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Is it possible to be a sound man for wedding?


Victor Nguyen
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I haven't dig deep into sound yet because I learn better when I play with toys than just reading about them. Please pardon my inexperienced.

 

I been interning under a wedding videographer and we have been talking about me becoming a dedicated sound for the wedding. How could this be done theoretically? Should I have many wireless lav plug into my mixer during the ceremony? And I think I would just walk around with a short boom for everything else.

 

You don't have to go into the nitty gritty detail. I just want to know if this could theoretically be done.

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Sure.

 Thank you for your insightful reply. It has change my whole way of thinking and outlook on life.

 

I have an extra question though, would I get interference inside the church from all the different wireless ?

BTW, John Blankensir, I have notice you have a CAS under your name. Is that a prestigious society like the ASC where you have to be recommended by fellow member or is it like SOC where it is easier to get in?

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Years ago I use to do "In Style Celebrity Weddings".

For the ceremony I would mic the groom, the person officiating, and a plant mic for ambiance.And if there was someone doing a reading or a speech that was important I would attach a lav to the podium mic.

And are all the mic are wireless? what are they connected to? a mixer? Thank you for the tip on the plant mic.

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If there are multiple mics it is usually possible to get a line feed from the audio desk at the wedding venue. Double check that it is a quality feed though, some sound systems at churches and reception halls can be a little bit... consumer level. If it's not a great feed you could at least lay it on it's own iso track so that you have it as fail safe.

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And are all the mic are wireless? what are they connected to? a mixer? Thank you for the tip on the plant mic.

Yes all the mics were wireless to my mixer. I recorded ISO tracks in my mixer and sent a mix to the cam/cams. The ceremonies were covered with 2 to 3 cameras and there was little to no walking around from the crew once the ceremony started. At the reception there was a bit more latitude. It was more for broll and most of the audio was captured with a boom.
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"BTW, John Blankenship, I have notice you have a CAS under your name. Is that a prestigious society like the ASC where you have to be recommended by fellow member or is it like SOC where it is easier to get in?"

 

CAS is the Cinema Audio Society, and organization that is quite similar to the ASC and the SOC. Each of these organizations has their own requirements for membership. You can find out more about CAS at our website: Cinema Audio Society

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My father has been a wedding photographer, amongst other things, for over 50 years. At one point in my life, probably around 15 years actually, I stood by his side helping him out and eventually doing the videos. So basically, I've seen way too many weddings and quinceneras in my lifetime. What I found that works best is using just a few wireless mics and sending a feed to the cameras. Most pro-sumer cameras used for these type gigs have two audio inputs and a their own onboard mic. The onboard mic would work for all those closeups of family members talking to the camera (so, don't bother bringing an unsightly boom), while the wireless would be put on groom to catch the vows and another to tap into the Church's audio feed. 

 

I don't know what the budget is for the type of gigs you guys do but simplicity and being incognito is usually the key for weddings. No one wants to be distracted from the ceremony by a huge video crew. I remember when the Canon XL1 first came out it was the biggest/flashiest pro-sumer type camera at the time. There were several times when the DJ or MC would put me on blast by calling out on the mic that "The News" was here so everyone get ready for your close up. 

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I've worked in many churches, (not weddings) through a national religious organization client. Upon arrival, I would immediately seek out the house sound console or control center for patching into. I carried a variety of adapters, pads and DIs, including a few of the indispensable IL-19., as well 'room mic(s). If no sound system, lavs and plant mics.

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I don't know what the budget is for the type of gigs you guys do but simplicity and being incognito is usually the key for weddings. No one wants to be distracted from the ceremony by a huge video crew.

We have a big budget for our gigs. We're using DSLR so I don't know if we can get a feed into the camera.

