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

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Old October 12th, 2011, 09:24 PM   #16
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Re: Capturing Brides Vows without using wired mic?

Another way is to remind her before the wedding to stand closer during the vows and speak louder. Apart from audio to the mic, it also let the guests hear what she's saying.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 11:19 PM   #17
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Re: Capturing Brides Vows without using wired mic?

there is a free program called levelator and it works pretty well. Run it then put the file thru audacity to reduce hiss
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Old October 16th, 2011, 04:59 PM   #18
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Re: Capturing Brides Vows without using wired mic?

There are lots of ways to get good audio during a live event. The trick is to get each microphone on its own audio track, which then allows mixing in post. Choosing the right mic for the task precedes.

The other, and most important trick, is to recognize the best quality recording will come from that microphone which is closest to the audio source. This is why most commercial videos record audio with a shotgun mic on a boom. However, that method is not going to work in a live event, so you have to devise methods that allow the best available option. Getting a mic on a bride is absolutely wonderful, but a near impossible challenge unless the bride intuitively understands what you are trying to accomplish and is willing to make the process work. Most brides eyes roll back into their heads at the mere suggestion of adding anything to their wardrobe, so I've quit mentioning the subject.

My first thought is that you need to re-evaluate the Countryman microphones. Countryman mics are well known in the music industry. Are they directional or omni-directional? That's a big issue. A vocalist wants a directional mic! An omni-directional mic on a vocalist will send the sound technician to an early grave in a performance environment, where an omni makes a live event possible. A directional lav. mic pinned to the groom simply is not going to pick up the bride's voice well where the same Countryman omni-directional will probably record the bride's voice very well. An Omni lapel on the officiant is a plus as well. Record settings on the H1 mics need to match the the Countryman mic's characteristics as closely as possible, and that is a lot of trial and error (but worth the time and effort).

I am shifting focus at this point, but my workflow may be useful.
I use four wireless microphones during receptions. I'd use H1's tomorrow, but I have too much invested in wireless gear to switch. Wireless Mic 1 (WM1) is pinned to the Groom with a Shure 837 Omni-Directional Mic attached to the transmitter. WM2 is with the Officiant. WM3 is a condenser drum mic attached to a VHF transmitter. I like drum mics because they can manage ungodly sound pressure levels and make vocal levels very even. It is on a mic floor stand and is dedicated for family/friend commentary during the ceremony. WM4 is usually reserved for musicians, but in their absense, is available for any other assigned task. I have two receivers for each wireless microphone. Signals from WM1 and WM2 go to Camera 1. Signals from WM3 & WM4 go to Camera 2. Camera 3 gets a shotgun mic, which is primarily to record a reference signal for syncing in post, but also captures ambient audio that may be useful in post. All four audio signals are also routed through an audio mixer to a two channel recording device as additional backup.

IF a DJ or Church PA is being used, I attach an iRiver (excellent old MP3 audio recorder) to the system's REC out RCA ports or, clip to a hall loudspeaker. The primary reason for this recording device is back-up.

Lastly, because I insist on all three cameras being permanently attached to tripods during the ceremony, I have an additional shotgun mic attached to a DSLR. This camera is for quick shots from mobile angles that may or may not make the cut. The audio is primarily for syncing.

Great. The event is recorded. Now it has to go to post. Which is where the fun begins.

I edit the video in four passes. Pass one is devoted to selecting the video clips I want to use. Pass 2 is color correction. Pass 3 is devoted to audio, which almost always means sending selected audio clips to an external audio application for adjustment. This is my least favorite editing process. Much easier now because of the method I have described. Pass 4 is adding audio special effects and titles.

I hope this information is useful.
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