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Old January 2nd, 2015, 12:57 AM   #1
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Anyone providing a mic stand for speeches?

I've been watching Ray Roman's Creative Live seminar and he mentioned that he will often place a mic stand or podium in a specific spot during the reception for speeches. He will then aim his Dedolight at this spot and inform the speaker not to remove the mic from the mic stand or podium. He says that this helps to ensure that the speaker is well lit and has a nice backdrop behind them during the entire speech.

I'm wondering if anyone else has tried this, and what your results have been?

Part of the reason why I'm interested in doing this is that I can provide the mic stand and then place a Tascam DR-40 with wired lav that runs up the mic stand so that it's right where the person is speaking. The other reasons are what Ray Roman mentioned about the lighting and backdrop staying nice and consistent. My concerns are that the DJ might object, the photographer might object, or someone else might object. If that's the case then I would probably just go back to what I normally do and ask them to make sure they stay in a small area so that they don't walk out of the light and I can maintain a nice looking shot. But I would like to find out if anyone has tried this and what their experience has been like.
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Old January 2nd, 2015, 01:16 AM   #2
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Re: Anyone providing a mic stand for speeches?

Where I live that wouldn't work, the way they place the tables don't give much room to place a mike stand so everyone in the venue can see them, that's why they almost always just provide them with a wireless handmike and they speak from the spot where they sit. Also often they walk around from left to right when the venue is too small and not everyone can see them.

I think the advantage Ray has is that his brides pay on average more then 10k for a wedding, his brides choose him also based on his demo's he shows them and they know they have to follow his advise to ensure their wedding looks equally good or else their 10K + investment will be a waste of money.
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Old January 2nd, 2015, 02:00 AM   #3
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Re: Anyone providing a mic stand for speeches?

We are also different and most venues have a lectern/podium. It makes like so much easier for speeches!

Where the occasional venue has no lectern usually the DJ has a mic stand but once I did make up a simple lighting stand with a small sloping flat top for their notes. It's a lot more convenient to have just one mic area to cover rather than trying to jump from person to person.

If we have to mic speakers at their speaking positions I just use a desk mic on the table with the gooseneck pointing straight upwards and it has always worked well. I get my photog to rush in after each speech and move the mic to the new person. I don't really like a mic stand as it tends to hide the person's face so a carefully placed desk mic is usually hidden by the camera zoom which is great.

Boundary mics if people are speaking from tables also work really well and can cover multiple speakers. My AKG's are tiny yet will give me a solid output even from 10' away from the speaker
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Old January 2nd, 2015, 03:16 AM   #4
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Re: Anyone providing a mic stand for speeches?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Silverman View Post
I'm wondering if anyone else has tried this, and what your results have been?
I've sometimes (very rarely) asked MCs, "Could you ask everyone to speak from this spot?". Never got a good result yet, but I think it's down to bad luck.

What's happened so far is:

-- I've been told, "They want to speak from their seats", and I didn't want to step on anyone's toes by pursuing the matter further
-- the MC agrees in principle, then plain forgets the request
-- in the heat of moment, the MC walks over to the next speaker and hands them the microphone (not necessarily forgetting my request, but probably because they don't want to make an elderly parent get out of their chair and walk over to the special speaking spot)
-- on one or two occasions, the groom/bride has said something about the parents being very nervous about giving speeches and preferring to do it from their seats and that I'm not to shine any light on them at all.

So... it's not always going to work. But I'm very non-pushy. You might have more luck.

In terms of bringing your own lectern, or just setting up a microphone stand, well... if you're prepared to carry it, why not? We're a bit spoiled in Sydney; almost every venue will have a lectern. (Though: (a) the venues' lecterns are guaranteed to be set up in an uncinematic position, with a wall directly behind the speaker; and (b) at least half the time, the speakers end up speaking from their seats anyway rather than walking across to the lectern -- so, even if you bring one, you'll have to explicitly instruct people... and maybe tell each speaker individually rather than just the MC, as I've done.)
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Old January 2nd, 2015, 06:51 AM   #5
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Re: Anyone providing a mic stand for speeches?

Yea we will set up a mic stand for speakers whenever humanly possible. Prior to each wedding we inform our couples that we reach out to their best man and maid of honor beforehand to go over this, and then remind them again the morning of the wedding so they are prepared. It's the best thing you can because it keeps them completely locked and they will not move. Here's a screenshot from a very recent one
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Anyone providing a mic stand for speeches?-screen-shot-2015-01-02-7.52.51-am.png  
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Old January 2nd, 2015, 12:12 PM   #6
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Re: Anyone providing a mic stand for speeches?

Thanks everyone, I figure that I will have to do some experimenting and see how people respond to the request that they use a mic stand. I had one wedding where the DJ provided a mic stand and the best man kind of freaked out because it was too low and half-jokingly said "this mic is broken" and then proceeded to give his speech without using a mic.

What I'm hoping is that my assistant can brief them beforehand and let them know that the microphone is not just for the audience in front of them but also for the video and that it's very important that they use it. I may even have my assistant adjust the height for each person because at many events I've seen the height become an issue when the speaker doesn't know how to raise it.
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Old January 9th, 2015, 05:49 AM   #7
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Re: Anyone providing a mic stand for speeches?

Yep I bring a mic stand, and a large mic clip for the fatter than normal radio mics.

I brief the couple at my pre-wedding meetings that ideally everyone will speak from a central spot. I always check in with the DJ and MC and remind them that it is not just about being heard in the room, it is for good clear sound on the video.

Sometimes it isn't appropriate or necessary but I feel better knowing I have it as an option.

Michael, regarding people objecting - who cares if the photog objects? You need sound, right? If the photog decides he needs a flash throughout the speeches does he care if you don't like it? He might, but he'll do it anyway because he needs to. You need to be assertive without being aggressive about it, but flexible too.

Cheers,
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Old January 11th, 2015, 10:30 PM   #8
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Re: Anyone providing a mic stand for speeches?

I think I'm going to using a mic stand whenever possible and see how it works. I purchased a couple of universal mic holders and I'll plan to have my assistant help each person adjust the height before they begin speaking. I'll also make sure to let the bride and groom as well as the DJ know ahead of time. I'll report back later about what my experience is, but I think this will really help me to get better footage of the speeches than what I've been getting.
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Old January 12th, 2015, 05:01 AM   #9
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Re: Anyone providing a mic stand for speeches?

In the UK, speeches are normally made from the head table, where the speakers just stand up from their seat and say their bit. About half the weddings use a house pa, and half of those are poor or badly set up.

As I have pa and mics for the other side of my business, I am seriously considering offering couples use of a small pa and radio mics for their speeches. It would take a couple of minutes only to set up and I would have a direct feed from the system, so could be a win win for them and me.

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Old January 12th, 2015, 07:40 PM   #10
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Re: Anyone providing a mic stand for speeches?

wouldn't work here, the speakers always speak from their position at the table, I do use a mic and stand for guest greetings which is good because they tend to stand there instead of wandering around! We do get some people who cant resist the urge to sing into the mic during these greets, it makes interesting footage sometimes :-)
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