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Old June 22nd, 2007, 10:35 AM   #1
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what audio equipment to get for weddings

I'm starting out as a wedding videographer and I'm doing my first wedding tomorrow. I'm going to pick up a wireless mic system today and I'm thinking about getting either the Azden WMS-Pro or the Nady VHF Wireless. I can't really afford a high end quality mic system right now. Does any one have any advice on which I should buy. My setup for the wedding is one camera at the back of the aisle and one at the altar. I want to be able to get good audio from the priest, the bride, and the groom. I know I will be micing the groom. But I'm wondering if I should mic the priest as well with a second lavalier. Any advice? btw, time is sort of an issue here. thanks all.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 01:06 PM   #2
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Check with the soundman to see if he can record a mix for you. I have done two weddings so far and in both cases, the sound man was able to burn a CD of the mix off the board. You obviously don't want to trust this as your only source of audio but as many different sources as possible is good.

Search these boards and you will find *a lot* of info that is useful. I avoided a wireless and bought an iRiver with a squid mic and it's been great so far, and only cost me $50 total.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 01:09 PM   #3
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I agree with Paul...

I would go with the iRiver setup. I have the Azden dual channel wireless mics and they work fine when there is no interference but you never know when something will kick in. iRivers are cheap and work great. The sound guy is hit or miss on most occassions. Paul is lucky to find someone at both weddings that knew what they were doing and could even provide him with a CD recording.

My advice - get the iRivers and in time purchase a nice wireless system to use for the reception and other events throughout the day.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 01:42 PM   #4
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Hi Trent -

I've used the Azden WMS, it's OK, but I'd mic to the front cam - less distance between xmitter and reciever is better - don't expect a lot of range. You might also see if the AudioTechnica VHF system (pro88 or something like that - can't recall offhand) is available - a bit bigger, but better built, and seems to be a tad cleaner.

House sound is good IF you have a good sound guy - had a couple guys hand me casette tapes... yuk. I always pack a CD-R just in case, figure maybe I'll get lucky one day!

I've also got some iRivers picked up cheap on Ebay, will be trying them tomorrow to get the hang of them - good quality of recording, and no interference.

Main thing about sound is having a few sources - someone ALWAYS moves out of the expected mic range...
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Old June 23rd, 2007, 09:32 AM   #5
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sweet, thanks for the advice all. i picked up a wms-pro system for $187 yesterday and I will definitely look into getting some cheap irivers online.
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Old June 25th, 2007, 11:39 PM   #6
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My advice DON'T GO WIRELESS! I just finished a wedding last week using an Azden system. Everything worked out prior to the ceremony, the groom steps out on stage and boom, the wireless cuts out. SOB! Luckily it cut back in, then out, then in, then out. They're just not dependable with something so critical.

Which iRiver system is it that you bought, and where did you buy it?
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Old June 26th, 2007, 01:15 AM   #7
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I use the iRiver IFP-890s (5 of them) with giant squid mics. works like a charm. i got mine off ebay from some guy in Australia. i think they were like $35 a piece with $80 shipping. not cheap but well worth it in my opinion.

i too own the infamous Azden dual channel mic system and the same thing happens to me all the time. very frustrating because you can't see any RF level meter while checking to see if the channel is clear or not. all you got to go by is a red/green led to tell you the channel is clean....or clean for that time i should say.
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Old June 26th, 2007, 07:09 AM   #8
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Hi Guys,

I'm in ireland & I've never heard or seen an iRiver! Like many others I was looking into wireless mics, but they are extremely exspensive over here for a decent setup. I do not see the sense in buying cheap wireless mics when they may pick up interferance.

As a total novice, am I correct in saying that you use iRivers, which are basically a recording device (similar to an mp3 / ipod??), hook a mic up to it & leave the groom have it for the ceremony - then sync up the audio from it in post?

Cheers,
Alan
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Old June 26th, 2007, 08:01 AM   #9
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Correct Alan - the iRivers that can record are no longer in production but you can still find them online. Any iRiver model series from IFP-7xx | IFP-8xx | IFP-9xx will work. They are actually MP3 players that have a few advanced features. Mine can tune in FM stations and can even record which FM station i am listening to. I usually put them all together and start recording on each one. i will then clap to set a decent point at which to sync them. then you can go mic up the groom/pastor/podium mic/speaker(i've even taped a mic to the speakers to get a house mix when the sound guy wouldn't give me one from the board).

