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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old June 29th, 2006, 06:41 PM   #1
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Wedding Audio Question

I've only shot one wedding and my equipment has changed drastically since then. My next wedding is July 28. I'm having trouble figuring out the best way to get audio with my equipment.

I haven't been to the church yet, but I know they have a PA system.

I have two VX2100s with BeachTech XLR Adaptors.
2 Senn G2 Wireless Mics
2 Rode Video Mics
1 Edirol R-09 recorder
1 AT3031 Mic with mic stand
1 ART ProMix three channel mixer/phantom power supply unit.

Do I try to use them all plus capture the Chuch's PA system through XLR.

I want to do a good job the first time, but I'm also thinking I want to play it safe and have back up audio of the vows.

I also want to get the sound of the church itself and not miss out on instrumentals such as piano.

If I can mic the pastor as well as the groom, would you guys transmit both wireless signals to one camera (filling up the Beachtec's two channels) or would you transmit one signal to each camera?

I experimented with the Rode Video Mic going to the R-09 and it sounded fantastic. I think that combination would make a great back up of the vows in case I mess up on the wirless.

I'm also wondering what will happen if I try to hook into the church's PA. Do you guys find that works on most occassions. I'd hate to send it to the Beach and corrupt Wirless audio. I know the Beach is supposed to give two distinct channels but I alwasy find that they bleed into each other.

Any way, I'd love to hear how you all do it.

Thanks,
Scott
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Old June 29th, 2006, 06:51 PM   #2
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Wedding Audio Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Routt
I've only shot one wedding and my equipment has

Any way, I'd love to hear how you all do it.

Thanks,
Scott
I just finished a wedding event last week. For audio, I tapped into the church sound board using a minidisc.

On the groom, I placed a Giant Squid microphone with a Sharp Minidisc onto the groom.

The Pastor had a Giant Squid mic with iRiver 795.

I had the another minidisc with mic for ambient church sound.
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Old June 29th, 2006, 07:30 PM   #3
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Thanks James, if anything, you just reminded me that I also have two irivers with giant squids. I would feel good about getting an RCA out from the sound board to one iRiver.

That would leave The R-09 recorder and a Rode Video Mic up on the alter as a second back-up.

I could hook both G2 Wireless transmitters up one camera for the 1st choice audio vows. And put the ohter Rode Video Mic on the second camera and pick up the other sounds.

****

What about reception? I heard some people use the wireless infront of the DJ's speakers so it goes direct to the camera without the distorted peaks that come from the DJ yelling in his mic.

Thanks,
Scott
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Old June 29th, 2006, 07:49 PM   #4
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Wedding Audio

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Originally Posted by Scott Routt

What about reception? I heard some people use the wireless infront of the DJ's speakers so it goes direct to the camera without the distorted peaks that come from the DJ yelling in his mic.

Thanks,
Scott
Actually, it's a hit and miss situation. Last week's event, I got lucky. I used the same groom minidisc to catch great audio of all the speeches. I asked the DJ if I can tap in. I have the Sharp MT200 minidisc. I plugged my 1/8" cable with RCA male plugs into his system. I tweaked the mic input on my minidisc and he on his soundboard so I got great sounds. ( no distortion)

Sometimes, I use a pre-amp from connected to minidisc line input in order to minimize distortion. The pre-amp is connected to a mic. The mic near the speakers. It's ok but it is better than nothing. I got the pre-am from http://www.visivoxtechnologies.com/products.htm

I use the on camera mike to ambient sound.
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Old June 29th, 2006, 11:15 PM   #5
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Scott,

Nice setup.....I think here in the near future I am going to get a VX2100 incase I need it for a low light situation.

I am in the same boat as my first one is coming up here in about 6 weeks so I am trying to learn all I can before this comes around.

I just bought

2 - Canon GL2
1 - Senny G2 Wireless
1 - Varizoom Stealth
1 - MA-300 XLR adapter
1 - Varizoom Flowpod
1 - iRiver 899 1gb w/ Giant Squid
1 - Canon 3w light
1 - Rode VideoMic

A few filters, Hard cases, Batteries, and lots of goodies for my computer.

When I have something to share with everyone I'll be sure to do so...as I could use all the help I can get.

This site is awesome tho and I am glad I found it.

Good luck to you on your first wedding....

