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Old May 7th, 2006, 07:25 AM   #1
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What is the best audio equipment to use shotgun vs lavalier

Good Morning All,

I'm seeking advice and help on audio equipment needed to get the best quality of audio during weddings.

I just purchased two Canon GL2s and trying to get an idea on what is the best route to take on capturing sound. I have read a few threads discussing shotgun mics and lavalier mics. I also know that there are different freqs (UHF vs VHF) for the lavaliers. One thing that I haven't seen yet is a system, if there is such a thing, for a mic and lavalier to be used simultaneously. I know at my church we have a mic and lavalier, but they are on the same freq and cause some serious feedback if they are on at the same time. Is it possible to have one reciever and two transmitters operating at the same? My initial thought is that to get something to do this would cost a pretty penny.

I'm on a limited budget and my first option would be to use a lavalier mic with the rear camera and use the mic on the GL2 for a backup source of audio. For those with information on this manner, could you also include the pros and cons of shotgun vs lavalier, UHF vs VHF and where to purchase these items when I'm ready to pull the trigger on the purchase.

I have found this forum on weddings most enlightening and education. Please keep the questions and answers coming. Trust me there are people like myself who is learning a lot of information and coming up with new ideas based on you guys/gals experience (both good and bad). Thanks a million!!
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Old May 7th, 2006, 08:03 AM   #2
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You know what? A cheep microphone used close to the noise is a lot better than using an expensive mic at a distance. I've proved it. At weddings I clip a 'no-name' lav to the groom's lapel and feed a second hand Minidisc recorder that I put in his inside pocket. AGC controls the recording level. 25 all in.

My camera has a very expensive K6/ME66 inside an outrageously expensive Rycote Softie. Costs 20x the price of Minidisc combo, yet (from anything over 2 metres or so) the cheepie wins hands down for intelligibility and audio fidelity.

tom.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 08:33 AM   #3
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IMO run both...

u cant afford a dropout.. the minidisc or solid state recorder is a good option as a starter, then worry about everything else after that..

I bought lapel mics beofr ei even bought my cameras.. back in the day it was unheard of to use these mics (as it was intrusive.. apparently...) but a small lapel makes a HUGE difference to the quality of work.. u can ave teh BEST fotage ever and when running the location sound from a shotgun u may stil not hear everything.. all those golden shots mean nothing IMO as its just fluff to surround the important bits... and no matter how much fluff you throw in, people will always say.. i just WISH i could hear what we were saying..

Lapels rule, then go for a decent shotgun.. I found the ME66 to be slightly TOO sensitive (or hot IMO... the capsule has the tendency to be be easily overdriven) for weddings.. expecially in larger venues, But the ME64 is a shorter unit, however it allows for a more finite sound encapsulation (i wouldnt recommend it used for ditances over 7 metres though.. youll pick up too much ambience..
I find that the Rode NTG1 and NTG2 are brilliant units and return a VERY flat response. (note NOT the Rode video mic with that horrible chunky 9v battery zit...) The rode video mic IS a good mic.. but the shockmount design sux teh big one..
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Old May 7th, 2006, 11:25 AM   #4
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Tom & Peter,

Thanks for the response. This information is quite enlightening. I will start my research on the products that you mentioned. Do you have any words of wisdom on the pros and cons of UHF/VHF?

Any other takers on this matter?
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Old May 7th, 2006, 06:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Calloway
Tom & Peter,

Thanks for the response. This information is quite enlightening. I will start my research on the products that you mentioned. Do you have any words of wisdom on the pros and cons of UHF/VHF?

Any other takers on this matter?
I really have no use for a shotgun mic at a wedding ceremony. Unless you're 3 feet from the talent it's really pointless.

I wouldn't depend on VHF either.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 09:33 PM   #6
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Go with the sennheiser EW G2 camera system. It is everything you will need. I use the lav for the ceremony on the groom and the xlr mic transmitter for interviews and such at the reception. I record the officiant with an iriver 895 and Giant squid mic combo and use the shotgun mic that came with my Sony pd170 as a back up ambient mic. I have never had an issue with the quality of my sound, nor have I had to revert to my backup.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 08:00 AM   #7
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Rick and Dan,

Thanks. The search continues. Is there a particular place where you guys have purchased these items?
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Old May 8th, 2006, 08:57 AM   #8
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Rick, Dan, Anyone Else

Based on the information about the microphones mentioned in previous threads to my original, which by the way I am amazed how and what is used to record audio, are there any special connections or brackets that I may need to add to the GL2. I'm considering the audio adapter DXA-4 or DXA-6. If there is a recommendation on which one is better or another option (cost is a limited factor) please advise. I'm trying not to load up on millions of questions, so if there is something that I'm not considering, accessories/hook up wise, please advise.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 09:12 AM   #9
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Mic trim

If you are using a Z1, you can trim the db's on the ME66. Go to the menu to audio, to xlr, to trim. You can raise or lower the sensitivity of the mic by raising or lowering the db trim. Inside, I have gone as high as +6 db. Outside, down to 0 db, or -6 db works pretty well, depending on the abmbient noise levels.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 10:55 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ryan Calloway
Rick and Dan,

Thanks. The search continues. Is there a particular place where you guys have purchased these items?
B&H Photo. Go nowhere else. DO NOT pass go. DO NOT collect $200 dollars from somebody cheaper. (At least stay with the sponsors of DVI).

