Wednesday, 14 January 2015

LOCATION SOUND

Dan Snow shoot
 Like many of the teaching staff at Bucks, I still get to be involved on professional productions from time to time. Eg. this recent corporate film shoot, a conference opener for IoD – with BBC presenter Dan Snow. I was the Location Sound Recordist, providing all sound equipment required and working alongside a small camera crew to capture the presenter’s pieces-to-camera.

The call time on location was 6am at IoD's HQ in central London, an early start even by filmmaking standards!
As for most shoots like this, I used a radio clip mic on the presenter. This enabled an even pick up of Dan’s voice as he walked around the building (up and down stairs, in and out of rooms, etc) and it’s normally better than trying to use a boom microphone for ‘walkie-talkie’ shots like this.

 It was shot using a Steadicam, used to track the Canon C300 camera smoothly around the location.
A steadicam in action
This needs to be perfectly balanced to keep the movement smooth, hence we needed to do away with the cable i normally run between the SQN sound mixer and the camera and instead use a wireless ‘camera hop’... basically a radio transmitter hooked up to the mixer and the receiver mounted onto the Steadicam rig. When working like this you need to run a backup recording, we used a Zoom H4N recorder.

The shoot was done and dusted by about 9am, at which point we enjoyed a bacon sandwich from a nearby cafe and went home. A good day at the office!

Location sound recording techniques like these are covered during the Sound Design modules of the course that make up 25% of the teaching in years 2 and 3. We have multiple location sound kits for students to use – all spec'ed to a broadcast standard with kit from Sound Devices, Sennheiser, and Audio Ltd etc

Al Green

Sound Design lecturer
My SQN 4S mixer and location kit

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