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Old December 27th, 2019, 08:35 PM   #1
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Wedding Set Up

My son has been videoing weddings and is doing well with them. He's been to college and got a degree, filmed for Channel 4 and won an award.

I want to buy him some more audio equipment to mike up the groom, bride, vicar and a set up for the table to record the best man, father speeches.

Can anyone suggest recorders for doing this? He currently uses one dictaphone and mike from Rode but it isn't perfect. Budget of around 1000 for the audio set up.
Sound is very important and can make the video so I don't want to get this part wrong. I think 4 wired recorders with mikes (white for bride, black for groom, vicar and a spare, a field recorder and a wired hand held mike or two for the table speeches, even something for the DJ to record his audio that'll plug into his desk? or is that overkill??)

Thank you for the help in advance. If there's anything else you think can help his business please say so. I am on Chemo at the mo so will reply between hospital visits. Just trying to help him out before I go.

Thank you Matt
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Old December 28th, 2019, 03:00 PM   #2
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Re: Wedding Set Up

What kind camera your son using?. if its a DSLR, they inherently most have very poor audio quality, so no matter how good the preceding audio gear is, the sound will be compromised. If he is using a 'real' video camera with XLR inputs, some of the sound can be recorded directly to the cam. From what I have read and witnessed, many wedding OMB (one-man-band) videographers use at least two wireless mic systems, One mic on the groom and the other mic on the officiant. I would also suggest a DI (direct input) box and some adaptor cables to patch in a DJ, band or house sound's system to pick up the music and other announcements and such. Though some folks just put a mic in close proximity to a PA speaker, which usually 'works'.
I would recommend at least a four-track audio recorder and a decent quality wireless mic system(s). See "the $500 wireless mic and recorder" stickys over on the DVX Audio forum.
Others here will hopefully chime in who have more expertise in weddings than I..
I wish you a speedy recovery for the new year.
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Old December 28th, 2019, 05:13 PM   #3
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Re: Wedding Set Up

Wire mics are typically "too hard" to setup for events like weddings. There is too much movement, unpredictability, and lack of setup time to make them work, not to mention guests tripping on cables, especially for a a one man operation.

If he is a professional already into this he may have specific thoughts on what gear he likes, brands, models, etc. It mgth be better to give his a gift certificate taht he can use to buy what he will be most comfortable with, or at least discuss it with him.

Tapping off the DJ's sound is a good idea.

For interviews, guest well wishes, etc, something like a Shure SM58 with a TASCAM DR-10X can give good results.

The main issue with wireless mics is finding models that work well in your locations, considering other wireless spectrum users.
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Old December 28th, 2019, 06:56 PM   #4
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Re: Wedding Set Up

"For interviews, guest well wishes, etc, something like a Shure SM58 with a TASCAM DR-10X can give good results"
For sure, a H/H (handheld) mic is good to have. I would recommend a Omni-directional mic like the EV RE50 TV news reporter's mic. There are usually some on eBay. They are also pretty much indestructible like the '58'.
The Sennheiser MD42 or 46 is a desirable H/H mic as well, but typically are a few more $ than the EV.
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Old December 28th, 2019, 07:38 PM   #5
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Re: Wedding Set Up

He is getting a Canon 1DX Mkii

He currently uses a Sony A7Riii with a Rode shotgun on top for general guest sound etc. He uses a Rode Lav Mike attached to a Zoom H1? that goes into the grooms pocket for the wedding vows. Nothi8ng other than that, nothing for the speeches and top table etc.

I was looking at the Tascam and attaching a SM58 to it for the top table and either more Zoom recordable H1s or as suggested here, a couple of Tascams attached to a Lav for the bride, groom, best man etc, perhaps 4 of them.

In the UK normally the speeches are done at the top table so I was thinking of wired SM58 (2 or 3) hooked up to a field recorder but haven't looked into this yet.

Thanks for the advice, it is greatly appreciated and I will investigate everything.

