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Author Topic: diy parabolic reflector for wedding vow mic  (Read 1340 times)

Steve Loewenthal

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diy parabolic reflector for wedding vow mic
« on: June 08, 2018, 10:10:19 am »

I am seeking opinions as to whether this will work at all or perhaps be a complete waste of my time.
I am going to DJ a wedding next weekend and I am considering building a diy shotgun mic using a plastic squirrel baffle and an sm57. I do not have a lav mic or other onmi mic and have no intention of purchasing one.
My build plan is to drill a hole in the baffle, put a long goose neck through the hole from the outside of the hole connected to a short goose neck inside. The connection between the 2 goose necks will hold the baffle in place.
Connect the mic clip to the short goose neck.

For this venue, I will hang the mic in the rafters of the gazebo above the bride.
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Steve Loewenthal

"I'm, just the guy in a band that owns the PA and I'm trying to figure out how it works. (Been trying to learn somethin' about it for about 20 years and I hope somethin' learns me soon)"

Steve Loewenthal

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Re: diy parabolic reflector for wedding vow mic
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2018, 11:19:27 am »

Build complete
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Steve Loewenthal

"I'm, just the guy in a band that owns the PA and I'm trying to figure out how it works. (Been trying to learn somethin' about it for about 20 years and I hope somethin' learns me soon)"

John Roberts {JR}

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Re: diy parabolic reflector for wedding vow mic
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2018, 11:23:08 am »

There may be some cheap commercial solutions for nature recording.



JR
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Alec Spence

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Re: diy parabolic reflector for wedding vow mic
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2018, 11:59:48 am »

An SM57 is hardly the ideal mic for this application.  Also, from your photo, it looks way off centre - does it actually work?  And is your reflector even parabolic - or just "concave"? There is some science to this!

Sorry to be negative, but wondering if spending a few pounds/dollars on a *cheap* (literally GPB/USD 10) lav mic might not give you a waaaay better result.

How much are you being paid for the job?  And how disappointed will the couple be if the one shot lets them down...?

Is this for live re-inforcement or for recording.  If the former, then you're pretty much guaranteed to be wasting your time, sadly.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2018, 12:02:10 pm by Alec Spence »
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Lyle Williams

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Re: diy parabolic reflector for wedding vow mic
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2018, 01:51:25 pm »

If you try a stunt like this, the bride will hunt you down and kill you.
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Steve Loewenthal

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Re: diy parabolic reflector for wedding vow mic
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2018, 01:57:03 pm »

An SM57 is hardly the ideal mic for this application.  Also, from your photo, it looks way off centre - does it actually work?  And is your reflector even parabolic - or just "concave"? There is some science to this!

Sorry to be negative, but wondering if spending a few pounds/dollars on a *cheap* (literally GPB/USD 10) lav mic might not give you a waaaay better result.

How much are you being paid for the job?  And how disappointed will the couple be if the one shot lets them down...?

Is this for live re-inforcement or for recording.  If the former, then you're pretty much guaranteed to be wasting your time, sadly.

Live re-enforcement
$ not enough
parabolic vs concave: don't know didn't measure.
off center: a little. The goose neck is bent away from the center a little to make room for the mic
does it work: don't know yet. I'll test it at the venue comparing it to a straight mic hang.
Will they be disappointed: Wedding is next week and they still have not sent back info such song selection for 1st dance, etc. I don't even know if they want sound re-enforcement for the ceremony.

Previous wedding ceremony at the same location I hung a 57 from the gazebo rafters pointed toward the bride. It just barely helped the 1st or 2nd rows of the audience hear the vows.
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Steve Loewenthal

"I'm, just the guy in a band that owns the PA and I'm trying to figure out how it works. (Been trying to learn somethin' about it for about 20 years and I hope somethin' learns me soon)"

Luke Geis

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Re: diy parabolic reflector for wedding vow mic
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2018, 03:02:36 pm »

The industry standard these days is to use a lapel mic on the officiant and the groom. The bride rarely if ever gets one unless it is totally hidden and highly inconspicuous. While I haven't tried a parabolic lens, my guess is that it will have little to no effect for your purpose. The problem being proximity. The lens is VERY focused and at short distances will have a narrow beam. It requires distance to get enough media into the lenses beam. I think you will find it works great at getting one of the three under the Huppah / Gazebo, but beyond that I think it won't help much unless there is a little more distance. I would test to see how wide your beam is before the wedding day.

