Wedding Audio – Opinions Needed!

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    • #47212

      I’m going to be filming a wedding in about a month or so. I haven’t bought any gear yet as far as audio is concerned. I am possibly going to be picking up a Panasonic DVX-100B which would have XLR inputs, but I might only use my consumer level Sony Handycam for the wedding. Ideally, I will have two cameras. I will possibly borrow another consumer level camera to shoot alongside the Sony Handycam I already have. So, with that in mind, the last wedding (also my first wedding) that I shot had horrible audio because I only used the built-in mic on my Sony Handycam. An atrocity, I know.

      My budget is limited, but I need to buy equipment that will last and have various uses. I don’t want to spend money on throw-away stuff, but I also can’t afford anything and everything. In addition to weddings I like to do other event projects along side short films. I MUST make sure I don’t lose any audio or have a screw up as weddings are inherently a one time thing. So I need redundancy!

      Given my limited funds, I know this won’t be easy, but where can I start? What gear can I start acquiring that will get me to the minimum of what I need to successfully shoot a wedding with decent audio?

      Do I need three sources? Should I get a shotgun mic, a wireless lavaliere mic, and a H2 or some setup like that? Can I get by with just two audio sources? Can I have three audio sources with one being a backup, but very cheap?

      I honestly am not 100% sure on how to mix and layer the audio tracks in the final project, but that will have to come later. My worry at the moment is to get started with getting some audio gear that I can put a little practice into before the wedding.

      Thank you for your time, and please know that any and all input is very appreciated!

    • #194392

      I use up to four Zoom H2 units, placed where the readers, soloists/singers/pianist (if any) will be, one on a stand or hidden somewhere and directed to the area where the B, G & officiant will be, and the last one connected to a hardwire lav on the groom.

      It is a bit bulky, but no so much so that it can’t fit into the groom’s inside coat pocket, running the wire, up and around, clipping to the lapel for GREAT audio.

      I use the on-camera(s) MICS ambient audio and general sound from the venue.

      I occasionally will hook up a shotgun to the tripod-mounted main camera as additional audio reinforcement.

      I do NOT worry about “mixing” any of this during the event, preferring to keep it dry until I’m in post.

      Most editing systems provide some degree of flex when working with multiple audio resources.

    • #194393

      Earl, thanks very much for your advice on this.

      I am also going to be filming a wedding in a few months time, I have three separate Sony DV Cameras, but the sound is what I was most worried about. Your solutions totally make sense, and I think Ill go with what you have suggested on my weddings too.

      I hope the final outcome is as professional and great looking as I dream it will be. πŸ˜€

    • #194394

      Be sure to experiment with the Zoom H2 settings. When people first use them they tend to err on the side of caution when setting levels.

      I set levels fairly high, compared to what your instincts tend to tell you.

      For a music group, ensemble or group of singers, if I’m able to place the H2 6-8 feet away, I use the wide angle (rear-facing) mic setting and up the levels (-20 is too low IMHO, but you CAN “normalize” after the fact, either in unit, or in post using whatever available audio editing software).

      If the music group is loud, brassy, or heavy metal stuff (well, does happen, depending on the ethnic group or client tastes, live band, etc.) then i will move to 10 feet or so, and knock down the levels.

      For setting on the podium, or on a stand near (2-3 feet) from the podium, I use the narrow (90 degree – front position) and up the levels more than you’d normally think right. These units are good and clean and effective, but they aren’t as sensitive or as direct as you’d expect.

      When I place it with a hard-wired mic in the groom’s pocket I knock the setting down, but still not in the -12 or -20 db levels (too low) and since I’m disconnected from the internal mics, hooking into the mic/line input, that part doesn’t matter.

      A shotgun really helps zone in on the officiant, bride and groom, especially if the mic has good side sound rejection levels. You’ll pick up more air in the audio, and might get more camera noise than you’d like, unless you’re using the newer tapeless units, but it is still nice to have that option when working audio in post.

