January 16, 2015

Don't Fix It in Post: These Techniques Will Help You Record Better Location Sound

Though ADR is unavoidable sometimes, it can be time consuming, expensive, and frustrating as hell. That's why it's imperative to know how to record good location audio so you get it right the first time.

If you need a few tips on how to do this, Sound Designer/Sound Mixer Jonah Guelzo and Boom Operator Tyler Lyons walk you through their own recording process for their feature film Where are you Bobby Browning?This video is great, because you'll learn a wide range of basic and advanced techniques, like how to attach a lav mic to someone's chest, how to hide mics inside a car, and what kind of professional gear to use if you want to do dual system.

Check it out below:

Probably the most important lesson to learn from this video is this: don't have a "fix it in post" mentality. (Sound is supposed to be recorded not fixed, guys.) Even though editing software has become so incredibly powerful, it's still seems to be no match for the wacky things we can do to make our audio just terrible. Being meticulous and intentional about getting the best recording the first time around will make your (or your editor's) life during post so much easier (and cheaper).     

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15 Comments

Very helpful. Thanks!

January 17, 2015 at 2:43AM, Edited January 17, 2:43AM

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Can anyone recommend any resources for learning about recording and mixing audio? Specifically for interview type scenarios? Thanks!

January 17, 2015 at 8:22AM

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matt
771

Great video. There are lots of videos about recording audio for interviews, but very few about recording audio for live action movies. So thanks for that.

January 17, 2015 at 9:48AM

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Don't fix in post? Go to hell maybe.

January 17, 2015 at 12:29PM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1300

Not much of a fan of the Octava 12, just kinda funky sounding mic compared schoeps and sanken. while hypers are good indoors, a wider cardoid can be much more forgiving of off axis dialog or actors stepping on each other, especially when the are close together. in fact for a group thing it would most certainly be my go to mic - CMC 64 as long as its not a very externally noisy environment. having used a few different shotguns over the years, I'm running with a CS3e because its actually got bottom end with the low cuts off unlike other shotguns yet is still direction in those freqs. wonderful sounding mic compared to a few old ones like 416.

also no mention of sound blankets to help suck up room reflections. if you want to be on the DP and grip dept's nice list, get gray ones, not blue or some other color that can bounce a color cast into a shot. black can also be good if you can find them since the grips may be looking to suck up light as well to get rid of bounce for more contrast. you can use a solid too… but having to clean them is a pain for big ones so blankets are better. some black hallway runner carpet can also do wonders too and its cheap. they never really talked about sound control in terms of keeping down the stuff you don't want, especially in live interiors. it can really help a LOT.

January 17, 2015 at 8:02PM, Edited January 17, 8:02PM

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Steve Oakley
DP • Audio Mixer • Colorist • VFX Artist
422

I think the video was more about mic placement than sound control. Great thoughts though. We used sound blankets everywhere we could as well as go shoeless for tracking shots.

January 18, 2015 at 12:06PM

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Anyone know what mic mount they're using for the indoor mic? they mention the Rycote bbg, but I've been looking for a better mount for my mic - and theres looks nice! Or any recommendations?? I'm currently taking apart my blimp setup and using that system which is nice, but then I've got to move the supports to put my shotgun back in - so id like a second suspension system. Thanks!

January 18, 2015 at 9:01PM

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Scott Selman
Content Creator | Filmmaker | Producer
1041

He mentions the Oktava MC-012, so I'm guessing that is what might be hidden in the Rycote Baby Ball Gag on the boom pole.

January 22, 2015 at 3:26PM

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David Patterson
videographer/editor
448

I'm talking about the shock mount, not the mic. I have plenty of mics :)

January 22, 2015 at 5:24PM

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Scott Selman
Content Creator | Filmmaker | Producer
1041

It's kinda to bad a lot of the audio in this video was recorded too hot - lots of peaking.

January 19, 2015 at 3:42PM, Edited January 19, 3:42PM

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Nathanael Neveux
Cinematographer, Editor
91

Brought to you by Røde.

January 22, 2015 at 8:02PM

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Justin Kuhn
Director of Photography
94

Yeah, wtf...

I was noticing how often they were mentioning Rode mics...

...and sure enough, there it was, last credit, Rode microphones. I don't mind seeing promotional material (after all, that's pretty much what most BTS videos are, so there is gonna be a lot of it on nfs), but it should be clearly labelled as such from the get go.

January 26, 2015 at 6:37PM

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Daniel Mimura
DP, cam op, steadicam op
2254

The dude with the giant logo on his jacket that walks into the middle of the shot sealed the deal for me.

April 6, 2015 at 7:54PM, Edited April 6, 7:54PM

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Justin Kuhn
Director of Photography
94

I hate that "mic" abbreviation for microphone. Didn't Peter Sellers riff on that?

March 23, 2015 at 9:03AM, Edited March 23, 9:03AM

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They use quite amount of mics. One boom and lavalier don't seem to be enough.

November 19, 2016 at 2:26PM, Edited November 19, 2:26PM

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Don Nachos
Editor / Animator / Producer
175