What's Your Audio Setup? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 26th, 2011, 03:42 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North Hollywood, CA
Posts: 202
What's Your Audio Setup?

Hey everyone, wanted to give a quick intro and say hi. I'm new around these boards, but this seems to be the spot for informed discussion.

I am getting into the wedding video business and am wondering how you guys set up your audio? I've considered several choices, but for my budget and technical considerations, I've settled on the following:

2x Zoom H4N with wired remote
2x Zoom H1 with accessory pack (case, foam windscreen, mini tripod, handheld mic attachment, case, etc.)
1x Sennheiser ME64 cardioid mic
1x Rode NTG-1 shotgun mic
1x Sony shotgun mic that came with the Sony HVR-A1U camera
2x Giant Squid wired lavalier mics

Undecided about which cameras, but likely 1 Canon 5d Mark II (no good audio, so going to use a Zoom H4n for the DSLR accompanying audio), 1 Panasonic AG-AF100 which has nice XLR inputs, and 1 something else...maybe a Sony NEX-VG10 w/ Zoom H4n or a Sony Z5 or Z7 which has XLR inputs already. So 3 cameras, 2 videographers. We plan to have one camera mostly stationary on a tripod in the back during the reception at a wide or medium angle.

I'm having trouble figuring out how to mic everything though. I'm thinking of throwing both Zoom H1s with an attached Giant Squid lavs into the pockets of the groom and officiant to capture the vows and other stuff they say. Then nearby, set up one Zoom H4n with an attached shotgun or maybe the cardioid mic to capture the bride and simultaneously serve as backup for the groom/officiant during the ceremony up front.

As a third backup, there will also be a shotgun/cardioid mic mounted on the cameras (likely a Sony Z5 or Z7, or a Canon 5d Mark II with the remaining Zoom H4n attached to another shotgun mic).

I think this provides adequate primary, secondary, and even tertiary audio backups for the ceremony/vows.

However, it uses up all my audio equipment. Which leaves the issue of speakers that may not speak from the front of the room, but on the side of the room. And band/singers or the organ/piano. How do you mic those?

I foresee three basic areas that require audio during the ceremony:
1) bride, groom, officiant group - ceremony/vows
2) band/singers/piano/organ group - they might play the wedding march or have songs
3) speakers, readers, scripture reading, etc. group, which might be too far from the bride, groom, officiant group

If all my audio gear is used to capture audio for the 1st group, how do you mic the 2nd and 3rd groups?

Obviously on-board audio won't work here because we may be filming the bride walking down the aisle or something while the piano is playing. Our on-board shotgun would be pointed at the bride instead of the piano, so it wouldn't capture the right sound. Or we may be gathering crowd reaction shots as someone is reading a scripture passage...our shotgun would be pointed at the audience instead of the reader, again capturing the wrong audio. Ideally, I'd like to have a stationary Zoom H4n placed near each audio group, but we can't afford so many Zooms. Both Zoom H1s are used up, as well as one H4n to capture the bride (because I don't trust the lavs on the groom/officiant will do a good enough job). The remaining H4n will likely be attached to the Canon 5d Mark II, meaning it's mobile instead of stationary at the 2nd or 3rd group locations.

There seem to be no issue during the reception. During pre-ceremony preparations and the reception, we can remove the Zoom H1s from the groom and officiant and place them near the band/music area (2nd group) and use the on-board XLR inputs/Zoom H4ns attached to our cameras to capture audio as we film. Since we may have XLR inputs on one or two cameras, that'll free up at least one Zoom H4n to place in a stationary spot if necessary, maybe near the band/music group or anywhere else.

During the toasts/speeches during dinner/reception, we can throw a Zoom H4n on a table or somewhere near the toaster/speaker and have on-board camera audio as backup.

I'm mainly concerned on how to capture all three main audio areas during the ceremony. I've even considering attaching a Zoom H4n directly to the DJ/PA system, but that would require yet another H4n that we don't have. Somehow though, I have a feeling no one uses a billion H4ns and mics all over the place. What's your equipment list and how do you use them?

Thanks!

Last edited by Zhong Cheung; February 26th, 2011 at 08:17 PM.
Zhong Cheung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2011, 04:52 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 1,200
Re: What's Your Audio Setup?

Hey Zhong,

Welcome to the forum...I think for most weddings you've got plenty of gear (overkill likely), but with weddings it seems you can never have too much back-up. Generally I use a Senn G2 wireless lav on the officiant or groom feeding my wide cam which has XLR in (i've had cases where the official runs in late and so I'll mic the groom, as he's usually there early). I use the Countryman b3 mic on it which is pretty good and for the most part works really well. I also have started using an ATR 35s wired lav feeding an iriver tucked somewhere close or on whoever didn't wear the G2. Last weekend I also added a Senn ME 66 feeding into a zoom h4. I also have on camera mics for my 5d2 (practically useless except for ambient room noise) and the on cam mic on a 3rd cam.

