Capturing audio from DJ board 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 September 7th, 2011, 08:02 PM   #1
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Capturing audio from DJ board

I'm finally giving in to something I should have been doing long before now. I must start capturing video from the DJs board when I can.

I just watched my latest Bluray disc. Looked great, sounded pretty bad for the toasts. I'm normally able to capture decent sound by placing a cam in the vicinity of the dj's speakers, and I use a shotgun on the cam closest to the actual toasters, but it doesn't always work. It's too much like amateur hour when things don't work out.

Anyway, what kind of plug will I most commonly want to use for this purpose? RCA, or a 1/4"? Will I need two monos running into my single mini stereo? Or will I need a stereo rca to stereo mini? Or will I need all of the above, and more? Suggestions appreciated.
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; September 7th, 2011 at 08:39 PM.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 7th, 2011, 08:28 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 768
Re: Capturing audio from DJ board

RCA is by far the most common that I've seen. I didn't put much thought into mono vs stereo when I picked up my cable. Just a typical RCA to mini jack will suit your needs for about 85% of the time. The other 15%, I would grab an XLR to mini jack, I also have a 1/4 stereo jack that I hardly ever have to bring out of the bag.

A little advise though, make sure you reiterate to the DJ that you want all the audio (master).. Including his microphone. I've had it happen twice already where I thought they hooked me in to capture the mic but only got the music. Now I ask them to do a mic check and make sure I have the levels on my DR.

Best of luck... You'll be happy with the results.

Steve
Stephen J. Williams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 7th, 2011, 08:41 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: Capturing audio from DJ board

Stephen, thanks a ton for sharing, I appreciate the details and explanations.
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 7th, 2011, 09:05 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 50
Re: Capturing audio from DJ board

With me, I carry the following...
MP3 Recorder on Line in Setting
1 XLR cable to 1/8 jack,1 RCA cable to 1/8 jack, 1 Sennheiser E604 (I'll get to this later)

Option 1.If I see that the DJ has "powered speakers" I'll take the line out directly from the speaker using the XLR to 1/8. For you guys that aren't familiar with sound, powered speakers have built in amps inside them and usually have "Line outs" This way there is no confusion that you will be getting the toasts and music from that speaker.

Option 2. If the DJ has "Passive Speakers" I'll ask to get a line out from the board with the RCA jacks BUT I'll make him test his mic and get a sound check. Most DJ's are pretty cool about this.

Option 3. If the DJ has no idea if he has "line outs" or how to get a direct feed, OR you just can't figure it out, I bust out the Sennheiser E604 drum mic and switch my MP3 recorder to (mic setting auto gain). I put the E604 about 2 inches in front of the tweeter and hit record. The drum mic and auto gain setting prevent distortion no matter how loud the DJ cranks it. Not the best form of recording but it's effective and you can EQ low end in post if needed..
Ian VanCattenburch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 7th, 2011, 09:18 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 768
Re: Capturing audio from DJ board

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian VanCattenburch View Post
With me, I carry the following...
MP3 Recorder on Line in Setting
1 XLR cable to 1/8 jack,1 RCA cable to 1/8 jack, 1 Sennheiser E604 (I'll get to this later)

Option 1.If I see that the DJ has "powered speakers" I'll take the line out directly from the speaker using the XLR to 1/8. For you guys that aren't familiar with sound, powered speakers have built in amps inside them and usually have "Line outs" This way there is no confusion that you will be getting the toasts and music from that speaker.

.
Ian,, I just posted a question in an another thread about something similar. If i'm taking it off of the speaker how come I cant seem to balance the audio up? Have you ever had this problem?

Steve
Stephen J. Williams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 7th, 2011, 09:47 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 50
Re: Capturing audio from DJ board

Stephen, Good question, I guess that depends on your MP3 recorder whether or not it has "line in" volume control. I usually set mine to auto gain because I can't be there to monitor sound and record the speeches at the same time. Sometimes the gain is a bit low but I can bring it up in post without too much audio noise. By the way,to recap on my option 3, here is a picture of the set up.
Attached Thumbnails
Capturing audio from DJ board-pocketrak.jpg  
Ian VanCattenburch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 7th, 2011, 11:05 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Belle Mead, NJ
Posts: 552
Re: Capturing audio from DJ board

Jeff - I give the DJ a cable that has RCA connectors on their end and a 1/4 jack on the other end that I feed into my zoom H4n. I set the zoom recorder for auto record level control to handle the ups and downs in the output volume that will occur throughout the reception.

Art
__________________
__________________________________
- Art Varga www.vargaproductions.com
Art Varga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 8th, 2011, 12:53 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Green Bay Wisconsin
Posts: 553
Re: Capturing audio from DJ board

Jeff cables are cheap so get sufficient to do a stereo set up of RCA, 1/4" and XLR and toss 'em in the trunk. If they are doing a mono set up, well you don't need to hook up as many. A full and complete assortment to hook up to any situation isn't going to cost you $100. They are soooo cheap and sooooo worth having if you need them......just get enough to do anything. Just remember the only cables you can run any sizable distance are going to be shielded XLRs unless you want to run the risk causing or picking up interference.
Chip Thome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 8th, 2011, 04:03 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Reading Berkshire UK
Posts: 827
Re: Capturing audio from DJ board

The most common by far, around here at any rate is two x RCA in the board which you typically would connect to the external mic socket on the back of an H4n. A cable like this terminating in a single 3.5mm plug:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/3-5mm-Jack-Phono-Audio-Cable/dp/B000Q6JQXA
You may even have spare RCA cables kicking around if you've moved over to HMDI with your televisions :-)

You'll probably also need a cable to attenuate the input, like this one:

DSLR, PINKNOISE AUDIO CABLE, CANON 5d mk11, CANON AUDIO CABLE, -25DB AUDIO CABLE

And a joiner to connect the two male plugs (the actual cable and the attenuator cable)

I don't use auto on the H4n as it works on the strongest signal it receives and that is sticky. Therefore if the subsequent signal is much lower then the following recording will have Levels that are too low. But expect a jump in the signal when the DJ actually starts the music - higher than when he's testing :- (

I carry loads of other plugs etc in the car but they never get used.