    • #194395

      Thanks for the advice Earl.

      I havent purchased any of the Zoom units yet, but I was looking at buying a couple of the latest Zoom H4N Units ( which have XLR Inputs aswell as the mics in the unit itself.

      Please tell me if im thinking along the wrong lines here (I really am an amateur), but I was going to use one Zoom H4N in the Grooms inside pocket, which will attach to a wired Lapel – I’ve been told that should easily pick up the sound from the bride, groom and vicar? What are your thoughts on this?

      As for entertainment at the wedding reception, again I was going to put a lapel and Zoom unit on the people who will be doing speeches. Then with a second Zoom unit, I was going to take a direct feed out of the entertainers mixing desk right into the Zoom, again via XLR cable.

      As for the ambient noise of the room, I was thinking about using the sound picked up by my directional mics on my cameras, but somebody suggested that I use one of the Zoom units to also record the ambient sound (instead of the camera).

      What Im unsure about (because I’ve never used them), is can the Zoom units record from several sources at once, but on different tracks? For example, can it record the entertainers mixing desk output on one track via the XLR, then on a separate track, record the ambient room noise through the built-in microphones on the top of the unit on a second track?

      Again, I don’t have a Zoom so am not fully sure how they work, so your advice on that would be very much appreciated. I apologise for my insanely long reply!!

    • #194396

      All the Zoom models are good units iMHO. I started with the H2’s and they’ve been sufficient for my needs. But I would spring for the newer models and the H4 series if I had some money to spare – not that they’re crucial to the audio needs I have. I do like and would prefer the XLR inputs but they were not deal breakers for me.

      A Lav that has a more omni-directional ability as opposed to a uni-directional one would likely do you OK for all three officiant, B & G. I’ve had good experience, but have just become so accustomed to some seriously redundant audio backup. I’m a slave to it.

      I see no need to place units on the people – they might not be happy about wagging a mic system around, and you might get too busy to chase after them and take it off their hands, bodies or minds. I usually place units near the B&G at the head table and if I can determine where the toasts will be presented, usually there also, I will place a couple on the table directed toward the area.

      After past experiences with plugging into house sound or the DJ boards I’m personally not inclined to do that anymore. A LOT of people in the business have GREAT success with doing this, but I (and others) have also had fried and crapped out mic circuits, on-camera audio input circuits, etc. due to the inadvertent soundboard mishap. These people might be doing you a favor, but their priority and primary focus is what THEIR sound and audio issues and qualities are, not mine or yours, so it’s an “at your own risk” kind of thing.

      I often will set a Zoom somewhere facing into the speakers, or even taped down near a speaker “sweet spot” and use it for multi-purpose audio – mics, music and ambient.

      Of course a Zoom placed on a stand somewhere out of the way and in a good spot will get you GREAT ambient audio. (be careful of the potential for theft – they’re easy to borrow and not bring back. ALSO, in many years of working, and LOSING equipment, I’ve discovered that not ALL guests are nice people, or venue employees for that matter)

      You could rig up something to get mono on L and separate mono on R, but I don’t do that because it’s simply easier, and I get better quality audio depth simply using multiple units and placing them strategically around the event and venue. With the H2 units you cannot do this as plugging in an external mic – wired or wireless – automatically cuts out the internal mic system. I am not intimately familiar with any of the others. You CAN, however, do 4-way with the front (90 degree) and back (120 degree) I’ve not done this often enough, nor needed or wanted to, to retain exact knowledge of how I did it. Sorry.

      If I have the answer, I will share. If not…but I and many others here have used the various models and most people seem to like them for the value and quality. Sure there are a number of other models, brands and options and the audio “purists” in the business will have their sets of values and rules. My primary rule is keep it simple, closely followed by expensive and complex is not my idea of “simple” πŸ˜‰

    • #194397
      owen d

      i’ll add the same question here that i asked in my own, similiar, thread; how do you sync the audio from the H2 to the camera?

