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Wire-Lists#21: The #1 Way To Get Flawless Wedding Video Sound With MTCR

Social Media WireLists21 300Videography is one discipline where sound and visuals converge, and while it is not exactly new, wedding videography remains one of the most profitable projects that videographers undertake. And the demands for it are more stringent than ever before. No longer are wedding videos a simple chronological record of the day – they have become dynamic films featuring cinematographic camera work and even soundtracks. One of the newest trends is to show a “trailer” containing moments from the ceremony during the reception, which means that the footage needs to be edited an hour or two after filming and most likely onsite! With all of this going on, someone (that would be you) has to be mindful of the most important reason why everyone is there on the day: to witness the vows. The videographer has to figure out the best way to obtain a clean audio track while at the same time being unobtrusive and inclusive of more than one camera set-up. Many videographers plant mics throughout the venue or have the partners speak into wireless mics, but this isn’t always practical, feasible, esthetically pleasing to watch and in cases where the wedding is in a church with strict requirements, might not even be allowed.

Enter the MTCR. This is exactly the type of application that we developed it for. Similar units are already used extensively in reality TV and live action documentaries, and in a sense, these applications are not much different than what you are trying to accomplish.

The MTCR runs for over 6 hours on a single lithium AAA battery – plenty of time to capture a typical wedding ceremony and beginning of the reception. If you are using timecode to sync cameras and audio, the MTCR can be jammed to your camera’s external time code via the standard 5-pin Lemo connector. And it is small enough to be hidden in the most form-fitting wedding gown or tucked neatly into the breast pocket of a tuxedo.

If you are new to using this method, the steps are:

  1. Mic one of the partners with a MTCR and lav the morning or afternoon of the wedding. Usually, you’ll mic the groom, and the MTCR can go in the suit pocket, while the lav is clipped to his lapel, maybe 6 or 8” below his chin. Don’t forget wind protection! You will set the gain and volume in advance and jam with timecode that syncs with your camera(s). It is usually unnecessary to mic the officiant, as his or her voice will come through clearly on the mic. All three people are within a few feet of each other, and usually it is very quiet during the ceremony. In post editing, you would compensate with a “fill left to right or right to left” command to put the one mono track onto both tracks of the stereo audio. You may have to ride levels just a touch to compensate for the difference of distance between the people speaking and the mic.
  2. Enjoy the event.
  3. Remove the MTCR after the event or during a point in the reception where it is convenient to do so.

At the end of this exercise, you will have a microSD card with clean audio. In your editing stage, you would then choose “synch by timecode” or the similar command within your software, create synced groups with every angle’s action lined up with sound, and start editing immediately. If not using timecode, most video editing software offers a “sync to waveform” operation which aligns the audio tracks based on a reference, such as from an on-camera mic.

So whether you’re recording a solemn event or a real life reenactment of Tony and Tina’s wedding, the MTCR is a foolproof way to ensure that your wedding videos sound as perfect as they look.

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