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Old December 18th, 2014, 04:47 AM   #16
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Rush View Post
I have however just reminded myself of a recent wedding where the father of the bride shouted 'can everyone hear me?' and when the answer was 'yes!' he said 'well I don't need this then' and put the microphone down on the table and carried on with his speech!
Ha, brings back a memory of a groom giving his openingsspeech in a venue and it was a very small group of people, maybe 50 in the room. I had taped my c24 onto the handle because I couldn't find a way to get a feed from the mixer and the dj was not there yet and the venue manager didn't know how it worked and the soundspeakers where build in high into the ceiling.

When he started talking the soundsystem didn't work so he also said: "do you understand me without the mike?" and just when he wanted to put it away I ran to him and said the mike had a recorder which was my only good soundsource so he then just talked into the mike all the time, eventough nothing was coming out of the speakers, I got great sound though :D
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Old December 18th, 2014, 10:27 AM   #17
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Hey Gentlemen,

I can provide some input here. I have run live audio at corporate events for many years as well as audio for video. The method you guys are discussing is way too risky for me to consider. First, you are micky mousing the two devices together and that can fail. Second, the human error factor is huge, there is a lot of buttons on most portable recorders that could get pushed inadvertently. Third, I monitor live recorded audio at all times and you can’t do that here. This set up would scare me to death. Too much room for failure plus you don’t even know if it is working until after the fact.

I have commented in the audio forum many times about the need for ALL recorded live audio to be backed up by an independent system. I never understand it when some guy posts “help, I have an audio disaster from a live event I can’t repeat”. If one of you was to use the method above as your only quality source you will have a disaster at some point. There are too many other good ways to record good audio without trying this one.

Also, some of you mentioned lapel mics. Lavaliere mics are designed to pick up audio from the lapel, not an inch away from the lips. If you have a good lav mic taped up there and one of your amateur speech givers goes boasting into it while swallowing the handheld (we have all seen it) even your AGC will not save you from the over modulation.

I probably have an advantage over some of you because my knowledge of sound reinforcement is reasonably extensive. That means (if possible) I am going to get one of my sources at the mixer and I know sound mixers.

Again, I monitor all live recordings and I back up ALL live recording systems. Taping a portable recorder to a handheld mic is something I would never consider.

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Old December 18th, 2014, 10:43 AM   #18
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Sorry guys, i've skimmed through all the responses but still looking for an answer.

What is the best way to tape the recorder to a microphone then? Gaffa tape? does that not leave residue?
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Old December 18th, 2014, 10:48 AM   #19
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Steve, I think you've said in the past that you don't do weddings or don't do weddings any more.

So I'm not so sure you may fully appreciate the circumstances peculiar to our market.

By all means aim high but at the same time be flexible and roll with the inevitable punches that this market dishes out.

If you cannot get a lav on the person and you cannot get a recorder placed nearby, and you cannot get a feed from a board, and you cannot get the budget for an assistant, and you cannot get access to knowledgeable or helpful venue staff etc etc what exactly are you supposed to do? Give up? Believe me the brides would far rather you deliver a less than perfect video than simply shrug your shoulders and announce that it wasn't possible. There are plenty of other vendors who will deliver to a standard more than acceptable to the bride.

If you have a good lav mic taped up there and one of your amateur speech givers goes boasting into it while swallowing the handheld (we have all seen it) even your AGC will not save you from the over modulation

That is seldom if ever an issue. The issue is rather that the speech-giver, nervous, unused to using a mic, and having forgotten the rushed bit of coaching you may have been able to offer, is far more likely to wave the mic around holding it a waist height one moment and using it as a pointing device towards the guests the next moment, and then deciding they don't want it and putting it down :- (

Film and TV people and even corporate events people would be appalled at all this but if you can't stand the particular kind of heat you get in the wedding kitchen you don't have to be in there :- )

Pete
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Old December 18th, 2014, 10:55 AM   #20
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Yes, James, Gaffer's tape.