Pete
Peter Riding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 13th, 2011, 04:46 PM   #10
New Boot
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Centreville, VA
Posts: 9
Re: Capturing audio from DJ board

We always, always plug into the DJ's board to capture sound. The Zoom H4N bag we bring with us has one of every possible connector so we are sure to be able to make the connection, except in the unlikely event of the DJ's board having no plugs free. Have not really noticed a quality difference in the type of connection.. unless it is one of the few weddings where we had to either rely on on-camera mikes or the Zoom's mics . The audio then can be hit or miss in those cases. Especially like having one item that is 'set it and forget it' during the day.
Michael Kenney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 13th, 2011, 05:45 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Erie, PA
Posts: 390
Re: Capturing audio from DJ board

I always mic one of the speakers and run it into the Olympus DM420. I might do a little EQ/compression, but it always sounds great. I hate having to worry about feeds from the board -- there are too many things that can go wrong.
Corey Graham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 23rd, 2011, 08:47 AM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Toronto & Montreal
Posts: 188
Re: Capturing audio from DJ board

This would be my ideal setup for receptions:

In the audio bag:
3 x Zoom H4n (or any audio recorder)
2 x RCA to minijack cable*
2 x male/male minijack to minijack cable*
2 x male/male 1/4" to minijack cable*
2 x 1/4" Y-splitter (1 male in/ 2 females out)*
2 x minijack Y-splitter (1 male in/ 2 females out)*
4 x 1/4" to RCA adapter*
1 x shotgun mic
1 x lightstand or micstand
1 x wireless lavs kit
1 x headphone for audio monitoring

* = I normally bring more in case of failure

DJ board:
I always ask the DJ what audio feed they have for me and specify that I need it to record toasts & speeches.

Most of the time, they end up telling me that they have an RCA out available so I simply hook it up with my Zoom H4n. Then ask him to do a soundcheck with me by saying a few words in the mic with the same tone he would use when he talks to the crowd. I'd use my headphone to monitor the sound and make sure the mic volume is right.

Sometimes, they'd have no RCA availble so I'd have my 1/4" adapters ready.
If all fails, most DJs have a "phone" or "monitor" output for their own headphones, that's why I bring Y-splitters so I can share that output with them.

DJ speaker:
If the DJ has absolutely no output (or if he's just being difficult) - or simply as a backup to the DJ board setup - I'd have a shotgun mic on a stand, pointing at the DJ speaker at a 45 degree angle and hooked to the second H4n. Obviously, a soundcheck and audio monitoring is a given.

Wireless Lavs for the guest/speaker:
Before any speech or toast, I'd hook the wireless lav on the guest and plug the receiver to my 3rd H4n. I normally ask them not to stay too close to the DJ's speaker to avoid echoes and feedbacks.

With all 3 setups, I'm normally safe with audio for the night.
Long Truong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 23rd, 2011, 11:01 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Belle Mead, NJ
Posts: 552
Re: Capturing audio from DJ board

a bit off topic but I just did a wedding with a live band. The feed from the band's soundboard sometimes sounds sterile and the mix can be kind of wierd. When I'm dealing with a band, I'll aways mic up a speaker in addition to the board so I can mix the two to get a good sound.

Art
__________________
__________________________________
- Art Varga www.vargaproductions.com
Art Varga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 23rd, 2011, 06:01 PM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: Capturing audio from DJ board

Long, how do you mic up a bridesmaid or the bride when they are speaking? The maid of honor usually gives a toast following the best man, or vice versa, and on occasion the bride will give a thank you speech. I've thought of putting a mic on the best man, of course, but don't bother because I can't do it to the maid of honor, and the sound would be so inconsistent it would be worse, IMO. The maid of honor is usually far enough away from the best man she will not benefit much from the lav mic, at least that is my thinking. What am I missing here?
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 23rd, 2011, 06:55 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Toronto & Montreal
Posts: 188
Re: Capturing audio from DJ board

I normally have 2 sets of wireless lavs so I'd simply clip it on both of them.

Most girls are okay clipping the transmitter at the back of their dress during their toast. I always ask a female to clip it for me because I don't want to have any physical contact with them.

Now if you only have one set of wireless lav, I'd clip it on the best man and ask the two of them to stand close to each other during the speeches. To make sure that they will, I normally ask the best man to hold the DJ's microphone for her when she talks and then give her the mic and make her hold it for him when he talks. This also helps me make sure their hand gestures don't make the DJ's mic go too far away from their mouth and they talk.

I've yet to find a better solution but most of the time, I get pretty clean audio from the DJ board or the DJ speaker. Sadly, the wireless lavs normally get a lot of echoes. I haven't found a really good way around this yet.
Long Truong 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 08:17 AM.


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