Best microphone for weddings at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 9th, 2006, 08:19 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Enniskillen N.Ireland
Posts: 31
Best microphone for weddings

Hi folks,

First post in this forum, have been doing weddings for three years. Was using an XL1-s. Just got a sony Z1. O.K here is my problem. I am reluctant to rely on the built in mike on the Z1. I have always been happy with he sound caaptured with the xl1's stock mike. I like the fact that it captures sound from all directions. Well for the majority of my footage anyway. I have a sennheiser mke300 mike which i have never used as I am afraid to test it out at a wedding for fear of capturing unusable sound. Anyway this mike doest not fit my new cam without an attachment (more money to spend...) so i'm thinking i will buy a new mike. I have been recommended the sennheiser me66 mike but the price is somewhat restrictive however fro research on the net etc i believe that similar reults can be obtained from an AT 897 or a rode NG1.

What I really want to know is what am i going to get from any of these shotgun mkes. The canon mike was stereo and captred sound from al directions. Wil these pik up the bride nd groom from 20 feet away like the canon does? Will i get sound that does not have ambient background noise? What will a shotgun mike capture when filming dancing during the disco or band when I am standing 20 feet away?

Any thoughts or your experience would be greatly appreciated. I live in ireland and notice that there is not too many of us irish posting on this forum. It is amazing to read some of the posts here rearding the problems etc at weddings. Even though american weddings tend to be different (outdoor shoots etc) we all seem to be up against the same problems with grumpy priests, events conspiring against us etc......
Stephen Kettyles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2006, 09:11 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 419
Stephen,

If you're shooting weddings for "pay"......audio gear is not an "option", it is a must have just as the camera you shoot with. I am surpirsed you got away without using wireless gear in three years.

You should have a wireless system (2 atleast)....and a good shotgun.

Use the (SEARCH) function within DVinfo and you will find past threads regarding just what you asked.

I suggest you not skimp on quality audio gear.....
Joe Allen Rosenberger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2006, 09:11 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Fort Myers, FL
Posts: 263
Stephen-
I find that remote mics of some kind are a neccessity for capturing a wedding. Myself, I use a dual channel Azden UHF for the two wireless mics, and 2 IRivers w/giant squid mics, which usually go on the priest/minister/rabbi/jp and the best man. Including the shotgun on camera 2 that gives me 5 audio sources for full coverage.
My 2 cents...
__________________
Vin
First Take Studios
Vincent Croce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2006, 03:20 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: northern ireland
Posts: 57
Hi Stephen, There are two more guys hear that are from n irelend, one who now lives in england. I myself live in larne.

Audio is very important, I however was fortunate to have a audio tecnica 800 series on my first wedding. I pointed it at the inhouse speaker and got every word spoken. The on cam mic of the pd 170 was useless. One reason I got good sound is the xlr jacks, no hum or hiss. I also got just the right amount of noise from the audience.

As for twenty feet away "where are you shooting from man, the back of the hall". I would suggest the sennheiser g2 100 ews for a wireless lapel mic. They are expensive but come with an added bonus the new attachment that makes all xlr mics wireless. All you do is use the receiver of the g2 100 ews and match it up. I myself intend to buy these in feb next year. By then I should be ready to open for business. The whole unit cost's 550 here and $550 in the united states.

I was thinking of buying the z1 as a second camera next year also and was wondering how you find it in dark reception area's. How do you find it on the whole also would be valuable.

Best regards

Robert
Robert Johnston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2006, 04:49 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Northern Ireland
Posts: 32
Hi Stephen

Gary here, I'm the other one Robert was talking about from Northern Ireland. I live in Banbridge. I use a sony Z1 and have bought an FX1 as second cam.

I agree with Robert that the best way to go is the sennheiser wireless system.

Regards

Gary
Gary Mckinstry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2006, 05:45 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Enniskillen N.Ireland
Posts: 31
Interesting to note some o the replies, the "shooting from 20 feet" thing is very common for me. I do a lot of church weddings and I pride myself on being unobtrusive. I position my camera well away from the bride and groom and use a fixed camera to capture close up's of their faces. The twenty feet thing refers to the exchange of rings and the vows. I never step foot on the altar duing the ceremony, I don't want the crowd looking at me and not the b&G. Therefore I find myself quite far away from them during this part. It usully works out fine because the priest/minister will use a handheld mic too let them be heard, the same applies to most of the local hotels. So you see I find that I do not need to be that close. However given that you recommend the wireless mics, from a practical point of view given the time constraints etc when do you fit the groom, test the signal etc. If I have gone to the brides house beforehand I have minimal time left when I get to the church to get tripod etc set up never mind audio etc..
Stephen Kettyles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2006, 05:57 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Durango, Colorado, USA
Posts: 711
If you can adapt the Sennheiser to mount on your Z1 I think you will be quite impressed with its quality. Just remember that a shotgun mic is no more sensitive to distant sounds than any other kind of microphone of similar quality. It has an extremely narrow pickup pattern which is focused directly ahead. It diminishes sounds from behind, which allows a decided advantage, but does not eliminate them entirely. Joe Allen's advice is extremely relevant. The best quality audio will always be from the microphone that is closest to the source. He didn't actually write that conclusion, but I read the message between the lines, as it were.

