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Old January 2nd, 2015, 02:44 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 1,149
Minimal audio setup

Wondering if anyone had thoughts on what their minimum audio gear to take to a wedding would be.

I normally take a 30kg sound bag, but last year worked with a company whose setup was 3 x Zoom H1 + 3 lavs (groom, celebrant, and either taped to lectern or taped to handheld mic), and maybe iPhone earplugs. That really gave me pause. They moved a lot faster than me, set up a lot faster, hurt their backs a lot less.

Later in the year, I worked with another company whose philosophy was: "Stick a lav on the groom, because we'll be using audio from the vows in the highlights, but for everything else rely on on-camera sound. I don't want you to take 30 minutes setting up audio. Be shooting instead."

So, these two methods obviously wouldn't have as many backups as me, nor capability to mic up as many sources, and not quite as good audio quality, but I'm really sceptical that the difference between my setup and theirs is commercially significant... So, yeah, it gave me pause.

Anyways, I'm doing an outdoors job today where I'll be catching public transport to and from, so I'll really have to reduce my kit. I think minimal for me looks like:

-- 2 x Yamaha C24
-- 2 x Roland R-05
-- 2 x Tram TR50 lav
-- Cables

-- During ceremony: lav + Roland on celebrant, lav + Roland on groom, Yamaha parked in front of musicians, another Yamaha parked in front of celebrant's sound speakers or (preferably) taped to handheld mic
-- During reception: Roland plugged into DJ, Roland in front of sound speakers, Yamaha taped to wireless handheld mic, with a spare Yamaha if they have two handheld mics instead of one
Adrian Tan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 2nd, 2015, 03:59 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 65
Re: Minimal audio setup

Our audio setup is as follows:

1 Zoom H6n
1 Zoom H4n
1 Sony wireless mic set
4x Roland R05's
4 Countryman B3 / B6 lav mic's
1 Olympus recorder
Various XLR cables / connectors / converters

The extra Roland's are mostly backup, we usually use no more than two at the same time. The Olympus is our bride mic, and the Sony's we try to only use as a last resort.
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Old January 2nd, 2015, 04:53 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Charlottesville
Posts: 255
Re: Minimal audio setup

For the ceremony I place my Sennheiser G3 receiver with ME-2 mic on the groom, a Rode SmartLav on the officiant, a Tascam DR-05 on the lectern, and plug in my Tascam DR-40 to the church's sound system. When I first started doing weddings I just had my G3 on the groom but I quickly learned that if the officiant moved away from the couple then I didn't have audio for him. I think that the minimal setup that I would feel comfortable with is my G3 on the groom and a portable recorder with wired lav on the officiant. If I were to go with unmonitored recorders on both the groom and the officiant then I would add a small backup recorder in the groom's pocket as well.
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Old January 2nd, 2015, 04:55 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Crookston, MN
Posts: 1,353
Re: Minimal audio setup

I consider importance to be 1) vows (or messages to each other), 2) speeches, 3) pastor. Everything else is gravy, so...

Rode on camera mics, of course,
3 pocket recorders with Matchstick microphones (they're tiny)
1 Tascam DR-40
1 wireless lavalier mic

I like to run the pastor's wireless lav and the on camera mic into my Tascam, then into my master camera. Pocket recorders on the groom, lectern, and the 3rd is backup or to stash in a plant, or by the singer. I rarely take a feed out of the mixer.

At receptions, the Tascam is great for the XLR out of a mixer, or more likely the powered speaker.
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