Much obliged
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Old December 29th, 2019, 10:31 AM   #6
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Re: Wedding Set Up

The SM58 is a great mic for sure, but was primarily designed for close proximity vocals through a sound reinforcement system. For instance, if the subject turns their head whilst speaking, (off axis) the sound would almost totally drop-out with the cardioid '58'. Then there is the 'Proximity Effect' factor (low and low-mid frequencies attenuate as the source-to-mic distance increases). An onmi-directional mic does not have these inherent issues.
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Old December 29th, 2019, 12:45 PM   #7
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Re: Wedding Set Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
Wire mics are typically "too hard" to setup for events like weddings. There is too much movement, unpredictability, and lack of setup time to make them work, not to mention guests tripping on cables, especially for a a one man operation..
Like Don said

One constant with wedding is each one is different. It's best before wedding day discuss how audio will be handled and to contact the person who will be in charge if and how its best to plug into their system. For the reception what is most common in the US the DJ will be tasked with providing sound. That usually means a wireless hand held mic that gets passed around to the people making the toasts. This mic is used for amplification so the best option is to plug a recorder into his sound board. Even in a situation where there are wired table mics you don't want to have to run duplicates.

The other method that is used to record toasts is to wire up all the speakers with lavs into recorders like you do with the groom for the ceremony. The only issue with this is there can often be more people than you have mics for, its time consuming to wire up many people, and they don't like being wired. In addition women with dresses don't have pockets to put the recorders into. All of these recorders need fresh batteries, turned on, recording, proper levels, and mic clipped/taped, and then you need to collect them all.

With all that said lavs provided the best audio and are necessary if there is an issue with the dj sound system. One word of warning while digital audio recorders are great, when you have a lot of them its very easy to make a mistake like forget to hit record or lock them. Unlike a wireless setup you are not monitoring them so you will not know there is a problem until the next day when you are editing.

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; December 29th, 2019 at 01:21 PM.
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Old January 1st, 2020, 11:14 AM   #8
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Re: Wedding Set Up

Hi Matthew,

I am a wedding videographer and photographer in the UK and have been filming weddings for around 35 years for my living, both solo and with my wife.

Firstly, as has been mentioned, weddings in the UK tend to be somewhat different to US ones, with different traditions and procedures. If your son is working solo, then the one thing that is very important, is speed of setup and breakdown, to avoid missing important moments. I have tried various ways of working over the years, ranging from very complex to simple, multi cameras to single. I have settled over the last few years on a working method that is ideal for our own particular requirements. What I don't know is how your Son works, the type of end product he wants and how much coverage he requires and what type of editing software he is using. Also is he filming in HD or 4K?

As an overview of my own modus operandi, I film a documentary style video from morning preps through to evening dances, with the whole ceremony and speeches included as the main product. I also offer a shorter highlights version if required. I always film in 4K, which gives the option of doing pans, zooms and crops at the editing stage whilst still maintaining HD quality. Typically, working solo, I would have a main manned camera on a sturdy but quite lightweight tripod, for quick setup and movement. During the ceremony, I have a second 4K camera which is locked off on a fairly wide angle to give a view from the opposite angle to the main camera, both cameras being behind and to one side of the Vicar/Registrar. The second camera is on a lightweight stand or tripod, with the alternative of a clamp if I can use it. I also have a 3rd 4k camera set up at the other end of the church/ ceremony room for a back view, again on a clamp or lightweight tripod. I also have a couple of 4K gopro type cameras that I can put anywhere if I think there may be any coverage problems with the 3 main cams. If my wife is working with me, she usually uses either the back cam or the 'B' side angle cam. The lightness of the equipment and use of clamps where possible, means that I can break down the cameras in about 3 minutes, usually during the register signing when filming is not allowed.

For audio, the A & B cams both have Rode Video mics for capturing the ambient sound. In just about every ceremony I have ever filmed the vicar/registrar and Bride and Groom are within about 5 feet of each other, so I have found that a portable voice recorder in the Groom's inside pocket, with a stereo Lav mic half way down the jacket, picks up all three very efficiently. If there are readers, I always have a second recorder, either a Zoom H1 or Sony, to capture the readings. I don't use wireless mics because of bad experiences with both dropout and wireless interference in the past, including picking up a taxi transmission right in the middle of the vows! The groom's mic is removed before the walk down the aisle and the rest of the day after the ceremony only really requires one camera until the speeches, where I usually have one camera on the speaker and a second for reactions on a wider angle. For speeches audio, I always use a Zoom or Sony voice recorder on the head table with a boundary mic plugged into it for a much wider pickup. That will also pick up guest responses which are often very funny. If they are using a PA mic, I would put a voice recorder next to a PA speaker as DJ line outputs can give very unpredictable output levels. Also a lot of speakers won't use the mic or hold it too far away, so belt and braces is essential.

