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


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Old October 10th, 2006, 11:19 AM   #1
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Do you "tap the board" or go with boom mic?

When you shoot a wedding, or god help you a Mitzvah, do you tap into the board, or use your on camera mic?


I tap into the board. I use a 2 mic wireless kit. I use the one unit on the board tapped into the "matrix" port off of the board, and when I am going to do an interview I turn that off and use a handheld.

I found that doing that, and using the shotgun at the same time gives me perfect music, and DJ, and the shotgun gives me the crowd noise.

What do you do?
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Old October 10th, 2006, 11:59 AM   #2
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It's tough to say "What I'd do", since pretty much every wedding is different. IF the venue has a decent sound system, and IF they're going to be putting mics on everyone anyways, then yeah, I'll tap the board. For receptions, I usually use your method. (Tap the board, handheld, etc)

Sometimes, you don't have that option, though. I've run receptions with really crummy sound systems. Then you have to improvise. I ran one that didn't have a sound system period, just a band. For that one, I put boundary mics on a couple of the tables, and hung a nice omni mic from a tree where the speeches and toasts were supposed to happen.
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Old October 10th, 2006, 03:56 PM   #3
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I use four wireless mics. These are rack mounted, attached to a huge light stand, and the outputs routed to a 4 channel audio mixer. The audio mixer main out feeds to my primary camera (tripod mounted). The mixer's secondary feed usually goes to the DJ's input #4 and then fed to a PA system. I place an iRiver on the Dj's Record Out.

Camera 2 records audio off it's built-in mic.

At least, that is the way it went the last time. I really like using an external audio mixer because of the flexibility it offers. The rack mounted wireless systems are a carry over from an audio visual equipment rental business I was operating as well. The rack system approach made fora a more flexible inventory at the time. I'll probably be phasing them out in favor of camera mounted wireless systems in the near future.

Once past the ceremony I strictly use on camera mics. Of course, everything always seem to be in a state of evolution.
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Old October 10th, 2006, 05:00 PM   #4
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I use a combination approach. At the ceremony I pull a feed whenever possible to a channel on one of the cameras. Other channels have on camera audio and I mix it later in post. The on-camera audio is really just a backup in case everything else fails. I'll mic up any area that a person will be speaking.

At the ceremony I try to have a clean source of my own from all the speakers and musicians. I don't pull off a musical groups feed because it has a tendancy to sound terrible when coming in clean. It almost always sounds better with an ambient mic in the proper position by the person performing.

At the reception, I place a wireless mic in front of a dj speaker and that captures the dj's mix plus a little room ambiance. If I need more I mix in the on camera mic that I have running to the other channel.

I just got tired of djs with quirky feeds, no idea how to provide a feed, asking if I was going to mess up their board, etc. So now I just put a mic in front of their speaker and send it to the camera on one of the channels.
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Old October 10th, 2006, 07:20 PM   #5
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I used to "tap" the sound system but I now "mic" one of the speakers from the DJ's or Bands sound system.
I use a Sure SM58 w/ a sennheiser wireless module that plugs into the XLR of the mic.....I run a mic stand in front of the speaker with the mic/wireless plug, setting the sensitivity to -10 or -20db on the senn.

This way has worked out great.....and i hardly notice a difference in sound quality vs tapping the board.

WHat I also like about doing it this way is I do not have to ask the DJ or band if its ok to "tap" their system.....many of them have no clue about their own gear....and I do not wish to teach them when I am in a rush.

The band or DJ have always had a wireless mic for toasts/speeches so whatever is being said....I get it through my mic at the speakers.

Other than that....I do not care about micing the music.....I NEVER use the music that is being played "live" or via DJ.....I never count on that audio source for music.....ONLY for speeches.
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Old October 10th, 2006, 08:18 PM   #6
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Those are some different options.

I have been tapping into the board to recieve the dj and audio during the reception for a long time, I just got so tired of trying to fix crummy audio in post, that I went that way.
Ceremonies are different, there is hardly ever a time when the BG are wired into any board, so I mic all 3 BG and Pastor, and run camera mic for any crowd.

Sometimes the BG will let me leave the lapels on them for the duration of the reception, I have recorded some of the funniest stuff when that happens.
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Old October 10th, 2006, 08:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Allen Rosenberger
I used to "tap" the sound system but I now "mic" one of the speakers from the DJ's or Bands sound system.
I use a Sure SM58 w/ a sennheiser wireless module that plugs into the XLR of the mic.....I run a mic stand in front of the speaker with the mic/wireless plug, setting the sensitivity to -10 or -20db on the senn.