    • #194398

      Thank you very much for all your advice Earl.

      You have pretty much answered all my questions and have given me the feeling that Ill be able to do this with the equipment I have in mind now. Before talking this through with you, I was reading half a dozen internet articles, all recommending a different system, a different setup – it’s hard to make heads or tales of it!!!

      So I really do appreciate you taking the time this evening to talk things through with me, thank you very much sir, and if you don’t mind, id would be great if I could consult you in the future too, should I have any questions?

      With regards to sycing the H2 audio to the video camera, that is something you’ll have to do in post-production, in software like final cut pro. From the research I have done, using a clap board to give a visual representation on camera, and an audio response via the h2 which you can then marry up in FCP seems to be the way to go.

      Although Earl may have a better and easier way to do it – that’s something id actually be interested in knowing about from this expert too. How do you do it Earl?

      With Regards,


    • #194399

      Just what you said Andrew. Some sharp noise or a naturally occurring audio element on the units. There’s software programs out there that work with various editing software to help make this easier to accomplish. But, it really isn’t as difficult as one would first think once you get accustomed to how the audio files look and motions or gestures accompanying multiple cameras, and the signature audio indicators with multiple audio acquisition sources.

      As with pretty much any audio source that isn’t synced using gear that locks everything together, you’ll experience some degree of drift. Drift will occur, depending on the audio resources used, anywhere from a minute or two i length to 10- even 20-minute intervals. I rarely need to sync up more than 10-to-20 minutes of audio at a time, making the overall problem of drift/delay negligible for my use.

      No magic tricks this time Andrew, Owen, sorry. But I have to say that it gets easier as you become more familiar with your editing systems quirks and habits. Becoming intimately familiar with theses “issues” on your system will enable you to move at a much quicker pace with each subsequent project. Patience and a LOT of frustration, then more patience is key.

    • #194400

      There’s a lot of good information here, thanks again to Earl coming through. But, I still feel like I need more guidance. I need to know what would be the BEST POSSIBLE but yet minimal in cost mix of equipment to meet my needs. Do I buy 2 H2’s and a shotgun mic? Do I buy a wireless lav mic? Do I get all three? Please feel free to state your opinion–the more the better. People will say every situation is different and that’s why I have tried to describe my situation in detail. I need opinions on what to buy, how many and how much it will cost approximately.

      Also, with the drift in audio considered, I never noticed it in my previous wedding video, but I also only used 1 track of audio…so i just had to match up the video in essence. I use Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, so I feel like the editing program isn’t limiting me, just my skill.

      I also need advice on how layered tracks of audio work. Do they all play at once then? Do you just sync them up on top of eachother and edit out any irregular audio? Is there a visual representation I could see that would help me understand how to “layer” the audio?

      Earl, why would you never have to sync anything longer than 10 min? I need to understand how making more cuts in the audio helps the audio…right now, all I understand is that cuts mean the audio drops out for a second and then back in because of different background noises when the audio is not exactly sequential second by second. Do I need to layer in more background noise under it? To remedy the drop-out of ambient noise?

      Thank you for your patience! I have a lot to learn!

    • #194401

      Orpheus has a lot of valid questions there which im not really experienced enough to answer, so Ill let our resident expert Earl answer this one!!

      Also, sorry for hijacking this thread Orpheus to ask my own questions – I should have created my own thread, but your original question was in some ways the same exact questions I needed answers too aswell, but my apologies for the hijack!

    • #194402

      It’s no problem swiftmed–I am just glad there was any response at all. These threads seem dead. Not sure what other site / forums to ask this question on.

    • #194403

      A lot of the folks here have jobs and/or work video full time, Orpheus, and though sometimes we can and do answer fairly quickly, there are also times when we’re out on a shoot, up against an editing deadline or some other element in our respective lives that has to take priority over responding to every question posed at the forums.

