“I hate weddings. I know. Shocking. After playing at hundreds of them, I’m just not a fan. Now, I’m even less of a fan of funerals. I’d much rather celebrate someone’s life at a pub or restaurant where everyone can bring their best memories. Weddings are, at least, happy events on the whole, but they’re still not my thing. I guess I’ve become somewhat cynical about it all. After seeing just about everything good and bad which could possibly happen, it’s rare that something sticks out in my mind as memorable.
Of course, the latest thing which is memorable is this trend to have non-vows. You know, these airy-fairy vows that mean nothing, “I promise to love you, think the best of you, try to be my best self, and try to consider your point of view and try my best to be a good partner…” You think I’m joking? I’ve heard this and less during the promise portion in the last few years. I usually walk away from those events going, “did we have a wedding or was it just a party?” But, hey, at least it was memorable if not for all the wrong reasons.
Now, don’t get me wrong, if it’s one or two people getting hitched who I know and love, that more than makes up for sitting through 30 minutes to an hour of beauty and boredom. I love these folks. I’m happy for them. And, yeah, good for them. Otherwise, I’ve gotta turn my phone off (too much temptation) and try to design a better condenser mic in my head.
I mean, I’ve seen the Harley Davidson drive down the aisle to give the rings to the best man, I’ve seen both the maid of honor AND best man pass out within 5 minutes of each other and flop to the ground like Raggedy Ann and Andy – complete with head smacks on the carpet, I’ve seen the bride run out of the room never to return, I’ve seen them kneel at the altar only for the audience to discover someone taped “help” to the bottom of one of the groom’s shoes and “me” to the bottom of another, and my personal favorite, the ring coming out of a cracker jack box held “by chance” by the groomsman at the end of the line, only to be passed forward, each man getting some cracker jacks until the groom finally gets the rings (personally performed by me at my best friend’s wedding – for which my mother will never forgive me). I suppose I might also mention the ring being replaced by a red and blue pill on the pillow, and the ring bearer asking the groom which he’d like to take before the ring is revealed (another performed by my son and I at my brother’s wedding). Yeah. Anything to spice up a wedding is grand entertainment for me. And yes, you can tell, I’m a bit of a hellraiser – and I’m convinced it’ll all come back karmically to me 10 fold at my own wedding.
And when it comes to capturing these momentous events, audio can often fall by the wayside (unless you’re trying to record that Harley in a concrete sanctuary). I mean, it’s not like you’re going to gaffer tape a black lav to the front her dress or expect her thin small voice to be heard over the din of air conditioners and the rustle of clothing from the groom or officiate’s lav. So what’s to be done? How do we get a great recording at the altar?
If you’re in the business of recording weddings (or shooting them), and you’ve asked yourself more than once why you have to spend so many hours using Adobe Audition to denoise and denoise and denoise the groom’s mic to hear the “I do” or vows from the bride, may I humbly suggest you take a listen to the Cinema Sound education Volume 3 Chapter 4 where we talk in depth about what to do with those soft-voiced brides and how we get foley for them at the same time. What? You’re not doing foley for your videos!?
You can rent or purchase that chapter.
Otherwise, please continue having fun at your weddings. I’m happy to see the pictures and listen to the audio. When you’ve got a wedding in a boxing ring or the octagon, please don’t hesitate to invite me.”
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