Even expensive wireless mics can/will drop out during the ceremony. when you set the mic channel and its clear...it doesn't mean that it will always be clear. at any point something else is using that channel or close to it you will start to get interfernce, and the only way to fix that is to manually change the frequency you are working off.
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Old June 26th, 2007, 08:13 AM   #10
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Thanks Zach, I think this will be a much better way to go, safer anyhow as you will not get any interferance.

BTW, I think the product codes may differ over here in Europe, I can only seem to find a iRiver Clix 2 - which allows recording, however, I think this maybe recording via a built in mic on the actually iRiver, more investigation required!!
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Old June 26th, 2007, 08:14 AM   #11
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im also from ireland alan, come on the paddys.
so zach, do these irivers allow you to set/monitor levels and if not how does that aspect work out?
i was thinking of waiting for the new zoom h2 but if a cheaper device will allow me do the same thing then why not.
also my creative zen nano has a line in. can i use some sort of pre-amp for a mic to make this work?
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Old June 26th, 2007, 09:11 AM   #12
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My concern about iRivers is the hassle of synching them up with video and whether their output will stay in sync over the course of a lengthy wedding ceremony. Those of you using them regularly at weddings, how well is that working out for you? Does the audio stay in sync or does it start to drift a few frames after several minutes of continuous recording?

Since your video camera is going to record some kind of audio anyway it might as well be something decent, and that typically means using a wireless mic. I started out with a cheap Azden VHF wireless kit and quickly upgraded that to Samson UHF models, which did okay for a while but were never quite what I hoped for. I recently purchased a Sennheiser Evolution G2 setup for about $500 and feel like I finally have a wireless mic which works well: the sound is clearer than I ever had with the cheaper units and so far it seems to be pretty consistent. Given how much most of us spend on our video cameras it's kind of silly not to spend a reasonable amount on sound equipment, since good audio is a critical aspect of a successful video.

I have one iRiver but have never comfortably incorporated it into my wedding workflow. Plus the controls are so odd that I have to read the instruction manual every time I get it out to remember how to erase old files and make sure it's set properly for a new event. Has anyone found a similarly convenient recorder with more standardized controls? Seems like the iRiver is the most popular solution lately, but surely there must be something else?
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Old June 26th, 2007, 10:48 AM   #13
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like you I use a sennheiser G2. Great microphgone, and I have had NO problems with it as compared to the cheap pieces of crap I used when I was in college. When I was in college one of my buddies talked me into using his MiniDisc Recorder for my critical audio, and after jacking with it in post for 2 weeks, I found it to be too much of a hassle to be worth it. I kind of feel the same way about the iRiver after that experience, so I have never tried them, the wireless receivers I have now are just much easier to work.
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Old June 26th, 2007, 11:04 AM   #14
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you can control the record level within the iRiver itself. choose either line or mic level and then there is even a record level control for each. the menus/buttons aren't that hard to get used to (especially for the price), and for the issues on syncing them in post you can even take it a step further to make it easier. i said earlier that i clap or do something that can spike the mics to easily sync them all. you could start your camera record and stand infront of it capturing you clapping for the mics and this way you will visually be able to see this happen as well. i don't do this but if need be it would work.

I still use a wireless mic on the groom and typically try to get a feed from the sound guy into my camera. i'm a huge believer in that you can never have too many audio sources for back-up purposes.
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Old June 26th, 2007, 11:38 AM   #15
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I think I should put in a good word for the MiniDisc recorder. Their day has passed because of MP3, but because of this they're stupidly cheap and they make great recorders.

My Sony MZ-R900 is the size of 3 MiniDisc cases and that includes the internal battery. It slips into the groom's inside pocket and I'm safe in the knowlegde that it's hard wired, will record at full fidelity for 2.5 hours and there's no interferring with the minister's radio mic.

I love it. It may be a wee bit more hassle syncing up on the timeline, but once there all is well. I use radio mics as well, but you can never have too much audio backup.

tom.
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