      You will find that MOST responses here are usually level-headed, non-condescending and fairly accurate when you do get them, as opposed to a number of other forums where that simply isn’t so. There are forums out there where the participants seem more interested in ridiculing or drawing blood, putting down, than actually trying to help somebody beneath their perceive level of royalty.

      And, while MANY of us here do not mind helping, it does get a bit old when the same questions get asked over and over again. Or when the answers are easily found simply by doing your OWN research, working Google or whatever.

      I don’t mind at all responding to people with legitimate questions I feel qualified to answer, chiming in when there’s someone getting no responses at all because I do not have the answers but simply by having responded maybe somebody else will – hopefully with valid information.

      I have to say that I’m not particularly fond of providing a list of models, prices and specific recommendations for a personal shopping list, especially when my experience has been that the list is dissed, ignored, or otherwise thanklessly received. When it is argued by the person asking, or when I get the continuous, ongoing questions of validation as to why and wherefore, I made such recommendations.

      On a LOW or NO budget, the answer is quite simple – get whatever you can, but probably start with a Zoom H2 and some kind of shotgun mic; Azden, Nady, Samson. This is likely to set you back $500, give or take.

      Realistically, a wedding video producer would want to have a wireless (there’s a sweet Sony package from Armatos with Lav, body pack and universal plugon for handheld mics at $695, suggested retail is around a grand. Model UWP-V6)

      AND, a Sennheiser quality shotgun with excellent side noise rejection abilities – $700 to $1K.

      AND, at least one, if not a PAIR of H2’s – $400 to $500, give or take if you shop around.

      So, total for the mic systems and options you want, for redundancy you’ll need more often than not, you’re looking at $1,800 to $2K.

      If I had $1,000 and was just getting the best I could for the money I’d go with a couple H2’s and a shotgun, and build from there.

      If you deal with long audio stretches, you WILL experience drift, latency, whatever you want to call the issues that arise when matching various audio sources go out of sync NOTICEABLY or somewhat. That is when ambient audio, room sound, etc. comes in handy, enabling you to bridge your various tracks. Working with multiple audio sources in an editing environment is enough that books upon books have been written on the process, and the need for detail far exceeds the time and space available here for something that simply calls for experience and to which there is NO FAST FIX answer.

      Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 is certainly a capable editing environment, but even folks with that, FCP or other higher level systems will have separate audio editing programs/software that they use to do their professional audio sweetening.

      Lesser systems take more time to accomplish higher levels/degrees of audio sweetening; GREATER systems take more knowledge, understanding and familiarity with the system to make any difference in the audio quality. Also, same for audio as for video – garbage in equals garbage out. Regardless of the mindset a lot of people have that most anything can be FIXED in post, not always true.

      How layered tracks work depends entirely on your system and how you/it approaches working with multiple tracks. Simply stated, you cue in where you want various tracks to start/end; you ramp up/down or fade music, bring levels under or over the top of your main track, boost vocals, and reduce instrumentals or ambient sound/noise, adjust layers to play on top of, with or whatever, each other. You add effects, take away unwanted audio elements and more. Again, you have to know your system, your software and its/your limitations. There’s no ROTE answer.

      The vows might run longer than 10 minutes, but usually not by a whole lot. The rings the same, readers the same. All these audio elements can be broken down and matched up from your best available audio source. All audio levels can be adjusted to keep one from sounding radically different from another.

      I break up the specific and desired audio elements into their respective chunks and work with them until I get them the way I want them. Other things I allow to slide or pass, depending on how obvious their differences or drift or whatever might be. If I’m tight on lips, then sync is crucial/critical – if it’s close enough (as in hand grenades and horseshoes) and the lips are far enough away to not be noticeably off, then it’s close enough. Judgement calls all.

      There’s critical audio. For everything else there’s ambient sound, filler, cover-up or more.

    • #194404

      I cannot recall if I have ever posted on this forum πŸ™‚ but I really enjoy reading it.I am extremely impressed with the effort and dedication EarleC puts in, especially the last post.It is the best bit of advice I have EVER seen on the web.Thank you so much!!