Nathan
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Old June 30th, 2006, 09:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
I know the Beach is supposed to give two distinct channels but I alwasy find that they bleed into each other.
The audio on the VX's will run hot. Make sure you manually turn the gain down to about "half".

Other things off the top of my head:

I have recorded using two wireless inputs through my XLR adapter on one cam with no problems. But if you have 2 cams I woudn't put all my eggs in one basket. 1 lav on the groom, the other on the officiant if he'll allow it.

The G2's have a "scan" feature on the receiver. Use this for each Senn but make sure the church's system is fired up "first".

Don't know how close you can get to the B&G but unless you can see the grooms nose hair the RODE (or any shotgun) is useless IMO.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 09:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan James
I think here in the near future I am going to get a VX2100 incase I need it for a low light situation.
"In case?"

No doubt about it... that GL2 with a 3 watt light won't cut it at a typical reception/dance. You can buy a lot of wattage for the price of a VX. (And us VX users need light too - just not as much).
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Old June 30th, 2006, 11:11 AM   #8
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Rick,

Yeah I know the 3w light wont do much.....but i bought just to see what it would do......I think Bescor makes a 50/100w model with barn doors that i could get that i could also bounce off the ceiling or something.

The last 2 people I have spoken with regarding the low light capabilites of the GL2 said not to worry about it at all....(they both use the GL2 sucessfully for weddings)....

I know the PD170 and VX2100 are a better low light camera but I couldnt pass up the price of the GL2...

What would you suggest for lighting?

Nathan
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Old June 30th, 2006, 12:31 PM   #9
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The Bescor unit will work. I was just commenting on the 3 watts which isn't enough for even my VX's.

I'm finding that candle light recpetion venues are becoming more and more common. 20 watts without a soft box gets me by at about 8-10 feet. For the VX the wattage is low enough so I can use regular cam batteries to power it and nothing proprietary, another reason why a low lux cam is nice.

The GL2's will do just fine. 50/100 watts at a reception when everybody is drunk and stupid is no problem. The guests can make shadow puppets too.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 02:26 PM   #10
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I will look into some more lighting...which I figured I would need anyway.....but I just spent $8,000.00 dollars yesterday and I couldnt bring myself to keep adding to "My Cart".......

The 400+ weddings we have done Photography for we have yet to run into a candle light reception or wedding.....(guess were are lucky....:) )

Although we did do a reception at a Historical orchard that had only one old time light hanging on the outside of the barn.....We were all in the dark...DJ had no lights...no candles...just dark....Kinda strange.....but you never can tell what will happen at a wedding.

I think I will probably go with the Bescor light...
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Old June 30th, 2006, 06:51 PM   #11
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In my experience with the SONY 2100's their audio recording system lacks the low frequencies to give a full sound quality. I compare to Canon cameras (which I own), which capture a much wider range of audio. I mention this only because each brand has a value that needs to identified and used to the project's best advantage.

Personally, I would record audio on several mediums. Church audio systems are nortorious for their horrible quality, which is almost exclusively due to the house sound person and not the equipment. If you have to use house sond, take a "Record Out" feed from the house mixer. this is a high impedance audio send that is not significantly affected by anything the house sound technician (idiot) does with the board. To feed this signal into a Beachtek or similar XLR mixer use two use the following approach:
A) RCA male to 1/4" female adapter.
B) Short 1/4" male to 1/4" male patch cable.
C) Direct box, usually a passive device that converts high impedance audi signals to low impedance mic level signals. They can range from
$8.00US at Radio Shack for an inline adapter to around $130 for a ProCo specialized box with all kinds of connections.
D) From thjis point you should be able to run a XLR mic cable directly to either your Beachtek (mine is Signvideo) or other audio mixer. If you run into a connection problem, simply get an appropriate "gender mender" to insure a matched audio connection at the camera end.

Having made this connection, you could still face some other issues of audio coverage, so backups on as varied recording devices as are available to you would be to your advantage.

Personally, I have had it with other peoples sound equipment, and will only use their gear if I do not have any other way out. Most of the time, it is not the gear, just massive operator error. My approach is to feed all audio signals I use (four wireless mics and one or two ambient mics) into an audio mixer sitting next to the one camera that is always fixed to a tripod. The mics I need to hear are fed to the camera from the mixer. The others are either off or at low level...ready at a moments need. Other cameras record ambient or RF audio as is appropriate.

