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Old December 10th, 2014, 05:34 PM   #1
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Quick sound test

Really dodgy sound test, inspired by something Michael Silverman said. Didn't keep microphones consistent distance from my mouth. Levels all over the place.

Anyway, password: "sound".


Tested:
Roland R-05 internal at 48KhZ, 10-20cm from mouth
Roland R-05 internal at 98KHz, 10-20cm from mouth
Roland R-05 at 98KHz with Tram TR50 lav, 10-20cm from mouth
Yamaha C24 internal at 96kHZ, really close to mouth, since we normally tape it to MC's microphones
Yamaha C24 internal at 48kHZ, really close to mouth
Sony UWP-V1 into a Tascam DR-100 MkII, about 10-20cm from mouth
Shure SM58 into a Tascam DR-100 MkII, really close to mouth (we normally stick it up close to speakers)

Tentative thoughts... Well, the Roland was set to high gain. Levels pretty high (around 70 out of 80). So, pretty obvious cut in noise once you stick the Tram in. Internal mics on Roland actually sound pretty noisy under these conditions, but it's different in the real world -- I normally have gain set to low with levels really low when parking it in front of a musician or sound speakers. Tram to me doesn't sound very warm, but it seems to "present" the sound better, as if there's no microphone.

Can't really detect any difference between 48 and 96kHz. Can hear a difference in the Roland examples, but I think I was speaking more into the microphones for the 48, and more towards the screen for the 96.

Yamaha performed surprisingly well. They don't sound this good to me in the real world. Always sound a bit tinny, as if there's frequencies missing, but it wasn't so obvious to me here. But I did have it very close to my mouth (closer than a speaker would normally hold the MC microphone), and I changed the way I was reading the script a little bit -- spoke with a fuller voice.

Sony compared to Roland + Tram -- Sony sounds noisier to me, but warmer.

Shure -- warm, full, surprisingly clean (it's raining outside, and my computer is humming, plus I boosted this thing 12dB in the edit), definitely sounds like you're speaking into a microphone, but very usable, pleasant.
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Old December 10th, 2014, 05:35 PM   #2
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Re: Quick sound test

Text of the passage, by the way:

Best man speech ideas Harry's Best Man Speech (1st draft)

(The following is a transcript of a speech rehearsed aloud by an unconfirmed male voice, found on a Dictaphone tape that was among many thousands of hours of recordings discovered in the shed of a former tabloid executive and government advisor in the Spring of 2011.)

My lords, ladies and gentlemen, when William asked me to be his Best Man I was, of course, honoured to accept. But I must admit, when the Groom is the heir to the throne the task of writing a Best Man’s speech is a particularly daunting one.

Eager to observe the tradition of gentle character assassination, I started my speech by writing a list of all the wild times from the last ten years – the strip clubs, the drug dens, the dodgy mates, the public gaffes … William! Where were you, bro? Always too busy. And it’s not going to get any better now you’re married, is it?

Seriously, though, this speech would’ve been so much easier if you had a past like mine.

In truth, of the two of us William’s always been the goodie goodie. He was a bright and hard-working student. He excelled at school, made it into a top university, and later aced his pilot’s test for the RAF. Not bad for a boy who grew up in state accommodation … and still lives on benefits.

It was at Uni, of course, that Will first got close to Kate. I remember him calling me up at Windsor Castle to say that he’d met this amazing girl. “I’m bringing her home, Harry,” he told me, “This one’s a keeper.”

“You’ll have to wait,” I replied, “There are still two or three local birds in the keep that I haven’t finished with yet.”

In joining our family, Kate takes on the responsibilities not just of a wife, but of a future Queen. In the years to come, she may sometimes have to rise to grave challenges. I would remind you of a certain family matriarch whose decision to sit put in London - in what must count among the city’s darkest hours - gained her the admiration of a nation. Five times Mum sat through Joe Pasquale at the Royal Variety Performance … Five.

But it’s not all doom and gloom being a Royal. As those of you who joined us for Will’s stag night will know, the Windsor name will open the doors to the most exclusive venues in the world … the VIP rooms at Stringfellows, Sunset Strip, Secrets, White Rhino, the list goes on and on …

And by the way, Uncle Andrew, I haven’t forgotten the two grand you owe me. I don’t care if you have to tap up Gary Glitter for it, I want my money back.

Now, despite the upheaval of the past few years, marriage is still a sacred institution for William; a lifelong commitment. And after his years of military service, he’s well suited to married life. He’s great at taking orders, and he’s used to going for long periods without sex.

Plus, if things don’t go according to plan, he can still maintain tradition … by disbanding the church and cutting her head off.

I’m sure it won’t come to that, mind you. Kate’s always brought out the romantic in William. I remember him calling me from the cockpit of his chopper to say that he was planning to buzz her lawn for Valentine’s Day. I told him a gift token for a waxing salon would be simpler, but he wanted to go the extra mile. That’s true love for you.

