Interaction Design WikiInteraction Narratives

Location Sound Basics

This overview summarizes the most important points about on "location sound recording" or "field recording", split into pre-production, production and postproduction.

1. Introduction

Central questions

Also read: Randy Thom, Designing a Movie for Sound

Some functions of audiovisual narration: 

2. Pre-production

2.1. Audiovisual storyboarding, spotting

2.2. Planning the recordings 

2.3 Microphone: technology and application

Rule Nr. 1: What you hear is NOT what you get!

Choosing a microphone for dialogues

(priority: sound quality, naturalness, effort, reliability): 

  1. Hypercardioid or shotgun with boom, over head
  2. Hypercardioid or shotgun with boom, under head
  3. Cardioid, hypercardioid, boundary zone or shotgun combined (depending on ambient noise and proximity)
  4. Lavalier in a set (wired)
  5. Lavalier on the protagonist (wired)
  6. Wireless lavalier

Combine multiple microphones to be able to correct mistakes in post-production.

In addition to the recording microphone, it is worth recording a more distant microphone or a room microphone (stereoatmo).

Lavaliers are the first choice for certain settings (e.g. conversation recording, discrete environment).


Lavaliers (von Louise de La Vallière)

3. Production: on Location

Rule Nr. 2: Trash In, Trash Out (and 2b: You Can't Fix it in Post)

3.1. Recording

Room & Ambient Sounds