    • #194405

      Here here @tunguy!

    • #194406

      Earl, I do understand people are busy and don’t necessarily have time to answer. My only hope was that the people who do have time to answer will put in their best. Pointing me to a thread that has valid information or saying you will respond, but it will be a few days are also valid options. I can also appreciate how the same questions are asked repeatedly and it is disheartening to the people who answer them again and again.

      I do think the answer you provided me is exactly what I was looking for. As great as the internet is and as full of information as it is, sometimes it takes a human brain that has worked with various types of equipment to distill down to the essentials taking everything into consideration simultaneously.

      From your post I can now ascertain that I do not have enough money to really do too much, but maybe I will start with an H2, a shotgun mic, and the onboard audio of the other camera. That should be enough to get me some workable audio.

      Now, if the camera with the shotgun mic is relatively close, up front by the podium and I put the H2 on the podium, and then the other camera onboard mic can take in ambient audio, that should probably get me much better vows than my last video. Do you think this will be adequate?

    • #194407

      Absolutely adequate, and you should have a noticeable improvement on coverage of vows and rings with that setup. Go for it!

      I was all set with the wireless rigs I needed and wanted, with handheld, converter plug for standard XLR mics, two radios and a pair of lapels on true diversity systems. Then along comes the FCC poop and my systems cannot be converted or upgraded or changed – frequencies locked in. So now I’m facing replacement of my totally satisfactory wireless systems.

      A pair of the Sony wireless kits I mentioned earlier UWP-V6 is exactly what I want and need, but I simply cannot come up with the $695 (though that is a GREAT price) for one much less $1,400 for a pair. I’ll just have to get by for a few months with my shotguns, H2s, and assorted other wired units. Frustrating, after having become dependent on the wireless systems, backed up by the rest of my audio.

      Budget rules – and none of us can afford to spend money we don’t have to spare, even on things we really, really need – no matter how long we’ve been in the business.

    • #194408

      “FCC poop and my systems cannot be converted or upgraded or changed – frequencies locked in. So now I’m facing replacement of my totally satisfactory wireless systems.”

      If you’ve got some kinda way to adjust the signal strength, I’d set the signal lower, get the receiver clsoer to the transmitter, and use your UHF systems anyway. No one will probably know, or even care, unless you’re in urban territory that the cops will actually check. Through research, I have not found ONE mic/receiver UHF system that’s in legal range. 700MHz – 800 MHz? They’re both outside of legal range, and I’ve gotten tired of looking for a more upscale system (good deal) that doesn’t operate in those frequencies. If you’ve paid for it, then I’d say, use it. That is my advice. Or, if you’re a good engineer, you can re-wire the band, also. You’d just have to find/know the right schematics for it.


      One of the things about the Zoom records is that they have no XLR inputs. If you’re running an external (wired) microphone into anything, then I’d recommend on getting a Juicedlink(excellent preamp), if you’re not getting the Zoom recorders.More than one camera means more audio channels – each should have two, and if you’re adding a long sound cable, it would be better adapted to XLR and run intoan XLR preamp. Cost of Zoom recorders can add up.

    • #194409

      Zoom H2’s are $139 at B&H includes free shipping. These units are a great value I have two. they provide a lot of audio flexibility.

      I have alsoused my small Alesis mixer and connected it to a zoom with adapter cable to the 1/8″ jack input on the zoom with great results.

    • #194410

      Earl, you connect a lav mic to the H2 and the groom actually pockets the H2 instead of a wireless? I may have to try that. I never have really had issues with the wireless, but it would be nice to go through half the batteries (or more!). Or the occasional chance I may be too far to get a signal, but for the time being I don’t even know what that range is other than I have never lost signal while in a sanctuary or reception hall. I do lose signal when they are out of the room, but I never know where they are, and never mattered.

