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Old May 4th, 2003, 08:25 AM   #1
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Wedding Audio

What are people using to shoot weddings other than the mic on the VX2000?
I LOVE the picture quality, but the mic on it sucks. I understand that the mic has a 180 degree range, and it seems to pick up sounds around it, but NOT STRAIGHT IN FRONT OF IT!!! I had the audio on manual, and it was 3/4 of the way to the top and I still had problems hearing what people were saying about 7 feet away from me. I could hear a pin drop around the room, but not straight in front of me. I use cordless mics for the groom in the ceremony, but my cordless mic dropped out recently so I had to quickly switch to the camera mic which was VERY DISAPPOINTING! Do I have to go to shotgun mics? Maybe the settings aren't quite right...Can anyone help?
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Old May 4th, 2003, 09:11 AM   #2
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Yeah, onboard camera mics generally aren't the best, even if it is a shotgun one, but a decent directional shotgun mic will still be much better then any built in mic on any camera...You are doing the right thing with the wireless mic on the groom though.

I'm not sure which shotgun mics to recommend, but look at B&H for your price range and try to find some reviews, or ask about them. Depending on your price range, look at ones from these manufactures: Audio-Technica, Azden, and Sennheiser -- they are most well known names. The Sennheiser ME66 (or something like that) is a very popular one...
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Old May 4th, 2003, 09:31 AM   #3
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I use 2 Azden 500U wireless lavs and 2 shotguns going to different sources. Some folks use minidisc, some use more mics, some use less but to get audio that's usable and distinct you really HAVE TO at least mic the groom and if possible mic the officiant. Some won't so I'll double mic the groom for redundancey, go to 2 different cams and running the 2 shotguns off 2 diffeerent cams I have a bunch of audio tracks to work with.
Audio is more important than the video. The best footage in the world with lousy audio will still be bad and mediocre footage with great audio, makes the video fantastic. I learned the lesson the hard way.
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Old May 4th, 2003, 11:55 AM   #4
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For ceremony audio I mike the groom, use a shotgun mike, and I try to pull a feed from the house system if feasable (and if they have a house system).

The wireless system is my main vows audio track, the house system is my main pastoral track, and the shotgun is my backup in case the other ones have problems or if there is an outside audio source not picked up by the other two. The more you have to work with the better off you'll be (I had to learn that the hard way).

For the reception part I use shotgun and handheld mikes and I always get within 15ft. of the subject when using the shotgun mikes. Also try for an angle that is clear from you to the subject so that no interference comes into play (ie. loud clapping or unwanted voices will be picked up on a directional mike if they happen bewteen you and the subject).

Ben Lynn
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Old May 5th, 2003, 10:47 AM   #5
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If you are using two lavs for the wedding ceremony, are their signal recieved by one or two cameras? If only one, what type of cam audio set-up are you using?

Question 2:

If you are using the house main, are you going directly into a cam or are you recording unto a minidisk and adding the track during post-production?

Thank you.

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Old May 5th, 2003, 11:20 AM   #6
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the Senheiser ew112 actualy allows for a line input (as opposed to a mic only setup) to the Transmitter so u can connect straight thru the venues PA system.. then just hook up as per normal... prob with that is that not all venues have a complicated set up..
If you do this thou, i woudl stronlgy suggest monitoring ALL audio on headfones.. on top of that drop the cams mic input and use the Senns gain instead.. this will reduce digital clipping and you can always boost and process audio in post anyway...

Do your research thou....
One thing to note, is some venues have unidirectional mics for the pastor/priest... so you can only hear the priest and thats it...
For one wedding i re-edited i basically had to restructure the vows.... they were so terible, that you could only hear traffic noise and the Priests mic wasnt picking up the couples vows so ther ewas nothing going to the PA...
I ran multiple EQ's, noise reductions and compresions tryin to strip out the freq of the voices, but there was only so much i could do without destroying the whole thing and making them sound robotic...
I couldnt even salvage the Brides vows... and if i boosted it any more, the background noise was jsut too high...

At the moment, the best way to record sound IMO is to SPEAK WITH THE VENUE prior to any recording.. if needed go to the rehearsal.
This way u can be prepared.. if they have a PA system make SURE the priest will either be holding a mic or that his mic picks it all up.. coz doin it this way u ae TOTALLY reliant on THEIR Audio system.. which can be good, and bad... depending on the setup itself...

I would sggest being self reliant thou....
Most of the time, if theyre have readings i use shotguns, then i switch to the wireless lapel mic (with an omnidirectional head) which is on the groom to get the vows.

with further processing u can turn the mono signal of the guests clapping into a stereo spread or even a 5.1 environment.

Not many people do this coz they think its silly, but coming from an audio background, i cant help but reiterate...
Monitor ALL audio thru headfones thruout the night...
Ive seen some shocker productions and its giving wedding videographers a bad name...
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Old May 5th, 2003, 12:48 PM   #7
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The PA system is a blessing and a curse. If they have the right equipment and a good operator then you can get the entire audio track off it. If they have a bad pa system then you might not be able to use any of it.

That's why I always get a camera with a shotgun mike somewhere close to the front. It's a backup system that won't sound really great but it gives me piece of mind knowing that it's going to get me the audio if the other methods fail. Even a good wireless can puke out when you least expect it.

With that being said, I always run the wireless feed to the manned camera for constant monitoring. The shotgun can run itself as a lock down shot and the PA is for the second camera operator if there is one.

Ben Lynn
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