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


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Old December 19th, 2006, 11:52 PM   #1
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best portable audio equipment

What is the best portable audio equipment for recording and mixing at a live event (a separate person just to handle audio will be required).

Or is there an equally good quality way to get audio with out the extra person?
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Old December 20th, 2006, 12:54 AM   #2
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Can you be a little bit more specific?
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Old December 20th, 2006, 01:28 AM   #3
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i use an 8 channel adat sometimes with a 1 rack unit behringer mixer.

i also have a few i-rivers. one is an h320 with RockBox installed. It works well for recording a stereo feed off a sound board. Rockbox provides level meters and some other good features for recording.

and then of course wireless mics (sennheiser g2 100) that run into either the adat setup or direct to my cameras.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 02:51 AM   #4
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The best, or the BE$T?

Hi Louis,

What do you mean by the "best"? You can certainly spend more that $2,000 for a portable mixer, twice that for a recorder, and many more for microphones if money is no object. And while I love my Sennheiser's, some would say they are low-medium end gear from a *professional* best perspective. You get the idea, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Regards, Michael
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Old December 20th, 2006, 10:48 AM   #5
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Oh sorry, I guess I did not realize how expensive it could be...

I guess I should rephrase the question:

What are you guys using to record audio, and how good is the quality?
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Old December 20th, 2006, 10:55 AM   #6
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I find that a couple Sennheiser EWg2 wireless units with extra irivers is more than enough and the quality is great when used right and lightly cleaned up in post on occasion. Would clients even notice the difference in getting higher end setup than that? I would be very interested to hear the sound out of a 'high-end' setup if anybody uses one on here and doesn't mind sharing.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 12:45 PM   #7
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thats a question I have, many people mention irivers on these forums, and I want to look into one, but when ever I search for it I only get Mp3 players?
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Old December 20th, 2006, 12:56 PM   #8
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I picked up a Zoom H4,
http://www.amazon.com/ZOOM-AUDIO-H4-...&s=electronics
Records to SD cards and has XLR inputs - I can't say I can recommend it since I only just received it and will be taking it on a wedding shoot at the end of this month, but it seems great so far.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 06:55 PM   #9
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Louis, if you search for "iRiver" in DVi you will return hundreds of results (328 to be exact)...

I still don't think you're being very specific. What kind of live event?

If you are recording a live concert you will need a very different set of tools than if you were recording a day at the races or a wedding.

What kind of budget do you have? As Michael said, the more money you have the better the gear you can purchase.

Do you plan to record direct to camera or on a separate device (DAT, Hard Drive, etc.)?

What kind of clients are you serving? Are they expecting "big" things?
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Old December 20th, 2006, 07:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hocking
Louis, if you search for "iRiver" in DVi you will return hundreds of results (328 to be exact)...

I still don't think you're being very specific. What kind of live event?

If you are recording a live concert you will need a very different set of tools than if you were recording a day at the races or a wedding.

What kind of budget do you have? As Michael said, the more money you have the better the gear you can purchase.

Do you plan to record direct to camera or on a separate device (DAT, Hard Drive, etc.)?

What kind of clients are you serving? Are they expecting "big" things?
Sorry I am completely new to this.

I will be shooting weddings and bar / bat mitzvahs. I would like to record audio to a separate device (hard drive preferably) as I am recording to camera now. I am unsure of my budget (maybe around 1500-1700 USD) The people in this area when they higher a videographer are expecting "big things", I want to give them as big as I can for as long as I am doing the events before college is over and I go into a bigger market.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 07:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis Maddalena
What is the best portable audio equipment for recording and mixing at a live event (a separate person just to handle audio will be required).

Or is there an equally good quality way to get audio with out the extra person?
Since you didn't state what kind of live event, I have no idea what will work best. It is, however, good you have an audio specialist to deal with those issues.

Still, the bottom line is that you will ultimately have to reduce whatever you record from an audio perspective to a two channel stereo audio out that is synchronized with video.

