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wedding audio

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bryan goodwedding audio
by on Jun 9, 2009 at 7:49:22 pm

hi guys, im trying to improve my audio production for my wedding videos. at present i use a shotgun mic which i great but i often miss out with shy brides or grooms not speaking loud enough. i am thinking about using a lapel mic on the groom as well as the shotgun on the camera.

my question is - if i use a lapel mic on the groom and my shotgun mic on the camera together and the priest uses his own mic and PA system at the same time will the results be unsatisfacory. will there be any echos etc. i dont want to plug directly into his PA system, and i dont want long cables. I have read about the iriver option too but dont want to add to my post workload.

any help is apreciated.

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Mark SuszkoRe: wedding audio
by on Jun 9, 2009 at 8:18:56 pm

You should definitely put a wirelss on the groom, you can hide the lav in his boutenirre and you'll get the vows very well, even the officiant when he's within arm's length. Mix that with ambience from the shotgun and you have a bare-bones coverage that can work. That's what I always used to do.

The next step up would be to get a small portable mixer like the Beachtek, so you could add the PA system into a mix while shooting. Many churches and temples have wirelss hearing aid/amplification systems for deaf members to borrow: I have had great luck tapping into the church PA thru the reciever for one of these. It let me get a free wireless feed of every mic'ed area of the church, already mixed, awesome coverage. Scout it out at the practice sessions before the real ceremony. Bring fresh bateries for it and the apropriate adapte cord, usually a stero or mono miniplug for a headphone, matched to whatever your audio input takes. Adjust impedance with the receiver's volume control.

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bryan goodRe: wedding audio
by on Jun 9, 2009 at 8:32:51 pm

thanks mark! ill try the wireless lapel so for a start and see how i get on.

ive been looking at the sennheiser ew 112-p g2. a bit expensive but will this do the job for me??

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Mark SuszkoRe: wedding audio
by on Jun 9, 2009 at 9:48:17 pm

You can always rent a better wireless than you can afford to buy, look into that. Whatever your brand, I would prefer a diversity setup, more reliable. I don't like Nady, then again, I've only seen/worked with the low end of that brand. Same for Sennheiser; you kind of get what you pay for on this stuff, the cheap end is great until it goes out on you mid-vows.

Take it to the rehearsal, even if you're not shooting it, you should go to the rehearsal to scope it out and plan your camera placement, etc. and make sure you don't have a channel conflict with the house system. BTW, some pastors have gotten hinky about wireless mics, for one reason or another, maybe they had a bad experience, where they got caught saying something candid or private, or it interfered with the house system one time out of a hundred... and now blame all our brothers equally. Whatever, maybe best not to advertise to the minister that you are using one, in case he's one of those kind. Don't lie, just don't volunteer.

One of the best times I had with a wireless, I let the couple walk out past me and the doors close on them as they leave the church, and the wireless is picking up the cutest stuff they said to each other on the other side of that door, forgetting they were wired... it really made the video.

I have always had great luck with Lectrosonics, and always thought Azden was cra*... well, on the low end it IS cra*, however, they have a high-end model that's pretty awesome: digital, the transmitter is also a solid-state audio recorder, so even if the RF link takes a hit, you still have the clean audio available for a repair edit in post, recorded on SD card. Not too shabby.

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bryan goodRe: wedding audio
by on Jun 10, 2009 at 9:12:00 am

thats some great advice! thanks

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Chris BryanRe: wedding audio
by on Jun 21, 2009 at 3:17:32 pm

I have a similar question, but about audio at the reception. I prefer working with DJs because then I can edit the dancing to an aiff file of the appropriate song, but lately I am getting more and more brides with bands and my shotgun mic just doesn't sound that great. What do you guys do to get great audio from a band? I have heard that there is a usb device that could be plugged into their mixer to record and then synched up in post, anyone gone this route? If not, what do you do?


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Aaron LeongRe: wedding audio
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 5:04:43 am

I always lav mic the officient, and the groom. If there is a podium and people are going to be reading scripture or speeches, that usually gets a lav as well. All of this goes wirelessly into my Edirol R-4 as 3 separate tracks which I add in post. On camera I usually have another receiver for the officient's mic for backup.

The mics' sensitivities are tweaked to my preference. If there is any unwanted talking during the ceremony, in post, I can just delete that section of whichever track and move on.

There's no perfect solution for good audio, especially at a wedding. Money will have to be spent. Time will have to be spent. There's no way around that. I'm using Sennheiser G2 100 series and have used them solidly for the last, going on 5 years now. The sensitivities are low but with the R-4 you can gain up as you're recording but I usually duplicate the audio tracks multiple times in post. It comes out very, very clean with minimal background noise, and little or no echo.

As for reception audio, I typically tap into the DJ's board through XLR, RCA, 1/4, or pretty much whatever he's got available. As a videographer you have to be ready to be able to tap into anything and everything to get a clean feed. With a band its no different. Often times they have their own mixer that has an out you can tap into. Speakers are also a good source, but be careful with this one. Sometimes the DJ or band doesn't modulate the audio and the feed will be too hot. Just have to monitor throughout the night or find a different source.

Hope this helps. I don't like adding to my post workflow either, but in all honesty, its all about the end product and not how fast we can get the project out. Of course, that does help.


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