    • #194411

      Yes, I’ve had considerable success using the H2 in the groom’s pocket, hardwired to a lav. Again, there will be those who balk, who think the somewhat bulkier unit is an unsightly fit and alters the contours of their manly chests πŸ˜‰ But many grooms are so ill-fitted with coats that are not very snug or they are big guys with ample room for tucking in an H2. It works the majority of the time, and maybe one guy out of a dozen will balk. Talk smooth, be pro, and you can convince them the bride will be MUCH HAPPIER when she is able to hear the vows clearly and distinctly πŸ˜‰

    • #194412

      I always stick the transmitter in a back pocket anyhow, no worse than a wallet. I will try the hardwired approach tomorrow I think, of course I will test to make sure my mic works with it!

    • #194413

      Regarding back pocket storage. The first time that groom sits on it and you experience something bad happening to the unit will be the last time you put something where somebody sits. Won’t get you every time or be a universal problem, but damage, eventually WILL happen. πŸ™‚

    • #194414

      I suppose it isn’t quite as durable (or small) as my transmitter, but then again it might be easier to remember thatthey have it and I won’t be recording candid audio all the way to the reception.

    • #194415

      Cool. Just be sure to make a post here letting us all know how bad the damage was πŸ˜‰

    • #194416

      I was joking around, you have a valid point. Not sure if I will use it tomorrow. Just got home from the rehearsal and very tired – need to be up bright and early. I won’t have time to try and figure it out unless it doesn’t involve more than plugging in the microphone and flipping a switch.

    • #194417

      You won’t see this in time, but good…no, GREAT luck Saturday. Also, if you DO check this, it takes all of 2 minutes or less to push in the card, make sure it registers, turn the unit on and plug in the mic, check you levels, set them a bit high, the lo/med/hi switch to med, and you’re on. Do it and you’ll be glad you have that extra audio backup, if not your primary audio for at least the vows. All my best, Earl.

    • #194418

      WOW! There sure is a lot posted here on what I thought was pretty much a cut and dried subject. I had some bad experiences with drift using digital recorders (Not H2s that Earl is talking about) a few years ago and decided to optimize recording directly to the cameras.

      Since we always use at least 2 cameras, we have 4 audio channels available which generally are sufficient. I use a wireless lav on the groom and sometimes another wireless on the minister for redundancy. Yes, I use wireless and have had no problems because they are transmitting only 20 to 30 feet in the UHF band and I use the spacial diversity on-camera receivers (the kind with 2 antennas). VHF and/or single antenna receivers have given me drop outs and noise problems.

      For readers or singers, I try to use cardioid or hypercardioid mics placed within 2 feet of the performer.

      I prefer to use only my own equipment, but I sometimes connect to the church’s sound board if it is a major brand in good condition, there is no audible noise coming out of their speakers and there is no popping sound when they switch or change anything. I also perform initial tests with a 30 dB attenuator in the line (using line level output to camera line level input) only removing it when I’m sure there is no danger of excessive signal level coming down that line. Please ote that this could be risky to your equipment if you are not completely familiar with sound boards, connections and signal levels.

      If I need to get house audio but I suspect the sound equipment, I mic a speaker. Here I have found that the speaker audio level at about two feed is very high. So, using a mic that can take high sound levels and placing it off center does the trick. I have found that a good dynamic mic or a musical instrument mic (one for drums) both work well.

      Astute readers might notice that I may have used more than four mic inputs. That’s true because this is a general discussion and not all configurations are used at the same time. Also, We sometimes shoot with three cameras. And, I sometimes use a third or even fourth camera in fixed positions mainly to record audio.

      For what it is worth, this is what I use now, but after reading about Earl’s use of H2s, I might give them, a try. They require a whole lot less cabling.


    • #194419


      I may have missed it in one of the earier post’s. What lav mic do you use with your H2?



