How crucial is great audio quality really? 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 October 11th, 2012, 05:06 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Belfast
Posts: 823
How crucial is great audio quality really?

I guess, gearwise, I'm at the point where the next thing I might improve would be my sound capture.

I want to know your honest opinions though. Is sound quality something we just get hung up on for pride and self satisfaction reasons? Or is it really something the bride and groom will be picky about?

I have had a lot of problems with reverb in old churches, and people not holding mics close enough to hear etc... but until now, my clients seem to have the attitude of "I guess thats out of our control".

I hav a little dictaphone with a lapelle mic which i could put on the groom or minister. But I would feel uncomfortable knowing i was recording every little whisper.

Does anyone who has invested in Zoom recorders and the like really judge it as integral to their work?

Convince me!
Clive McLaughlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2012, 06:16 AM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Cornwall UK
Posts: 793
re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

Good sound is just as essential as good video. Imagine watching a programme on TV that had great images but sound that didn't compliment them. Sound is as important as the image, if not more so. And its easy to achieve. Radio mics, audio recorders etc are not that expensive these days, and are very easy to set up. I spend an 8 hour day checking and leveling the audio of a wedding shoot. If you have great images, dont let them down with ropey sound.
__________________
Colin
Colin Rowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2012, 06:20 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

Scenario:

Outdoor wedding, high wind...no audio "reinforcement", acoustic harp...

Without my old iRivers (about to be retired for Olympus recorders), I'd have had little or nothing usable audio wise... One on the harpists music stand (mostly good except for one gust that overloaded EVERY mic), and one on the groom (again mostly good, with some wind noise in a few spots...).

A small recorder, or better 3-4, with decent lav mics are a necessity if you want even "good" audio quality ("great" is saved for when everything works perfectly, GOOD is for when you manage to pull off the audio under nightmarish conditions, AKA the typical wedding!).

If the vows don't matter, if the musicians/speakers don't matter, well maybe on camera audio is "enough"... but having a good solid audio track for those things seems rather important...
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2012, 06:35 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

Great footage + mediocre audio = bad video!
Average footage + good audio = GREAT VIDEO!'

People hear to reinforce what they see-it's a perception. When it's good it means referrals. When it's bad, well you get bad reviews and lose business.

I was always against a non-monitored sound system but finally gave in got a Tascam. It has saved my ragged butt more than a few times this year when I needed more than 2 wireless audio sets. It'll be used again on Saturday because of the set up. Do I use it all the time? Nope but I learned a lesson back when I was in the Army. My first Sgt once said "Better to have it and not need it than not have it and die for it" (he wasn't talking about audio recorders)
Well I wouldn't die without my recorder but it sure has made things a lot easier for me.
__________________
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2012, 07:43 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Broadstairs,Kent, England
Posts: 219
re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

Good audio is essential! You can do all manner of things (FX) to a video image and people can forgive it and maybe call it art but audio is audio and we judge it accordingly. Audio is much less forgiving than visuals and like the others say here, we don't want to be known for poor audio.
Chris Hewitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2012, 08:43 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,124
re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

You are worried about recording every little whisper - you record every visit to the toilet too! If you are a professional (or an amateur with a professional attitude) then sound is equally as important as picture, sometimes even more important! The vows are the most important words they'll ever say (hopefully) so the idea that recording them badly is how it is seems crazy to me. There's plenty of evidence that when watching TV nowadays, many people are reading/typing/working and listen as their primary channel, looking up at the screen when they hear something interesting - so quality audio is that important.
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2012, 11:22 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

Last night I watched a new TV show (I won't mention it) because it ws filmed here in Chi-town and I have a son who is in the same industry. I kind of got bored with the show so I closed my eyes and listened to the show for about 3 or 4 minutes. Without seeing it, I pretty much knew what was going on. Of course I missed the visual part of the characters but still, I had the idea.
Good audio is everything. Bad audio, I'd might have turned the program off. Brides and grooms will do the same.
__________________
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2012, 11:48 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Green Bay Wisconsin
Posts: 553
re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

One of the first I did.
Church's PA system consisted of a wireless on the priest and one mic on the pulpit.
Readings were great, picked up the PA on my cam mics. The sermon from the priest was great, he was double mic'd being at the pulpit. When it came time for the vows, the priest wanted all eyes on the bride and groom, so he decided to marry them from 30' away, standing down in the center aisle.
Bride and groom at the alter with no mic anywhere close to them. You can hear the priest perfectly. The bride and groom and their vows, it's buried so far into the noise floor, there is no salvation for bringing it back out.
One lapel mic and one recorder in the grooms pocket would have salvaged what turned into a catastrophe.
Chip Thome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2012, 12:33 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
Posts: 677
re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