I wouldn't entertain any mic such as a Shure SM58 for wedding work, as they are close vocal mics as has been mentioned. The golden rule for wedding audio, is always take care of your own audio and never rely on an audio feed from someone else at a wedding, as usually house PAs and often DJ desks are operated by people who haven't got a clue on audio feeds.

Hope some of the above is helpful.

Roger
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Old January 1st, 2020, 11:29 AM   #9
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Re: Wedding Set Up

Hi Matthew,

I am a wedding videographer and photographer in the UK and have been filming weddings for around 35 years for my living, both solo and with my wife.

Firstly, as has been mentioned, weddings in the UK tend to be somewhat different to US ones, with different traditions and procedures. If your son is working solo, then the one thing that is very important, is speed of setup and breakdown, to avoid missing important moments. I have tried various ways of working over the years, ranging from very complex to simple, multi cameras to single. I have settled over the last few years on a working method that is ideal for our own particular requirements. What I don't know is how your Son works, the type of end product he wants and how much coverage he requires and what type of editing software he is using. Also is he filming in HD or 4K?

As an overview of my own modus operandi, I film a documentary style video from morning preps through to evening dances, with the whole ceremony and speeches included as the main product. I also offer a shorter highlights version if required. I always film in 4K, which gives the option of doing pans, zooms and crops at the editing stage whilst still maintaining HD quality. Typically, working solo, I would have a main manned camera on a sturdy but quite lightweight tripod, for quick setup and movement. During the ceremony, I have a second 4K camera which is locked off on a fairly wide angle to give a view from the opposite angle to the main camera, both cameras being behind and to one side of the Vicar/Registrar. The second camera is on a lightweight stand or tripod, with the alternative of a clamp if I can use it. I also have a 3rd 4k camera set up at the other end of the church/ ceremony room for a back view, again on a clamp or lightweight tripod. I also have a couple of 4K gopro type cameras that I can put anywhere if I think there may be any coverage problems with the 3 main cams. If my wife is working with me, she usually uses either the back cam or the 'B' side angle cam. The lightness of the equipment and use of clamps where possible, means that I can break down the cameras in about 3 minutes, usually during the register signing when filming is not allowed.

For audio, the A & B cams both have Rode Video mics for capturing the ambient sound. In just about every ceremony I have ever filmed the vicar/registrar and Bride and Groom are within about 5 feet of each other, so I have found that a portable voice recorder in the Groom's inside pocket, with a stereo Lav mic half way down the jacket, picks up all three very efficiently. If there are readers, I always have a second recorder, either a Zoom H1 or Sony, to capture the readings. I don't use wireless mics because of bad experiences with both dropout and wireless interference in the past, including picking up a taxi transmission right in the middle of the vows! The groom's mic is removed before the walk down the aisle and the rest of the day after the ceremony only really requires one camera until the speeches, where I usually have one camera on the speaker and a second for reactions on a wider angle. For speeches audio, I always use a Zoom or Sony voice recorder on the head table with a boundary mic plugged into it for a much wider pickup. That will also pick up guest responses which are often very funny. If they are using a PA mic, I would put a voice recorder next to a PA speaker as DJ line outputs can give very unpredictable output levels. Also a lot of speakers won't use the mic or hold it too far away, so belt and braces is essential.

I wouldn't entertain any mic such as a Shure SM58 for wedding work, as they are close vocal mics as has been mentioned. The golden rule for wedding audio, is always take care of your own audio and never rely on an audio feed from someone else at a wedding, as usually house PAs and often DJ desks are operated by people who haven't got a clue on audio feeds.