Steven, the method described here is a sort of last option, or at least it should be. For instance, no access to the main sound system being used, so recording out of the mixer, or if the speakers in the ceiling are hot garbage, or if there will be many people speaking.

For instance, I just had a wedding with a lot of noise coming from the other side of a partition wall, so on camera or in front of the speaker mics weren't a good option. The DJ was... unhelpful when I requested plugging into his gear (despite the fact I clearly knew more than him). So, with 5 people expected to speak, I don't have enough pocket recorders or wireless mics to rig everyone (and a 6th person surprised us).

So, I setup recorders at the three hot spots where they were expected to stand when speaking, then taped my small wireless lav transmitter to the bottom of the mic, with the lav mic running up the body.

That was the only way I was going to get backup audio in case something went wrong.
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Old December 18th, 2014, 11:05 AM   #21
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

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Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
Steve, I think you've said in the past that you don't do weddings or don't do weddings any more.

So I'm not so sure you may fully appreciate the circumstances peculiar to our market.

By all means aim high but at the same time be flexible and roll with the inevitable punches that this market dishes out.

If you cannot get a lav on the person and you cannot get a recorder placed nearby, and you cannot get a feed from a board, and you cannot get the budget for an assistant, and you cannot get access to knowledgeable or helpful venue staff etc etc what exactly are you supposed to do? Give up? Believe me the brides would far rather you deliver a less than perfect video than simply shrug your shoulders and announce that it wasn't possible. There are plenty of other vendors who will deliver to a standard more than acceptable to the bride.

If you have a good lav mic taped up there and one of your amateur speech givers goes boasting into it while swallowing the handheld (we have all seen it) even your AGC will not save you from the over modulation

That is seldom if ever an issue. The issue is rather that the speech-giver, nervous, unused to using a mic, and having forgotten the rushed bit of coaching you may have been able to offer, is far more likely to wave the mic around holding it a waist height one moment and using it as a pointing device towards the guests the next moment, and then deciding they don't want it and putting it down :- (

Film and TV people and even corporate events people would be appalled at all this but if you can't stand the particular kind of heat you get in the wedding kitchen you don't have to be in there :- )

Pete
Quite agree peter - The main reason I created the OP is that I have 2 weddings at a local venue coming up next month and they have an ancient mic that seems to have a knackered wind and pop filter (I think it's an SM58) and so sounds pretty awful - plus the PA they use has no line out that I can tap into, not that I would want to with all the breath popping it would record. I normally have table top mics at this venue but I might also use this method to trial it out :)

Steve all my recorders have control lock so I can lock all the buttons to prevent accidental pressing.
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Old December 18th, 2014, 11:42 AM   #22
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

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Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
I probably have an advantage over some of you because my knowledge of sound reinforcement is reasonably extensive. That means (if possible) I am going to get one of my sources at the mixer and I know sound mixers.

Again, I monitor all live recordings and I back up ALL live recording systems. Taping a portable recorder to a handheld mic is something I would never consider.
You may have the advantage of knowledge but not experience actually doing many weddings, corporate events are easy, I never had a issue capturing audio at those, there is always a professional sound and light team there and I just let them know in advance what I need, if they are hired by the same client that hires me then there is no discussion.

Weddings otoh are a different kind of animal, you run against many obstacles and knowing audio doesn't guarantee you will get a clean and reliable audio feed. Just to give an example, last wedding I did get a good audio feed from the mixer, the dj was very helpful, we tested everything in advance and all was ok, once the speeches start I check up on my recorder and see I get no signal, I look at the DJ and he only shrugs his shoulders. Luckily I had a backup recorder pointed towards a soundspeaker, that sounded worse but still much better then my incamera audio.

