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


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Old October 12th, 2012, 03:52 AM   #16
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Re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

Thank God that in our Greek weddings here nothing is spoken...

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Old October 12th, 2012, 04:03 AM   #17
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Re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

Stelios, when I look at the first 2 demo's on your site I see that during the ceremony the priest speaks and in the second demo I see the bride saying something during the ceremony as well, I would at least supply a lavalier on the groom. Is it so that in Greece couples don't find it important to capture what they or the priests says? Do you just add music on top of the images to cover any speech or do you let it hear in the background with added music?
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Old October 12th, 2012, 04:48 AM   #18
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Re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

Awesome..no audio to worry about.

Stelios, I think I will move to Cyprus and join you!! With my wedding today I had wind issues outside, tomorrow I have a Church where I will have to run at least 3 wireless mic setups and people are speaking from everywhere!!

I think I mentioned that Coptic weddings they also say nothing at all...however the priest and his 16 strong choir are very vocal .... I actually had a radio mic on the groom and the preist was so loud it picked up audio perfectly!!

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Old October 12th, 2012, 07:08 AM   #19
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Re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Stelios, when I look at the first 2 demo's on your site I see that during the ceremony the priest speaks and in the second demo I see the bride saying something during the ceremony as well, I would at least supply a lavalier on the groom. Is it so that in Greece couples don't find it important to capture what they or the priests says? Do you just add music on top of the images to cover any speech or do you let it hear in the background with added music?
Noa,
There is no way you can put a lavalier on the groom because he says nothing in the ceremony. What you probably saw is a prayer that bride and groom say,sometimes (depending on the priest)) and lasting a few seconds, but not that important to have quality sound on that. Now the prayers that the priest says are coming thru the church audio system and in any case most of the people don't really understand what he is saying as the whole ceremony is in ancient Greek that very few people understand.

Chris,
Yes move to Cyprus you will love it....
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Old October 12th, 2012, 09:18 AM   #20
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Re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

Using a mic on the groom often also picks up the priests voice if they are close, beside getting audio from the groom that's also a reason why I would mic the groom. getting a lavalier on the priest is not possible here in a church so if the priest is on the move with a wireless mike I will add one recorder on a lightstand close to the church loudpeakers, it doesn't sound as good but still better then what you can record with the camera microphone.
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Old October 12th, 2012, 09:20 AM   #21
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Re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

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So.... you think I should take sound more seriously then or what?

Haha, I guess until now I've felt that everything I've recorded on camera has been a least audible, if not pretty. But i guess I should up the quality of this area. And for future safe proofing it seems like a smart idea to cover really quiet shy speakers or lack of venue pa.

Now that you have all convinced me, what do you recommend? And for the record, I don't have an endless supply of cash, so don't insist on ridiculously pricey stuff.

A friend of mine uses a wireless setup and feeds it into his camera. But for me this is wasteful as the camera sound could be seen as a secondary backup. Zoom or Tascam recorders? I could just just my little dictaphone and lavalier mic more often.

What about speaches? How do you keep your audio recording with whoever the person is speaking along the top table? Some hotel pa systems I've experienced are horrific.
Zoom H1 or wireless transmittor on the Groom, wireless will save you the job of syncing the audio in post. Decent mic on the cam, Sennheiser or the much more affordable Rode NTG2, and the wireless receiver, both fed into the cam via XLR. If your camera doesnt have XLR inputs use something like a Juicedlink XLR adaptor. As for speeches, never trust the venues sound system, its a recipe for disaster, always have complete control over your audio. Use a wireless or cabled mic, on a tabletop mic stand, and get the speakers to, or move it yourself between speakers. I often get away with the sound from my on camera Rode, Simply because I am pretty close to the top table during the speeches
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Old October 12th, 2012, 09:47 AM   #22
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Re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

