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


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Old February 16th, 2007, 12:08 PM   #1
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Looking for back-up wedding recorder

Looking for a back-up/additional audio recorder for weddings to add to my 2 wireless mic's. I will be using this for the readers, music playing before the ceremony and to plug into the DJ's mixer. Also, will want to use this recorder when I attend wedding workshops and seminar training sessions. I was thinking on the lines of a CF, SD card recorder. The Edirol R-09, Zoom H4, or the Maranta PMD660. I have a Sony PD-170. Any thoughts? What is everybody else using? Is there something better? Thanks for any advice you can give me.
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Old February 16th, 2007, 06:23 PM   #2
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"Also, will want to use this recorder when I attend wedding workshops and seminar training sessions"
I'd ask for permission before doing that...
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Old February 16th, 2007, 07:40 PM   #3
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I already have permission to record, that's one of the reasons I'm looking for the audio recorder. Do you have any good advice on the audio recorders? Thanks in advance.
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Old February 16th, 2007, 07:57 PM   #4
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irivers and giant squids are popular amongst site users here.. as for permission, if your going to a video training seminar or some such, i honestly doubt theyd want u to record their theories.. then again, it depends on which ones youre going to i guess..

i know i dont allow recordings at my seminars, because im representing a parent company/distributor and if they want to sell these or use my material for a publication, they have every right to earn a profit with that, considering how much i earn from them...
Theres also teh fact that they bring in the clients, they do the marketing, they set up the rooms and projectors, all i do is go in and speak.. they should be entitled to a profit.. sorryu im jsut rambling coz im tired..
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Old February 16th, 2007, 09:03 PM   #5
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Recorder of choice

Hi Al,

Sorry your thread is getting a bit side-tracked regarding permission issues. Anyway, back on topic the Edirol, Zoom, and Marantz are all popular for weddings and other events. IMHO the tradeoffs are mostly price and ruggedness. If you treat your equipment with TLC, you'll do fine on a less expensive unit for a year or two. Certainly they all provide a quality recording, just be sure your favorite has the feature/functionality you require and meets your useability needs.

And for what it's worth, I own the PMD 660.

Good luck, Michael
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Old February 16th, 2007, 11:40 PM   #6
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Michael, Thanks for the response. I have a few questions for you if you wouldn't mind answering. I'm getting ready to purchase in the next day or so. What is the largest CF memory card that the PMD 660 will take? Have you recorded directly from a DJ mixer? Also, what is a good external mic to use? Sorry for all the questions. Thanks alot!!
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Old February 17th, 2007, 07:17 PM   #7
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Inquiring minds must know...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Kozak
Michael, Thanks for the response. I have a few questions for you if you wouldn't mind answering. I'm getting ready to purchase in the next day or so. What is the largest CF memory card that the PMD 660 will take? Have you recorded directly from a DJ mixer? Also, what is a good external mic to use? Sorry for all the questions. Thanks alot!!
Rehi Al,

Ah, let's see what's in my bag - looks like several 2GB and a 4GB CFs floating around (seems like I got them from Costco online). With some CFs the R/W access speed and number of writes for CF life is important, but not so for our application. And for a wedding, 4GB should be plenty big enough. At 128kbps MP3, that's 70 hours! And even if you want lossless PCM stereo 48kbs, you'll get 6 hours.

I'd be reluctant to use the DJ's mixer unless I *really* trusted him/her - too many chances for a faux-paux (even though I do have a full assortment of pads, transformers, cable adapters, etc). For instance, on my mixer it's very easy to bump a button like the PFU/solo or 2TK to Mix which reroutes the channels through the mixer - the DJ may be all well and happy since everything sounds good on the loadspeakers, but the wedding guy is hosed. I was watching national TV (Book TV on the weekend) and saw where the audio guy got caught with his "pants down" on this issue; he had everything working fine until Q&A time - apparently his aux channel on the mixer didn't include the mix input channel from the audience's wireless mix. After a few minutes, the audio came back (I'm sure he scurried to get a mic in front of the house speaker). So I vote for hanging your mic in front of DJ speaker.

If money is no object, a high-end dynamic like the Heil PR40 is a great broadcast mic with drum mic insensitivity to take the hefty amplitude in front of a powerful speaker (I have some Mackie 450s myself). FYI - In another forum, one of the outspoken-types chided the propogation characteristics (interference concerns) of the Sennheiser G2 Evolution so I did several tests with the results posted online. One of the tests was with the Heil PR-40 if you care to hear the tone (BTW, the Octava MK012A is a great condenser mic but not suitable for the rough-housing of a wedding videographer) - here's the private link:

http://www.bridgehands.com/audio

But if you simply got a workhourse like the tried-and-true Shure SM58 (that doubles to pound nails in a 2x4), you'd still get okay sound. And if you're a "belt and suspenders" kinda-guy, get a XLR splitter and route the signal to both your MP3 recorder by the speaker as well as your transceiver with a second recording on your camera (via receiver). IMHO, it's a no-no not to monitor audio recording and a wedding videographer has other things to do at the reception besides baby-sitting an MP3 recorder with a headset or earbuds. Others may consider this an overkill - forgive me, coming from a commercial environment where 99.999 percent reliability was required, I'm a bit brainwashed.