    • #194420

      I have three models, a Sony EMC-44 (i think it is) and a couple of ECM-55 series, and an off-the-rack model from RadioShack that works very well. The RS unit uses a small, round battery. I have another but it has been used so much, and I’ve had it for so long that identifying marks are all gone. This one is the MOST uni-directional of them all and now that I try to get useful audio from more than one person I prefer an omni-directional lav.

    • #194421

      Jaimie seems to become more evident and relevant the longer your audio segments run. For anything a half-hour or less I’ve not had seriously noticeable drift from the H2s and I use them mercilessly πŸ˜‰ I now (though that might be politically incorrect) refer to my pack of H2s as my “audio bombs” in that I can virtually place them anywhere, set them and forget them and know I have a GREAT selection of good quality redundant audio reinforcement.

    • #194422

      Well my 7 year old broke into my camera case early Saturday morning and removed my SDHC cards from my H2s for use in his own video camera (who can blame him? – he wants to be like dad!). I didn’t realize this until at the ceremony site. I do checklists the night before an event, but apparently I need to do them as I load up the Explorer in the morning. Anyhow, that said, I was not able to try the hardwired method last weekend, and luckily I did not NEED my H2s too badly. I just finished 9 weddings in a row, and this will be a much needed weekend off, but I will try this again next weekend.

      Another question – I use an EV handheld mic for my friend/family messages. I absolutely LOVE this microphone, as I can sit right in the middle of a loud reception hall and pick up whoever is speaking loud and clear. The problem is I run this with a 50ft XLR cable ( I know I could go shorter, but still would be the same result here), and way too often I have had close calls with inebriated guests running around my camera. I am looking for a wireless solution here – and would like to use the same microphone I know I can trust.

      Has anyone used the Azden 111XT? It seems to plug directly into any XLR microphone turning it into wireless. My experience with Azden in the past has not been a pleasant one. My first Lav mic was an Azden and after about 30 ft. it started hisssing humming and popping. The 111XT would be used in very short range though, so I would hope it would be better? I do use a Sony UWP-V1 Lav mic system, and I know there was a handheld mic somewhere that was suppose to be compatible with it, but I cannot find it. Then again, I do not have experience with that microphone either and would not know how well it would perform as an interview mic.

      Thanks in advance for any help,


    • #194423

      This has been a hugely helpful thread! Can someone give me advice on using the Zoom’s for recording the speeches at the reception? Let’s assume I don’t have a place to pocket the zoom on the maid of honor, how could I use the zoom to capture this speech? What kind of quality would I be getting?

    • #194424

      I haven’t had the occasion to try this yet but from what I have read from other posters, placing the H2 in the’sweet spot’ in front of the speakers that the DJ isusing to broadcast the speeches should give you good audio to sync with your video in post or to hard wire to your camcorder’s input (if this is possible with the location).The output of the H2 is line out so make sure that your camcorder can handle this as input. Perhaps mounting the H2 to a tripod to get itin the right spot (always monitor with headphones). The H2 has front and back microphones built in so thisshould give you the speech(from the DJ’s speakersin the front mics and the crowd response picked up by the back or vice versa). The front mics have a narrower pick up pattern. Maybe others will chime in with details about the ‘sweet spot’ or anything related to this. Keep shooting.

    • #194425

      I like the sony PCM D50. it’s about $450 and totally pro

    • #209798

      All…I know I'm REALLY late jumping into this post.  I must add my sentiment about this being one post which has an overwhelming wealth of good, solid advice and commetary.  It seems Earl is the "leader of the pack" when it comes to the common sense approach and solutions.


      I have a real dilema in that I shot an outdoor wedding using only foam mic covers.  I can tell you, my Sennheiser did an EXCELLENT job of not missing one piece of wind noise!!  Using the Earl approach, I suggest anyone contemplating shooting an event invest in EFFECTIVE wind suppressor covers for your mics.  Regardless of the mic quality, you will have a virtually fruitless time in editing trying to get a final version of quality audio if the wind enters into the equation.