Three thoughts on audio:
1) The best quality audio always comes from the microphone that is closest to the source of the sound.
2) When that won't work, a shotgun on a boom is a really good substitute. A camera mounted shotgun is next to worthless.
3) In a closed audio system, getting a record line out from the main mixer is always a plus... even more of a plus if it goes to a stand alone audio recorder at the same time.

If you want to get better quality audio without an audio engineer on your team, try putting yourself in their place and hiring another camera person. Failing that, forget cameras for a while and learn as much as you can about audio (it is really worth the effort, by the way).

In the meantime, it is far more cost effective to hire an audio engineer (with his/her own equipment) to process the audio the way you need it processed. Face it. 70% of what you see in video is what you hear. Lose either audio or video and you have lost everything.
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Old December 21st, 2006, 04:59 PM   #12
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Hi Louis,

If you're going to be shooting bar mitzvahs, you'll be happy that you've invested in durable gear - I've heard of shooters getting their cameras knocked down and broken (ouch). So I wouldn't get flimsy audio equipment if you're going to do regular shoots over the long term. And since the Bride and Groom are on the move in a wedding, as well as the youth in the mitzvahs, you're going to need wireless gear anyway. But iRivers and similar MP3 recorders (I have a Marantz PMD 660) have their place, too - a great backup system to hide in the podium, etc as insurance if something goes awry with the wireless units (or to mix in post when it catches better sound).

Anyway, regarding the Sennheiser G2s, I recently posted some test results on my website. You'll find various setups, baseline direct connect with studio mics w/o transceiver, close range G2s with various factory mics, long distance audio using low/high frequencies with and without diversity receivers (whew):

http://www.bridgehands.com/audio

Good luck, Michael
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Old December 21st, 2006, 09:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Nistler
Hi Louis,

If you're going to be shooting bar mitzvahs, you'll be happy that you've invested in durable gear - I've heard of shooters getting their cameras knocked down and broken (ouch). So I wouldn't get flimsy audio equipment if you're going to do regular shoots over the long term. And since the Bride and Groom are on the move in a wedding, as well as the youth in the mitzvahs, you're going to need wireless gear anyway. But iRivers and similar MP3 recorders (I have a Marantz PMD 660) have their place, too - a great backup system to hide in the podium, etc as insurance if something goes awry with the wireless units (or to mix in post when it catches better sound).

Anyway, regarding the Sennheiser G2s, I recently posted some test results on my website. You'll find various setups, baseline direct connect with studio mics w/o transceiver, close range G2s with various factory mics, long distance audio using low/high frequencies with and without diversity receivers (whew):

http://www.bridgehands.com/audio

Good luck, Michael
Thanks for the link!

yeah bar mitzvahs can be quite damaging, I had one bar mitzvah were it was in an indoor pool!!! I got rather wet, and from that point on its been in my contract that the clients are responsible for damage done by party guests.
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Old December 21st, 2006, 09:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Nistler
Hi Louis,

If you're going to be shooting bar mitzvahs, you'll be happy that you've invested in durable gear - I've heard of shooters getting their cameras knocked down and broken (ouch). So I wouldn't get flimsy audio equipment if you're going to do regular shoots over the long term. And since the Bride and Groom are on the move in a wedding, as well as the youth in the mitzvahs, you're going to need wireless gear anyway. But iRivers and similar MP3 recorders (I have a Marantz PMD 660) have their place, too - a great backup system to hide in the podium, etc as insurance if something goes awry with the wireless units (or to mix in post when it catches better sound).

Anyway, regarding the Sennheiser G2s, I recently posted some test results on my website. You'll find various setups, baseline direct connect with studio mics w/o transceiver, close range G2s with various factory mics, long distance audio using low/high frequencies with and without diversity receivers (whew):

http://www.bridgehands.com/audio

Good luck, Michael
Thanks for the link!

yeah bar mitzvahs can be quite damaging, I had one bar mitzvah were it was in an indoor pool!!! I got rather wet, and from that point on its been in my contract that the clients are responsible for damage done by party guests.
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Old December 22nd, 2006, 09:09 AM   #15
 
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u can't go wrong with a Sound Devices 700 series recorder. expensive, but, in the long run, u won't regret it.
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