Capturing Sound for Video
In the world of video production, the phrase location sound and the role of being the Location Sound Recordist refers to the responsibility to capture the important audio while the camera is rolling. The important audio is usually the dialogue spoken by the on-screen talent, and the best place for the mic to be to capture their dialogue is as close to their mouths as possible. But in the world of video production, microphones, stands, cables, and especially sound guys are supposed to be invisible always (not even in reflections or shadows).
Being invisible while simultaneously capturing excellent audio is just one of the challenges that the Location Sound Recordist must solve all day, every day. He must also often be tethered to a roving camera — mobile and yet still always invisible (and silent!). He must wait patiently while the Gaffer changes the lighting for the 15th time, and then be ready to pounce when the Director calls for “ACTION”. He must remember to capture ambient sound on the set before striking (and remember to turn the refrigerator back on before leaving the interview). And he must be very familiar with all other roles, tools, and phases of production so that he can be useful to everyone.
A task not for the faint of heart
Fortunately, it is also a very, very fun job – one that I have been blessed to enjoy since 2001. Having also done work as a scriptwriter, gaffer, set dresser, cameraman, ADR recordist, sound designer, and film editor gives me a special appreciation for how sound decisions made on the set can impact the quality level of the final production. My work designing audio systems and RF signal management of wireless microphone systems in the house of worship and corporate audiovisual fields naturally lends itself to the world of sound for video production. And my work as a craft services connoisseur makes me appreciate very good coffee while the Gaffer is making his 16th attempt at the lighting setup.
I hope you’ll get in touch today so that I can sample your coffee – oops, I mean fulfill the audio needs on location at your next production!
Special equipment for location sound and video
In addition to being able to operate any client-provided field audio equipment upon arrival, I have amassed a personal collection of equipment that I travel with to support sound for video. This includes some of the following items:
- 2x Sennheiser Evolution Wireless 3 Series compact transmitter/receiver pairs
- 2x Sennheiser transmitter-compatible Sanken COS-11D ultra-miniature omnidirectional lavalier condenser microphones
- Sennheiser MKH 416 shotgun mic
- Rycote Softie windscreen
- K-Tek Avalon KEG-100CC 9′ graphite boom pole
- Petrol Bags field recording bag
- Tascam DR-100 mkII 2-channel field recorder (with special Softie windscreen for on-board X-Y condensers)
- Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80Ω closed-ear headphones
- Shure SE315 isolating IEMs
- 2x sE Electronics H-1 handheld condenser for on-the-street interviews
- Powerex NiMH batteries and charger
- and cabling, baffling blankets
- Canon D-SLR
- Personal 3-piece lighting kit