Good luck, Michael

Last edited by Michael Nistler; February 17th, 2007 at 09:02 PM.
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Old February 17th, 2007, 09:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
And if you're a "belt and suspenders" kinda-guy, get a XLR splitter and route the signal to both your MP3 recorder by the speaker as well as your transceiver with a second recording on your camera (via receiver).
I will do this with a high compression Senn e604 drum mic mounted in front of a speaker and also split to a simple iRiver (EXT MIC SETTING, LINE LEVEL = 45-55).

I don't know of any other mic in that price range ($120) that can withstand that kind of pressure mounted 4 inches from the speaker. It's great for speeches/toasts and with some work in post the music can be usable. Very handy for those hard to find cultural tunes you can't get anywhere.

And back to Al...

The Zoom H4 is getting great reviews. I don't own one yet but have done a lot of research and it will be my next purchase. I'll use it for live music recording... 2 mics, 2 seperate tracks - create my own stereo mix.

And I also wanted to point out there are other factors involved in reception audio other than the greatest equipment. I know wedding videographers that do all kinds of things to get their audio including running feeds to 4 channel mixers, showing up early to work things out with the DJ, etc. But I shoot alone for the most part and don't have time for this. I get 5-7 minutes tops and only if I'm lucky enough to beat the B&G to the venue.

I have just enough time to:

1.) Split a headphone jack with the DJ with a Senn G2 Butt plug. Yeah, it'd be nice to tap into a RECORD OUT, MASTER OUT, BOOTH OUT... but half the time these guys don't know anything about this and I don't have time to see if their PA is fed into the main mix or ask them to tweak the volume for me. But amazingly enough, They ALL seem to know where the headphone jack is. :)

And also...

2.) I set up my e604/iRiver in front of a speaker as discussed above. This is my dual redundant backup. I won't ever put my trust in a DJ again.

I'm just saying, you'll need to find an audio setup that meshes with your time constraints as well. And when you start stringing mics around the joint bring lots of duct tape and allow your self some time on your knees.
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Old February 17th, 2007, 11:11 PM   #9
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Rick, what kind of wires or setup do you use to connect the Senn to the Iriver?
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Old February 18th, 2007, 11:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Zlamany
Rick, what kind of wires or setup do you use to connect the Senn to the Iriver?
It's just one of these...

This is a lot of 50 for sale but you can buy them each for about 2 bucks. (couldn't find that link though). The pic is right though.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Lot-50-2M-1F-Ste...ayphotohosting

On my next shoot I'm going to use this same splitter to attach an iRiver to the Senn body pack and put them both on the groom. I want a backup in place for the vows as well.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 12:33 PM   #11
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Richard, I have used the IRivers, M-Audio Microtrack, and currently use a Zoom H4 and Edirol R09. The model of IRivers that you would need (mic in) are the IFP700/800 series units. But they no longer make them and the ones they are hard to come by now. The Microtrack had too many issue, most of all being battery run times, as they use a built in lithium battery that sucks.

The H4 is great for certain situations, most of all using teh built in XLR 1/4 inputs with true phantom power to patch into a soundboard and/or run 1/2 mono mics in the unit as well. Battery time is alright, not great using 2 AA lithium batteries.

Even though the H4 is $100 cheaper than the R09. the R09 is the best bang for the buck for event videographers. The separate 1/8 mic and line inputs are fairly quiet for unbalanced. Most all of teh controls you will need are on the outside of the unit, not menu driven like H4. The built in stereo mics are pretty good for capturing vocals (like speeches). And you can now record to a 4GB SD card with the latest firmware. Battery time is also excellent with 2A's. It is much smaller than the H4 so you can use it with a lav mic on a person (H4 can only take XLR input, thus no lav mic). I normally use my R09 either on a person or on a podium for speeches along with wireless. The R09 works great with either a high pressure drum mic like the E604, but even better with a stereo AT822 (battery powered) mic. I noarmally mount it on a mic stand with the AT822 as well as a wireless handheld that goes to my camera. There are no power cables needed and as such I can pickup and move it where ever I wish as a moments notice. It takes me 5-10 minutes tops to setup and do a quick sound check.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 03:33 PM   #12
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Give me everything!

Richard,

OMG, we can never have enough cables and adapters. Clerk, please give me 20 each of these...

http://www.hosatech.com/hosa/products/adaptors.html

http://www.hosatech.com/hosa/site_index_C.html

Oh yeah, get me a handful of every Male-Male and Female-Female connector, transformer type, and adjustable pad attenuators, too! (no one said this was going to be a cheap biz!)

Regards, Michael
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Old February 18th, 2007, 06:30 PM   #13
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Thank you everyone. This forum and everyone here is amazingly helpful.

One thing I've never been able to find is a female mini-XLR to female XLR adapter. Has anyone ever seen one?
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Old February 19th, 2007, 07:13 PM   #14
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Rick, What wires do you use to split a headphone jack with the DJ? Also, What is a Senn G2 Butt plug? A Transmitter?? Thanks!!
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Old February 20th, 2007, 08:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Kozak
Rick, What wires do you use to split a headphone jack with the DJ? Also, What is a Senn G2 Butt plug? A Transmitter?? Thanks!!
Here you go:

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

Yes, the Butt Plug is a transmitter and part of this setup:

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

It's intended to mount to a handheld mic for wireless operations but you can also have it feed off the DJ's board. You'll need a 1/4" male to XLR male cable to attach it to the splitter above.

I'd also recommend one of these to cut down on the sound levels for those DJ's that insist on waking the dead:

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