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Public Speaker Audio

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Public Speaker Audio
on Aug 13, 2007 at 7:17:52 pm

I'm set to film a public speaking engagement in early October and I'm a bit confused about how to best handle the audio. In the past, I have filmed seminars in which the speaker was miked to the room's PA and I placed a wireless mic directly in front of one of the PA speakers. Not exactly professional. This speech is kind of a big deal to the company and I want this to sound great. I've thought about connecting the Sony V1U to the room's PA directly with XLR cables; is this even possible? Any other suggestions?

I know how green I sound, but I've never had to worry about sound in the past as 99% of my work has been sports related or set to music with no need for natural sound. Thanks for helping out the new guy who has no idea what he's doing!

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Vincent Becquiot
Re: Public Speaker Audio
on Aug 14, 2007 at 3:45:23 am

Anyway you do it, I would recommend going through a samll mixer first. You could probably go through the PA (if they let you do it), but you are always better off doing the micking yourself.

Otherwise, you are depending of the PA operator (If there is even one), and if there is hum, hiss, or the levels keep changing, you are stuck with it.

Buy, or rent a wireless lavaliere unit (Don't go for the cheap ones, they don't work). look for Shure, Sennheiser, and the likes.

You should be able to go directly into the camera, but I like to have a small mixer near by so that I can make minor frequency and level adjustments on site.

I would mic the PA speakers as well for backup, maybe in you second audio channel. Make sure you camera audio is set to separate channels and not mix, so that you can use the best sounding one.



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andy stinton
Re: Public Speaker Audio
on Aug 16, 2007 at 4:10:38 pm

I agree with Vince. One addition would be to see if you can come out of an Aux on the board that is what we usually give any media that show up . Providing that the equipment is decent this should give you a clean signal.

Andy Stinton
Corporate Video
Live & Stage Events
Business Practices

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Re: Public Speaker Audio
on Aug 16, 2007 at 4:29:06 pm

Cool...Thanks for the help guys. I contacted the hotel and they are going to have a mixer with XLR outputs that I can run into the camera, then mic the speakers as a backup as Vince suggested.

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Re: Public Speaker Audio
on Sep 6, 2007 at 2:18:25 am

How many speakers are critical to your event recording? 1? 2+?
Are they all speaking from a podium, or will they walk and talk?

One mic on the speakers and one from the PA mixer sounds like too much reliance on the house PA system. Scary. What if the house mic has a buzz in it or experiences intermittent drop outs throughout the speech.

I like to have four mics available for these things.

I'd have a multi-channel mixer on hand for flexibility.
#1 Pan left your main mic on the main speaker. If there's only one speaker, then button a wireless lapel mic on the person yourself. If more than one, then keep them at the podium with your own podium mic (I use a Shure MX418D - 18" Gooseneck) or tape your mic discreetly to the end of the podium mic.
#2 Pan left the feed from the house PA mixer and have it ready just in case #1 fails.
#3 Pan left a hardwired mic taped to the house speaker and plug it into the 3rd input of your mixer and have it ready in case #1 or #2 fail in the middle of your shoot.
#4 Pan right a cam mic or mic on a stand to get room audience applause. It will sound very dead without this source.
Test everything prior to the event under the conditions of the event (all mics, amps, lights, etc. on).

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