I've done about 3 or 4 Greek ceremonies this year and I actually enjoy doing them. First I get to be on the Salia (sp) behind the bridesmaids. The priests around here are quite open to both video and photography so they make the job much easier. I DO mic the groom but only use him as a mic stand as it were. When the priest is back away from the groom I get good audio from my hypercaroid and when he's in front of the B&G the audio is great. The couple of Greek priests I've worked with have great booming voices and definately speak at a higher level than many other officiants I've worked with.
The 2 Greek churches I typically shoot in are a pleasure. It makes me think about doing just Greek ceremonies from now on. ;-)
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Old October 12th, 2012, 12:03 PM   #23
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Re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

The biggest difference between a video professional and an amateur (uncle Dave) is the audio.
If you're a professional and do this for a living, good audio techniques this will separate you from the pack, and give you the ability to charge what you should for your work.

Average or poorly shot video can be salvaged to a good degree in post. But poor audio is very very difficult to salvage if not captured properly.

For myself I try to make sure that all possible audio sources have a mic on them. That just means that I use wireless systems and portable audio recorders to capture the audio. So for a wedding ceremony for example this is what I typically do:

1. Groom: Sennheiser wireless mic to 2 video cameras
2. Officiant: Tascam Dr-05 with lav mic
3. Readings on Lectern: Tascam Dr-05 using onboard mics
4. Musicians (strings and or woodwinds): Zoom H2 using onboard mics
5. Musicians or soloist (larger setup): Zoom H4N using onboard mics and/or external mics

For receptions I usually double mic a PA stack with a Rode M3 (mic) with wireless transmitter going back to cameras, and Zoom H4n using onboard mics and/or onboard mics with external mics.

Both give me more than adequate multiple audio sources to pull audio from.
You will notice that I don't mention taking an audio board feed. Sometimes I do take a board feed to be used for backup purposes. But more times than not I don;t like taking a board feed as I even know exactly what I might get out of it, as the board operator (DJ) normally doesn't even know what outputs they have available. And more times than not they over modulate the feed going into my recorder.

Besides a board feed, I might also take a feed from the back of the PA system.
But personally I prefer a live mic recording and mix in post as a board feed is too sterile for a video by itself. Board feeds are great for readings, speeches and such, for voice overs. But they still need live ambiance mixed in to work properly for a live event such as a wedding. So you still need some room tone, and foley effects such as clapping, laughing, cheering and such to make it realistic.

This is another reason why I like live (non board) recording. As, when captured properly makes post work easy. As I already have the actual audio recorded (voice, music, laughter, clapping etc.) at once so less post work is needed.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 02:33 AM   #24
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Re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

Sounds good Michael,

But isn't that a lot of audio channels to sync in post? When you mic up the groom, do you not ever find him sneakily whispering something private during the ceremony?

Also, putting the audio into the cameras is something I'd worry about. A battery dying in one of the devices would be disastrous no?

I'm thinking of using my Philips dictaphone and lavaliere on the groom. (This should pick up the groom, bride and efficient adequatly) , and placing a Zoom h1 somewhere centrally near the front for other readings and prayers etc...
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Old October 15th, 2012, 02:47 AM   #25
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Re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

I have about the same setup as Michael when it comes up to audio and synching manually in post never takes longer then 20 minutes. They are all 1 hour plus recordings so I only need to synch each soundfile once.
About batteries dying, I add new batteries for every shoot and I know how long each recorder can do before it dies. Only for the zoom h4 I needed a spare set of batteries, with my new tascam dr40 that's not an issue anymore.
Placing the zoom h1 "somewhere centrally" won't help, it needs to be very close to who-ever is reading.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 03:56 AM   #26
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Re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

I just use two radio mics. One on the groom and one on the readings lectern...As it's wireless I can both monitor my signal and also not sync issues at all. I just split the main video track between mics and either use channel one or channel two depending if the action is going on at the couple or the lectern.
One the readings are done I normally switch channel 2 back to the on camera mic ...If any bridal whispers happen during other events I just swop channels.

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Old October 15th, 2012, 04:26 AM   #27
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Re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

Wireless is great... except where it's not, and if there are multiple wireless systems as is the case in some venues, they aren't. It's nice to be able to "monitor", but if all you're getting is static, interference and garbage... not a single thing you can do about it! You'll likely create several bald spots during the ceremony if you ever get one like this...