I know your advice is well meant but it doesn't work like that at venues where you have to shoot a wedding, the first rule of capturing audio is to always secure a backup, even if it's of worse quality, if I would attach a small recorder to a mike handle I always have a second backup recorder running and I"m sure many others do this as well.
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Old December 18th, 2014, 11:47 AM   #23
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

The only options to 'monitor live audio' like Steven says is a wireless feed going into a recorder on your person, or going into your camera.

Going into your camera for one takes away one of your emergency audio backup recordings.

Secondly - isn't wireless more likely to go wrong rather than the chance of a person accidentally unlocking the hold button and pressing stop.

Third - the above method actually bypasses a lot of issues that are all too common in venues where audio is run by people with no audio knowledge. I've had speeches in a room where the audio was terrible for the guests, but thanks to my recorder - audio was perfect for the wedding video!

Also, I understand a lot of people mention putting a recorder near to a ceiling speaker. A couple of things - how do you check the levels on your recorder when it's 7+ feet up in a light stand. Also - there's no way this recording will be as good in quality as the method in question is.

Like I've outlined before my only alternative method is to sneak a feed from the in-house wireless receiver - but since buying the necessary lead and adapters I've yet to find a venue where this was easy to get at. But I've only had it for the past three weddings so here's hoping things pick up.

Great thread by the way - worthy discussion.
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Old December 18th, 2014, 01:20 PM   #24
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Quote:
Going into your camera for one takes away one of your emergency audio backup recordings.
Steven probably uses cameras that have multiple inputs, so he could have shotgun + wireless.

Quote:
Also, I understand a lot of people mention putting a recorder near to a ceiling speaker. A couple of things - how do you check the levels on your recorder when it's 7+ feet up in a light stand.
I tend to use a Shure SM58 connected by XLR to a recorder. The recorder is at an accessible height. But I'm also going to tape to microphone whenever I can for the reasons you mention and others.

Quote:
Also - there's no way this recording will be as good in quality as the method in question is.
Depends! Can easily get handling noise from recorder taped to microphone, or unwanted sounds (rustling of the paper their speech is on). Plus, the general audio quality isn't necessarily nice.
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Old December 18th, 2014, 04:32 PM   #25
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

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Originally Posted by James Manford View Post
Sorry guys, i've skimmed through all the responses but still looking for an answer. What is the best way to tape the recorder to a microphone then? Gaffa tape? does that not leave residue?
Quick and nasty time test.

Password: tape


Main conclusions/discoveries:

-- Assuming the gaffer tape is prepped in advanced (cut to right size, wrapped around something), all methods take about the same amount of time.

-- No noticeable residue left this time around, but I have had issues in the past... maybe depending on the age of the gaffer tape (if you're not using a fresh piece every time).

-- Bareback Velcro not too secure -- notice how the lower end falls off when I shake it. Noa rubber method recommended.

-- Elastics very secure in this setup, but since your only means of tightening is doubling it back over recorder and microphone, effectiveness depends on diameters of recorder, microphone, elastic. Hair elastics don't have as much give as a rubber band, so you might be in a situation where the grip is not as tight as you'd like, but there's not enough slack to double the elastic back around again.
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Old December 18th, 2014, 05:10 PM   #26
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Looks like rubber bands ftw then? Going to source some black ones in various sizes and just throw them in my camera bag.
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Old December 18th, 2014, 07:08 PM   #27
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

I used to do this in the old days, but didn't think it looked good. = P
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Old December 19th, 2014, 11:14 AM   #28
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Hey Guys,

Peter, your correct, I am not a wedding specialist, I have only done a few of them. I am an event coverage specialist. I am not always working in a ballroom with a million dollars worth of gear. In my twenty plus years I have worked in just about every type of venue imaginable. I have worked with the best gear and talent money can buy and the worst. This is the wedding and event forum. I seem to be the only event guy that is a regular here. So I read all your guys posts but I rarely contribute because weddings are not my specialty. But achieving quality audio is common to all of us. My comments are always well intended. I try to provide solutions, not just opinions.

