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Old November 17th, 2016, 07:27 PM   #1
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Tascam DR10CS/DR10L combo for ceremonies

Iíve tried quite a few audio setups for miking the groom and while each of them have worked they have all had issues (interference, non-locking mic jack, bulky, etc). This past year I started using a combination of two Tascam DR10CS recorders that has by far been the best that I have found. Iíve got a lav plugged into one of them and the audio passes through to the second one. Each recorder has a safety track thatís set to -12db which gives me four separate tracks of audio to work with in post (each track is set to a different volume level). I set the gain on the first recorder to HIGH and the second recorder is set to MID and since each track has its own safety track itís very unlikely that the groom will be too loud for both the safety tracks (I first tried using just one of these but there were a couple times when the groomís audio clipped the safety track which is whey I combine two of them together).

Since the Tascams record to micro SD cards, thereís no need for wireless transmission so the audio quality is much better than my Sennhesier G3 used to be. They are very small and each have a locking jack for the lav which prevents the groom from accidentally pulling it out of the socket. I own four of these recorders (I use two on the officiant as well) and itís made my job MUCH easier.

I purchased all of mine from Pink Noise and Andertons which are in the UK and they arrive in Virginia within a week. Since Iíve purchased mine, Tascam has released an American version called the DR10L which does not have the passthrough but would work just fine as the second recorder (plus it comes with a lav which is not the case with the DR10CS). Overall I feel like this is a pretty amazing solution for audio that can be obtained for around $400 if you purchase one DR10CS and one DR10L. If you have any questions about the setup let me know as I felt like it was worth sharing since audio can be pretty difficult to get right during the ceremony.

DR10CS links

Tascam DR-10CS for Sennheiser Mics | Pro Sound Equipment for Recording on Location | Pinknoise Systems

https://www.andertons.co.uk/p/DR10CS...audio-recorder

DR10L link

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._recorder.html
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Old November 18th, 2016, 02:30 AM   #2
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Re: Tascam DR10CS/DR10L combo for ceremonies

Great set up! As I understand you are using one lav that feeds into 2 recorders? Why do you not use 2 lav's that go to their own recorder for safety? So you could pin 2 lav's on the groom, I have had a lavalier fail on me in the middle of the ceremony last year, your solution would prevent that from happening but only if there are 2 separate lav's.
Is your dual set up also not too bulky? I can imagine when it goes into the inside jacket pocket that you would see a bulge in the jacket?
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Old November 18th, 2016, 03:23 AM   #3
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Re: Tascam DR10CS/DR10L combo for ceremonies

OK, just googled the Tascam DR10-CS and it looks like a totally different recorder from the ones in your photo? https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Two of those would be pretty tricky to fit in the Groom's pocket. Have you got the right model number?

Roger
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Old November 18th, 2016, 03:51 AM   #4
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Re: Tascam DR10CS/DR10L combo for ceremonies

On the photo you see the recorders from the side, not front.
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Old November 18th, 2016, 04:15 AM   #5
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Re: Tascam DR10CS/DR10L combo for ceremonies

Ah yes, that's makes sense, but looks like a pretty bulky package with two back to back.

It does semi a bit of overkill, and I agree with Noah that if you feel it necessary to have 4 levels of audio for each person, then a double lav would add another layer of protection.

For my own weddings I like to keep things as simple as possible. I use a single voice recorder on the groom with a lock switch and always place the lav in the same relative position. As most people speak at a similar level, I use a standard setting based on previous experience that doesn't overload and if they are a little quieter than normal, there is enough headroom in a digital recording to bring the level up in post without introducing system noise. I switch the recorder on a few minutes before the ceremony starts and have never had a groom pull a plug out as he would have no need to go into that pocket.

I also usually place a PZM mic and recorder reasonably near the couple as an emergency backup.

Roger
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Old November 18th, 2016, 01:55 PM   #6
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Re: Tascam DR10CS/DR10L combo for ceremonies

Noa, that's a good point and I have used two lavs in certain situations (i.e. Outdoor weddings with lots of wind). I usually use this setup just to save me from having to run two mics but it's certainly not a bad idea to use two mics considering that lavs can have issues. I haven't found the setup to be bulky since the recorders are so tiny. It's hard to tell from the photo but they're actually very small so even with two of them attached to each other it's still quite unobtrusive and lightweight (I think it weighs less than my G3 transmitter).