IRivers were very popular, and work well, but the old models that recorded properly are getting hard to find (700 and 800 series). I'm retiring mine for some Olympus WS series (came highly recommended from other DVi forum members) - so far they look like they will do the job just fine, and are about the same size as the iRivers, thinner and a tad longer. Picked up some "open box" ones online for fairly cheap, they work fine with the stereo and mono lavs I already had.

I've also got a modded Sony Bluetooth mic system with a lav hooked into it - tests went fine, but I always seem to use the digital recorders!
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Old October 15th, 2012, 07:44 AM   #28
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Re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

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Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
Sounds good Michael,

But isn't that a lot of audio channels to sync in post? When you mic up the groom, do you not ever find him sneakily whispering something private during the ceremony?
Yes, and yes.Dont overdo the mic set up, keep it simple and cut down your workload.
You will pick up every whisper. Last week, as the bride walked down the aisle with her father. the groom stood up, brushed down hisjacket ahd whispered F*****g hell, it was just nerves but it made me chuckle, of course it was edited out

Also, putting the audio into the cameras is something I'd worry about. A battery dying in one of the devices would be disastrous no?
New batteries in any device for every job, no problem

I'm thinking of using my Philips dictaphone and lavaliere on the groom. (This should pick up the groom, bride and efficient adequatly) , and placing a Zoom h1 somewhere centrally near the front for other readings and prayers etc...
You would probably be better off using the H1 with a lav mic on the groom, will give you much better sound. I will post a link to the mics I use with my Zoom H1, exceptionally good, and only 10 each Check this out, it was made by Gary Natrass, an ex BBC sound engineer, here in theUK
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Old October 15th, 2012, 08:29 AM   #29
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Re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

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Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
Sounds good Michael,

But isn't that a lot of audio channels to sync in post? When you mic up the groom, do you not ever find him sneakily whispering something private during the ceremony?

Also, putting the audio into the cameras is something I'd worry about. A battery dying in one of the devices would be disastrous no?

I'm thinking of using my Philips dictaphone and lavaliere on the groom. (This should pick up the groom, bride and efficient adequatly) , and placing a Zoom h1 somewhere centrally near the front for other readings and prayers etc...
Clive, like Noa said earlier, sync isn't a problem in post. Especially since I use FCPX which has a sync feature in it which works great. I also have Plural Eyes for syncing in case FCPX fails. So in most cases I can sync up a ceremony in a matter of minutes, and the reception takes a bit longer but isn't hard to sync either.

Batteries aren't an issue as a new set gets put in every recorder/wireless before a shoot. And as for the H4n comment and batteries, simply use the Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries. I use them in my H4n for a days shoot and they work great with no need to change batteries during a reception (4-5+ hours).

And as for the groom whispering something during the ceremony, it's not a big deal as the final delivery isn't a raw edit. So all audio and video is mixed and mastered in post. What's not meant to be heard isn't in the video.

After all who wants to hear the groom taking a leak before the ceremony? =)
I hear this often as I wire up the groom an hour or so before the ceremony. A funny thing happened once as the groom was wired up and I didn't switch off the channel to the onboard mic. I was shooting the bride and her parents outside for the photo session, when all of the sudden I hear the groom taking a leak. I almost busted a gut as I was filming.

Needless to say the bride never knew about this. =)
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Old October 18th, 2012, 03:28 AM   #30
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Re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

Colin, thanks for the tip on the UltraDisk microphones. I have just ordered a couple that I will use with my Yamaha C-24 recorders that are half the size of the Zoom H1s. They even seem to have a sale on so the mics are only 8.95. I note that they come with either a 3m or a 1m of cable. The latter is far more manageable for hiding in the groom's suit pocket. Lapel Lavalier Tie Clip Microphones - UltraDisk Microphones - Lapel Microphones - UltraDisk Digital Voice Recorders Store
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