Ceremony Sound Services
Important questions to ask an audio professional before hiring him/her:
- For our ceremony site, how would you set up your equipment and what equipment do you have available to ensure that everyone can hear?
A good answer will include a sketch or indication that the professional will put speakers near those who will be speaking. I have seen set ups where the speakers are behind the guests. That's going to be weird seeing someone speaking but hearing their voice from behind you instead of from their direction. Microphones that are suitable for the event may include wireless or wired microphones on stands, wireless handheld, lapel or headset systems and an appropriate number of speakers for the size of the audience. In outdoor settings, it is often critical to also continuously adjust the volumes via a mixing console, rather than just setting the levels and walking away. The Rhythm System offers sound support with multiple wireless handheld or lapel microphones as well as wireless speakers and battery-powered sound for the freedom to hold your ceremony at locations where power is not accessible.
- When will the installation be ready for us to test it?
A good answer will be one that includes time for those who will be speaking, to get their microphones and know how to use them. Leaving a wireless microphone on a stand and expecting those who will use it, to know how to turn it on and off or even that they should or can adjust the height or distance between the microphone and their mouth will make a difference during the ceremony. The Rhythm System sets up the equipment with at least an extra half-hour available prior to guests' expected arrival time, specifically to test and adjust for various microphone usage techniques and other conditions.
- Does the sound system have wires that may be of concern as a tripping hazard?
Wire routing is important and not always considered when installing a system that will sound and hopefully also look good. Safety is even more important. The more wireless components that will be used in the system, the fewer cords. The Rhythm System offers a wireless battery-powered sound system which completely eliminates all wiring trip hazards.
- If you are planning for an outdoor event, what will happen if it rains?
A good answer will include a contingency plan that at minimum, covers the electronics to protect the equipment, however, the plan may be to relocate the entire ceremony. In that case, will the sound system be moved too? How portable is it once installed? The Rhythm System will work with your contingency plan and also has plans to handle such scenarios. Ask Matt about experiences where it has rained on the ceremony sites after installation.
- How will situations such as wind, a train, helicopter, sirens or barking dogs affect the ceremony, if at all? Can the sound technician deal with these types of issues?
A good answer will include their attention to and constant adjustment to the volume. They may also identify the benefits of having a feedback elimination system within their components. That equipment is rarely included in a sound system, especially inexpensive installations. This piece of equipment prevents loud ear-piercing squelches when a microphone's sound picks up the amplified sounds that it is sending through the system. The equipment provides a narrow EQ 'notch' that decreases a particular audio frequency (the squelch) which should have minimal negative consequences to the overall sound but allow other frequencies to actually be louder. Wind screens should be included when there is even a slight breeze. The Rhythm System constantly monitors the sound levels and adjusts to uncontrollable noise. Watch the sample video below where the 4th wedding was potentially interrupted by motorcycles. The officiant paused for only a few seconds.
The Rhythm System Pro DJ Entertainment offers ceremony sound systems in combination with entertainment and other packages (such as a dance floor or lighting package). A sound system is also available for rent if you want to DIY.
Watch these clips from four wedding ceremonies where Matt Saltzer was involved:
Here is a lesson from a ceremony that was not supported by The Rhythm System:
I have also personally witnessed ceremonies where the sound person set up a gas-powered generator at the back of the ceremony site, behind all of the guests, parked their car between the generator and the guests and also set up their speakers behind the guests. At this same ceremony, the wireless mic provided to the officiant also cut in and out so th syl bols w re mis in fr m th ir ser ic. t wa a lit le dif icul to understand. It's best not to assume that you will have a great experience, especially if the price to provide the service is cheap.
Don't make this mistake!