Hope some of the above is helpful.

Roger
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Old January 1st, 2020, 08:02 PM   #10
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Re: Wedding Set Up

Hi Roger

I will ask him to pop in and talk to you. He's shooting in HD but wants a 1DX for shooting 4k.

Can you give me an idea of the setup you have, both camera and audio? I have a budget and am wondering where it's best spent. He currently uses a Sony A7Rii and a Canon D70 but dislikes the latter. If I can get both camera and audio for him that would be my goal.

Thanks for the detailed post, it really is beyond what I expected and I am extremely grateful that you've taken the time to reply in such detail. It's sincerely appreciated.

Thanks again Matt

Will ask him to pop in I guess my surprise will be blown then though.
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Old January 1st, 2020, 08:16 PM   #11
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Re: Wedding Set Up

I've done one wedding before, but what I did, was instead of using separate audio recording equipment and mics, is I would get the person doing the sound for the wedding already, to record everything. The people are already speaking into microphones when they do the wedding, plus the speaches. So you just get the person handling that audio to record it and give you the recording when they are done.

At least that is what I have done in the one I did. I think that would be better than having a mic and recorder with you that is probably too far away, in comparison to the ones they talk into up close. Would that be an option for him rather than him having additional audio equipment, where you would be recording from further away?
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Old January 1st, 2020, 09:36 PM   #12
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Re: Wedding Set Up

Ryan - please stick to asking inane quesions and don't comment on things you know nothing about.

Matt - listen to Roger, he knows what he's talking about. I've shot just under 400 weddings and my setup is similar.

I mike the groom with a tascam DR-10L (you will have very little luck trying to mike the bride) and have 2 rode's like Roger plus a line out if possible and an ambient mike for readings.

kit includes 2 tascams, sony KD-TX650, 3 Sony ICD-UX533, Rode Go & instamike

again - listen to Roger, I'm in Aus so most weddings are outside.
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Old January 1st, 2020, 09:48 PM   #13
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Re: Wedding Set Up

Oh okay I was just speaking from personal experience, on how I recorded a wedding, thought it could help.
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Old January 1st, 2020, 10:44 PM   #14
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Re: Wedding Set Up

I don't agree with Ryan opinion but no need to be rude. At every wedding I've done it's the videographer job to bring a recorder and the correct adapter needed to plug into their sound board (bring a bag of adapters). I would never rely on someone else making a recording for me.

Most of us can agree that the reception will have someone in charge of providing mics and a sound system for amplification. Their sound board should be your first source. It's prudent to do a sound check for levels (set them conservatively you don't want them clipped since you won't be there to monitor them) and audio quality. If the audio quality is poor it's best to have a backup plan. Anyone who has worked in the business can tell you the value of a backup or secondary source. To what length you go to varies from person to person. One simple backup would be placing a mic near the sound system speaker, the other is actually mic with a lav/recorder each of or the most important speakers. I'm not a fan of setting up duplicate table mics because it will only confuse the speaker which mic to speak into.

Btw, Zoom recently came out with a really cool audio recorder/mixer that can't be clipped it's a little expensive and is a bit over kill for this application but wow!

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; January 2nd, 2020 at 09:57 AM.
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Old January 2nd, 2020, 06:43 AM   #15
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Re: Wedding Set Up

Pete, Anyone wth experience in weddings knows that relying on anyone else to know what they're doing is a vain hope. In my experience it's far better to assume that they don't and prepare accordingly. Assuming there is someone 'in charge' who knows what they're doing is courting disaster.

The majority of DJ's don't know how to supply a line out, venues have no idea how their own sound system works and celebrants (don't get me started) are luckly they can work out how to turn their sub-standard system on.

the 'bag of adaptors' is certainly a good idea - this is what I carry - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...2855/KBID/3801

I actually carry a small lecturn in the car & a mike stand. I use multiple recorders inc. a line out from the desk. a line out from one of the speakers if they have a through & a recorder/lav on the lecturn.

Basically I assume everyone is out to stuff up my ability to do a good job and I aim to beat them anyway. Cynical? sure but I've been doing this for a long time and that's what experience has taught me.
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