Asking yourself: Should we hire a local freelance sound guy to help?

The answer could be YES, and for several reasons. If you need clean audio recordings to your camera, an external recorder, or other sound capture, and need to focus on your tasks as a cameraman or camera woman, then hiring a local sound guy like myself is a great idea. Hiring a sound man or sound woman (man in my case) allows you better sound and the ability to operate the camera without managing the sound capturing as well operating the camera. Often several producers among other clients insist on a sound person making a 2 person camera crew or larger, so relax and call (720) 299-2084 for location sound solutions in Colorado.

Operating a shotgun / boom microphone & the camera: IMPOSSIBLE?

Book a sound man or woman to help operate the boom (also called a shotgun microphone) is necessary for capturing better sound when you need to rely on a shotgun microphone for recording sound, especially for run and gun or mobile situations. As a camera person IF you were able to do this you would be absolutely amazing and talented. But seriously.  Having the extra set of hands, and the extra audio gear is a great way to capture cleaner sound that can be isolated for your recording. When 35mm film production is the media for capturing media, a sound recordist (sound man in my reference or sound man), is always hired and necessary. Although motion picture film still is less popular now, video or television production requires a sound recordist to operate a boom in several instances where several people pass in & out of camera, or when micing (placing microphones on), several people on camera is restricted by the number of wireless lavalieres available or there is no time to use rotating wireless microphone / lavaliere systems from person to person; another benefit of booking a sound man like myself in Denver, or wherever else you need in Colorado. Hiring a sound man like myself (or sound woman), enables you to operate the camera, your primary task while the sound person can mix a boom, lavalieres or other audio sources.

Location sound recordist services where I provided sound man services to a concert television broadcast. This was a pre-recorded promotional video advertising the concert in Denver CO.
A location sound gig where I provided sound man services to a concert television broadcast. This was a pre-recorded promotional video advertising the concert in Denver CO.

Why was the audio / sound mixer invented?

The ability to mix more than one wireless microphone, or other audio source and attenuate / control audio levels before going to camera is why the sound mixer was invented. As technology progressed from 2 to more channels, the mixers continue to evolve today. Popular mixers from Sound Devices or Zaxcom are preferred among several sound people in video, film or TV production due to features. as a sound man, my most popular versatile mixer I use the the Sound Devices 664 that is both a mixer and recorder most frequently when I am hired as a sound man due to its capabilities, size, and familiarity among .

Evolution of the Sound Mixer to the Sound Mixer & Recorder

Before the mixer recorder was the mixer attached to an external recorder like a digital portable recorder, a portable tape recorder, or larger recording mechanism slowing down the sound person. More system components equal of a chance for something to go wrong or a step in the recording process to be missed, that could result in a lost recording opportunity. Now there are several mixer / recorders from several makers like Zoom, Tascam, Roland, Sound Devices, Zaxcom, among several others. I prefer Sound Devices, and using my 664 or the 552 mixer / recorder when demands are less. Mixer / Recorders like sound Devices 552, 664, 688, 744 or 788 for example also have a sweep filter that allows frequencies like air conditioning sounds or other sound intrusions to be reduced.

Why was the shotgun microphone / boom microphone invented?

Placing a microphone close to talent or subject for sound can be done by a skilled sound person, sometimes called a boom operator along with a shotgun microphone. The shotgun microphone can be moved quickly from source to source and can be used when there is no time or cooperation from subjects on camera to have a lavaliere placed on them. With RF issues and boom/shotgun microphone is a great backup to save a great take. Shotgun microphones also are less to fall victim of clothing rustling sounds that may occur when using lavalieres / wireless microphone systems. The shotgun mic has a larger diaphragm making it more sensitive typically than a lavaliere microphone system. Run and Gun / mobile rapid paced productions often favor shotgun microphones as well to speed keep with the pace of production.

A interview for the EPSN program 30/30 - Thirty for Thirty. (Documentary style sports programming).
A interview for the EPSN program 30/30 – Thirty for Thirty. (Documentary style sports programming).

Why use a lavaliere? or other audio source aside from a shotgun microphone

There is often a proximity issue on a fish pole or boom pole preventing a sound person closer to the action or they might be intruding on the mood of a shot or scene or talent. So using a lavaliere or other audio source can save the day and your recording. If you are “stalking” talent a stick microphone may be your key as well where you have to follow an uncooperative subject through doorways or other tight corridors, common in investigative reporting, news or journalism. Lavalieres are often less prone to pick up intrusions in audio like loud air conditioning, white noise, or other frequencies that can ruin a sound recording. But using a shotgun with a high pass or sweep filter that a sound mixer (the hardware), can also be used, as well in combination to lavalieres, hand mics/stick microphones or other audio gear pieces. Different microphones can back each other up when challenges or RF or other unwanted situations arise as well.

The purpose, strengths & limitations of using wireless microphones

A shotgun fish pole/boom pole has limitation in the distance it can extend, so a hidden lavaliere or lavaliere dressed on clothing can be used on talent or in proximity of on-camera subjects. Elimination of low rumbling noise that boom mics can pick up also make a lavaliere a needed piece in a sound man/woman’s audio kit. Also walk or fast motion situations where on camera subjects are at a distance or traveling away a radio mic/wireless microphone system is your friend to a good sound recording.

A location sound guy with all sound gear options

If you are looking to book a Denver or Colorado sound man to support your production anywhere in the state or traveling, I can be your go-to sound guy with multiple equipment packages. I have multiple wireless, stick microphones, mixer/recorders, shotgun microphones, among other audio gear that can scale up to any type of production I have the gear, experience and the adaptability to the scale of any production. Here are the types of productions I have worked on or can assist you as a client.

ENG or “Ambush Audio,” or just having capabilities, Call the sound guy side-kick

Hiring a sound man or woman that knows the gear, has the experience as well provides it is a great way to ease your mind that you will return to your edit with the best sound quality. If you are on a live broadcast, you should have a sound person there for you, or more pending the scale of the production. Having a sound man like myself operate a boom, stick mic or other sources while you run camera will allow you any type of mobility that you need in your production. Approaching a subject or scene rapidly enables you to capture the best sound, and the best picture.

Ambush audio is a term common to news, journalism, current affairs, magazine shows or typically where the crew confronts a talent or person(s) of interest, and you definitely need a sound man to allow you the camera control while they capture better audio that a single camera person or camera person & producer could do by themselves. I have worked on several news & reality type programs, among similar programs that have required a clutch sound person like myself whom won’t be in the way of the camera, but able to get close to the subject matter.

Aside from ambush audio, I can provide benefits to many if not all types of productions in film, video or television, regardless if it is for broadcast or non-broadcast, internet or other crusade count on my prior experiences for many varied clients to bring you the best sound recordings.

Contact me by phone to reach me the fastest: (720) 299-2084 or (303) 346-2377, Thank You, Nick