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Old August 6th, 2011, 04:01 PM   #1
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Best All-Purpose Mic for Receptions?

Well, I guess this question could apply to the entire wedding day, since I don't see myself having two mics and switching in and out. I currently use an NTG-2, and am pleased with it for what it is, but I'm starting to wonder if something like a Rode Stereo VideoMic would work better. At receptions, when loud music is playing, it's extremely important which direction I point my shotgun mic, or else it sounds extremely muddy (I of course understand why this is the case - it just seems like a decent sized setback). Any thoughts on an all around microphone? I've got a juicedlink box, so it could be XLR also...
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Old August 6th, 2011, 04:21 PM   #2
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Re: Best All-Purpose Mic for Receptions?

The Rode Stereo Videomic was designed for music in general and can be used with very loud music and still get great results. It does an excellent job in that environment. The Videomic or your NTG-2 are shotguns and excellent for spoken word. If all you need is a good mic and not a shotgun, then your all-day mic should be the Stereo Videomic. The downside of the Stereo Videomic though is it is going to pick up everything including sound originating from behind it. IMO your best solution would be the NTG-2 for ceremonies and switch to the Stereo Videomic for everything else.
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Old August 6th, 2011, 04:42 PM   #3
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Re: Best All-Purpose Mic for Receptions?

Thanks for the response Chip. I'm thinking I may just sell my NTG-2 for a Stereo Videomic. Because I already have two Sennheiser G3 wireless mics, two Zoom H4Ns, and I plug a marantz pmd660 into the sound system at ceremonies, I'm pretty much already covered there and am not relying on camera mics for the ceremony (although extra coverage always helps!). I love my NTG-2, and it works great during pre-ceremony, but inevitably I'll be filming the B&G when someone off-camera says something important or funny, and it ends up sounding muddy...
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Old August 6th, 2011, 05:04 PM   #4
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Re: Best All-Purpose Mic for Receptions?

I knew I'd seen an "all round" mic somewhere :-)

But more seriously, using a stereo mic like the Rode Stereo Videomic can cause unexpected problems. Have a read through this thead if you haven't already seen it I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic
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Old August 7th, 2011, 01:43 AM   #5
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Re: Best All-Purpose Mic for Receptions?

Michael, if such a thing existed (other than Colin's example!) why do you think the manufacturers would make so many different ones?
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Old August 7th, 2011, 07:20 AM   #6
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Re: Best All-Purpose Mic for Receptions?

I have to say I love my hypercaroid far better than any shotgun I have ever used at a wedding reception. Now while I don't depend solely on it I can say that IMHO the hyper works better indors than a shotgun, has a better range and a brighter sound. I've had and used a large number of shotguns over the years and found I didn't like any of them but for receptions, but over the last 6 years or so, the AKG Blueline Hypercaroid has become my goto mic, my mic of choice, my favorite mic. Can you tell I like it?

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Old August 7th, 2011, 08:01 PM   #7
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Re: Best All-Purpose Mic for Receptions?

Philip, I know there won't be a "one mic to rule them all" for all applications, I was just wondering for receptions, what mic does everyone tend to keep on their cameras predominantly. I've thought about recording to one of my H4N mics, and I do already have PluralEyes and am comfortable with syncing in post, but I would worry about remembering to turn on the H4N and hit record every time I was getting a shot. Sometimes if something's happening unexpected such as the flower girl breaking out in dance at the reception, I don't have as much time as I'd like to set up already. Again, I know there's not a perfect solution, just curious what was a popular mic type.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 08:19 PM   #8
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Re: Best All-Purpose Mic for Receptions?

I was using an AT-835 (has new number now) stereo mic. I now use my on camera mic and a Shure 57 mic, attached to my wireless system, and set up in front of the DJ speaker. I can move anywhere and get very consistent, quality audio. When I get ready to do interviews, I just grab the mic off the mic stand.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 09:07 PM   #9
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Re: Best All-Purpose Mic for Receptions?

I've yet to really test it much (other than making my wife sing the ABCs a couple times!), but I think I may have a solution that will work well. See picture below. I'm obviously not breaking any new ground, as this is a huge part of what a juicedbox does (mixer), but I am just putting the shotgun and the stereo mic on, and it seems to be working really well so far. So if I'm at a reception and I want to focus on what someone is saying but there's music playing, I can choose to either turn the stereo mic up or down based on how I want it to sound. Anyone using a similar setup? And thanks to everyone for helping me think this through - you are always so helpful and I can't thank you enough.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 09:13 PM   #10
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Re: Best All-Purpose Mic for Receptions?

Hi Michael

I have always used Rode VideoMics on both cameras and they seem to capture the reception very well indeed whether it's loud DJ music during the dancing or intimate one-on-one interviews with guests during pre-dinner drinks. I have always been impressed how the mic seems to punch thru often heavy background ambience and still give me excellent audio!!

Admittedly they are only mono but I just assign the track to both channel in the NLE!

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Old August 7th, 2011, 11:59 PM   #11
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Re: Best All-Purpose Mic for Receptions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Clark View Post
Philip, I know there won't be a "one mic to rule them all" for all applications, I was just wondering for receptions, what mic does everyone tend to keep on their cameras predominantly. I've thought about recording to one of my H4N mics, and I do already have PluralEyes and am comfortable with syncing in post, but I would worry about remembering to turn on the H4N and hit record every time I was getting a shot. Sometimes if something's happening unexpected such as the flower girl breaking out in dance at the reception, I don't have as much time as I'd like to set up already. Again, I know there's not a perfect solution, just curious what was a popular mic type.
Michael, I'm sorry my initial response was to answer your specific question. However, you've given me a chance to be more constructive so let me approach the question this way.

The mics I choose to have around mainly as a fall-back is the AT897 short gun. I invariably have one on each of our three cameras at a wedding. The only exception will be if I need four radio mics when obviously one camera has to take two receivers. For our one-to-one interviews I use two, one on the camera and the other in my hand just out of sight beneath the frame. If the work paid enough to have a sound person, I'd prefer the second mic on a boom above the frame but this is wedding video after all!.

I was intrigued and not a little impressed by the sound array you have on top of a relatively small DSLR. I've not seen many in operation and most seem to have a small stereo job in the hot shoe connected directly into the camera by thin cable to minijack - presumably unbalanced. I've not seen any who've taken the wise route you have and put as much effort into getting good sound as they have good pictures. It must certainly avoid the client confusing you with the photographer and his "nearly-naked" DSLRs.
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