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Old March 12th, 2016, 07:29 AM   #1
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Audio / Zoom for Church Ceremony

Hey there,

For the past year I have been putting a wireless olympus recorder in the priests robe and run a small microphone up near his neck.

While this has been producing great audio, I often face resistance from the priest as they do not want another mic on them.

I'm considering using my zoom with the Zoom SSH-6 shotgun mic and placing it on a nightstand near the alter.

Will this pickup the priests voice as he walks around the alter? And if so, what level do you suggest I start the zoom at, I have the H4N.

Thanks!
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Old March 12th, 2016, 08:53 AM   #2
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Re: Audio / Zoom for Church Ceremony

It will pick up the audio not from the priest if he moves farther away from the recorder but from the church acoustics sound speaker which most likely your camera will pick that as well. It's better if you just place the recorder near a speaker system, sometimes they have sound speakers in a low ceiling, you just have to look for it. Place the recorder on a mic stand gaff tape it and extend it up as close as your stand can reach.

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Old March 13th, 2016, 05:45 PM   #3
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Re: Audio / Zoom for Church Ceremony

Shotgun mics are decent for on-axis coverage, but move away from the sweet spot and levels drop quickly. You'll likely get a much more hollow sound using a shotgun mic. In no way will it compare to putting a lav on the vestments. Perhaps you should approach the officiant differently. I make it a point to say that the couple will be able to re-live his words decades from now, and share them with their children when the time comes. (ego stroking works, even with men of the cloth).
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Old March 13th, 2016, 08:38 PM   #4
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Re: Audio / Zoom for Church Ceremony

One way we handle this is to attend the rehearsal and speak to the couple and minister all at one time. They may be less resistant in front of the couple.
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Old March 14th, 2016, 02:10 AM   #5
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Re: Audio / Zoom for Church Ceremony

We don't have rehearsals where I live and very limited setup time so it's all improvising on the spot, if I don't have time the groom gets a yamaha c24 with a lav and I place a tascam dr40 in front of a sound speaker. If I have time I will add extra recorders with a lav onto the lectern and altar but never onto a priest, there just is no time for that and most would not agree.
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Old March 14th, 2016, 12:19 PM   #6
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Re: Audio / Zoom for Church Ceremony

I agree with the suggestion of putting recorder near a speaker if needed. Can work quite well, depending on variables.

I am in a Catholic area. Some priests will NOT wear a mic no matter how you come at them. They say no and it's the end of the discussion, no matter what approach you might take. I've only encountered this with Catholic priests, no other demonination. I have had a large number of priests who were not thrilled about wearing a mic, but they put up with it anyway. I am genial and outgoing, and can be pretty persuasive. However, there will always be one here or there that will not wear an extra mic.

There are multiple reasons some will not wear mic. Priests often have a very personal discussion with groom just before processional begins. They cannot permit this to be recorded. Other priests, I suspect, have control issues, as they come off as very weird and almost seem angry when asked. Others are concerned about their appearance and will only wear the mic as long as it's under their robe because it doesn't look good to them, especially the ones with white robes. They are people just like the rest of us, and each of them has their own issues, just like you and me.

Others are happy to wear it and are happy to help in anyway they can. It's part of the unpredicability of a wedding shoot.
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Last edited by Jeff Harper; March 14th, 2016 at 12:30 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old March 15th, 2016, 08:26 AM   #7
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Re: Audio / Zoom for Church Ceremony

Thanks to all for your comments and suggestions.

I will continue to ask the priest, and in addition, place the zoom recorder by the speaker. I also place a recorder on the podium (for the blessings) and of course the groom.

It's nice to know that other videographers encounter the same issues because upon speaking to some local videographers, they do not take audio as seriously as I think they should ;)
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