Finally, before I take my seat, it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the generous people who have contributed most to these festivities. The limousines, the champagne, the caviar, the roast swans ... No expense has been spared to see William and Kate off in a style befitting their status. My lords, ladies and gentlemen, please raise your glasses in a toast … to the British Tax Payer!
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Old December 10th, 2014, 08:12 PM   #3
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Re: Quick sound test

The Tram portion sounds a bit dull. Maybe If I just heard that only, it would sound better to me. But there's a crispness to the other recordings that the Tram doesn't have. Sometimes, if I'm lucky enough to get a feed from the DJ, toasts sounds too clean. I find myself adding about 20% of the audio from my camera to give it a bit of ambiance.
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Old December 10th, 2014, 08:21 PM   #4
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Re: Quick sound test

Thanks for this very helpful audio test. I thought the Sony had the best overall sound, but I can't really say why. I think it just sounded very similar to how a person sounds when speaking in real life.

You mentioned that the Yamaha sounded a bit tinny and even more so in real life situations. I found the same thing when using my Tascam DR-40's internal mics to record a musical performance a while back. Since then I've only used it when accepting a feed from an external microphone or a sound board. When I get my DR-05 tomorrow I'll do some testing and see how that and the DR-40 sound when placed on a table in front of me to simulate where they will be on the podium at my wedding on Saturday. This church does not let me plug in to their PA system so the last time I filmed there I had to use the audio from my camera mounted shotgun mic which had lots of echo to it.
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Old December 11th, 2014, 05:16 PM   #5
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Re: Quick sound test

Ok, a second sound test. Password is "sound" again.

This is meant to simulate placing a recorder on a lectern 70cm from speaker and hoping for the best (for those times, fortunately rare for the weddings I've shot, where there's no amplification).

I've seen UK weddings where there's no lectern -- the speaker stands in front of the tables and uses natural voice. In these situations, personally, I'd try to lav mic everything that moves (so I generally carry five lav mics -- father of bride, father of groom, maid of honour, best man, groom).


Tested microphones:

Yamaha C24 internal mic with level set to auto
Sony UWP-V1 lav mic into a Tascam DR-100
Tascam DR-100 internal omnidirectional mic
Crown PCC-170SW boundary mic into a Tascam DR-100
Roland R-05 internal mic

All levels were kind of sort of consistent at time of recording, and were boosted 12-18dB in post.

Conclusions...

-- Yamaha -- noisy. Also sounds a bit muffled or flat compared to the others. Boosted a lot in post.
-- Sony -- probably the winner. I can hear some funny clicking; don't know what that is, but mic was lying on top of transmitter on table, so maybe it's vibrations. Had gain set to medium, and boosted a lot in post.
-- Tascam Omni -- loser. Noise. Then again, gain was set to high.
-- Boundary mic -- pretty good. Maybe runner-up. Sounds a bit "strained" or "thin" or something. Had gain set to medium, and boosted a lot in post. If there's not a lectern, I've got question marks about using this just on the bridal table -- worried it might pick up vibrations bumps on the table.
-- Roland -- noisy (gain set to high) and sounds a bit "fuzzy" to me, whatever that means, but okay in terms of fullness of frequency.
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Old December 11th, 2014, 05:54 PM   #6
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Re: Quick sound test

Thanks for the tests. Interesting stuff.

I too carry lots of lav mics, but one day i didn't have enough....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
I've seen UK weddings where there's no lectern -- the speaker stands in front of the tables and uses natural voice. In these situations, personally, I'd try to lav mic everything that moves (so I generally carry five lav mics -- father of bride, father of groom, maid of honour, best man, groom).
I did a wedding in a marquee, wind and rain (i.e. lots of ambient noise)..... and speeches by:

Father of the Bride
Second Father of the Bride (mother remarried twice!)
Groom
Bride
6x Best Men tag team speech from different corners of the marquee
4x Bridesmaids (also tag team speech from different tables).

Now how the hell was I supposed to mic that lot? Arrgghh! Shotguns kinda saved the day but it was less than optimal I can tell you. Oh, and the speeches went on so long I (and the majority of the guests) lost the will to live. Then of course I had to go through again for the edit and 'again' for the audio. it's one of those days when you really think shooting weddings was a stupid idea! :) Why do people think this is a good idea? Almost two hours of not so funny speeches is just too much.
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Old December 11th, 2014, 08:19 PM   #7
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Re: Quick sound test

I have a wedding on Saturday where I'm going to place my new Tascam DR-05 on the podium where several readers will be speaking into the podium's microphone. I normally am able to plug in to the sound system at most churches with my Tascam DR-40 but this church does not allow that. If I remember correctly, the speakers there are very high up so I don't think I can get a recorder near them. Last time I filmed there I just had my camera mounted shotgun mic pick up the audio from those speakers but the echo was terrible since our cameras were about 30 feet from the speakers.