Were I you I would purchase a quality dual wireless system (Lapel type mics). You will be amazed at the improvement over the Canon mic. Go ahead and spring the extra money for an XLR wireless transmitter for one of the channels. That way you can use a lapel transmitter for the officiate/groom and place the shotgun on a floor or table stand to pick up whatever other sounds are important for the ceremony.

I have for several years used up to four wireless mics run through an audio mixer plus an iRiver for backup. I already had quite a bit of rack mounted audio equipment from my years as an audio technician, so it was a cost effective approach. A wireless camera mounted receiver system is in the plans for next year.

I don't feel worrying about mono vs stereo audio is a concern when you are shooting as most of the software editing applications allow for balencing audio in post.

Live event video always has issues because few of the participants understand the extraordinary importance of planning. My approach is to first communicate as much as possible with all involved (priests especially) regarding technical issues, then allow for twice as much set up time as I would normally expect, and to finally hope for the best, which is, did anyone really understand what I was saying?

Lastly, whatever you choose to do, take both your old equipment and your new equipment and do a series of tests. Shoot random footage in the same location and use different audio systems. Review the results and evaluate. I try to do this whenever I can because I tend to forget which mic does what (I own over 20 mics). I never cease to be amazed.

Good luck and best regards.
__________________
Waldemar
Waldemar Winkler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2006, 06:29 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 419
Stephen, I may disagree with your current audio situation but I couldnt agree with your more on your Physical position at Ceremonys.....I also shoot from a good distance, and with 4 others cams rolling too, and being 20 feet away is nothing, I've shot from much further as well and the footage looks great.

I have seen footage from videogs who shoot within a few feet of the b/g and officiant. This is extremely intrusive no matter how good the footage may look....way too close and the videog is obviously part of the show at that point.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Kettyles
Interesting to note some o the replies, the "shooting from 20 feet" thing is very common for me. I do a lot of church weddings and I pride myself on being unobtrusive. I position my camera well away from the bride and groom and use a fixed camera to capture close up's of their faces. The twenty feet thing refers to the exchange of rings and the vows. I never step foot on the altar duing the ceremony, I don't want the crowd looking at me and not the b&G. Therefore I find myself quite far away from them during this part. It usully works out fine because the priest/minister will use a handheld mic too let them be heard, the same applies to most of the local hotels. So you see I find that I do not need to be that close. However given that you recommend the wireless mics, from a practical point of view given the time constraints etc when do you fit the groom, test the signal etc. If I have gone to the brides house beforehand I have minimal time left when I get to the church to get tripod etc set up never mind audio etc..
Joe Allen Rosenberger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2006, 07:04 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Durango, Colorado, USA
Posts: 711
The "unobtrusive" idea bothers me, primarily because I have no intention of being invisible (a wall flower, if you will) at any event I work. I feel being visible is essential to the success of my business. On the other hand, the wedding I shoot is most definitely not my wedding, and I have absolutely no interest in being the focus of attention. But I do want my presense known. The issue is good judgement. One "disappears" and then "appears" when it is appropriate.

How effective I can be at performing my task as videographer is a compromise of my needs and how well those who have to interact with me understand those needs. While I have experienced few issues with church officals, I have come to regard the hotel maitre d' as the world's greatest ego maniac. In most cases the more advance "footwork" I do, the more flexibility I have when it comes time to shoot. The end result, to my client (not the priest, not the venue, not anyone else), is what I produce. And no one will, within reason, deny me the means to document the most important event in the life of two dedicated people!

Still, allowing ample time to set up equipment at the ceremony is, in my mind, the most important thing I can arrange. I need time to assess the venue and make the decisions that will not only allow for what I believe should happen, but prepare adjustments in my set-up that will quickly accomodate that which "just happened", which was in no plan. I have spent a number of years doing everyting myself. No more. Assistants are essential in event video producing. There are simply too many issues that need "on the spot" attention. I can deal with those issues, but only at the expense of concentration of what is happening in the viewfiender.

