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All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.

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Old September 27th, 2008, 11:25 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 388
Newbie Blunders Shared

I'd like to share with those interested some of my newbie blunders. Hopefully by reading my confessions you can avoid repeating these common mistakes. I'm an amatuer one-man-band who shoots to make his educational presentations a little more interesting but I want good images and sound.

1) Know your equipment and use it often. I've been away from the video game for the last few months raising twins. I've forgotten almost everything I learned about operating my mixer because I wasn't using it. If you don't use it you will lose it. Save those instructional manuals.

2) Listen: use your headphones always. If you're the shooter and sound guy then it will be a little dicey but it can be done. It's worse if you're in your own film since you won't hear what's going on.

3) Use a mixer. It really does help. But make sure you have it set correctly. See #4

4) Listen by playing back some tape. What you hear at the mixer or from the camera's headphone jack is not necessarily what the tape hears. I mistakenly missed a step in setting up my mixer and sent Line level to my consumer camcorder which has a mic input. Sounded great at the mixer headphone jack but it sounds quite awful on the tape. Had I played the tape I would have stopped and trouble-shot the situation. I see this question addressed over and over on the various forums.

5) Edit ASAP. The tape from item #4 sat on my desk for 3 months before I realized the audio was a problem. Had I done a rough edit the night of the shoot I could have immediately re-shot. Luckily I only wasted my time but if I had been doing this for a client.......

I'm sure others will add to this and "yes" a lot of these issues are easily mitigated by hiring a pro. Good luck.
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