Important note in my experience: Use the microphones you have available to you to their best advantage. The best quality audio will always belong to the microphone that is placed closest to the sound source. The cheapest microphone available will, if correctly placed, always out perform the most expensive microphone available if that expensive mic is placed a significant distance away from the sound source.

In regards to audio channels bleeding int one another:
I do not use Beachtek, but as far as my camera is concerned, left is Left Channel and Right is right channel, and never shall they meet.
However:
A mixed audio feed will always have a little of left and right channels on both camera audio channels based upon the mixer's pan control.

If Final Cut Pro is similar to other NLE's in regards to handling audio, they always default to an equal mix of incoming audio channels. So, be sure you know where to place the blame if you have unwanted mixed audio.
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Old July 1st, 2006, 07:26 AM   #12
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VX hot audio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Steele
The audio on the VX's will run hot. Make sure you manually turn the gain down to about "half".
Rick, by this do you mean that the manual audio on the VX needs to be needled at the halfway point? Or are you talking about the volume level knobs on the Beach?

I am confused by the terms: "gain", "level", "volume".

-Scott
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Old July 1st, 2006, 07:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldemar Winkler

If you have to use house sound, take a "Record Out" feed from the house mixer. this is a high impedance audio send that is not significantly affected by anything the house sound technician (idiot) does with the board. To feed this signal into a Beachtek or similar XLR mixer use two use the following approach:
A) RCA male to 1/4" female adapter.
B) Short 1/4" male to 1/4" male patch cable.
C) Direct box, usually a passive device that converts high impedance audi signals to low impedance mic level signals.
D) From thjis point you should be able to run a XLR mic cable directly to either your Beachtek (mine is Signvideo) or other audio mixer.



In regards to audio channels bleeding int one another:
I do not use Beachtek, but as far as my camera is concerned, left is Left Channel and Right is right channel, and never shall they meet.
However:
A mixed audio feed will always have a little of left and right channels on both camera audio channels based upon the mixer's pan control.

If Final Cut Pro is similar to other NLE's in regards to handling audio, they always default to an equal mix of incoming audio channels. So, be sure you know where to place the blame if you have unwanted mixed audio.

Thanks Waldermar. That's getting me thinking in a more productive direction but causes more questions as a side effect.

I'm just starting to realize that there is a difference between "Mic" and "Line" levels and that line is hotter than Mic. I also understand the VX2100 only accepts Mic level, which is why I don't hear any thing when I set it to "Line" and try to use the Beach at "line".

In the past, I've used the RCA record outs on the soundboard and went directly to the camera using XLR at the end without using a direct box (even though I have one). It seems OK. But you're saying a direct box in the middle of the board and the camera's Beach will give me better results?

So what is this level coming out of the RCA Record Outs? Is it Mic or Line Level?

As far as the Beach bleeding audio is concerned, I have recently changed from FCP3 to FCP5. I remember experiencing a slight problem in FCP3 even when I captured using Channel 1 and Channel 2 versus Sterio. I looked at FCP5 this morning and its capture settings are different, so I'll try that again.

You seem to think FCP is directly responsible for my audio bleed from the Beach. I can think that way too and look closer at FCP next time. However, is it possible for the VX2100 to contribute to the bleeding in any way? I'm using manual audio. I usually have it set at three quarters. I now think I'm supposed to have it set at halfway (even though it doesn't sound loud enough when I monitor it through the head phones and I don't get signals bouncing three quarters past the monitor gauge).

And is it possible for the Beach itself to contribute to the bleed because of the channel volume knobs? I know that when I have a microphone plugged into the left channel with nothing in the right channel (and the right channel switched to line), I still hear increased volume in my headphones when I turn the volume up on the empty right channel knob of the Beach.

-Thanks,
Scott
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Old July 1st, 2006, 05:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Routt
Rick, by this do you mean that the manual audio on the VX needs to be needled at the halfway point? Or are you talking about the volume level knobs on the Beach?

I am confused by the terms: "gain", "level", "volume".

-Scott
The former. Access the audio gain for the VX via the menu. A volume graph will appear on the LCD. Crank the thumb wheel down until the graph shows about half. Youll need to do this each time the VX is powered on.

Then use the Beachtek to fine tune the incoming source.

Always best to record a tad lower than what you need to suppress the highs. You can always bring it up in post.
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