Filmmaker, Producer and Sound Engineer Tony Errico’s work has consisted of 15-years of tv productions, music production and he’s the founder of production company Tiger Dreams, Musically, he has actually worked with bands such as The Mission, Wet and Aerosmith. Recently, Errico wrote a short article for Raindance Movie Festival’s site (where he is presently carrying out post-graduate research studies) offering his top ten tips for film sound recording (you can check out that here).
1. “We’ll fix it in post!”
Doing ADR– Automated Dialogue Replacement– with the stars listening to the recorded dialogue and replacing it in the comfort of a recording studio with quality microphones, compression, EQ costs a LOOOOOOT of money, and time. And I am not even talking about the background sound here …”.
2. Undervalue the sound guy recording the noise.
” If I had to listen to only one man on a set, it would be the sound man. I’ve been on set as Production Assistant observing that none paid attention to the sound operator when he said “hum, there was an airplane in this take”, and the Director thought the take was terrific enough not to redo it. Honestly guys! A sound guy has experience and knows exactly what to listen to, his job is ‘hearing’– and trust me it is a task per se. He knows exactly what individuals need in post-prod, so if he says that there is a plane, then it indicates a huge problem for later on … I would rely on a sound man a lot!”.
3. One noise man can do all of it!
” Obviously, and one person in a restaurant can prepare, serve and clean the dishes … all at the same time! Depending on the budget it is true that a sound person can tape, mix and call the film, but still the skills are not the same, and to blend a motion picture, much better have a pro who owns a studio or at least a best acoustic location to do so. You don’t want smothered discussion.”.
4. Utilizing the microphone of the cam will do!
” Then why not shoot your motion picture with a phone webcam? Any mirophone will do! Yeah right, then why some microphones deserve thousands of pounds and some ₤ 10? Never wondered why in a professional music studio there are hundreds of various microphones? To tape high-quality location sound the right type of microphone need to be used: ultra-directional for external places, directional (much shorter) for interiors, and non-directional for confined interiors. The more directional the microphone, the higher the degree to which it selectively picks up sounds from its front end, and the higher the signal-to-noise ratio will be. And expert microphones utilizes XLR connections! So if you have a jack microphone, it will not sound as good as it should, this is a sign!”.
5. Ignore the location!
” When you examine the place, you need to bring the sound guy with you if you want to be professional! He will then know precisely what needs to be done to get the finest sound recording there.
6. Tape the noise with the music or background noise is fine!
” Of course, then when you choose your right take and blend it, that’ll be fun! Like 5) here, once a background sound is on the discussion, it is impossible to take it off, however if the dialogue is clean, you can quickly include a background music, noise etc The cleaner your discussion, the much better for post-production.”.
7. We don’t require a “wild/walla/atmo track”!
” Then I am questioning how your dialogue will sound like … If you modify a discussion leaving areas between them or taking a discussion from one take and the other from another take, there is a huge possibility that the background sound is a little various, then, people will hear it, and it will sidetrack the audience. Avoid this by always record a “wild track”– or ambient sound = one minute of overall silence on a set, prior to or after the main shooting– to have a neutral background noise.
8. Anybody can be a boom operator, I’ll ask a good friend.
” Cool, then I ought to ask my mum too! A Boom operator understands what to do and most of all what NOT To Perform! When you move your hands on the boom, you touch the XLR cable television then the noise is tape-recorded on top of the dialogue! Microphones are extremely very delicate, any motion or sound will be taped. And this is why a boom operator ought to always wear headphones, to hear JUST the tape-recorded audio and not the sound on the set!”.