Like you guys, I never know where I am going to be shooting or what the conditions will be. I take audio very seriously so my approach is to go in as self contained as possible and not be dependent on bad systems or uncooperative staff. Having years of experience as a technician is incredibly useful to me as a video shooter. It does help me adapt to high end systems and low end junk like a banquet hall with one wireless hand held and blown up ceiling speakers. I might think about things a little different than some of you guys. For example, in the case of capturing speech audio from a house wireless they are passing around the first thing I would do is check to see what frequency it is on. It is not that unusual to find out I can tune one of my receivers to the same frequency and bam, I have a feed straight to my camera that I can monitor. Most of you guys have wireless kits, try it sometime if you’re comfortable with that, I am. You can run multiple receivers on the same frequency but every mic transmitter must be a different frequency.

Clive’s XLR splitter is a great tool to have with you. I carry one in a bag with many other cables and adapters. At the venues where he can use it, it will beat a taped recorder/mic every time.

Yes, I use cameras with XLR inputs, that is very important to me. I understand balanced signals and multi track recording. I do carry a shotgun mic with a stand and I have a wireless transmitter I can put on it.

I am not knocking anyone for trying the gaff tape thing, especially if it is a back up or backed up. I am saying I have never done it and probably never will. It is too risky for my taste. I will adapt and find another way. Even if I am in some banquet hall with an uncooperative DJ and bad audio coming from bad speakers. Acquiring good audio is our job regardless of the venue or event subject matter.

Noa, AV companies that record corporate events mess it up a lot. And when they do it is usually the audio they put in the toilet! But that is for a different thread.

By the way, I consider myself an experienced video producer/director/camera operator/technician. That means I know enough to know I could NOT walk into your specialty and nail it right away without experiencing it first. Wedding are a specialty, I appreciate what you guys do!

Steve

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Last edited by Steven Digges; December 19th, 2014 at 11:18 AM. Reason: SP
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Old December 19th, 2014, 08:24 PM   #29
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Hey Steve

Nice to see you commenting here! I must admit I also would never consider a device I couldn't monitor for speeches. Nor would I try a mix from the desk unless the guy was a audio pro and not just a music player!

I have seen so many variables with handheld mic distance it scares me! The drunk best man will try to eat the mic and the shy bridesmaid holds it near her waist.

Whether it's a lectern deliver or from the tables I have a gooseneck mic with it's own little stand so at least my mouth to mic distance stays around the same. It plugs into a transmitter so I can monitor and adjust.

Speeches from bridal tables also work very well with a boundary mic (again into a transmitter) My AKG boundaries are tiny (about 1" x 1/2") and can get good audio up to around 15' away as long as it has a reasonable table surface to work with.

I also tend to keep the main camera quite close so if everything fails the shotgun on the camera will get my audio!

Chris
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Old December 19th, 2014, 10:39 PM   #30
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

I'm filming a recital tomorrow and I will have to run a 100 ft XLR cable to the sound board which is not ideal, so I got to looking at some other options for future gigs. I have a Sennheiser G3 wireless system with the receiver and wireless lav, and I've seen others use the same receiver with one of these for handheld mics:

Sennheiser SKP 100 G3 Plug-on Transmitter for Dynamic SKP100G3-A

Is it possible to buy one of these, set it to "LINE" and then monitor and adjust the audio on my camera? I know that some sound boards do not play well with devices without Line Level inputs. If it's not possible to set this device to Line, would a Line to Mic converter like this one do the trick:

PSC ALMP Line to Mic Level In-Line Barrel Adapter FPSC0010D B&H

I would probably use this in conjunction with my Tascam DR-40 as most sound boards have a couple outputs that I'm able to use and this would give me one source that I can monitor (the Sennheiser system) and one source that is not monitored but has a safety track (DR-40). I've noticed that sometimes the DR-40 ends up recording the speeches at a very low volume which is usable but not ideal, so it would be nice to have another source that I can monitor.
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