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Or this:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Just be sure to order the frequency bands for your area. Do you need A, B or C? Go to the Sennheiser site and they'll be able to tell you which one you'll need.

The pristene audio achieved by a wireless mic is what will distinguish you from the "uncle Bob's" right out of the gate.

Even an iRiver with a lav mic taped to a podium (or clipped on a groom) will yield impressive results. (They're still available but are getting scarcer).

Can't help with the G2's (I use Sony). But the BeachTek XLR adapters are popular. I use one from "Sign Video" which works well but runs kind of "hot".

Again, my shotgun mic stays in the bag most of the time. Other than a 3rd backup at the reception it's useless for weddings. My setup is as follows:

Cam 1: G2 wireless on groom

Cam 1: Another G2 handheld wireless on a boom pole near choir/music

Cam 2: internal mic for ambient sound

iRiver1 with lav mic: scotch taped to speaker's podium

iRiver2 with lav mic: on officiant (if he'll let me).

I've never had an audio problem. Even when the church's sound system took a dive 2 weeks ago.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 11:07 AM   #11
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I use a Beachtek adapter with my GL2. I love it, because it can allow me to use both a shotgun and a wireless lav on one camera. The shotgun goes into the left channel, and the wireless goes into the right.

My Rode shotgun sounds much better than the built-in GL2 mic, and it makes the GL2 "look" more professional. (I know, dumb reason, but your client's and their guest's perceptions can mean more bookings.) For a wireless I use a cheap Azden lav. I will soon be upgrading to something more professional, however, I've never experienced a problem with the Azden.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 01:23 PM   #12
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Rick and Chris thanks.

Rick,
B&H has very good prices and I have enjoyed previous purchases through them without any complaints. Thanks for giving me a heads up on the freq band for the area. I didn't even think of that. What microphone do you recommend to use with the G2 system

Chris,
I do have a follow up question for you. Because you use the GL2, I'm trying to picture in my mind how the set up goes with the beachtek (which one DXA-4 or DXA-6) having both the lav and the shotgun. I'm sure it is simple, but just making sure I don't need to get any other attachments or brackets. Also what affect if any is there having a lav in one input and the shotgun in the other (feedback problems??)? Is there a need to consider having a stereo sound or does it even matter? What particular model of Rode Shotgun do you use?

Thanks in advance and any other comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 01:51 PM   #13
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Oops, I'm using the XLR-PRO from Sign Video. It's similar to the BeachTek DXA-4.

My Rode NTG-2 plugs into one of the XLR inputs, and my Azden WR-PRO receiver to one of the mini-plug jacks. The Rode sits in a shock mount connected to the GL2 hot-shoe, and the Azden (which is also made to connect to the hot shoe) just kind of gets strapped to the camera or tripod.

I'm not concerned about getting stereo sound. I just copy the left and right to separate tracks in Vegas and mix ambient sound with the audio from the lav.

The Azden WLX-PRO Camera Mountable VHF Wireless Lava lier System is only $130 at B&H. It works great, but I know it is more susceptible to interference, so I would suggest going with a more expensive UHF system. My Azden will probably go up for sale as soon as I get around to buying something better.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 01:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Calloway
Rick and Chris thanks.

Rick,
B&H has very good prices and I have enjoyed previous purchases through them without any complaints. Thanks for giving me a heads up on the freq band for the area. I didn't even think of that. What microphone do you recommend to use with the G2 system
You'll get a lot of "use this one!" or "this mike is best!" but I've found a simple and inexpensive Sennheiser 815S does just fine for interviews and for micing up a DJ's speaker. I think you can get a 3-pack for about $100 bucks or so. If you do a google search for "Sennheiser Epack815S" you can get a really good boom pole/mic stand along with one 815S mic for about $90 total. (Comes in handy and also made to rugged specifications by Sennheiser).

The mikes are really built well too - all metal construction and the color matches the transmitter plug. I can't say enough good things about Sennheiser products or their customer support.

As far as the XLR adapter... either should do what you need (2 seperate audio channels that you can pull out or mix in post) and I hope somebody confirms this for you because I too use the adapter from "sign video".

I have a useless RODE videomic. The price is realistic and it will pick up good audio BUT... it also picks up way too much camera vibration like touching the pan handle on a tripod (mine does at least). Others here swear by them but I regret buying it.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 05:00 PM   #15
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Chris and Rick thanks a million again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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