Hello everyone, I have a question about methods for getting decent audio from a reception with a band. 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. Everytime I turn away from the speakers or get in the middle of the crowded dance floor the band audio becomes muted and muffled. 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?
I used to take the wireless that I had previously used on the groom for the ceremony, and use it at the reception to send me a feed from the DJ mixer board no matter where I was on the dance floor. Some adaptors for plugs and an attenuator or step-down transformer to take the line level output down to mic level may be needed to do this, depends on specific setup.
If you have a detachable shotgun and cable, you can keep it pointed where you want while the camera points elsewhere, this only works well on sticks if you are a one-man band though. Consider getting a dynamic omni and floor or table stand plus extra cable, and mic'ing the band or their loudspeakers. Cables WILL trip people unless they are taped down and kept away from the traffic areas. This makes the higher cost of the wireless worth it for the freedom, convenience and safety factor.
We encounter this quite frequently and this is our solution - as with much in video, it's merely our solution and it works for us but there will be other ways.
Happily most bands are amplified so we use a Zoom H4, one leg taking the mix from the bands PA the other taking a feed from a Large condenser mic placed near the drums (which generally aren't miced up. We have a background in music recording hence the large condenser mic but any decent mic will do. Get the levels set before the event starts. Use the video soundtrack to sync and bingo you can have audience FX as well.
Thanks for the tip! I ended up buying the Alesis Pro which is very similar to the Zoom HD, it's a little cheaper though and records directly into my iPod. I made the mistake of hooking right into the band's mixer at the first wedding I used it at, and discover, as you mentioned that the drums weren't mixed in, so I got a pretty awful sounding mix. I'll try your advice and next time will hook up an external mic for the drums! It's amazing when you have a recording basically of just the lead singer how often they go off pitch!