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Thread: On the subject of mics

  1. #1

    Default On the subject of mics

    Thanks all you guys for your replies so far, but I must admit to being very green when it comes to sound.

    Can you answer this for me. If I just wanted to improve the audio at a wedding, say the ceremony, can you place a mike on a stand, and if so what sort of distance away from the bride and groom? At what distance does the microphone on the stand become no better than the on camera microphone? Also, would a camera mounted microphone, i.e. Sennheiser MKE-300, Rode Stereo Mic, Rode NTG-1 etc improve audio considerably over an on board mic?

    Thanks in advance for anybody answering these queries.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    Not easy questions to answer simply, except the last.

    Camcorder mics are usually poor and can suffer from picking up camcorder motor noise. Any decent (50+ quid) mic will be better.

    As for the other stuff, well depends on a gadzillion factors really and I am certainly no sound expert and no wedding vidder.

    Off the top of my head I would say a decent shotgun (meaning expensive ) mic from six to twelve feet away pointed accurately would do the job.

    I dont know what the deal is with stands / lapel mics ect at weddings, I have always presumed that you just have to 'fit in'

  3. #3


    Thanks for the reply. I have only done a few weddings for friends and family using the camcorder built in mic with reasonable results. Talking to other people who had their weddings filmed the last thing they wanted was guys running around with mics and earphones, basically they did not want to know they were there. I have been asked to do a couple more and don't really want to use lapel radio mics, so that is why I asked the question. I really just want to try and pick up the audio a lot better than a built in mic. It just seems logical to place a mic near to the happy couple and pick up better audio. The same would apply to the speeches I assume. Any more feedback and advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    My personal view is that everybody is stressed at a wedding. The secret is to know what you're doing and do it.

    For the speeches a decent microphone, on a stand, in front of the speaker is the only way to go. Chances are they'll have some sort of PA anyway. So all you have to do is fix your microphone next to that for the PA. In my experience DJs and firms which do weddings aren't that good when it comes to sound quality so, in this case, I wouldn't risk taking a feed directly from the sound-guy's PA mixer or amp. The often use cheap microphones or singers' mics which are great for singers but not so hot for speeches.

    Mark's a documentary man so his estimate of what a shotgun mic will do, is slightly different to mine. I would try to have an absolute maximum distance of six feet between microphone and speaker. Three feet would be good, two feet is better. The mic will work at twelve feet, neither of us is wrong, it's just a matter of preference.

    I would also suggest using a hypercardiod or cardiod rather than a shotgun for the speeeches. Again, personal preference.

    For a wedding, to get the sound right, you will need a guy running around with headphones. If he's good, he won't do much running and will plonk himself in a quiet corner and do everything with radio mics. If that's too expensive then just get radio mics for the bride and groom (you can rent them and it won't cost a fortune). If you find out who's making the bride's dress, pay them a few quid to sew a pouch in the side of the bustle (the big bum bit) for the transmitter. The bride won't argue if the dressmaker has done that but she'll whinge like mad if she has to tuck a transmitter in her knickers.

    The groom will also wear a radio mic once he knows his missus has one.

    For the rest... are you interested in going on a Videoforums course this summer?

  5. #5

    Default Sound

    I use a Sennheiser KME 300D cam mounted shotgun and it works a treat in most situations. Radio mic's are a good idea but in my experience getting pouches into dresses, good luck. Make sure you attend the rehearsals and you will find out where to place any mic's but please keep in mind the day is about the bride and groom not you. Don't get a reputation for being won't get much work!!

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