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


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Old July 2nd, 2007, 10:19 AM   #1
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First equipment failure

Just got done shooting my sixth wedding. This was my first with the XH-A1, so I had expectations for higher quality than in the past.
I was disappointed, though, since my wireless lav mic was useless for the audio. At rehearsal the night before, the mic was flawless. Heck, ten minutes before the ceremony, I could hear the groom in his ready room joking around with his buddies. TWO MINUTES before the groom enters the sanctuary, I get radio interference from something...probably one of the late-arriving guests with a radio device in their pocket. Now it's too late to change channels (I was stuck at my pastor-assigned post), so I get no lav audio from the groom and the audio I do get is from the B-camera, so all you can hear is the pastor talking and music which was amplified over the loudspeakers.
Crap!
Maybe I'll put subtitles in! ;) This will be my biggest editing challenge to date.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 10:44 AM   #2
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How about get the couple in for a bit of ADR?
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 10:53 AM   #3
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Did the church have wireless audio too? If so I bet it was interference from that. ALWAYS test IN the area with house system devices running! This is one reason I'm not using wireless anymore.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 11:18 AM   #4
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I've recently started using an iRiver in conjunction with the wireless unit. I just attach the lav mic using a Y-splitter.

Of course if the mic craps out I'm screwed.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 11:33 AM   #5
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Rick,

Do you mean you have an iRiver, and a transmitter in the groom's pocket?

How's that been working for you?

Thanks,
Vito
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 12:18 PM   #6
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Ok, been there done that

I have had too many of these happen (even though not that many). I think voice over would be your best bet to fix it decent.

But let me pipe in, my last wedding I ran my wireless, two irivers, and then ran a 50 foot cord from my side cam to an AT835b on a short stand, another mic on a cord connected to another AT835b pointing at the singer. Yeah, call me anal, but I've been there done that with audio failures. The best two audio signals I had were my wireless and my front AT835b.

I did another wedding where I had two wireless go in the crapper, and it was my irivers that saved me. One wireless just died on the spot and the other caught interference from something withing 10 feet of the front.

It's a ton of work, but I need atleast 3 or 4 audio signals to feel comfortable.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 03:38 PM   #7
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Jerome,

I did a test with the wireless audio in the church and my wireless system about an hour before the ceremony and had no issues with interference. I really cannot explain what happened. Gremlins, I guess.

After reading everyone's posts, I think I'm going to have to get an iRiver for the groom to put in his pocket. My only fear is that somehow it will get turned off accidentally.

Vito - I like th idea of ADR, but I doubt I'd get the couple to come back from Hawaii to do it. LOL Maybe I could put that in my contract, though, that they have to come for an ADR session. Hmmm....it's just crazy enough to work.

OT: I remember shooting a little spoof movie with some friends of mine. After the rough edit was done, I called them all back to my house for ADR. They were all thinking, "Didn't you record us when you were shooting?" Amateurs...
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 03:57 PM   #8
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I had a simular problem while recording a live seminar. Test went fine. Then as the event began, the RF from Shure UC wireless was cutting out, due to another weak signal that was capturing it. The receiver has a S-meter, so I knew it was signal strength related. I snuck up on stage, pulled the transmitter out of the speakers back pocket and set it on the podium. I then repositioned my receiver antenna. Whew!

I know that you have limited option during a ceremony, but I have never regretted interuping an event to correct a major technical problem. The pressue is intense, but post is a lot more fun.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 03:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
I've recently started using an iRiver in conjunction with the wireless unit. I just attach the lav mic using a Y-splitter.
Rick, I've often thought about doing that same thing as a backup to wireless, but I didn't know if splitting the mic would degrade the signal. Plus, I use a GS mic for the iRiver and the mic that came with my senny g2 for it. Could I just use the giant squid mic for both?

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Old July 2nd, 2007, 08:40 PM   #10
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curious to know what brands your using..

in my 6 years of using wireless mics for weddings, i still to this day, use a Sennheiser G1. G2s are good, but dont reach as far and i use those for lecterns and teh like..

Of the 260 odd weddings in that time (give or take) only twice have i had issues.
The first was when a ceremony was at the waterfront with boats and cruisers about 100metres away, in turn their radios were interfering and caused noise, and the second was the actual venue sound system crapping out, which they thought was caused by my mics, but continued crapping out even after i shut my system down.

Twice... knock on wood, its been a good run..
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 08:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
Rick,

Do you mean you have an iRiver, and a transmitter in the groom's pocket?

How's that been working for you?

Thanks,
Vito
Yes, 2 units in the groom's pocket... one mic. It's works just fine. Never had the need to use the iRiver recording yet but it's there just in case. I tried increasing the iRiver's gain level to 55 to get the bride's soft voice but My Senn G2 still does a better job.

I take off the groom's jacket, position the mic and insert the 2 units myself - there's never a need for him to go "in there".
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 08:30 AM   #12
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Hmmm. Sounds like a great idea. I'll have to try that out.

Thanks for the info...
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 11:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Shallenberger View Post
Rick, I've often thought about doing that same thing as a backup to wireless, but I didn't know if splitting the mic would degrade the signal. Plus, I use a GS mic for the iRiver and the mic that came with my senny g2 for it. Could I just use the giant squid mic for both?

Dan
I use the G2 mic instead of the squid since the G2 recording is the one I wan't to use, the iRiver being just a redundant backup. No signal loss as far as I can tell but the Y splitter is only about a foot long. It's a F to MM and hard to find. I got mine off ebay somewhere for about $3 I think. I did "tape" the G2 mic to the female end of the splitter just in case it would work its way out.

I also use this same cable/iRiver backup method at the reception. I just replace the G2 lav mic with a drum mic and mount both units on a mic stand in front of the speaker. The iRiver provides 8 hours of continuous recording and comes in handy if I didn't have the camera rolling. The iRiver needs a little work in post though. And of course it's mono.

Like I say, I rarely use the iRiver recording but it sure gives peace of mind. My Senn G2 units have never failed me but I know crap happens like the original poster of this thread found out. It could happen to any one of us.

I do like the G2's though. They have a built in scanner you can use to find a free frequency but you need to make sure the church's wireless system is on before you scan. Of course, that doesn't help if somebody with some electronic gizmo walks in just before the ceremony.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 07:36 PM   #14
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We decided to get out of the wirless business this year. Now we use these:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...tal_Audio.html

Why no one has made a cheaper one (without the jamming option) I have no idea. Audio Technica or someone could make a killing.

They are pricey but Zaxcom is like the Gucci of the audio world.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 07:45 PM   #15
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Hmmm. Very nice thingy. I'll have to think about this. It would be nice if the price was near a good wireless.
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