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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old January 25th, 2006, 05:17 PM   #1
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Audio Clueless

Hi everyone! I'm new to the wedding video business and am extremely excited to get started, I have my first wedding at the end of Feb! So, now I just need to figure out what I'm doing about audio which I'm very clueless about. My husband and I are starting a 2 man operation so we have had to buy 2 cameras, 2 tripods, 2 of everything and now I'm completely broke but still don't have any mics.

What do you think the best/cheapest setup is for a wedding? Wireless mics and transmitter or an mp3 type recoreder with a lav? Which kind (brand names, model numbers etc)?

Also, I know you get what you pay for but right now I just can't pay much! I need something inexpensive that has good sound quality and is easy to learn.

Please help!
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Old January 25th, 2006, 06:01 PM   #2
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I used to use wireless mics, but I now use a pair of Olympus digitial voice recorders for the groom and officiant - cost, about $120 each online. They do pretty well (not the best sound possible, but much better than risking static and pops from interference with my wireless mics). Also, I sometimes use the sound from my camera mics (especially for music, because I can control the levels).
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Old January 25th, 2006, 06:29 PM   #3
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Well I'm kinda old school and still prefer wireless. Of course with funding being an issue the options get limited for wireless. Whatever you do stay away from VHF especially since most churchs (at least the one I work in) all use VHF systems the chances for crossover go way up. You're probably looking at about $500 to $600 for ANY UHF wireless system but consider you really only need one to start. Mic the groom and perhaps pickup an iRiver or whatever they are called and mic the lectern and the officiant (if they'll let you-many won't) I've used 2 of the same systems for about 5 years and have never had a crossover issue nor an audio dropout and I can monitor my audio and make adjustments on the fly if needed. To me thats the biggest thing and since audio is 70% of what we see, well you get the point :-0
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Old January 25th, 2006, 06:51 PM   #4
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I should point out that I was using VHF wireless mics for cost reasons. Thus, the troubles with interference. So Don is right, you eliminate a lot of trouble with a UHF system, although I've heard you can still have issues. Being able to monitor the sound is nice, though.

DVR's work great if you're on a tight budget for equipment.
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Old January 26th, 2006, 05:58 AM   #5
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The first wedding I did, I wasn't able to afford a decent wireless kit either. So we put a normal microphone connected to a minidisk recorder close enough to the couple to pick it up. It was ok, you do need to sync it up afterwards and some tweeking in an audio editing program would be advisable too (try audacity, it's free). It was a cheap option and turned out quite well but not as good wireless.
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Old January 27th, 2006, 04:47 PM   #6
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Pick up 2-3 iRivers, I believe they are the IFP 790 or something like that. The 256 version is great if you have a laptop to download to after the ceremony. I think Don's comment about officiants not wanting to wear mics has more to do with the area you work in as I haven't had one problem getting an officiant to wear an diriver and we have done a diverse range of weddings. These are probably your best value overall as the quality is very good when used properly and the startup cost for the units is as low as $50 on ebay plus $20 for a mic from giant squid audio lab. If money is an issue, which is what you stated, I can't see a good wireless system being an option and a bad wireless system isn't going to help your video any.
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Old January 27th, 2006, 05:58 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the info. I purchased an iriver 790 today on ebay and will be purchasing an omnidirectional mono mic from giant squid. I'm going to play with it a bit and see how it works out. If I like it I'll buy another one.

How do they sound during outside weddings? Will they pick up alot of wind noise? Is there something I can put on the lav to cut down on wind noise?

Any other suggestions?
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Old January 27th, 2006, 09:37 PM   #8
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I thought that Giant Squid offered a foam wind screen for the mic but I might have misread. I have found that for most outdoor work a foam windscreen works but sometimes you need to have a dead squirrel on the mic (a furry windscreen) or even a blimp. Of course that wouldn't work on a lav mic :-0
you should do OK with the foam windscreen unless theres a tornado during the wedding.

Don
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Old January 28th, 2006, 03:30 AM   #9
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MP3s

I think you are better off with the mp3 recorders like the Irivers. I think it's a good idea to make the setup as idiot proof as possible. Find a small plastic box you can slip the mp3 recorder in after you start it recording. Make a grove for the mike wire and tape it to the small plastic box so the groom can't accidently pull the mike wire or shut down your mp3 recorder. You should also mike the Officiant as well. Even though a wireless lets you know what you are getting if your unit goes south during the ceromony you can't do much about it anyway.

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