I'm hoping that by placing the DR-05 on the podium and using its internal mics the audio from the readers will be better but I've not done that before so I'm not sure. What I may do is see if I can tape the DR-05 to mic holder for the podium's microphone that the readers will be speaking into. Has anyone done this before?

I had thought about ordering a GorillaPod and placing the DR-05 on that and setting the GorillaPod on the podium. However, I would be very concerned that a nervous reader would bump it and knock it off in the middle of the service.

How do you all normally get audio from people who read Bible verses (or other readings) in churches? I don't have the option to place lav mics on them all. Do you think taping my recorder to the mic holder is the best idea or do you have any other suggestions?
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Old December 11th, 2014, 09:18 PM   #8
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Re: Quick sound test

Hey Michael, if they're reading into a microphone attached to a lectern, here's what I think are best to worst options:

-- Coil a lav mic around the lectern microphone.
-- If you don't have a spare lav, attach a small recorder close to the microphone holder, as you said. A job for gaffer tape or Velcro, perhaps.
-- If it's a weak gooseneck microphone holder, attach recorder to lectern using some sort of clamp, or tabletop microphone stand, or even a normal microphone or lightstand placed right next to lectern, getting as close to speaker's mouth as possible. Depends how visually intrusive you're willing to get. Something like a nasty clamp or stage ninja clamp might be ideal, but distracting. If you go to B&H and type in "microphone clamp", there's a variety of toys.
-- If you don't have a clamp, or you're worried about the aesthetics, then last option is to leave it on the lectern, but preferably raised in such a way that it's not going to pick up vibrations from the lectern.
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Old December 11th, 2014, 10:05 PM   #9
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Re: Quick sound test

Thanks Adrian, before your sound tests my plan was to simply leave the recorder on the lectern. However, through your tests I could tell a pretty big difference when the mics were farther away. I think the church has a gooseneck microphone holder. I won't be able to use a lav because they are Countryman EMWs with XLRs so they won't fit in the 3.5mm jack of the DR-05. I will plan to bring my gaff tape and see what I can do to point the recorder in the direction of the reader.

Since I have these two lavs that I can use, I may end up returning the DR-05 and just get another DR-40 so that I can plug one into the XLR input. I would also then get my beloved -12 db safety track which would save me in case someone is really loud during one of the readings. I already use a DR-40 with a lav on the officiant and then at the reception I hook it up to the DJ's sound board. It's an amazing little device so I wouldn't mind having another.

Anyways, thanks for your help!
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Old December 11th, 2014, 10:27 PM   #10
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Re: Quick sound test

Well, one more option -- get an adapter to convert from XLR to 3.5 if you have a third lav mic you can use (ie, other two lavs are for groom and priest).
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Old December 12th, 2014, 03:35 AM   #11
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Re: Quick sound test

Michael, I reckon clamps and suchlike look terrible in close-up with a recorder sitting on them.

My preferred method is to use a lav, and my preferred method of attaching the lav is to use black tack - which is like blutak but black and much stronger. If you use gaffer tape you will come across objections plus it takes longer to set up and orientate the lav securely.

This is black tack:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-black-.../dp/B0051BT40K

And here you can see a lav attached to the church's mic stand:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/videos...45-03_ankr.jpg

You should be able to get a cheap cable to connect your XLR lav to a 3.5mm socket as Adrian suggests:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ex-Pro-Cable.../dp/B0025TVNHS

Don't assume it will work as the wiring may be incompatible. You could get a cable made up by an audio specialist with ease.

Dave - I can almost trump that :- ) Not so many speakers but rain beating down on the roof of the marquee and then the next door neighbour decided to take his helicopter for a spin so there was all the warming up of the engine etc from just a few yards away. Yikes. With random guests popping up to speak all over the place - as you often get at West Indian receptions - its pretty much s&@* or bust with the shotgun mic unless maybe they are handing a mic around and you can get a feed or recording from a venue speaker. Fortunately the clients are invariably much more concerned with the content rather than the technical quality and so its not necessarily a big issue for weddings.

Pete
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Old December 12th, 2014, 09:41 PM   #12
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Re: Quick sound test

Thanks for the suggestions, for tomorrow's wedding I'm just going to stick with the DR-05's internal mics, but my plan is to return it next week and get another DR-40 for next year (my next wedding isn't until April). I like the idea of placing the lav close to where the reader is speaking because it will be much closer to their mouth. I was thinking of using gaff tape but black tack sounds like a better option so I'll order some of that to use next year.
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Old December 13th, 2014, 05:15 AM   #13
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Re: Quick sound test

I think it's worth mentioning: I've always been able, so far, to attach the lav to the lectern microphone using the lav clip. Never had to resort to anything else so far.

I ordered some black tack after Peter recommended it in another thread. It just arrived yesterday! So, thanks, Peter. One use I'll put it to: positioning wedding rings on their sides to shoot them standing up. I've used blue tac for this in the past, and it looked dodgy unless very carefully done.
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