How to Prepare for Location Sound Recording
July 14, 2020
Location sound shoots can either go smoothly without any major hiccups or leave you wondering what else could possibly go wrong. The key to having a successful location sound shoot day is thorough preparation. The first and most important step for preparation is to have pre-shoot conversations with everyone involved in the project. If this step is skipped, your whole project could derail in a matter of minutes on shoot day. Is the shoot indoors, outdoors, or both? How many contributors are involved? How many cameras will be used? What is the shoot day schedule? These are all important questions to address in pre-shoot planning.
Key Steps to Prepare for Location Sound Shoot Day
Along with pre-shoot conversations, here are six additional tips to keep in mind:
- Know the story. Before every shoot, you and your team should read through the script and take note of specific sound directions. To make sure everyone is on the same page, take the time to review the shoot day schedule, create a list of all necessary equipment and make sure everyone knows their role.
- Scout out the location. Visit the shoot location on the same day of the week and time as the shoot. Take note of any noise and identify any available power sources.
- Noise – take time to listen to background sound in the location. Are there any distracting sounds that could throw off your recording? Distracting sounds could be traffic, tourists, recreation visitors, echoing sounds. Depending on the story and script, you might want to pick up some background sound, like whooshing traffic or moving water. Do a few recording tests with different microphones to see which one will work the best for the location.
- Power sources – it’s good to always bring extra batteries, but it’s also important to check for places to charge up if necessary. Power needs are trickier for outdoor shoots, so make sure you bring as many extra batteries as you can. If indoors, check for readily available outlets to charge and confirm you can have access on the day of the shoot.
Preparation Pays Off
On the day of the shoot, test all your equipment, review your notes and bring all necessary items to the location. We know that shoot days are busy and exhausting, so help yourself out by jotting down editing notes during the shoot. You will thank yourself later – trust us!
It’s also helpful to reflect on your experience at the location after the shoot. Did you enjoy shooting at that location? What equipment did you end up using? What issues did you run into? Who all was involved in the project? These scouting reports will not only give you the best result for your project, they will also be helpful for future shoots. As you write more scouting reports overtime, you will build your expertise in various locations and be more prepared for any location sound scenario.
Q’d Up Audio Services takes pride in delivering the finest quality location sound recording that is compliant with all industry regulations. We can record and mix multiple channels of audio for film, television, radio, live sports, corporate events and more. With our high-resolution digital recorders, mixers and microphones, we’ll make sure your project turns out exactly how you envision it the first time. Contact us for all your location sound recording needs.