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Wedding Microphone set-up HELP!!!

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Doece25Wedding Microphone set-up HELP!!!
by on Dec 15, 2006 at 6:47:51 pm

I will be shooting my first 2 weddings this coming June, both ceremonies for friends of mine. I will be shooting on a Canon XL2 but had a question about the audio setup.

My first thought was wireless lavs, which is not much of a problem with the groom, but for the bride there is nowhere to hide the body pack for the mic. My next thought was shotgun mics, but I am a one-man crew and have no one to get up close to the ceremony. I was thinking of taking a boom stand and booming the shotgun over the ceremony, but that is probably going to not look good in everyone else's pictures. My next thought would be take regular mic stands with good shotgun mics and have it in front of the ceremony, perhaps on the floor pointed up (one for the bride and one for the groom, and maybe a third at the Preacher if I had the MA-100 adapter to the XL2 to give me more XLR inputs). Both weddings are outdoors as well, so I would assume I need blimps/wind screens for the mics.

I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or suggestions you all would have or any insight to set-ups you have run in the past for weddings.


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ThaxRe: Wedding Microphone set-up HELP!!!
by on Dec 15, 2006 at 9:36:49 pm

May I suggest:

Use two GOOD lavs, Ch. 1 & 2.

One on the groom (it will pick him up AND the bride as they will be facing each other and close together.)

One on the officiant.

Then on CH 3 & 4 (if available) general ambience and/or singer(s).

Remix during the edit.

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tomRe: Wedding Microphone set-up HELP!!!
by on Dec 16, 2006 at 12:42:07 pm

May I also suggest wind protection for your lavs !. and I mean not just the little foam pop that usally comes with them. They do make a fur now to cover lavs, they are not the prettiest thing , but they do work. even the slightest breeze will hurt your audio outside.

Also when you do get your setup by all means practice using the gear before they day of the wedding. And practice outside In this business if something will go wrong it will.

Even if you take all the precautions you still may get the groom sniffling or his heavy breathing after he holds his breath for a minute cause he is so nervious !

Good Shooting


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Mark SuszkoRe: Wedding Microphone set-up HELP!!!
by on Dec 16, 2006 at 8:15:49 pm

Since the groom will always be next to the bride for any parts where either talk, an omni lav on him is usually sufficient in my experience. This will usually pick up the offician as long as they are standing next to the couple too.

A second mic will typically be needed for the pulpit and for the lector and soloist. Some guys run a minidisk recorder or iriver for these extra sources and line the audio up later in post. Consider the more separate cameras and audio sources you bring to the edit, the longer it is going to take and the more storage you'll need.

Hiding the omni lav just inside the groom's lapel blocks the wind well, you just need to tape it and the wires so as to prevent noise from rubbing against the cloth inside. Also don't put it too far inside the coat or you'll muffle it too much. This takes some trial and error, so make sure you practice it during the rehearsals. People sometimes forget and treat omnis like directionals. You can point the omni away and down out of the wind and still get good sound many times.

Check the directions people face against the expected sun and wind. Sometimes you can avery a big problem witha little change in arrangement discovered in rehearsal. I used to just have two channels, so I'd do camera shotgun on one, wireless lav on the other. With multiple mics, I'd run a mixer ahead of the camera input.

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Doece25Re: Wedding Microphone set-up HELP!!!
by on Dec 16, 2006 at 9:24:06 pm

Thanks everybody for the tips, lots of great information which I will store away in my brain.

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gasparRe: Wedding Microphone set-up HELP!!!
by on Dec 19, 2006 at 12:58:38 am

I'm a one man band like you, using a Sony Z1. I generally mic the groom with a wireless, and put an iriver on the podium for the readings. CH2 on the camera is supplied by on camera shotgun for ambience. So far, so good...

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You Can Call Me AlRe: Wedding Microphone set-up HELP!!!
by on Dec 26, 2006 at 3:29:52 pm

First time wedding?

Find the photographer far in advance of wedding.
Buy him coffee, dinner, a new car or whatever.... get to know him
make him your friend whatever it takes.
Ask him how he shoots, how you can work together, convince him you are
a nice guy.

This will have a HUGE impact on a wedding video turning out well.


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Doece25Re: Wedding Microphone set-up HELP!!!
by on Dec 28, 2006 at 7:02:45 pm

Could you provide some more information, or some personal experience. How will having a good relationship with the still photographer impact my video, other than perhaps using some of the stills in the video.

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You Can Call Me AlRe: Wedding Microphone set-up HELP!!!
by on Dec 28, 2006 at 8:38:26 pm

The photog and you must share a lot of the same space. A LOT of times they resent each other but it isn't necessary. Meet with them (or at the least call to intro yourself) to discuss where you think yuo will set up and how you might work together so that you don't get in each other's way etc.., This is mainly just to break the ice and to stress teamwork not that you will be working so much together as a team.

My preference was always to defer to the photog since they are usually hired first and make more $ from a wedding. It is easier for the videoguy to shoot from anywhere or from behind the photog etc.., They are usually directing the bride and groom where to stand for photos etc.., so they can be very very sensitive about who is doing what and where. This is more crucial in terms of the ceremony - given church rules you both might have to be positioned in the same spot.

Often photogs got in my way intentionally just out of resentment of a videoguy being there. Most of the time no problems. I film them when they get in the way .....and make sure they know I have film of them.

Others will have advice as well I am sure.

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