Production: Tips for Field Mixers and Recorders
There are many important pieces of equipment used in production. The field mixers and recorders are used to record audio. Using this equipment is probably the most important part, but many people overlook it. Many directors do not understand how to use them. However, using a field mixer and recorder instead of relying on the camera operator manning the sound can produce exceptional and high quality sound.
The Sound Mixer
Make sure you separate the sound mixer from everything else in the
production. The sound mixer should be in another room from the
microphones. This way, the crew will know exactly what sounds are being
picked up by the microphones. If the sound mixer is in the same room
with recording, then other sounds may be picked up that the microphone
Depending on the scene, the recorder will need to have different
levels adjusted. The inputs and the gain are just 2 of the levels that
will need to be changed. You can also save the different audio clips as
different files, which can make post production very easy.
While the camera will be doing camera tests, it is also important to
do audio tests. This is also important to make sure the field mixer is
working properly at the highest quality. You can set up the work so that
on the pauses, you can test the mixer.
Make sure the person using the mixer is keeping a detailed
log. This will include how long each track or scene is as well as other
relevant information. This can make the editor and director's job after
shooting much easier. Think of this audio log just like the camera
Talk to the Director
It is important that the sound mixer talks to the director or assistant director after each take. You want to provide information on the sound quality. Sometimes it will be important to play back some of the sound. The person using the field mixer needs to be organized and on their toes to keep up.
It is important that when you are recording, you use the proper
microphone for the scene. There are many different types of microphones
and each will have their own strengths and weaknesses. Wireless mics are
the best for mobility. Shotgun mics are the most versatile though they
do not work well in loud environments. Hand held mics are best for
interviews, and boundary mics are good for when you need wide coverage.
Lavaliere mics are the best for picking up a specific person, and stereo
mics work best in natural recordings.
Location is very important for recording, and you should scout out
each location and think about sound as well as picture. Try to identify
any noise problems you might have. Bring a microphone with you, as what
you hear and what the microphone picks up can be different.
When you are using a recorder outside, make sure the microphones have proper wind protection. Shooting outside will require more protection than foam windscreens. Rain noise and wind noise can completely kill the recording.Popular P&S Cameras for High Quality Photos: