Wedding Audio- ZoomH4N or Tascam DR-40

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    • #47578

      Hi Gang,

      I have some questions about wedding audio and what other people are doing. My gear is as follows.

      – 1 Sony V1U Camera

      – 1 Canon 5D Mark 2

      – 1 Canon 60D

      – 1 Rode Video Mic Pro

      – 1 Sennheiser Wireless G3 Kit

      That is my gear that I will be shooting all my weddings with, along with few tripods, sliders and glidecam.

      I have been using the G3 Kit on the groom, then using the rode mic on one of the DSLR’s. However, some weddings have other music playing etc so I have been looking at adding a Zoom H4N or <span id=”btAsinTitle”>Tascam DR-40.</span>

      <span id=”btAsinTitle”>I’m thinking one recorder is all I need.Which one would be better for what gear I currently own? Am I forgetting anything? Do you think this will cover my needs forallmy weddings?</span>

      <span>Any advice would be great.</span>



      <span id=”btAsinTitle”></span>

    • #196139

      Either one is a decent choice. I own an H4n. Aside from the size and battery life (too short), it’s a decent unit. Eventually, you’ll probably want to add more/smaller units like the H2n or H1, especially if you’re not tapping the xlr/quarter inch outputs from audio boards.

      A pocket-sized recorder is easier to mount and hide in front of musicians (although you should always ask permission first).

      For a typical church wedding, I might have 3 audio recorders going (podium, musician, groom)in addition to wireless mics).

      As with most tools, you find more uses for them when they’re a part of your kit.

    • #196140

      Hi Oren,

      Thanks for getting back to me. I’m using the G3 kit for the groom. Then the rode mic on my DSLR which I use for my cover shots.

      So, if I got the Zoom H4N do you think I should also get a H2 as well? I guess I want to make sure I have good audio πŸ™‚ So, I don’t mind buying one or two units. I’m just not sure where I should put them all lol.


    • #196141

      My preferred mic placement for church weddings is:

      Wireless on officiant (who does 95% of the talking). I want to be able to monitor and adjust his levels.

      Digital recorder (iRiver or H1 w/ lav) on groom to pick up vows.

      Zoom H2 on podium/lectern to pick up the readings

      Zoom H4 if there are live musicians.

      All cameras have 1 channel dedicated to shotgun/built-in mic.

      Since I started doing things this way, I have had great audio, fewer post production headaches, and I sleep better at night.

    • #196142

      To me wireless is better unless you wanna spend days just editing audio. I use two wireless and a tascam portable. Sometimes I only use the wireless split between the onboard mic..depends on venue.

    • #196143

      Thanks for the tips. I got the Zoom H4N today, all of your advice makes sense to me for the ceremony. I will keep the wireless lav from the G3 kit on the groom. Then with my other audio channel use that for room tone BG. I set the wireless up with my Sony V1U since there is no record limit and keep it at the back of the church.

      With the other two DSLR’s I will set one up with the Rode Videomic pro which will be used for b-roll. Then I guess use the Zoom for any live music. I think that should cover me?

      What would you suggest for the speeches and reception part. I have in the passes just used the Rode Video Mic on the DSLR and then use the Handheld mic placed it infront of a speaker had it set up with the Sony V1U.

      Now that I have the Zoom not sure what to do with that during speeches reception. Does anyone plug into the DJ board? I rather not rely on a DJ for my audio but what would you guys suggest?

      Thanks πŸ™‚

    • #196144

      Weddingmaster what do you use the Tascam for? Who do you mic up with your two mics?



    • #196145


      I basically use one wireless on the groom or officiant and I have the tascam setup as a backup somewhere near the alter for any surprises. I use my on cam mic for ambient sound, or a second wireless for safety.I used to put a small recorder in the grooms pocket with a lav. But the wireless is easier in editing. As I mentioned earlier sometimes less is more, Also keep an ear out for phaseing if you dont get all the mics lined up exact in editing it will sound like a swooshing sound. I usually get the camera sound in order and then sync to that nudging one frame at a time with headphones for the least amount of phase. Good Luck, sounds like you know the drill..


    • #196146

      For the reception, I run 3 mics. One is a dynamic handheld mic like the Sure Beta 58 with an XLR plug-in transmitter. This is attached to the DJ’s PA via a Bogen Magic Arm and clamp. Placing it midway between woofer and tweeter usually yields the best sound while picking up some ambient (clapping, cheering etc.). This is fed directly to my camera and monitored continuously. 90% of the time, I can use this track mixed with the on-camera mic for excellent quality. My backup is the H4 or H2 unit plugged into the DJ’s board (assuming they’re cool with it). This gives me a stereo feed, and a backup in case I’m not rolling during an impromptu speech, toast, or announcement.

    • #196147

      Whenever I use the H4n from a sound board feed it’s distorted really bad. How do you guys run a H4n from a board? The only thing I have found to work so far is a DI box in between the board and the H4n.

    • #196148

      Look into in-line (barrel) attenuators. Variable one’s are best and will knock a signal down by 20 to 40dB. They’re cheap and should be a part of your audio gear.

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