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


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Old May 29th, 2007, 06:48 PM   #1
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question, i need some quick advice

Hi there,
So I came across a thought, and I figured I go ahead and get this question out of the way.

I recieved my iriver 895 today, and I was thinking about the first wedding i will be shooting coming up in july..

Heres my question... At what point do I mic up the bridge/groom? (and which one do you recommend I mic?) Do I mic him up when he's getting ready?

Second question.. At what point do I press record.. Can I rely on him to remember to press record before he begins walking up the aisle? I feel as if he would have alot more on his mind and would forget.. So this is the big question that i would like advice for...

Lastly... and what point do I get mic off of him? He's going to be walking back down the aisle with his new wife, and jumping into a limo, Do i stop him before he jumps in, so I can get it back?
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Old May 29th, 2007, 07:05 PM   #2
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Typically I'll mic up the groom at the church several minutes before the processional. I hit record and lock it at the same time I place it on the groom. The 895 (depending on quality you have it set to record) can go for SEVERAL hours so I wouldn't worry about setting up the groom with it recording as early as possible.

I typically remove the mic from the groom after the recieving line or right before the photosession following the ceremony.

The mic I use on all my iRivers is an inexpensive Azden 503 lapel mic.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 10:16 PM   #3
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Yep, mic the groom. Most brides don't want to wear a mic plus most of them are black (I know Countryman has white ones) AND it's a case of where to put the bodypak. It really doesn't go well hooked to the back of the dress or hooked to underwear. ;-()

With the iRivers mic the groom about 15 or 20 minutes before the ceremony starts hit record, lock it and go! Since the ceremony shouldn't be longer than an hour (Catholic Mass ceremony) you'll be fine.

Don
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Old May 30th, 2007, 09:54 AM   #4
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All the above, PLUS, I wait until the photographer is finished with his/her formal photos. (usually 10 to 15 minutes before the ceremony)
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Old May 30th, 2007, 01:24 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tips.. I wasn't sure if I had to worry about how long it would be recording, I don't know very much about mb's etc.. I know it has 512mb.. but I don't know "technically" how long that can record for.

Another question then.. I'm not sure how this wedding is going to go, but if they do the "best man" speaches or what not.. should I mic them up as well? I probably won't, because the bride really only cares about the vows, but for future reference, what other things do you guys use your irivers (or other audio recording equipment) for?

Oh, and where do you keep your equipment? (camera bag, tripod bag, etc) .. while you're busy filming? I want to make sure it's out of the way, but safe.

Thanks so much!
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Old May 30th, 2007, 03:09 PM   #6
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Here in Hawaii, things are a bit different for the reception, but the ceremony is similar to the rest of the country. I always mic the groom as I would probably get arrested if I tried to mic the bride. Actually, the groom is a better choice not only for ease of installation, but because he is usually taller. When the couple are facing each other, the bride is speaking almost right into the mic. Assuming you got a decent omni mic for the Iriver, it should pick up functional audio from up to about six feet away if there isn't too much background noise. You might even get reach out to where the parents are standing if conditions are right. Sometimes the celebrant asks who gives away the bride and I can get the parents if they speak clearly and aren't too far away.

Here the reception may be a bit different. We don't use the DJ as the MC for the whole night. There is almost always a podium set up at the side of the head table where all the speeches are given. That makes things easy as all I need to do is put the wireless mic on the podium. I coil it's cable around the podium's mic stand and use a bit of gaffer tape to hold the lav to the room mic. I almost never need to vary from this setup. If the groom gives me grief over wearing a mic, I tell him it is just for the ceremony and hint at how angry his wife would be if the audio doesn't sound good if he continues to protest. I have never failed to get the groom to wear the mic.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 04:41 PM   #7
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since I don't use iRivers I can't really say how to mic the reception but I do use a wireless and set up a mic in front of the speakers. Depending on the situation I use either an AT897 shotgun or a Sennheiser E604 drum mic. I also use a hypercaroid on the camera for ambient room sound. It mixs nicely in post.
As for storing my gear I usually know the DJ but even if I don't I generally either put my stuff by the DJ booth or by the photogs gear. Many times there is a backdrop set up in the room so we stash our bags behind it. I want to be able to get to it but want it out of site and mind of others.

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Old May 30th, 2007, 06:13 PM   #8
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Jenna,

For what it's worth, here's what I do.

I use an iRiver 890. It gives me about 4 hours of record time. I use the Line In mode.

Cermony:
About 1/2 to an hour before the start of the ceremony, I put the iRiver on the groom. I place it in the inside breast pocket of his jacket. I attach an inexpensive Audio Technica lapel mic to the iRiver. About 15 minutes before the start of the ceremony, I turn on the iRiver and engage the lock.

This set up has consistently yielded good audio of the vows. As far as I'm concerned, the vows are the "money shot". Audio for other aspects of the ceremony (although it's nice to have clear, clean sound) can be mediocre but if the bride can hear her the vows, she is usually pleased.

I remove the iRiver from the groom after the "receiving line" has ended.

Reception:
I've been fortunate so far as to have always been able to catch a feed from the DJ's mixer. The DJ's (in my instances) have provided a hand held mic for the toasts and (yawn) speeches. I use an RCA to mini-plug Y cable. Plug the RCA ends into the left and right of the board's monitor output and of course the mini-plug end into the iRiver. I also plug in some headphones into the iRiver so I can check the recording level. I can adjust the level through the monitor level knob on the DJ's mixer. It really pays to be very humble and very appreciative towards the DJ. I've never had any cop an attitude with me.