Roger, I also like to keep things pretty simple which is why I've stopped using my Sennheiser G3 and switched to these. I think of your system works for you then stick with it, but I know several people who have used a voice recorder or Zoom H1 with a lav and been disappointed so these recorders seem like a good alternative (even if you just use one of them).
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Old November 18th, 2016, 03:24 PM   #7
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Re: Tascam DR10CS/DR10L combo for ceremonies

Personally I find the idea of 2 mics and 2 recorders as overkill. Yes I appreciate lapel mics can go wrong, but a nearby zoom recorder serves as backup for good reason and is an effective compromise. I find it hard enough to convince people why I have a tascam ds10 recorder and wireless unit attached to their belt for corporate events without lumbering them with 2 mics. It can look silly and over cautious to the novice.

I love using my tascam recorder primarily as it does give 2 audio tracks at different levels. I can't say I ever had felt the need to have 2 of them as just from meeting the person speaking and hearing them talk, I can tell whether to set for high or middle level for my primary record with a lower output available if needed. Given that many recorders only allow for 1 level, I feel fortunate to have even that as backup.

My main issue with recording audio is now the Speeches. Until now, I have settled for convenience sake to simply place zoom recorders in front of each speaker. However this approach, whilst simple to setup has not been without issues. For the last 2 Weddings I have managed to mic each person speaking with 1 of 3 different audio recording devices. I have a 4th but without a SD card and mic, but hope to correct that. I've been lucky in that in these 2 instances, both Speeches were after the meal giving me time to set this up. Soon I shall have to try this for Speeches before the meal and it is here I can foresee some difficulties. Juggling the filming of the reception, the detail of the tables once setup, being prepared for the entrance of the couple by capturing this moment on my gimbal and then setting this camera once they're seated as a static one, plus micing up 3 people will prove a challenge I am sure.
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Old November 18th, 2016, 04:12 PM   #8
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Re: Tascam DR10CS/DR10L combo for ceremonies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
Ah yes, that's makes sense, but looks like a pretty bulky package with two back to back.

It does semi a bit of overkill, and I agree with Noah that if you feel it necessary to have 4 levels of audio for each person, then a double lav would add another layer of protection.

For my own weddings I like to keep things as simple as possible. I use a single voice recorder on the groom with a lock switch and always place the lav in the same relative position. As most people speak at a similar level, I use a standard setting based on previous experience that doesn't overload and if they are a little quieter than normal, there is enough headroom in a digital recording to bring the level up in post without introducing system noise. I switch the recorder on a few minutes before the ceremony starts and have never had a groom pull a plug out as he would have no need to go into that pocket.

I also usually place a PZM mic and recorder reasonably near the couple as an emergency backup.

Roger
+10 roger same here
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Old November 18th, 2016, 04:16 PM   #9
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Re: Tascam DR10CS/DR10L combo for ceremonies

recorder on groom, slim one as grooms now where skinny suits ans anything else is to bulky, they are now questioning bulky? same on priest if can get to him and he will wear it ???,one zoom nearby, another zoom on readers pull pit, voice on best man if can (overkill), another hidden zoom somewhere nearby, rode on cams x two...you are then sorted.
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Old November 18th, 2016, 09:53 PM   #10
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Re: Tascam DR10CS/DR10L combo for ceremonies

I've found that the system works great for me because it weighs less than my Sennheiser G3, it has multiple safety tracks to work with, the 1/8" locking jack prevents the lav from accidentally getting dislodged, and I think it sounds better than a voice recorder's internal mic because you can use a high quality wired lav.

In almost all cases one Tascam DR10CS will do just fine because it has a safety track at -12db so the second recorder may not be necessary (I just like to have lots of redundancy for audio). The Tascam is actually really tiny (see photo) so just using one these recorders is a good option if you're concerned about it being too big.

With that said, if you've got a system that works then it's probably best to stick with it. I've just personally not been pleased with my G3 system (interference, high price, dropouts, loss of quality through wireless transmission) and I don't feel comfortable using a recorder with a wired lav as my primary audio source if the lav doesn't lock into the recorder.

Hopefully this post at least gave some people a few ideas in case their current setup has caused them issues in the past because it's helped me to feel more at ease with the ceremony audio which has typically been one of my biggest concerns during the wedding day.
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Old November 19th, 2016, 05:35 AM   #11
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Re: Tascam DR10CS/DR10L combo for ceremonies

I don't use the zoom H1 for in pocket recording as it is far too bulky. I use a Sony PX333 which is very slim and half the size of the zoom and the right shape for an inside pocket. I would never dream of using an onboard recorder mic while in someone's pocket and always use a lav for the reasons you mentioned. Wireless is always open to interference or signal loss, so not really an option for vows although I use wireless for other times.

