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


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Old June 11th, 2013, 10:04 PM   #1
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Capturing Great Audio at Weddings

I have been trying to find ways to capture vocal recording in good quality at events/weddings. Last weekend I experimented this new "last resort" method by attaching a digital voice recorder to the handheld microphone. I use the Olympus WS-803 Voice Recorder velcroed or rubber banded to a handheld microphone.

http://lacoloronline.com/blog/images/ws803.jpg

Before you think it is ugly or out of place, please be aware - when in use, most people will not notice it. Regarding sound quality, take a listen to the clip.


Also tried it today with this Sony voice recorder. It gives even better sound quality
Amazon.com: Sony ICDUX523BLK Digital Flash Voice Recorder: Electronics

I also listed out all the options we have experimented to capture audio at events in my blog. Please take a look.

Attaching Voice Recorder to Handheld Microphone to Capture Audio | L.A. Color Online Blog
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Old June 11th, 2013, 10:30 PM   #2
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Re: Capturing Great Audio at Weddings

It sounds good but most clergy I know wouldn't want anything to do with it, or wouldn't do it right anyway. I guess in this case he's holding a mic anyway and presumably it's also the P.A. mic?
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Old June 11th, 2013, 10:31 PM   #3
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Re: Capturing Great Audio at Weddings

It shouldn't be the only option. I always mic the groom as well, and try to capture audio through the church PA too.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 10:34 PM   #4
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Re: Capturing Great Audio at Weddings

Oh in fact, I did this a month ago at a catholic church wedding. I velcroed an H1 on the house handheld mic when nobody arrives yet. The priest just hold and speak to the microphone.

The H1 is a lot bulkier than this Olympus and the Sony. I wouldn't think there should be any issue.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 10:52 PM   #5
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Re: Capturing Great Audio at Weddings

This might be a good temporary solution but I think ultimately you need a wireless lapel microphone for picking up audio from the minister, bride and groom.

As someone else mentioned many clergy will not be interested in having to hold a handheld microphone and point it at whoever is speaking. I put a wireless lapel mic on the minister and then if I don't need my second wireless system for a handheld for additional speakers I put a lapel on the groom as well.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 10:57 PM   #6
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Re: Capturing Great Audio at Weddings

If you read my first post clearly you shall see this is a "last resort" method. You can't mainly rely on this but it won't hurt to have different ways to get good audio. I always mic the groom, the officiant, as well as getting a feed from the in house sound system.

Many church ministers refused to get mic'ed. Also, I have a few times the "church lady" grabbed the lav mic off my groom saying the wireless transmission will interfere their in house wireless frequency. There're just too many odd things can happen.

Now I'm using RODE PINMIC connected to a voice recorder. There is no visiable wire at all.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 03:19 AM   #7
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Re: Capturing Great Audio at Weddings

Personally I think it's a great 'last resort' idea.

Will be ordering some velcro now!
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Old June 12th, 2013, 04:10 AM   #8
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Re: Capturing Great Audio at Weddings

A useful technique thanks for posted. But ..... and there is always a but ..... it also illustrates a slight mismatch between the audio from the bride and groom and the celebrant because he does not draw the mic towards himself when he speaks. So the couples audio is almost too good and the rest draws attention to itself.

I had this same scenario at a wedding in which I thought I had it made. Indoors, professional sound man on duty - not just a church volunteer, enthusiastic and compliant couple and celebrant. The sound man later gave me a copy of the entire ceremony via dropbox.

But the celebrant did the same thing as here. And because she was standing farther away from the couple than in the posted clip the difference was much more noticeable. She was though using the venue mic only and that would have a narrow pickup pattern than the H1 or suchlike.

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Old June 12th, 2013, 04:26 AM   #9
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Re: Capturing Great Audio at Weddings

In the UK, filming around 2000 weddings, I can't ever remember filming a wedding where the officiant held a microphone up to the B&G for the house PA. Usually in church they will use a lavalier on their robes, and I have also never seen a mic used at a civil ceremony although others may have. I would also be worried about the handling noise from attaching a recorder to the PA mic, as they tend to be very sensitive to it.

The velcro idea is a good one though for attaching small portables in unusual places. I have looped velcro stuck on the backs of my portables, and always have a self adhesive roll of the hooked tape in my pack, so that I can quickly stick a piece on a convenient surface and attach the recorder to it if needed.

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Old June 12th, 2013, 04:27 AM   #10
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Re: Capturing Great Audio at Weddings

Thanks for your comment Peter. The thing is, this shouldn't be the ONLY way to capture audio. In the wedding I posted above, I also mic the groom as well as the officiant. This is the Same Day Edit for that particular wedding. You can hear the offficiant vocal at the beginning.


Now it's about the officiant didn't use the mic for his lead. First, since I already mic the officiant, I can easy blend the two audio to have good sound from the officiant too in the final edit. Second, in the cinematic highlights, I always cut out the officiant during the vows so it will sound like the vows are from the B&G directly but not repeating the officiant's word.

Third, even if I use only this audio without blending the one from the officiant, the wedding film is targeted to the B&G since they are the paying customer. As long as their part of the vows are clear, 10 out 10 will not complain if the officiant sound was soft.

Wedding ceremony is a life event. There're many unforeseeable things could happen. All we can do is get the most out of it. :)
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Old June 12th, 2013, 04:53 AM   #11
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Re: Capturing Great Audio at Weddings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
In the UK, filming around 2000 weddings, I can't ever remember filming a wedding where the officiant held a microphone up to the B&G for the house PA.
Happens quite often in Belgium, I have used this "tape a recorder to the mike's handle" quite often if there was no other option to capture the audio and that has worked out very well, a issue I have encountered one time was that people where not holding the handle but the top of the microphone like beatboxers do thus covering my recorder with their hand, that falls under teh same category as people who are holding a mike at waist height. :)
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