Action group meeting – Minutes 07/02/2013

Team meeting 7th of February

Just read through the brief and realised it says edited versions of everything above the Online Portfolio and Creative Commons section should be on your blog. So here is an attachment of the Team meeting Minutes that I did.


Mini project one – Sound Diary of the city centre at night – Work in progress

Done a bit of data recovery and managed to get back part of what i was working on.

Will write more abut the idea later when i can be arsed

Macbook decided to die

Well here i am at the apple store at Cabot typing this paragraph as my less than half a year old Macbook Pro has decided to power on get as far as the apple logo and shutdown. I have tried everything from resetting the pram to powering it on in safe mode nothing works. Theres two weeks to my uni deadline so even if i get my files back i will probably be without a machine for the next couple of weeks i guess im pretty fucked then ahaha. Oh well.

Tramp Poetry

Really weird spin out video by the insane mess of a EDM producer High Rankin otherwise known as Will Rankin. Trust me your in for a surreal treat that will never have the words what the actual fuck leave your head. Enjoy =)



Tom Collier – LinkedIn

Screen Shot 2013-02-16 at 12.00.46

Overview of sound recording on set – Boom operating



The first step in micing a set is to block the action. This involves working out actor and camera movement with the director and cinematographer. This process will help you make decisions about which microphone to use and where to position it.

The key to optimal microphone performance is in the placement of the microphone in relation to the sound source. If a microphone is too close, too far, or off axis, complications will result, including poor frequency response, noise, and distortion.

There are three basic mic placements from which all mic setups are built: boom, plant, and lavaliere.


  • H Position

    When operating a boom you are going to want to keep the boom above your head in an “H” position most of the time. The “H” position will keep the boom pole perpendicular to your body and will extend the pole away from you. Do not try to lean the boom pole on things or leverage it in odd ways as this can damage the boom pole and affect the sound quality. If you hold too far to the end you can end up bending, and eventually breaking, the boom pole.

  • Telescoping

    When you are telescoping the boom pole, which means extending it at its joint, you should never go full length. The reason for this is the same as with positioning yourself in relation to the boom pole: it can put unneeded pressure on the pole and eventually cause it to snap.

  • Holding Pattern

    Holding the boom pole for long periods of time can get very trying. Do not expect that you will be able to hold the boom pole in the “H” position for more than a few minutes maximum. This is one of the considerations director’s make when constructing how long of takes they want. This is going to be incredibly true if the microphone is close to the frame.

Booming involves attaching any, but usually a shotgun microphone to a a boom pole, and placing it in front of the subject. This technique allows cast to move and able to record multiple people within close proximity to each other from one microphone. At a minimum professional boom poles should be up to at least 12 feet and be able to be compressed for portability or changes in length required. The boom pole must be lightweight so that it isn’t too heavy for the recordist to maintain for long shots, but strong enough that it doesn’t break from the weight of the microphone.

It takes a large amount of skill to be a boom operator as the process can be physically and mentally tiring as it involves taking many variables into account at once, such as holding the mic as close as possible to the subject, moving the mic from one subject to the next, and keeping the mic out of the picture frame. To facilitate this, the boom operate must be equipped with headphones so that he can hear the sound. Rehearsals are also helpful when blocking is complicated.

The general rule when it comes to operating a boom mic is to get as close as possible to the subject, whilst just a fraction of a inch outside of the camera frame. The further away from the subject, the greater the background noise and echo, so every inch closer improves sound quality. The mic is normally positioned several inches to a foot over the actor’s head. Up to two feet may be acceptable depending on the situation. So it is key to work with the camera operator who will help you determine how close you can position the mic without getting the boom into shot.

Booming from Overhead – In overhead booming the mic is suspended above and slightly ahead of the subject. Overhead booming is the most commonly used technique because, in most situations, it provides the most natural sounding dialogue with the least amount of background noise for example in buildings fans and lighting which can create a unwanted noise are on the ceiling or outside there is the sound of airplanes.

Overhead booming allows multiple actors to be recorded with a single mic. Sufficient sound effects are picked up to give the soundtrack a full texture. Perspective is easier to maintain because faces are closer to the mic, dialogue dominates sound effect. On wider shots, the mic tends to be higher resulting in thinner, more distant sounding dialogue. On closer shots the mic is nearer to the subject resulting in greater vocal presence.

However it is not always physically able to record from above usually because of physical obstructions. So other method of placement are sometimes necessary The next favored option is booming from underneath.

Booming from Underneath – When booming from underneath, the mic is place below and slightly ahead of the subject.

Booming from underneath has several drawbacks when compared to overhead booming. First, dialogue tends to be bassy because the mic picks up more sound coming from the chest, the mic is closer to the actor’s hands so sound effects may appear louder than dialogue, destroying perspective accuracy. Third, booming from underneath can be tricky on sets tight with furniture and actors. But despite these drawbacks, booming from underneath can be an alternative to overhead booming and provide perfectly acceptable sound under the right conditions.

Pistol Grip
A pistol grip is used in tight spaces where a boompole is impractical. Because your arm acts like a boomp ole, the mechanics are essentially the same as booming. Most shock mounts can be switched between boompole and pistol grip easily.

Sound Bridge Editing

Sound in film or television doesn’t always fit whats on screen, and it doesnt always have to be present. The sound bridge is often used to ease transition between shots whilst maintaining on screen continuity. Sound can also be used to reintroduce events from earlier in the film. Robert Altman is one Director known for his experimental use of the soundtrack, layering multiple voices and sound effects on top of each other

Sound bridges can be used to fade in or fade out of a scene. They can be used at the beginning of one scene when the sound from the previous scene remains briefly leading into the next scene before the sound from the next one starts. Or they can be used at the end of a scene, when the sound from the next scene is heard before the image appears on the screen. Sound bridges are one of the most common transitions used to maintain continuity, as they link between both scenes so perfectly since a lot of the mise en scene or mood of each scene  is similar or they can be used to highlight the contrast between two scenes a form of dramatic ambiguity.

Experiment 9 – How do i record potentially damaging/ Hazardous sounds

The impetus for this experiment was knowing that there are always going to be some situations where you can’t get optimum or as close as possible to your desired sound source, wether that be for pure space and obstacle reasons or because it would be dangerous to crew and equipment to get too close. With that in mind I decided to try recording a water hazard which could be damaging to electrical devices with the 552 mixer and a shotgun microphone. Making sure to stay as far away from the shower at Bower Ashton as possible but trying to compensate with the mixers input boost and low cut and high cuts to remove rumble and reverb picked up by being further away then optimum. The results were satisfactory loud and clear.

Constructing the script report for sound – Pointers/Guidance

At the beginning of the day i was still confused about this part of the brief i had no idea what constructing a Report Sheet for sound would look like or contain.

But after speaking to Bambo and Ben it is clear to me that it can be organised into four elements.

1. Overview – What the Project was, What your goals were etc.
2. Concept – Are the experiments/ ideas that you decide to do relevant to your goals and how well do they test the skills that your have been trying to develop.
3. Technical area – Do the experiments sound clips show what technical skills you have been trying to develop. I.E are the sound clips clear, crisp, dynamic and impacting.
4. Personal Growth – Do the finished clips show that you have met your personal goals for this module.

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