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It is extremely necessary to have a sound engineer present at weddings. I have a friend that has tried to record sound for his wedding business in the past, and with the quick pace of weddings, interfacing with the church's feed and wiring the bride, groom, and possibly the priest/reverend, the camera operator will run into situations of possibly missing important moments because he is doing two jobs at once. When recording weddings, I recommend using Zaxcom wires, especially because they have built in recording capabilities. If not, depending on range, etc. you may end up having to be out of anyone's eyelines meaning that your reception may suffer (no one wants to see a camera or sound crew at their wedding!) Wire the groom and the priest, and also the bride if possible. Use mic clips and USE WIND PROTECTION! Last wedding My friend recorded sound (cameraman) and forgot to apply wind protection to the lavs. They were on a beach....and it was really windy....ruined the entire soundtrack. ~Thomas Popp Video Mantis

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Thank you for your insightful reply. It has change my whole way of thinking and outlook on life. "

JB beat me to it!

...and I agree.!

 

 

What experience and knowledge base do you have..??

What equipment.. what rates are being discussed.

and all the other advice are very appropriate, there are forums that specialize in wedding videography that are going to cover the issues you will face much better than this forum...

(I'll bet there are more wedding videographers than there are Production Sound folks; I suspect many are OPB (one person bands), and many are multiple person bands...

you'll find more Azden, and Samson (including Zoom) equipment in this category of sound.

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Thank you for your insightful reply. It has change my whole way of thinking and outlook on life. "

JB beat me to it!

...and I agree.!

 

 

What experience and knowledge base do you have..??

What equipment.. what rates are being discussed.

and all the other advice are very appropriate, there are forums that specialize in wedding videography that are going to cover the issues you will face much better than this forum...

(I'll bet there are more wedding videographers than there are Production Sound folks; I suspect many are OPB (one person bands), and many are multiple person bands...

you'll find more Azden, and Samson (including Zoom) equipment in this category of sound.

1. All my experience is mostly in video. No sound experience so far. I learn mostly from playing around with gear so I'm saving up for my first mixer at the moment.

 

2. We are a high-end wedding company. There are usually 3 people shooting a wedding. The person that I'm interning under knows that I want to get into sound. He understands that sound is very important and acknowledge that it will bring the company to the next level. So if my skills is up to par, he want me to be sound first, and video second.

 

3. Which forums are you referring to? Dvinfo? I have started another thread there already. However, I have learn a lot more from this forum than the other one. I wanted to learn from real audio professionals, not from videographers who thinks a Zoom H4n is the best thing since sliced bread.   

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  • 3 years later...

Sound mind is must for marriage. A person of unsound mind will not be able to handle his family. I attended one marriage function at Houston, the speciality of the marriage was that the groom was of unsound mind, but his family background was solid. They have very well arrangement at one of the best wedding venue. But within six months their marriage was broken. 

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I shoot a lot of weddings as a one man band in most cases, and I only put a wireless on the groom and have always been pleased with the results.  Occasionally, I'd get pops and clicks with Senn G3 (even after doing frequency scans) but that was relatively rare.  So the wireless goes directly into the camera, and then I have an on camera shotgun to catch ambiance, and of course any other stationary cameras are also capturing audio.  If there is a podium I would mic that too, but most church systems are rudimentary at best and often no one on site that knows how to do anything with it other than turn it on...so I cannot remember the last time I had church system audio in my record chain.  I would love to have zaxcom wireless but I just haven't been able to justify the cost yet and of course onboard recording would be awesome.  A cheaper alternative to the Zax wireless is the ZFR series (packaged just like the wireless without the wireless transmitter), I do have a ZFR100 that I could put on the groom or whomever in a nasty rf environment.  Then just sync up in post with room audio...

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I did a wedding shoot as a one man band recently - not for money, just as a present for the couple.

It worked good to have a Sennheiser ME66 with an EW100 plug on transmitter on a low mic stand. I could quickly place it to where the action was, e.g. in front of the couple or on the table when the bride's father did his speech. That was faster than putting on lavs and didn't irritate those people too much who where completely unexperienced to AV media work.

I also used a high quality mic for on-camera use (MKH60) to get good results on the hugging scenes in front of the church and at the garden party.

All in all not really professional but it was the best compromise for all of us. Most annoying were the photographer's camera clicks.

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