The fact is all aspects of a production need attention. That aspect which did not get attention very quckly makes itself known when it comes time to edit & produce the final project.

If, as you say, "...I have gone to the brides house beforehand I have minimal time left when I get to the church to get tripod etc set up never mind audio etc.." I feel you have not done your homework. There is no pontificating here. Try as I might, when I am in post, something always shouts at me, saying, "you overlooked this...!"

Is it obstusive or unobtrusive? Neither. It is professionally focused. You do what you need to do to get the job done, but you don't do that which conflicts your ability to get the job done.
__________________
Waldemar
Waldemar Winkler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2006, 07:54 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 419
Quote: "I have come to regard the hotel maitre d' as the world's greatest ego maniac"


Wald......so TRUE in many many cases!!!!

Not here to argue the....I'm unobtrusive.....and you are. I don't care what others do regarding the way they shoot, but when you shoot "invisibly" so to speak....you are able to get shots not possible if people know you're shooting. THat happens to be my style and my clients love it. I do not like people "breaking the wall"....ie looking into the lens, many times this gives a home movie "look".

Oh well....lets not hijack this thread anymore and stick to what this original poster needs....which is help with audio gear.

Stephen, a good idea would be to get yourself a uhf wireless mic system...the best kind for the dollars you have to spend. an iRiver is great for a back up....and not very expensive. I got an iRiver795 on ebay for 50 bucks. havent used it yet because ive been running two sennheiser ew100's and a lectrosonics system as my primary.

learn getting the best possible audio during your shoots.....audio is not secondary to most video.....it is often equally just as impotant.
Joe Allen Rosenberger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2006, 08:03 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Enniskillen N.Ireland
Posts: 31
Maybe I should post a clip of the wedding vows / exchange of rings filmed with my 2 cam setup. I use an XL1-s as the main cam and to capture sound etc. I use an XM/GL1 for the close ups. You might be surprised at the results bearing in mind that the xl1 is about 20 feet away and the XM1 about fifteen feet away hidden behind a pillar. Does anyone know how I would pload a clip and what format is best etc...
Stephen Kettyles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 12th, 2006, 04:42 AM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 95
hey Stephen, I'm the other one mentioned from N.Ireland, but now in England lol
I did my first wedding a few weeks back, one cam with a rode videomic and a sony wireless system on the groom. Good results, although I would definitely try and mic up the registrar (or whoever was doing the service) next time. She was very softly spoken and with the disadvantage of being about 4 feet further away. Even so, I ended up not really using any of the sound from the videomic, it just added echo and some noise to what was an acceptable recording from the wireless. I don't think I would rely on a shotgun mic for any future weddings except for when there is no alternative, i.e. roving about outdoors and doing quick interviews with some guests
As for encoding a clip, try Windows Media 9 (WMV), or even Flash video if you want it embedded in a web page. One thing I found was that encoding from a large high quality file straight down to a 320x240 clip in one go really limited how small I could get the file while retaining good quality. Encode to DVD dimensions and quality Mpeg2 file first, then encode that to a WMV or whatever. The extra stage got me from ending up with a 20-30Mb file to just over 10Mb.
Damian Clarke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 12th, 2006, 05:14 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Posts: 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Johnston
.........The whole unit cost's 550 here and $550 in the united states..........
Don't be tempted to buy cheap from USA, the gear will have the wrong frequencies set in it, and be illegal to use in UK.

US versions will work in UK, but you run the real risk of (at best) interference and (at worst) heavy fines if caught.
__________________
Martin at HeadSpin HD on Blu-ray
Martin Mayer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 12th, 2006, 06:59 AM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: northern ireland
Posts: 57
Thats true martin, i was just comparing prices. After you pay the tax for imports it will come close to the uk price anyway. Buying electrical goods is always better bought at home for the reasons mentioned. I should of mentioned this in my last post, sorry. For non electrical equipement you may safe money but always remember the 30% import tax.
Robert Johnston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 13th, 2006, 12:55 PM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Denver, Colorado USA
Posts: 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Kettyles
Hi folks,

I have a sennheiser mke300 mike which i have never used as I am afraid to test it out at a wedding for fear of capturing unusable sound.
One word for any kind of shotgun mic in this biz... "worthless" IMO.

A wireless mic (or eqivalent) is a must.

The only time I ever use a shotgun is maybe during the cake cutting. Even then I'm 6 or 7 foot away and the audio is questionable.
Rick Steele is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:51 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network