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Capturing great audio is one of those details that is way too often overlooked. And in fact, it’s one of the most important details when it comes to making your film more cinematic.
This includes capturing ambient sounds, crisp and clear narration, as well as just natural voices that will pull your viewer into a film like nothing else can. Your viewers will automatically feel more connected and therefore more emotionally invested in your film without ever realizing why.
It’s also one of those things that becomes glaringly obvious when you’ve done it wrong. So let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.
With the variety of scenarios you’ll encounter during a wedding day, you need small, durable, and adaptable microphones that don’t sacrifice quality, yet are still affordable. And notice I said microphones. You’ll need a few, so I’m emphasizing the affordable here.
In today’s post I’ll be sharing with you my absolute favorite microphones for capturing great audio during weddings, as well as a few tips for using these mics on the wedding day.
If you can only afford to purchase one microphone, this is the one that I’d recommend: The Rode VideoMicro Compact On-Camera Mic. They are so handy and very affordable, so definitely check the price on amazon as I frequently see them on sale.
I have two of these, one for each camera. You can see in this image how it attaches to my SmallRig cage, but you don’t need a cage for this mic.
It’s very light, so it will attach to any small camera via the shoe adapter on top of the camera. It plugs into the camera right on the side there and depending on your camera should automatically start recording audio through the mic.
The primary purpose of this mic is to capture background noise, ambient sounds (laughter, applause, people chatting), as well as spontaneous conversation that happens when you don’t have someone connected to a Lavalier microphone.
I leave these on my cameras, running at all times. Not only do you not want to miss all those spontaneous moments, it also gives me peace of mind that I do have a backup mic running in case one of my other mics fails me.
You will definitely want to plan to have at least one, if not two lavalier (also known as lapel) mics handy to use for voiceovers and interviews throughout the wedding day.
Examples of when you’ll use a lapel mic would be if your bride and groom are writing letters to one another. What a great opportunity to have them read these letters aloud so you can use that narration to help tell their story. It will add so much depth and emotion. You can’t skip it.
You can also use this mic on the officiant during the ceremony to capture the message. If you have multiple mics you may opt to go ahead and mic the bride and groom as well, especially if they are saying their own vows.
My recommendation is the Tascam DR-10L lav mic. These mics are so light and handy. If you can only afford one, start with that, but if you can afford two or three then you’ll be all set.
The microphone connects directly to the receiver that will easily fit in a suit jacket (or inside a bride’s dress). They even make a version in white to make it easier to hide on the bride. Hit record and you’re good to go.
The audio records directly to a microSD card inside the device. You need to buy this separately, but they are not expensive and will hold hours of continuous recording. Here’s one I recommend or you can often find it bundled for no additional cost on amazon.
These handy little clip on mics are the BEST. They are perfect for quickly clipping on the inside of a suit jacket when someone is about to give a speech. You can also discreetly tape or velcro it around a handheld microphone during the reception and just let it run for all the speeches. It’s a great backup idea if you are running a recorder through the house audio as well.
If you’re not familiar, this little device is simply an audio recorder.
You can plug it directly into an audio source (if the venue has a DJ or audio person, for example) and that way you can have a copy of the audio feeding through the mics that they have already set up for musicians, music, the officiant, or speeches.
Again, this is always a great option to have as a backup audio source, even if you plan to use all of your own mics as well.
Are you picking up on the fact that it’s always a good idea to have TWO sources of audio recording at all times? I’ve been burned by bad audio a few too many times, so I’m very careful about having backups at all times.
This option is not the cheapest one on the market, but it is the best quality. I personally do not recommend the Tascam version of this based off negative reviews. I have the ZOOM H4 version and it’s lasted me years upon years of constant use.
You won’t need many additional accessories, but you may need a few. Here are some of my favorites.
Rycote Overcover Stickies- These are great little stickies that you can use to hide underneath shirts, collars, dresses, or jackets. In case you want to completely hide the mic from view. I always have these on hand.
Cables: I always carry a variety of cable connections to make sure that my audio device can connect to whatever audio system is available at the venue.
XLR to XLR Cable - You may need this cable to connect your recording device to the venue’s audio system.
1/4 to Dual RCA Stereo Cable - Again good to always have on hand in case you need it.
1/4 to 1/4 Cable - Another connection option.
I hope you find this list helpful and easy to navigate. I remember feeling so overwhelmed at the options out there for wedding videography. At the end of the day, you really just need a few solid mics and the knowledge of when and how to set them up and you’ll be good to go.
It’s an investment that you may have to make at the beginning of your journey, but with one or two weddings under you’ll belt it will more than pay for itself and be far worth it in the end.
As always, send me your thoughts and questions in the comments below and share with me the films you’re working on!
Thanks for checking out a few of my favorite things. As an affiliate, I receive compensation for mentioning my favorite resources, however any commission that I earn comes at no cost to you. Thanks as always for your support!
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