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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old September 6th, 2011, 02:36 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Suggestions on audio SetUp

Hi Guys & Gals,

Audio on first shoot was a disaster. I won't go into the specifics on what when wrong with current gear :-)

Current Audio setup includes:

2 x Zoom H4N's
RODE Video Mic Pro
Wireless Sennheiser G3 pack

I could sure do with a steer here please, on what you wedding pros feel i'm missing in above setup.

My general thinking is to keep 1 zoom H4N on camera B, static and situated top right of church, connecting into G3 receiver. (Would people recommend i set this H4N to 4 channel mode?, or keep solely for the G3). The G3 Transmitter of course will be placed in grooms pocket, for vows.

The RODE Video mic pro will also be placed on camera B tripod, picking up ambience / backup, but this may depend on answers to above. Might be wiser to keep RODE Video Mic Pro on camera A, if H4N on camera B, is also picking up general ambience and sound.

Use of my second Zoom H4N, depends on suggestions received really. I have no sound coverage currently, on the lectern for readings, and church singers, so i guess my questions are:

Should I buy a H2 next, primarily for lectern and recording readings?
Should I utilize church speakers, and buy some sort of drum mic, shotgun mic, with xlr output that connects to my second H4N?
Can I place H2 on top of speaker, or does sound get blown out?
Should I forget about mic in front of speaker, and get second H2 in time, to capture church music at source?
What is the best quality, in people's experience on the above options?

By placing a mic in front of speakers, I think it captures all 3 groups, (readers, vows, and church music), but on the other hand, I can't always rely on church speakers being positioned at ground level, so perhaps placing DRD's at source is the way to go, depending on quality.

Am i right in thinking so, perhaps 1 or 2 H2's is the right next move with my audio setup? A steer would be appreciated

p.s. shooting with DSLR, so relying on H4N's for the XLR input
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Old September 6th, 2011, 11:26 PM   #2
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Re: Suggestions on audio SetUp

My typical audio sources for a church wedding are as follows:
Sony wireless mic on officiant (I want to monitor his audio so I know when things are about to start)
iRiver MP3 recorder on groom (they don't say much, their volume is generally consistent, and no worries about interference).
Zoom H2 near musical sources.
iRiver or Olympus LS-10 at lectern for readings (iRiver is preferable, as you can put the mic capsules close together).

So far, in about 95% of the weddings, I've gotten excellent results and more importantly ZERO complaints.

Problems can arise when you have levels set incorrectly, or the priest refuses to wear a wireless or hides the mic capsule under the vestments. Otherwise, it's a pretty solid system. When a board feed is available, I'll plug into the Zoom H4...but an unmanned board is a risky bet for a primary audio source and you give up all control.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 02:57 AM   #3
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Re: Suggestions on audio SetUp

Hi Oren,

Thanks for your thoughts. Can I just ask why you have an iRiver or Olympus LS-10 at lectern instead of H2, or similarly, why you have Zoom H2 near musical sources, instead of iRiver or Olympus LS-10.

Is this decision based on output quality, or is there another obvious factor i'm overlooking.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 12:31 AM   #4
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Re: Suggestions on audio SetUp

The iRiver unit is tiny and discrete. Add a long mic cable and you can tuck the little recording unit anywhere. When the audio levels are within a certain dynamic range (like people speaking at a live mic), then you can guess your preset audio level and get a clean feed without auto-gain 'pumping'. The H2 is a bit big for a lectern, and you can't swivel the mic, so you're usually stuck laying it flat or propping it up somehow...which is distracting if seen on camera. H1 might be a better alternative. The LS-10, which tends to drift is a decent unit with long battery life and good audio quality, but I'd rather have it near music sources so that I don't have to re-sync too often.

It's good to have a variety of tools at your disposal. Each has a strength and weakness. Personally, I'm looking forward to trying out the H2n as a replacement for the crude H2.
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Old September 12th, 2011, 11:01 AM   #5
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Re: Suggestions on audio SetUp

Thanks Oren,

Think i'll pick up one of the Zoom H1's.

Should i combine the H1 with a lav mic for the lectern, or is it really necessary?
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