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


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Old April 19th, 2013, 10:16 PM   #16
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Re: Reception Toasts...

Quick thought... I've attached what I think is Rob Adams' setup from his Creative Live workshop to the end of this post (please pardon the MS Paint dodginess).

Rob puts his cameras together, shooting back-to-back. Stephen mentions over-the-shoulder shots. But sounds like basic positioning of the speaker is the same: put them in middle of dance floor, have them face the bridal table.

Never tried this myself. But isn't it a drawback that the speaker has their back to half the audience? After all, they're not just talking to bride and groom, but to Uncle Bob who flew in from Canada just to be here.

That might be the big reason why speakers and DJs and MCs dislike this setup?
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Reception Toasts...-speakers.jpg  
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Old April 19th, 2013, 11:16 PM   #17
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Re: Reception Toasts...

If I'm allowed to I usually move the podium to a position where everyone can see the speaker ..usually the bridal table is at the end of the room so the co-ordinators put the cake at one end and the podium at the other end and that almost always works well....I still might have to twist it a bit so I can get a clear shot with the main camera... This evenings wedding is in a marquee at a house so there ain't gonna be a podium there ..in those cases I usually get the speakers to come up and stand at the end of the bridal table and put a lav on a lighting stand or just drop a boundary mic on the bridal table..they have an awesome range for speakers even if they are up to 10' away!

Chris
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Old April 21st, 2013, 02:01 PM   #18
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Re: Reception Toasts...

Has anyone used those voice recorders that go for about $30 or so as a means of getting audio from the top table during the reception? If they were any good, it would be a great way of buying several and spreading them around.
I find the speeches/toasts a real audio challenge as sometimes the in-house mic and PA are so baaaad as to be unbelievable.
I currently use a Zoom H2 and a Sennheiser wireless lavalier on the top table and a Rode NTG shotgun on camera, and also the in built mic on my second cam (Z1).
Plenty of audio you'd think, but some free standing Zoom type mics would be an advantage. What do you guys think about the el cheapo voice recorders?
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Old April 21st, 2013, 02:45 PM   #19
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Re: Reception Toasts...

$100 Zoom H1 is as cheap as I'd get, just my two cents.
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Old April 21st, 2013, 03:03 PM   #20
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Re: Reception Toasts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hewitt View Post
What do you guys think about the el cheapo voice recorders?
If I have no other option I strap a yamaha c24 onto the handle of the dj's mike with velcro tape.
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Old April 21st, 2013, 05:06 PM   #21
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Re: Reception Toasts...

Adiran the diagram is almost identical to my ideal setup... For the most part the speaker can move around (or at least face different directions as he speaks). For me I like a setup that can display the speaker and the couple are in the same room at the same time. So usually having a cam shooting a OTS shot onto one another works best for me.
Like I mentioned, The couples having to tweak their heads backwards in order to see the MOH or BM give a toast is a huge turn off for me. Also if you throw in an undesired background, which is what I seem to have a lot of lately.
I sometimes feel that you will never make it to the next level accepting "no" as an answer. In my last case, why does the DJ care where someone stands. In the very end both of the speakers stood in the shadows of the head table and were about 10ft from where the DJ had told me he was going put them. Only you can know how important an event will rank in your edit. If I have to throw a mild inconvenience in there one or two times during the day, then so be it.
I still believe my self to be a team player. I constantly help my photog's and DJ's out throughout the day. I always offer all of my reception footage to the DJ for letting me plug into their soundboard. That usually bridges most gaps...

steve
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Old April 21st, 2013, 06:12 PM   #22
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Re: Reception Toasts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hewitt View Post
Has anyone used those voice recorders that go for about $30 or so as a means of getting audio from the top table during the reception? If they were any good, it would be a great way of buying several and spreading them around.
I find the speeches/toasts a real audio challenge as sometimes the in-house mic and PA are so baaaad as to be unbelievable.
I currently use a Zoom H2 and a Sennheiser wireless lavalier on the top table and a Rode NTG shotgun on camera, and also the in built mic on my second cam (Z1).
Plenty of audio you'd think, but some free standing Zoom type mics would be an advantage. What do you guys think about the el cheapo voice recorders?
I use 3 x Zoom H1's on the top table routinely and they work great. Set the levels about 80-90% and you get lovely clear audio with a pleasing amount of ambient n.b. the speaker doesn't sound like a voiceover for the latest Hollwood blockbuster which I feel is an easy trap to fall into when using a lav very close to the mouth. I use little mini table-top stands / tripods or ebay short friction arms on mini clamps on the units and these work great as the recorders have 1/4"x20 sockets in the back unlike the Yamahas.

