5 Ways to Keep Sound Happy

Fantastic audio is crucial for making a good movie great. There are a lot of blood sweat and tear the sound department has to go through to ensure the audio is at the highest possible standard for the film’s release. Why not make their lives easier by following these 5 ways to keep sound happy. If you’re looking for some sound guys, be sure to check out our Crew List!

1. Ballasts

As mentioned in our previous article, a noisy HMI is a recordists nightmare. Ballasts should be kept as far away from the scene as possible. The reason behind this is that HMI ballasts can emit a high pitch frequency that is a nuisance for the audio department. It’s always kind to keep this ballast as far as way as you can before forcing the mixer to come over to you and ask you to move it. Don’t be the one who ruins or delays a take!

Sound blankets are the sound department’s best friend. Sound guys will put them down on noisy floors, they will get used to baffle noisy air vents, cover a small generator, and sometimes even wrap a noisy camera. The possibilities are endless!

A mixer is always comfiest when sitting down at his or her station. Most of the time they will travel with their own personal stool, chair, or even an apple box. Even so, I can guarantee that you will end up losing one full apple box to your sound brethren. They could want something to sit or stand on or something to prop their mixer. In any case, the grip department should be ready and willing to spare one in a time of need.

4. Noisy Tool Belts

You are going to have to sneak around during a take at some point, it is inevitable. Clean up your tool belt, slim it down, or lessen the amount of dangling stuff. Whatever it is, do what it takes to make yourself a little more stealth. This helps the actors give their best performance too and doesn’t draw attention to yourself.

5. Room Tone

Room tone is very important to capture.  The key to capturing room tone is making sure that it happens under the exact same conditions that you are shooting under. This can mean all the lights being on and even trying to match the amount of bodies in the room. Some sound guys will ask for tone with lights on, off, or a certain combination of fixtures. Whatever it is, help them out.

How Else Can We Keep Sound Happy?

If you yourself are a part of the sound department or you just know how to give them a hand, share! The comments are always open to more tips and tricks.

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