For typical UK speeches with 3 speakers on the head table, I usually use a Xoom H1 with two PZM mics evenly spaced on the head table wired to left and right channels of the zoom via a Y connector. If they are using a radio mic, I would also put a recorder next to one of the loudspeakers although most people have no idea how to use a mic, so I prefer not to rely on it.

All my cameras also have onboard Rode video mics for sound recording. Just out of interest, since moving to voice recorders a few years ago, over a couple of hundred weddings I have never had a lav mic pulled out of the socket, or had overloaded audio or a memory or mic failure. I did once forget to turn a recorder on, but backup sound was fine.

With all the pressure of solo wedding work, the least of my concerns would be the failure of a voice recorder or setting up multi layers of safety just in case. At most UK weddings, the vows are virtually inaudible to the guests, particularly in a church, so even my backup audio is perfectly acceptable. There is just more ambient sound, which I actually prefer as it gives a a much more realistic atmosphere overall. For most of my weddings, the lav mic sound is just too clear and clean so I usually mix in some of the ambient sound to add realism.

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Old November 21st, 2016, 11:33 AM   #12
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Re: Tascam DR10CS/DR10L combo for ceremonies

Whilst I agree with Roger, the H1 Zoom is too bulky for slipping into jacket pockets; oddly enough it was this arrangement that saved me on Saturday. Filming at a venue called Hedsor House - great location - I was having a great days filming until the Speeches. Following the Groom's Speech, the toastmaster suddenly changed the schedule and had everyone outside in the rain to see the fireworks. Managing a tripod, holding an umbrella and hand-holding my GX80 didn't make it the easiest fireworks I've filmed.

Then it was back inside for the Best Man speech, but after half of the guests had taken their seats and I had my cameras primed in place, the toastmaster announced they were going to do the cake cutting instead. So out we all went to the hall by the grand staircase and did the cake cutting. After which with everyone standing around, the toastmaster announced the Best Man speech, which took place with the Best Man standing on the stairs. Surrounded by guests I had no option to grab audio recorders or additional cameras, so made the best of it. Thankfully I had 2 cameras with me for the cake cutting, a GH4 on a tripod and my G80 on handheld. However it was my new policy of attaching audio recorders to each person speaking that really helped me here. Though I had a mic on my GH4, it was not my best one - good for background audio but not for the Speech. It was such a relief when I checked the H1 Zoom afterwards and heard crystal clear sound.

Of course this is hardly normal, almost 300 Weddings and the only occasion where a Speech has moved suddenly to another room. Still I think for peace of mind, I shall continue micing up each person whenever possible. However I shall invest in 2 more Tascam units and lapel mics and leave the 2 H1's and my small Olympus recorder as mic 4, 5 and 6 if needed.
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Old November 21st, 2016, 12:48 PM   #13
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Re: Tascam DR10CS/DR10L combo for ceremonies

That's an interesting experience Steve as I had a similar thing a couple of weeks ago. I had carefully miked the head table and wireless mic speaker and the Bride's Father's speech was normal, however the Groom and two Best men decided to wander around all the tables while they were talking and to not use the radio mic supplied. Like you the Zoom came to my rescue as I quickly stuffed it into the outside top pocket of the Groom's Jacket with the mics poking out and instructions to pass it on to the best men. It worked perfectly and the audio was so good that I might try to persuade other speakers to do the same at the next weddings.

There is a bit of scuffing sound between the speeches while they are changing it, but back up ambient recording covers that and the Zoom is in their pocket before they start to speak.

Roger
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Old November 22nd, 2016, 01:41 AM   #14
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Re: Tascam DR10CS/DR10L combo for ceremonies

I have also been going the double-mic route. My Olympus recorders are quite slim (0.6" Depth), so putting 2 of them in a groom's inside jacket pocket doesn't add too much bulk. When I use two mics, I'll use a lav clip I modified to hold both of them, so we don't need to see another clip.

My lapel mic is a cheap Azden with a right angle connector. With that connection and the excess cord wrapped around the recorder, it would be difficult to unplug it.

I haven't used wireless for weddings in over a decade. I think I was one of the first to use MiniDisc recorders back in the day when no one else was looking for alternatives. I never liked the occasional interference or static, even with the better brands. No audio is cleaner than that of a high quality hard-wired recorder at the source. And you don't get that evil look from the church lady when interference happens.
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Old December 4th, 2016, 09:45 AM   #15
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Re: Tascam DR10CS/DR10L combo for ceremonies

I ordered a DR10L from B&H about a month ago when they were on sale for $169 with the mic.

It arrived this past week but I'm at Disney world on vacation! Can't wait to try it out. I already have my 3 sets of G3s for sale.
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