Church Echo

9 replies [Last post]
Lusky
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Joined: May 8 2006

What is the best way to reduce echos when recording in a church. I use a wireless lapel mic and a shotgun mic. A recent wedding I did had terrible echo during the readings though the vows were fine if still slightly suffering from echo.
This was made worse by the church's sound system as I have a clip with the priest speaking before he switches his mic on which is fine but the minute his microphone is switched on the echo arrives.
I am assuming that the footage I have can't be fixed but would be grateful if any one can give me any tips that could help.
What I would be grateful for is any help on setting up my microphones to avoid this problem. would it be better if I put my shotgun mic on a stand at a speaker or rather at the reader's podium. Is there anything I can do at all or is it just a consequence of big churches.
I find the problem worse during catholic mass as the service takes place at various locations over the alter and short of putting a microphone on the priest and on the podium I don't know what to do.
Thanks

John Paul

Z Cheema
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Joined: Nov 17 2003

GO down the night before and cover the whole place with egg boxes, but seriously, whats done is done. get microphones as close as to the source as is possible.
Catholic churches are particularly bad and do sound like a British Rail station announcement.

I use two Radio mics and 1 rx , 1 mic for the couple and 1 for the reading, normally works well.

Rob James
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Joined: Jun 26 2001

There is one device that can genuinely reduce reverb in post but the catch is that it costs £3500. The only other solution is location mic technique. Basically, the closer the better.

Otherwise, you will generally find that reverb usually has a 'sweet spot' frequency or frequencies. Try boosting a fairly narrow notch filter and sweeping until the reverb peaks then cut at that frequency. Repeat with further notches until reverb is minimised, not forgetting to check regularly what effect it is having on speech quality by bypassing the filters.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

Fergie
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Joined: Jan 9 2001

Largely improved the situation once in a large catholic church with really bad acoustics by getting a small 'third' camera placed in front of one of the sound system speakers

               
                  Fergie
There's only one eF in Ferguson

I now seem to spend a lot of time arguing with inanimate objects

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007

Turn down the church PA and the gain on your radio mics.

RayL
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Joined: Mar 31 1999

So often, the problem is not equipment, but installing it and derigging it afterwards. Given time, one can overcome all sorts of acoustic problems with close micing. The problem is that as soon as the ceremony is over, many churches are locked as soon as possible and the poor videographer is torn between the fear of having gear locked in the church and the fear of missing vital shots.

Explain to the B&G that if they are prepared to pay for the extra staff then all voices will be crystal clear. If not, then some compromise is inevitable.

Ray Liffen

Lusky
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Joined: May 8 2006

thank you all for your replies,
They have all largely confirmed what I thought already but it is good to hear it and that there is nothing immediately obvious that i could have done differently apart from hire a couple of roadies.
Z. can I ask do you use your two radio mics on the same frequency for the 1 reciever or do you switch between them?

Thanks again

John Paul

Z Cheema
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Joined: Nov 17 2003

Two radio mics , two different frequencies NEVER have them on the same freq, you cannot have more then one freq in operation at the same time, you will get interference, just as you cannot me on the same freq as the vicar if he has a radio mic.

You can have as many receivers on the same channel as you like.

NigelP
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Joined: Aug 5 2003

Shotgun mics close to a wall behind can pick up echoes. If you can't move in close, away from any walls, try to position the mic in front of curtains to damp out any echoes off the wall.

Lusky
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Joined: May 8 2006
Z Cheema wrote:
Two radio mics , two different frequencies NEVER have them on the same freq, you cannot have more then one freq in operation at the same time, you will get interference, just as you cannot me on the same freq as the vicar if he has a radio mic.

Thanks Z,

I thought that. I did something similar recently when a bridesmaid sang a song at the wedding, I gave her my wireless handheld and switched frequencies on my receiver from the lapel to the handheld. You made me think I'd gave myself extra work.

Thanks again to all for your help

John Paul