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Location sound advice?

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Hey all,


Haven't posted in a while, as I've been quite busy buying a house and all that. I've also just gotten a job as the location audio recorder for a 6-week-long local film shoot, possibly followed by another 3-week-long film shoot after it.


I'm sure members of this forum have done location audio. Does anyone have any advice for me? It'll be my first paying gig (ever, at least in dealing with audio), and I'm nervous as all hell. I just want to make sure that I don't royally muck something up.

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wow..congrats...Field audio is always a challange!


are they providing you with gear??? What kind of experience do you have doing location sound? How do you plan to take your studio experience out into the field?


gear is EVERYTHING for this kind of work. Lav mics, mixers, boom mics. What will you be recording to? How are you handling timecode sync? Do you have a backup/archiving plan?


..just for starters... :)

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wow..congrats...Field audio is always a challange!



Boost the man's confidence, Dave, why don't you .......... ? :lol: :lol: :lol:


Seriously, Dave is right but it all depends on what's expected of you.

If this is a small outfit with a low-ish budget, they won't be at all

surprised if you're not equipped with every gadget under the sun, and I

have seen many first-rate commercial videos shot where the sound is

just taken to minidisk with a fishpole mic and a good helping of luck !


IF they supply any gear, make sure you know it forwards, backwards and

every which way before you go anywhere near the set. Dramatic dialogue

can usually be got with a fishpole and a C1000 (VERY good mic for location

work as it's a condenser but runs on a 9V PP3 battery). Interview sound

is nearly always best with lavaliers or tieclip electrets. Have an ambient

running ALL THE TIME, even if the director says he'll never want it, because

at some post-prod stage, he will and you'll get your bollocks shot off for

not having captured it !


Wind noise will decimate your reputation in a millisecond so get mufflers

of every shape and configuration.


On the shoot, if you're not happy with what's in your cans, SAY SO ! And

say so, LOUD. The director will be less pissed over a few shouts of, "Not

Good for Sound" than he will be in the edit suite when stuff can't be



Good luck, Biff. And keep us posted.




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:) I wasn't going to get that specific ;) But, yeah..great advice Chris. Very often there will be a lav mic AND a boom going (split left and right), just in case one gets overdriven.


Find out WAY in advance if you're going to be recording directly to the field decks/cameras, or if you have to deal with timecode sync!!!


I suppose you should ask if they plan on doing any ADR after the fact as well...


to be perfectly honest, I don't do much of this kind of work. We have a handful of go-to field guys that our production facility uses, and I ain't one of them. Those guys have a unique skill set that's VERY different than studio work.


I did a little research for ya..


This book looks GREAT..tho I haven't read it:




and a video to watch:





and here's some links for more reading.










enlighten theyself with knowledge, grasshopper. and have fun!





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I don't have all of the info just yet, but basically:


- Six weeks, straight through (sundays off), with an assistant.

- Will be using a wireless setup, as well as booming.

- No timecode support on the device, whatsoever, so detailed notes will have to be taken.

- Not sure of the device itself yet, but it's a digital tascam unit. Going to be given to me for a quick review/test drive and then I'll let them know if it's "good enough".

- Not a high budget film or anything (like I said, local), but I am getting paid!

- I don't believe I'll have access to a computer/internet.

- I have experience booming, as well as operating a Nagra, but we won't be using one. I've also used an HHB portadisc unit, but again, that's not the equipment we'll be using.

- ADR is really not an option, or at least it's one that the director/producer really doesn't want to have to touch on, so they'll be focused on getting things right the first time.

- Unsure what other gear will be provided to me just yet.


Thanks for the advice, PH, and those links David. Really appreciated.

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