Recording Audio on Weddings

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    • #51916
      AvatarWill G Santiago

      Im a beginner on shooting Video and im still in the process of learning. I would like to ask if its right for me to just use my separate Audio Recorder (Zoom, H4N) on recording audio on weddings? I know my cameras (Panasonic HMC150pj and 60D with Mic) will also record audio but when i stop recording video to change angle and footage the audio stops along with the video recording. so is it just right for me to record all audio on a separate audio recorder (Zoom H4N) and just use the audio that was recorded on my cameras to sync the video footages to what I recorded  separately?

    • #204850

      Welcome to the wild world of live production. Weddings present a unique challenge for audio, especially for DSLR shooters. Depending on the venue, you might find that different approaches suit your needs best.

      For example, on a typical church wedding, I employ 3 or 4 audio sources:

      1) iRiver or Zoom H1 on groom (with lav mic)

      2) wireless mic on officiant (when they allow it)

      3) audio recorder on podium

      4) audio recorder for musicians (piano, choir, organ, etc).


      Church weddings are usually 2 camera shoots (or more), so I will split these duties between the videographers. The reason I like a wireless on the officiant, is that they talk 90% of the ceremony, and I can monitor the sound throughout. I also have a 'sneak listen' to when things are about to start.


      If you have access to a sound board, then a Zoom H4 might come in handy, but without being able to monitor and test it, you're flying blind.


      Outdoor/hotel weddings (or any wedding with a PA and board op), I'll still do steps 1 and 2, but also plug a audio recorder into the board, and sound check before the ceremony starts. Dont risk being at the mercy of a DJ's system for your sole source of audio. I guarantee it, you will eventually get burned.


      Another backup option is to record the speaker output (directly, through XLR or 1/4 TRS connection if possible).   Second best is throwing up a wirless mic or audio recorder in front of the PA. Once again, you'll be at the mercy of the DJ. Even the best ones can screw up, so use caution.


      To summarize, have a backup plan, even if it's an unmanned camera near the audio source. Don't rely on DSLR audio. Save yourself a massive headache and record continuous audio always…even at the reception.


    • #204858

      Will, you are right to ask about recording audio at weddings. As with most video, audio is very important. In weddings there are a number of significant parts that beg to have the audio recorded properly, vows, ring exchange, sermons, readings etc. I have found that using my Zoom H2 on the groom with a unidirectional lav gives great coverage of the bride, officiant and groom. Grooms are usually ok with this arrangement if not remind them that the bride would sure like to have a good result. Start the recorder before the ceremony, position it and the recorder on the groom, remind the groom that anything he says ar is said around him is recorded and retreive as soon after the ceremony as possible. This audio can later be synced up with the audio recorded on one of the videocams. All the information that voodeux gave is excellent if you have the additional equipment. I can only add one suggestion, attend the rehearsal if possible, scout shooting locations, get b-roll, etc. Hopefully, this will help in your wedding videos, keep shooting.

    • #208186

      Such as a good set up above. Most people, especially those just getting started, forget or don’t think audio matters that much.

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