Any wedding with more audio sources than you have covered you will know well in advance and you can just plan for them and mic separately. Pocket audio recorders are cheap and work pretty well. I just picked up two irivers cheap and they help ease the stress.

All the best.
__________________
C100, 5DMk2, FCPX
Ken Diewert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2011, 08:11 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North Hollywood, CA
Posts: 202
Re: What's Your Audio Setup?

Thanks for your response, Ken.

Yeah, I think I got the bride, groom, officiant part covered. I didn't choose the Sennheiser G2/G3 wireless lav systems because I don't want to deal with interference. Plus they are expensive! The Zoom H1 setup with Giant Squid wired lav is only $130ish and should fit easily into their pockets. The tradeoff of course is you can't monitor while they are speaking in realtime and you have to trust that they don't accidentally press the stop record button and trust that the mic doesn't becomes unplugged. To help that, I chose a right angle jack to plug the mic into the Zoom H1. Then there's the Zoom H4n with attached shotgun or cardiod nearby them to as backup and to capture the bride. Not worried here.

I definitely agree the on-board mics, even with nice XLR shotguns, will be fairly useless except for ambient sound or close-up interviews - I'm only planning on using them for backup audio and interviews.

Not worried about audio during the reception either because that's more unstructured, except for perhaps toasts/speeches in which case we'll drop a Zoom H4n nearby and use on-board shotguns for the rest. We've also freed up both Zoom H1s and have an additional Zoom H4n (but that'll probably go on the Canon 5d Mark II), since the groom and officiant don't need to be mic-ed anymore during the reception.

But here's my main concern:

I'm worried about is not being able to mic the band/piano/organ/singers (group 2) and not being able to mic speakers/readers (group 3) during the ceremony, since all my audio gear went to capture the bride, groom, officiant group. I've considered adding two more Zoom H4ns (one with shotgun or cardiod mic, the other with a boundary mic maybe) to cover these two groups...but it just felt like way too much audio equipment. 6 Zooms and 7 mics if we did that! I figured there was gotta be a way to make things work without it...wondering how you guys do it?
Zhong Cheung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2011, 09:12 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 387
Re: What's Your Audio Setup?

What I would do when I am expecting unexpected audio.. my options are (depending on situations on the day):

1. Try to put my camera with the shotgun mic strategically near a main speaker
2. Try to get a line out audio from the DJ/mixer board and into my Zoom H1.
3. Mount my Zoom H1 on a tripod in front of main speaker

I'm pretty sure your audio gear are enough. My only concern is that pocketing the Zoom H1 might be too bulky. Make sure your groom are okay with its size.. I had a groom who didn't feel comfortable with my MiniDisc and refused to pocket it.. I had to rely on mixer audio output instead
Johannes Soetandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2011, 05:12 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: London
Posts: 44
Re: What's Your Audio Setup?

I totally agree with Johannes get the mic near the speaker or get a line feed. Unless you use top audio equipment then thinking logically is the answer
__________________
Wedding videographer filming modern Wedding video London
Sophie Bucks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2011, 06:42 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North Hollywood, CA
Posts: 202
Re: What's Your Audio Setup?

Exactly, we are trying to get the mics next to the speaker, which is why we believe a camera mounted shotgun will be next to useless (serve only as last resort backup). We did think to mic into the DJ or PA system directly too, but that requires another recorder...thinking the H1 wouldn't work with that, but the H4n would right?

Still, that's an extra $300...and we'd end up with 5 zooms like that! Are you guys able to mic everything up with less equipment? How?

Also, do grooms really complain that much about the H1 in their pocket? I've seen its dimensions and while it's not iPhone slim, it didn't seem too bad to me. I mean, I carry a 5" GPS in my pocket everywhere I go, along with wallet, cell phone, and keys. It's a bit bulky, but is it really that problematic in your experience to use the H1?
Zhong Cheung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2011, 08:02 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 387
Re: What's Your Audio Setup?

Hey Zhong.. in big church the speaker is usually mounted on the ceiling. Now you wouldn't place your camera next to it, would you? In this instance, the shotgun mic may pick up the sounds reasonably well

H1 or H4n will work recording directly into the mixer. Make sure you control the recording level so that it's not overblown.

I reckon H1 is pretty bulky but I never tried a groom to pocket it.. it may be ok if pocketed on the blazer but I doubt it will look alright in a pants pocket.
Johannes Soetandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2011, 08:22 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Red Bank, NJ
Posts: 553
Re: What's Your Audio Setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johannes Soetandi View Post
Hey Zhong.. in big church the speaker is usually mounted on the ceiling. Now you wouldn't place your camera next to it, would you? In this instance, the shotgun mic may pick up the sounds reasonably well

H1 or H4n will work recording directly into the mixer. Make sure you control the recording level so that it's not overblown.

I reckon H1 is pretty bulky but I never tried a groom to pocket it.. it may be ok if pocketed on the blazer but I doubt it will look alright in a pants pocket.
The problem with the H1 is that the microphone plugs into the side the H1 instead of the top. If you need an adapter to plug the mic into the H1, this makes it even wider and kind of awkward to put into the grooms tux jacket. So now instead of the H1 being 1 1/2 inches wide, it is 4 inches wide.
Michael Simons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2011, 09:03 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North Hollywood, CA
Posts: 202
Re: What's Your Audio Setup?