Perhaps a better question might be: how critical is a sale really? Because if your demo reel has bad sound, people like my wife won't even consider your services. Just sayin'.
Bruce Watson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2012, 01:03 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,068
re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
Is sound quality something we just get hung up on for pride and self satisfaction reasons? Or is it really something the bride and groom will be picky about?
You could ask the same about video quality, is that important? Why bother? If you are a good salesman you probably get that sold as well.

Here is a video I posted in a "filming weddings with small handicams" topic I started, just listen to the sound:

"https://vimeo.com/51005614"
password is "noa"

In church I use a yamaha c24 with a lavalier on the groom (which picks up groom, bride and priest during the vows and exchange of the rings) , a iriver with a lavalier I atach to the lectern microphone, a zoom h1 with a lavalier I attach to the altar microphone. The Indian priest had the yamaha c24 with a lavalier and during the speeches I had a tascam dr40 with a xlr cable connected to the DJ's mixer.

is it worth all the extra trouble using that many different recorders? for me it definetely is, it will lift your production to a more professional level and your clients will also recognise that. That clear sound has become one of my selling points if couples would ask why they have to choose me, not the running around with the steadicam, not the slider or dslr shots but the clear audio as it wil enhance their viewing experience. This is an advantage I have to a lot of my Belgian competitors as most don't even bother.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2012, 01:19 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 236
re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

Sound is our biggest selling point, and in my opinion, the biggest thing that makes a videographer stand out from just getting a photographer! If it sounds bad, then why not just get pictures...or just get uncle bob to run his handy-cam from the balcony and call it good? (obviously an exaggeration, there is a lot more visually we offer, but just from the audio standpoint)

This year we had a bride cancel on us because she won the grand prize at a local wedding show, which a local videographer was included as part of the prize...She recently posted her highlight video on her facebook page, so of course I took a look. When it came to the vows, all you can hear is the officiant, echoing through the overhead speakers, and you can't her them at all! NO mics whatsoever, I couldn't believe it, it was almost sad to me, to miss that part all together. I really wanted to comment and say "wow, I hope your full video has your vows in it." Of course, I didn't.

Last edited by Katie Fasel; October 11th, 2012 at 02:13 PM.
Katie Fasel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2012, 06:27 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Plantation, FL
Posts: 238
re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

Wow Katie, that's really amazing that a grand prize at a local wedding show would have such an unqualified videographer as part of their package. Interesting.

Chip's story is a good example of having to run thru the ceremony with the officiant to find any 'unusual' plans. Do most of you attend rehearsals?

I prefer to mic the groom, as the officiant is frequently the loudest of the 3 voices.
__________________
Mark Ahrens
www.heritagefilms.net
Mark Ahrens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2012, 06:37 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Cornwall UK
Posts: 793
Re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
I guess, gearwise, I'm at the point where the next thing I might improve would be my sound capture.

I want to know your honest opinions though. Is sound quality something we just get hung up on for pride and self satisfaction reasons?

Convince me!
Convinced Clive ???
__________________
Colin
Colin Rowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2012, 07:59 PM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

Convince?? It's much the same as saying "Should I take the lens cap off before filming"

Sound is as critical as vision ..without either or poor on either side takes you on a downhill slide to disaster. I think with the posts already you certainly should be convinced!

The bottom line is if the bride cannot hear her vows crisp and clean the wedding is essentially a writeoff!

Oh Mark?? Yep I'm one that also always attends rehearsals..yes it cuts into my own time but I think it's essential as IF they do something you don't expect you at least know about it. I went to one for my forthcoming Saturdaty gig and a Church I've done many many times before and found that the Church remodelling has been completed and they have added a 2nd lectern...the ceremony does the first set of readings from the lectern on the left and the last reading is from the lectern on the right so if I had pitched up with normal gear and no third radio mic in my case I would be sunk for audio from the 2nd lectern.

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 12th, 2012, 03:10 AM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Belfast
Posts: 823
Re: How crucial is great audio quality really?

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.
Clive McLaughlin 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 10:16 AM.


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