Also the alignment of the mic in the lens is critical. Like a satellite, a few degree's off and it can really effect where it hears and what it hears. If the reflection off the lens is not focused  exactly on the mic capsule it will be non effective at picking anything up. It will simply have a hollow and boxy sound and any sound that is heard will sound distant and unclear.

I think it will be a cool gizmo and a neat idea if it works and you can get it past the photographer and the wedding coordinator, but large things that can get into any shot in a wedding is usually nixed despite the purpose. I did a wedding once in the Bahama's and the happy couple wanted the best of the best. We are talking $80,000 in rental and labor just for all the audio needs. The kicker, they didn't want to see any of it!!!!! I was placing $4,000 Meyer speakers on the ground in bushes and hanging them from tree's because they didn't want to see them, or have stands anywhere in sight. It was the most disgusting things ever, to have 12 Meyer speakers all hidden and tucked into places that rendered them nearly useless just for the ceremony. The rehearsal dinner was much the same, a crap ton of speakers all placed in bushes and hidden. They even had the band go to a simple L/R only side fill monitor situation because they didn't want the stage cluttered with gear. Absolutely made no sense. It was a dog and pony show wedding where there was more budget than brains. It can defy all logic and we will still have to place audio stuff in places where it does little to nothing to help what the stuff is used for.
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Steve Loewenthal

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Re: diy parabolic reflector for wedding vow mic
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2018, 04:59:10 pm »

Here is a picture from the venue web site where I "assume" the ceremony will take place. I speculate that this pic is rather old. For the event I did there 2 years ago, I placed speakers behind the bushes in front of the shelter and they were mostly hidden. The bushes in this pic look rather small so either they replanted, or this pic is at least 5 years old. The mic was almost completely hidden.

The inside portion is basically a large cleaned up barn with a concrete floor. (No need for reverb) No air conditioning last time I was there. June wedding outside in Rock Hill SC. I just don't understand what some people are thinking.
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Steve Loewenthal

"I'm, just the guy in a band that owns the PA and I'm trying to figure out how it works. (Been trying to learn somethin' about it for about 20 years and I hope somethin' learns me soon)"

John Penkala

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Re: diy parabolic reflector for wedding vow mic
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2018, 05:08:08 pm »

I am seeking opinions as to whether this will work at all or perhaps be a complete waste of my time.
I am going to DJ a wedding next weekend and I am considering building a diy shotgun mic using a plastic squirrel baffle and an sm57. I do not have a lav mic or other onmi mic and have no intention of purchasing one.
My build plan is to drill a hole in the baffle, put a long goose neck through the hole from the outside of the hole connected to a short goose neck inside. The connection between the 2 goose necks will hold the baffle in place.
Connect the mic clip to the short goose neck.

For this venue, I will hang the mic in the rafters of the gazebo above the bride.

You should rent a hanging mic like an AT 853. It will probably cost you $15.
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Steve Loewenthal

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Re: diy parabolic reflector for wedding vow mic
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2018, 06:11:56 pm »

So I just took my device into a dark room with a small flashlight mounted in the mic clip. Based on the light beam projected onto the wall, it looks close to but not exactly a parabola. I'll see what happens when I set up at the rehearsal and test it. Not really expecting much, but I've only invested about 15 minutes of time and $0.00 out of pocket.
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Steve Loewenthal

"I'm, just the guy in a band that owns the PA and I'm trying to figure out how it works. (Been trying to learn somethin' about it for about 20 years and I hope somethin' learns me soon)"
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