Recorder for ceremomies?

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larry62

New Member
So, I'm looking to add a recorder to capture audio for ceremonies for an upcoming wedding.

At first I was thinking of getting a portable audio recorder, but then thought a camcorder might make more sense.

Then again, DSLRs seem to be replacing camcorders.

Then I read that audio guys are using the portable recorders as audio front ends for the DSLRs.

Any suggestions or recommendations?

Thinking one with XLR / combo inputs is the way to go.

-larry-
 

mcmusicdj

McMusic
If you go the DSLR route pay attention to recording times. I believe my Canon T3i records up to 11 or 12 mins at a time before it has to stop to write to the card. After a few seconds I'm able to record again, but it does stop after 11 or 12 mins.

I use a Zoom H2N audio recorder: http://www.zoom.co.jp/products/h2n/

Good luck!
 

bb

Well-Known Member
Mic the vows, run that to the DJ mixer, DJ mixer to recorder of choice.
 

robertbenda

Active Member
You need 2 or 3 recorders. Even a simple mono recorder will work, like a $60 Tascam. Mic the groom with the lapel mic. Record straight off the sound system, if possible. If not, mic the pastor. If you get a 3rd recorder, mic the bride. No joke, but see if you can get a very slim mp3 recorder. And her permission well in advance (strapped to her garter leg and fed through).

The reason is, even with mics and everything, it's almost impossible to hear the vows. Even if you can, there is always a baby fussing, or somebody coughing, or it's a little windy (outdoors), or the photographer is clicking only 3 feet away.

If you're willing to spend $1500-$2000, there are some very nice camcorders you can get that will much easier to use than a DSLR. Panasonic AC90 or Canon XA10 both price around $1800-$2000. If you want to spend under $1000, the DSLR is the way to go.

If you do a DSLR, the Canons have a recording time limit of 12 minutes due to file size restrictions. The new T5i fixes this by creating multiple files but doesn't stop recording. The T3i is the cheapest option that still has the very convenient swivel screen. I'd do it or the T5i. If you are going to use the DSLR for filming some footage at receptions, get a prime lens like the Canon 50mm f/2 ($105) so you can film in low light. See if you can find a camera kit that comes with a 70-200mm zoom lens (or something like that) so you don't have to be 5 feet away filming a ceremony or speeches.

Spend $50 on an external mic... Polaroid makes an OK one. Or spring for the Rhode mic at $150 or so. And don't forget a tripod. Cheaper $40 tripods are a pain - noisy and tough to get to the right spot, but handheld is not an option. We buy Manfrotto's but they're $200-$300.
 
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DJ Master Mix

DJ Master Mix
I purchased a digital audio recorder ($60), and ran directly out of the booth output on my board into the input of the recorder and recording is simple. You should mic officiant and groom at least to get the best sound quality.
 

NickyB

Gear and Equipment Moderator
Knowing that a full 2-2.5 hr movie file can fit on a 4.7 Gb DVD, I see no reason why you couldn't use a relatively cheap mp3 recorder with at least a 4-8Gb SD Memory card. Take the record output or te booth/zone output off your mixer straight to the mp3 recorder.
 

larry62

New Member
Thanks for the info. Sorry it took so long to get back to this.

I was planning on taking a feed from the mixer, forgot to mention that.

I normally use omni lapel mics on my wireless for ceremonies (after many years in theatre sound with lapel mics, hair mics, etc.), as I don't like the handling noise, wind noise, proximity boost of 'chest' sound, popping 'p's, and so on, with cardioid lapels. Also, they seem to never stay pointed up, so the person is out of the hot spot. Likewise, cardioid mics reject sound from the floor, where there is no source, unless you have floor monitors or an orchestra pit, but may not reject sound from speakers on poles, central loudspeaker clusters, etc., and cardioid mics may also reject sound from other people. I'm surprised how many people like cardioid lapel mics, as I really dislike using them after lots of attempts on costumes, in hair, etc. I've had really good luck with omni lapel mics, even in picking up more than one person, and haven't had issues with gain before feedback. But if the officiant is used to public speaking and projects well, but the bride and groom are nervous and subdued, it's an uphill battle to get a balance if the mic is on the officiant. I do like the idea of micing the groom as well with a 2nd system, I think I'll see if I can do that. I'd be reluctant to add more complexity to the Bride's prep by adding a mic fitting and such. One trick I learned from theatre doing duets and such was to duck the level on one mic to prevent phase cancellation when two people are singing at each other, but to drop the level on the quieter singer's mic, rather than turning down the stronger singer. That seems backwards from a balance point of view, but the mic on the louder singer may pick up quieter other person singing directly into the louder person's mic more than the louder person wearing it. (There must be an easier way to say that.) I may try that if I get time during the ceremony, but would have to monitor on headphones first, as its not a rehearsal...

On the recorders, I had looked at the 4 channel units, hoping I could do 4 channels from the mixer and take a mono mix, then direct outs from the 2 mics, and the keyboard, so it could be re-mixed down later if the mono feed wasn't good, but that doesn't seem to be an option with the portable units.

Looks like the Tascam DR-100 mkII costs a bit more, but seems to have done well in the reviews. Any specific comments on that unit or something similar?

thx.

-larry-
 

mcmusicdj

McMusic
In regards to your concerns about "I don't like the handling noise, wind noise, proximity boost of 'chest' sound, popping 'p's, and so on, with cardioid lapels. Also, they seem to never stay pointed up, so the person is out of the hot spot."

This might be a solution to consider, they get attached under the clothing

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/378922-REG/Rycote_065504_Undercover_Lavalier_Wind.html

(for the record, I'm not promoting the company in the link, merely the concept of product hosted by such company)
 

smedenver

Member
For the DSLR cameras, couldn't you just output your audio source from your mixer to the 3.5mm mic input on the camera?
 

robertbenda

Active Member
For the DSLR cameras, couldn't you just output your audio source from your mixer to the 3.5mm mic input on the camera?
Yes, but that would tether you via a cable, unless you used a wireless mic setup. It's easier to record it off mixer, with the ability to adjust the gain on the recorder, and mix it in editing. This makes sure you can get camera audio of anything apart from music (people cheering) via an external mic.
 
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