If you’re booking a wedding videographer to make a film for you for your special day, you need someone who knows how to capture audio professionally. On-camera audio, the little microphones built in to cameras do a bad job for capturing clear audio, so external equipment are needed to make sure every part of the speeches and ceremony are crisp and free of background noise. We will walk you through just one of the few setups that we employ at each wedding when filming, to show you how far we go to get clean audio. These behind the scenes shots are from a New Years Eve Wedding at the beautiful Pittville Pump Rooms in Cheltenham.
Our video camera has external ports (pictured at the right hand end of the top handle) to take professional level audio microphones, such as the mic attached to the front in the furry covering.Whilst this is a great ability, we only use the on camera audio as a tool to sync up external microphones in editing. The reason why we don’t use the on camera audio primarily is that as it is so directional, anyone talking to our left or right won’t be as loud as whats in front, and you are also subjected to any ambience and background noise near your subject.
These are our microphones of choice, called lapel mics, or lav mics. You would have seen these on TV shows for interviews and maybe on stage performances. The tiny little mic clips to your lapel or shirt collar, and is positioned so closely to the persons mouth that all background noise is effectively eliminated. The Tascam DR-10C recording device is no larger than a matchbox, and will record the audio from the mic onto its inbuilt storage. These units can run for hours at a time, and are kept on the person who has been mic’ed up in a pocket or on a belt. All we need to do is sync this unit to our camera at the start of recording and we can get perfect audio for the subject. We use three of these units on various people throughout the wedding, including the officiant, groom and even father of the bride.
In post production, we can hop between the audio recordings of these little units to make sure that the person speaking has the lead in the wedding film. The units have two audio level tracks recording simultaneously, one louder than the other, meaning we can even get clean audio from the bride without micing her up, just by taking one of the audio streams from the groom.
Thi is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to professional audio recordings, we’ll upload another blog in the future detailing how we capture room noise, PA desks and live musicians.