The two scenarios that can trip you up are 1) if the tables are on hard surfaces they will pick up vibrations and knocks unless you also use a suitable mic support and 2) if the speakers are located at sundry tables or round tables you risk being out of decent range. However I find that speakers are almost always very amenable to suggestions as to where they should position themselves - they really don't care one way or another so if a certain plan works best for the videographer they go with it.

A big advantage of using these standalone recorders is that there is no setup time needed - just race around placing them and job done.

I always have a shotgun mic on one cam as a failsafe to cater for the occasional maverick speaker.

Pete
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 01:04 AM   #23
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Re: Reception Toasts...

Quote:
I use 3 x Zoom H1's on the top table routinely and they work great.
If I would have used that option last wedding I would not have been able to use the audio recording, the couples table was positioned in the middle of the venue with all their guests around them. During the speeches they turned a full 360 deg to face everyone.

The only failsafe option for me to capture and good sound and good image as a solo shooter is to either strap a yamaha c24 to the mike's handle or better to connect a tascam dr40 to the dj's soundsystem, one of those 2 options always work. If I strap the c24 to the mike's handle I always hand over the mike myself asking them not to cover the c24's mikes with their hands.

Other options are placing a backup in front of the dj speackers or in front of the venue sound speakers, if they can be reached, they are often build into the ceiling so that is then not possible but sometimes a zoom h2 on a lightstand can reach them.

With 2 handicams on a tripod I can cover 2 angles if they move around and if I have the dr40 connected to the dj's table I can go and check the levels. Then I might bring in a 3th camera to get guests reactions or closeups while leaving both other handicams run unmanned.
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 01:29 AM   #24
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Re: Reception Toasts...

Hey Noa, do you do anything particular to the Yamaha sound in post? Do you apply an equaliser effect or similar?

I've resorted to gaffering one to a microphone a few times, and what I'm finding is that the sound straight out of the device seems "thin", as if a few frequencies are missing. I think it might be worse on male voices than female. Also getting distortion when people are clapping. What do you think?
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 01:34 AM   #25
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Re: Reception Toasts...

I always set the yamaha to handle the gain automatically, not an ideal situation but I never know how loud they will speak and how close they will hold the mike to their mouth, but I do prefer that then clipped sound, it does take some work in post manually adjusting the levels, in some occasions "the levelator" from The Conversations Network does a good job as well if you have clear voice sound with not much surrounding sound. I don't mind if the audio from such a recorder is "thin", it's still much better then any other solution (if you can't directly connect to the dj's board or don't have an option to mic the person speaking)
I always like to keep it simple, as a solo shooter that's often the only option you have, saves you from a lot of headache.

When people clap I replace that with the audio recording from the camera's, if they clap and the person continues to speak, well, that's bad luck. :) but the yamaha will clip for a short moment and then adjust the gain accordingly, if the clapping stops and they continue speaking it can take a few seconds before the yamaha picks up the gain again. Like I said it's not an ideal situation but considering the circumstances about the best I can do.
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 03:29 AM   #26
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Re: Reception Toasts...

If I would have used that option last wedding I would not have been able to use the audio recording, the couples table was positioned in the middle of the venue with all their guests around them. During the speeches they turned a full 360 deg to face everyone.

That is a good case in point where, although it is a very rare type of setup in this area, it does benefit from intervention. I suggest that they stand in a more "suitable" place when making their speeches. If you present it to them as an advantage because otherwise the speaker will have their back to half the guests much of the time, then they are fine with it.

I do find that with video compared to stills you do need to think ahead much more. With stills its usually nothing more than manouvering around a few close knit chairs. Sometimes I get a table plan in advance and mark off where the various speakers are sitting and where the speeches will be delivered from; then ask for a change if necessary.

In this area there is seldom a suitable sound deck from which a feed can be taken, let alone the luxury of a staff member who knows how to access it. If they use a venue mic at all its often abandoned part way through. But sometimes a recorder close to a speaker (the equipment not the person) has saved my bacon.

Pete
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 06:32 AM   #27
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Re: Reception Toasts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
Hey Noa, do you do anything particular to the Yamaha sound in post? Do you apply an equaliser effect or similar?

I've resorted to gaffering one to a microphone a few times, and what I'm finding is that the sound straight out of the device seems "thin", as if a few frequencies are missing. I think it might be worse on male voices than female. Also getting distortion when people are clapping. What do you think?
I'm not Noa but I will tell you what I do. Unlike Noa I don't use auto as I set it to a low level that will never clip. With digital recordings unlike analogue as long as you have signal you can push the volume enormously in post to get the level acceptable. I do all the audio tweaking in Premiere & only resort to Audition if there is real rescue work necessary. I use the Dynamics filter which gives me a Compressor & a Limiter. If the sound is a little thin I will add a Bass booster too but the Compressor does most of the work & makes the audio rich & powerful.
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