We just got the Giant Squid wired lav with a right-angle connector, does that work? I didn't realize that adds 1.5 inches.

This is the thing we got: Miniature Microphones and Accessories : Stereo Mono Omnidirectional and Cardioid (first pic on the page)
Zhong Cheung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2011, 03:30 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: London
Posts: 44
Re: What's Your Audio Setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhong Cheung View Post
Exactly, we are trying to get the mics next to the speaker, which is why we believe a camera mounted shotgun will be next to useless (serve only as last resort backup). We did think to mic into the DJ or PA system directly too, but that requires another recorder...thinking the H1 wouldn't work with that, but the H4n would right?

Still, that's an extra $300...and we'd end up with 5 zooms like that! Are you guys able to mic everything up with less equipment? How?

Also, do grooms really complain that much about the H1 in their pocket? I've seen its dimensions and while it's not iPhone slim, it didn't seem too bad to me. I mean, I carry a 5" GPS in my pocket everywhere I go, along with wallet, cell phone, and keys. It's a bit bulky, but is it really that problematic in your experience to use the H1?
Hi Zhong

What we use is a Sennheiser K6/ME on a magic arm+feet and use a Transmitter block (sennheiser SPK)
to send to the receiver on the camera. I know that you are using recorders, but really in the end we found that was the best set up. (You can get generation 1 sennheiser TX DX on ebay). It really makes a massive difference as you can get string quartets, dj, piano, speeches all sounding pretty good.
__________________
Wedding videographer filming modern Wedding video London
Sophie Bucks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2011, 02:08 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North Hollywood, CA
Posts: 202
Re: What's Your Audio Setup?

You mean the Sennheiser ME series mics can get the DJ, quartets, etc. well compared to the Giant Squid wired lavs? I totally would agree, but I'm just trying to capture the dialogue, vows, etc. of the officiant, bride, and groom with the Giant Squids.

And to better capture the bride, I'm actually planning on having my Sennheiser K6/ME64 or Rode NTG-1 attached nearby the bride/groom/officiant group...feeding directly into my Zoom H4n. So in terms of sound quality there, wouldn't the sound quality be much more dependent on the mic? Not the Zoom H4n recorder vs. Sennheiser SKP transmitter?

The ambiance sound and music will be captured by our other shotguns and cardioids mounted on our cameras as well.
Zhong Cheung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2011, 01:09 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: VA
Posts: 98
Re: What's Your Audio Setup?

I noticed all the comments about the H1 being too bulky to place in the grooms pocket. I've done this once before and the groom didn't mind, but what would be a less bulky recorder option when paired with a Giant Squid lav?
__________________
Vimeo
Jamie Pippin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2011, 11:39 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Posts: 2,109
Re: What's Your Audio Setup?

I have shotgun mics on each DSLR. For ceremony, I will have a wired lav mic with voice recorder clipped to the groom.

I also tried with the voice recorder placed on top of speaker with a wired lav mic dangling in front of the speaker. The result is quite good. You will need a head set to hear the difference between the left and right channel.


Since I will also have a light stand setup, now I have a zoom h2 tie to the light stand and position near the DJ speaker. It gives the best result IMO. Take a look at this video .. it's about lighting but pay attention to the sound recorded.

__________________
LA Color Pros Blog
RODE Authorized Reseller . Comer LED Camera Lights . TakyBox HTML5 Menu Generator
Taky Cheung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 10th, 2011, 01:46 AM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North Hollywood, CA
Posts: 202
Re: What's Your Audio Setup?

Thanks for this comparison. It really shows me that a wired lav feeding into a recorder will work fine. We will also have a shotgun mic (Rode NTG-1 or perhaps a cardioid Sennheiser ME64) feeding into my Zoom H4n nearby the bride/groom/officiant. This should provide perfectly adequate audio for the bride/groom/officiant group.

I put a Zoom H1 w Giant Squid in my pants pocket - it doesn't feel too bulky at all. Dunno what the problem is? Sure, it bulges a little, but nothing the suit jacket won't cover up. Worst case, velcro it to the belt/back of pants or stick in the jacket pocket instead of pants pocket.
Zhong Cheung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 10th, 2011, 12:52 PM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Posts: 2,109
Re: What's Your Audio Setup?

This is a video showing using shotgun mic vs. voice recorder.


I have a very tiny olympus voice recorder do the job very well.

Have you thought of placing the zoom on top of DJ speaker and have a lav mic dangling in front of the speaker? My prefer setup is have the zoom on light stand position near the speakers. That gives the best result with a mix of good sound and live ambience sound. If the environment not allowed, I will place the zoom on top of speaker.
__________________
LA Color Pros Blog
RODE Authorized Reseller . Comer LED Camera Lights . TakyBox HTML5 Menu Generator
Taky Cheung is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:28 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network