      I do have  a question, too.  Earl makes great sense with using multiple audio recorders.  For events such as weddings, there is little opportunity for any second takes.  In the wedding I shot video, the still photographer (a professional, as opposed to my very beginner status) just gave me one piece of advice–stay out of my way and out of my shots.  This put me somewhat on the defensive, plus I had read about making sure "unwanted" items don't end up in the video.  Although I used my on-camera mic (I was desparate) and my Sennheiser shotgun, I was at virtual loss about mic placement. 


      Again, I think has the right approach about placing a few recorders for the ceremony and reception.  What are the suggestions, though, about "hiding" these from the camera but still having them effective?  At the outdoor setting–though a lovely spot–we had no power, nor the routine surroundings usually found in a church.  Besides needing to keep away from the photographer, I didn't want my tripod/mic showing in the video. The lav I ordered arrived a few weeks after the wedding.


      If you do or can not use a lav on the groom or officiant, where do you place a recorder.  Even in a church, the ceremony usually takes place far from and in front of podiums, etc.


      Thanks to all how have added to this great post–and any who may wish to continue contributing



    • #209825

      Don, one thing about an older thread is the technology may have changed making the discussion incomplete. In recent months, bothiPhone and Android phones apps have been released that turn those phones into high quality audio recorders. Pair them with a decent lav mic (check B&H's web site) and the problem of recording audio in multiple locations might be solved. Put a phone in the minister's pocket, in the groom's pocket, maybe even figure out a way to get one onto the bride with a white lav!

    • #209830


      Many thanks for putting me up to date.


      I can appreciate the information in any post will "age."  Believe me, though, for those novices like me, they are a GREATplace to start.  All the posts I've had the opportunity to read are full of super information–along with advice from those who "have been there" and readily share their experiences and willing to share suggestions.


      If you can figure how to mic a bride, I figure you will reap enough money to retire very comfortably!!


      Again, thank you.

    • #209842

      I have shot many a wedding, and have learned some hard lessons.  Some great ideas here, including using iPhones as additional capture devices.  Primary audio for vows is critical.  If you cannot afford a Sennheiser Evolution lav system, rent one.  These are worth every penny. This will also allow you to monitor audio from your camera, and better hear what is going on.  Shogun mics will be good mostly just for audience and ambience.  If a PA system is in use, I jack a recoreder into the tape out jack in addition to my Zooms.  

    • #209843

      To EarlC:


      Almost 4 years later I am reading your thoughtful posts. This is great information that I needed. I thank you for taking the time to respond to the OP.


      Cheers and Thank You!

    • #209913

      Earl, Ed…


      I keep re-reading this post, and each time, I do believe my brain greatly expands my concept of what one should do to produce a super video.  As I noted earlier, I am probably the newest of any new videographer.


      Being on the conservative side (with "wedding" virtually my only "for a customer" experience–aside from some very raw static camera events), I am prone to believe using a wired lavalier on either/both a groom and officiant is the best option to capture the vows, the very "necessary" audio of a wedding shoot.


      Currently, an Android smartphone might give the best audio; also, some new phones, like the Nexus 5, are very small.  Purchasing a phone for the sole purpose as a recording device is a costly affair:  one must pay full retail, in the range of $300-500, or so.  I know the Zoom H2N is a great device, but it is a bit bulky–MUCH more bulky when compared to a Nexus 5.


      Having multiple recroders also seems to be the best approach to one-take events like a wedding. The Zoom H2N, H4N and H6 have reviews indicating these are excellent choices for "hiding everywhere" for an event.


      I was wondering, though, if anyone has suggestions about the groom and officiant recorders.  If the Nexus 5 (or similar) is out of budget range, would the Zoom H1 would be a good choice.  It is much more limited than many others, but for the ceremony, it seems to be a decent choice.


      Again, not considering the new phones, are there suggestions for the groom/officiant recorders other than the H2/N?


      Many thanks!

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