The Importance of Capturing Audio on Your Wedding Day
Can you imagine watching movies like Star Wars or Greece on a pair of blown-out speakers? How about listening to the Star War’s film score or Greece’s soundtrack on mute? Forget that!
Audio is just as important as video when it comes to filming your wedding day. As professional wedding cinematographers, we never overlook the value of audio production. We put as much attention to capturing high-quality sound of your vows, toasts, first look, etc., as we do with capturing professional, high-end video. Here’s a few examples of how we accomplish this:
During the wedding ceremony, we prefer to put a small, wireless mic on the groom in order to capture the best audio, especially during vows. The small microphone is barely visible and most of the time it can blend well with the clothes you are wearing, especially if your shirt is black or a darker color. Grooms often tell us they forgot they had the microphone on and never noticed it. The mic will also capture audio from the bride and sometimes the officiant depending on how far they are standing from the audio source.
If possible, depending on circumstances, we also may put a wireless mic on the groom for the “first look” to capture any fun and romantic words during this happy exchange.
Feed from Audio Mixer or Loudspeaker
Having a back up plan is extremely important. During the ceremony, in addition to the wireless mic on the groom, we also “patch in” to the DJ, church or venue audio system if at all possible. This allows our videographers to capture all the words that were spoken from the microphone(s). This comes in handy during a Catholic wedding ceremony for example, where there are numerous speakers (Bible readings from wedding guests, Priest, etc.) and the mics being used are all coming from the same audio system. Most of the time patching into the audio system is possible. Some venues or churches may not have the capability of an external output for our audio recorder. When this happens, we ensure clean, high quality audio from at least the wireless microphone placed on the groom or officiant.
Shotgun and Camera Microphones
But there’s still more! Our third backup is an on-camera shotgun mic. We will always have a mic attached to our camera capturing “natural” sounds during a wedding. A shotgun mic is crucial because there isn’t always time to attach a wireless mic on everyone that has something awesome to say. Shotgun mics come in handy while the bride and groom are getting ready, during the reception such as the cake cutting, dancing, bouquet toss and more.
Three Things to Consider
- Windy Conditions:
If you are having an outside ceremony or wedding and it’s windy day, you may hear wind noise in the final audio depending on the outdoor setting. We do everything we can to avoid wind noise by properly fitting our mics with wind screens. Unfortunately, if there is strong and gusty winds, this will be picked from the wireless mic and most likely the DJ or venue audio system. We do have techniques to reduce wind noise in addition to wind screens during the post production, video editing process.
- Problems with DJ or Venue Audio System:
There may be times where the DJ or venue audio system has technical problems such as “cutting out”. If this occurs, we have our own wireless lav and shotgun mics as a backup.
- No DJ or Audio System:
There’s been a handful of weddings we’ve filmed where there was no audio system or DJ. No worries! We can still capture audio of your special day. One thing to note is that since there’s no audio system to patch into during the toasts for example, the audio will be captured from our on-camera shotgun mics. Furthermore, the audio will have more echo and won’t be as pronounced compared to the feed from the audio system. With that said, you will still be able to hear everything that was spoken and the audio can still be incorporated into your final wedding video(s).
We Hope to See You Soon
These three microphone methods allows us to capture crisp, clean audio. Even if you don’t hire Pacific Hearts to film your wedding day, double check that your videographer understands the importance of audio and that he/she has the equipment to effectively capture it using the three methods described above.
Enjoy your wedding planning and we hope to see you on your big day!