, 2011, 01:11 PM   #2
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I would personally never trust putting an audio recorder by a speaker for anything other than a third backup you aren't intending to use anyway. There is a huge world of difference between that and a lav mic on the person speaking. Try it out. I bet it will kind of like wearing ear plugs all day, then when you take them out at the end everything sounds amazing because you've forgotten what it feels like to hear without them.

Yes, the lav on the priest will pick up the bride and groom, but it won't be pristine. We use one wireless lav on the officiant, one wireless lav on the groom, and a backup lav on the groom going into a H1. We also have a wireless lav wrapped around the microphone on the podium. I firmly believe that this is the best setup for covering your backside. That wired H1 and lav has saved us once or twice when horrible static has decided to pop up during vows.
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Old January 29th, 2011, 06:13 AM   #3
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Definitely better to get a mic of your own into the "hot zone", either on the officiant or the groom. I can't count the times that the "house" audio wasn't worth a hoot... so the video actually turns out better than being there, because I've got the extra tracks in post to work with.

If you set up your own mics, you KNOW they are on (hopefully, sometime you'll probably miss one or have a battery die or whatever), with "house" mix, you guarantee you'll never know what you'll get!
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Old January 29th, 2011, 09:19 AM   #4
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Dave nails it, 'so the video actually turns out better than being there'. How true.

I've got wedding films with speakers at the top table using the house mic and they're being heckled by the guests simply because they can't hear what's being said. With my tiny radio mic taped to the house mic I'm getting beautifully clear audio fed straight to my camera, and it does seem strange when the speaker is yelled at to 'speak up / get closer to the mic / turn up the volume!' when all along he's sounds sweet and clear on the DVD.

tom.
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Old January 30th, 2011, 12:33 PM   #5
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Thanks ya'll. I appreciate the words of advice. However, seeing how I only have 1 zoom h2 (so far) and 1 ATR lav mic Im gonna try pinning it to the officient since he is the one speaking for 95% of the ceremony. Now I'll just need to play with the settings in order to get the best possible sound for all 3. I know that I have to enable "mono mix" or something like that since the lav is only mono and needs to duplicate the file to the other track. (not sure if thats correct or not. And I'll need to play around with the 3 gain settings and volume to achieve the best audio without clipping. Anybody want to share their settings for those using zooms??
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Old January 30th, 2011, 07:52 PM   #6
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The H2 has compressors and limiters built in. Press MENU then AGC/COMP. I often use COMP1 if I'm worried the dynamic range is going to be large.

If you're set to record wave at 48k/16 bit you can afford to err on the side of caution and set your levels lower than ideal. You can always gain it up in post and the H2 is pretty quiet.

On the other hand if your levels are a bit high the compressor will stop it clipping.

Another option is to have a cable made up to allow you to record directly from the PA system in the venue. Many have a spare output you can tap into if they'll let you. But as others have said, you're at the mercy of their often poor quality mics and sometimes they switch on & off so you get silence.

Much better to place your own mics where you want them. I use a Sennheiser radio mic on the groom, an Iriver mp3 recorder with a lav mic on the celebrant and the H2 on a mic stand on the lectern.

Mark
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