So Joe, I have to mic a live band this weekend. I'm thinking of using one of my SM58's attached to an iRiver at about an input volume level of 35. does this fall within your experience of "somewhat different" situations? Most of the time I have DJ's, so a lne feed is OK. I won't meet the band until showtime, so I don't know if I can access a line out feed. Do you think I am in the "ballpark, as it were.

Bear in mind that, according to schedule, I've got about 45 minutes to refine my audio settings.
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Old October 10th, 2006, 08:51 PM   #8
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When possible tap the board...clean feed is always the best. Sometimes, the engineer/dj won't let you though, then you make do.
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Old October 10th, 2006, 08:53 PM   #9
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Wald....I'm not sure for your situation. I just got myself an iRiver but havent played with it yet.

If I were in similar scenario....and if I couldnt get a tap feed off the board. I would mic ea. side of speakers with 58's...but they wouldnt be going to iRivers, they would go to cams and I shoot receptions w/ 2 manned cams. se ea. of us would be micing each side speakers.

If i need "qulity" sound froma live band....Id do my best to get a feed off the board and set the sensitivity at -20.

Sorry I cant help regarding the iRiver.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldemar Winkler
So Joe, I have to mic a live band this weekend. I'm thinking of using one of my SM58's attached to an iRiver at about an input volume level of 35. does this fall within your experience of "somewhat different" situations? Most of the time I have DJ's, so a lne feed is OK. I won't meet the band until showtime, so I don't know if I can access a line out feed. Do you think I am in the "ballpark, as it were.

Bear in mind that, according to schedule, I've got about 45 minutes to refine my audio settings.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 06:17 PM   #10
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I used to do what Wal does.. tap in and run seperate mixer etc etc...

but with that, it bought on more problems than what it was worth. Many a time the DJ or board "controller" <if its through a venue PA> wouldnt have a clue about the gear

now though, if i work with a DJ who i know, i run cam 2's input straight into their outputs.

If i dont know them, ill have a chat and work out their systems. If i cna i'll tap in, but only from their record out line as i dont want their EQ <set for the PA> to bleed into my recording <id rather tweak it in post as opposed to risking blowing out the sound due to misaligned EQ settings>.

Second cam is then running shotgun or omni stereo <onboard> surprisingly, the DVX mics can handle piles of pressure, so its not an issue.

This is teh fastst and easiest way to go

for ceremonies, i run shotgun and omni through the fixed cam, wireless mic on groom and then shotgun from centre aisle

havent had an issue, and i dont hav to rely on others for my sound.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 04:25 PM   #11
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We use 6 audio sources during the ceremony:
- 1 iRiver for the officiant
- 1 iRiver for the groom
- 1 iRiver for readers
- 1 iRiver for music (string quartet, harp, etc...)
- 2 stock camcorder mics (ambient sound)

We use 3 audio sources during the reception:
- 1 iRiver placed in front of the DJ or house system's speakers (used for capturing speeches only)
- 2 stock camcorder mics (DJ should be blasting music loud enough for these mics to pick up. It'll be blown out on the iRiver, but we don't use it for the music anyways)

We used to hook up to DJ's or House system directly, however, on multiple occassions during the ceremony and reception, the audio kept cutting in and out especially for outdoor ceremonies. On the videos we do now, we have perfect audio no matter if their system failed or not. I wouldn't depend on the DJ or house system fo such an important piece of the video.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 06:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Allen Rosenberger
Wald....I'm not sure for your situation. I just got myself an iRiver but havent played with it yet.

If I were in similar scenario....and if I couldnt get a tap feed off the board. I would mic ea. side of speakers with 58's...but they wouldnt be going to iRivers, they would go to cams and I shoot receptions w/ 2 manned cams. se ea. of us would be micing each side speakers.

If i need "qulity" sound froma live band....Id do my best to get a feed off the board and set the sensitivity at -20.

Sorry I cant help regarding the iRiver.
Well Joe, I think you find the iRiver menu structure maddening. Clearly, the person who wrote that software had no experience with recording live events. Still, that little box does wonders. I just purchased an XLR to Mini-plug stereo adapter (Made by Griffen for their USB line/mic adapter for iBooks), and it works great with the iRiver. I'll probably use that with a 58 in front of one of the mains if I can't get a line feed from the main mixer. too bad I don't own a 57 or a good drum mic.

Ufortunately, my wireless systems are not mobile.

iRivers don't give you db sensitivity. You just have to play with the volume levels. I'm guessing a level between 30 and 35 should work.
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