I get good audio of the music and voices with this set up. I only stay at the reception for about 2 to 3 hours so I get plenty of audio of the main elements needed for the video. In editing, I cut in audio (and video) from the camera(s). I use a Rode VideoMic for that audio.

Jeff
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Old May 30th, 2007, 10:41 PM   #9
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a few words on the iRivers

Hey Jenna,
Congratualtions on your acquistion of the iRiver. I have a few different options for capturing event audio, but I also have 4 iRiver units and I have found them to be among the most indispensible items in by kit, especially in some sitations where unplanned audio factors are introduced only moments before the shoot, and I have a very limited amount of time with which to figure out how to capture a 'surprise' audio source.

I also have an assortment of Giant Squid mics. (There are some that are custom made to accomodate the reversed connections of the iRiver units and these mics sound great.) I also had one of them made in white, just in case, which helped in a few occasions, such as when guest speakers were going to come forward to offer reflections to the couple during the wedding - the white cord threaded nicely and discreetly through the wicker arch under which they stood. And I have mic'ed more that a few grooms dressed in their Navy officer whites.....no problem...got the perfect cord right here.

- Always mic the groom with the iRiver. Not the bride. In a great many cases, the bride spent the last 4 months losing weight to fit into the dress, and there often just isn't room to accomodate the addition of a recording device onto or within the dress itself, and there just is no appropriate way to ask if it is okay to tie the iRiver to her garter and thread the mic cable up through her cleavage. That just doesn't make for a good day from then on.

I am certain that at least a few 'first timers' thought they were clever to mic the bride by secreting an iRiver or similar device in a very colorful and roomy bridal bouqet, only realizing with shock that during the ceremony, the bride hands the bouqet off to the maid of honor moments before the vows are spoken.

- It is best to just start the unit recording and lock it into position before dropping the iRiver into the grooms jacket pocket. (Some grooms just won't have the presence of mind to figure it out and get it started seconds before the ceremony begins.) Just be sure that when you put it into the pocket that it sits in such as way so the little cable isn't going to be tugged on and possibly disengaged from the iRiver. This would be especially distrastous if you are using the iRiver as your only audio capture solution for the couple as well as the minister. (You should be sure to mic the minister with their own dedicated device. I mic the minister with a Senn G2 and if they are standing close enough during the vows, I sometimes find that it captures the vows just as well or better than the iRiver, so I use the iRiver mostly as backup for the vows.) The iRiver can record for several hours, so it is likely that at some point in the successive hours following the ceremony you will find a convenient opportunity to retrieve the unit from the groom.


- The iRiver will record the audio into a proprietary format for which you will need the iRiver Music Manager application to extract it. Its really simple. When you drag your recorded file onto your computer's hard drive, the application will prompt you to convert it to an mp3 file. As a compressed format, I notice it doesn't have the depth or range I get from my Senn G2 or a good mic system, but for spoken word capture it sounds really awesome and will do just fine. I open the mp3 in Quicktime (or any similar type of application) and convert it into a 48kHz aif file before dropping into my FCP timeline. Works for me.

- Having the iRiver can also help you to be creative when faced with dilemmas about how to capture an audio source. Since I have 4 units, I have been able to be fairly liberal in their placement to give me as many audio options as possible for editing. On several occasions, when shooting a church wedding during which I didn't have access to house audio systems, I have simply slipped an iRiver into an eyeglass case and left it on the ambo (podium) to get decent recordings of the readers. ( I learned this tip in these forums and keep the eyeglass case handy just in case.) I've usually gotten clearance from the priest before doing this because I'm extremely familiar with liturgical norms and want to 'play fair'. But I've never had any problems with this and people tend to leave the eyeglass case alone because they believe it contains reading glasses belonging to the priest or someone who is going to read after them. (I recommend an older style and less fashionable eyeglass case.)

- Finally, do a search through these forums, and you will find a few threads that detail the specific recommended settings and steps to follow to set your iRiver up for recording.

Hope this helps.

Have fun.
-Jon
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Old May 31st, 2007, 05:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Jones View Post
I am certain that at least a few 'first timers' thought they were clever to mic the bride by secreting an iRiver or similar device in a very colorful and roomy bridal bouqet, only realizing with shock that during the ceremony, the bride hands the bouqet off to the maid of honor moments before the vows are spoken.
Haha!!! Now THAT's funny!

Jeff
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Old May 31st, 2007, 05:22 PM   #11
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I always mic the Officiant and Groom as soon as I can (after pics). My first wedding I FORGOT and was horrified. (If you ever wondered if Dana is male or female - yes, I'm male). My wife never forgets though, so you probably won't either.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 12:35 AM   #12
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Wow, thanks for the very detailed how-to's, and thanks especially for touching on how to get it to my pc and get it ready for use. I probably would have asked that within the next few weeks.

For now i'll just be using one lav mic, hooked up to the groom, since I am doing this entirely for free, the most important thing is the vows, and even though hearing the priest would be nice.. we all know what they say.. "do you take.. so and so" etc , so I really want to capture the actual "i do's". Next time around i'll invest in another iriver perhaps :)

but thanks for all your helpful advice.. i appreciate it
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