FPFV-585 & FPFV-285: Production Sound

Thursdays 9:00-11:50 (grads);  1:00-3:50 (undergrads)
Instructor:  Craig Smith
email:  csmith@calarts.edu
Voicemail:  661-291-3084
Teaching Assistants:
Behrouz Raei (morning); Jackie Aldern (afternoon)

Production sound is too often presented as "how microphones and recorders work".  I am going to try to convince you that production sound is the most important part of post-production sound.  If we are able to get good production sound, we can concentrate on creating an effective finished soundtrack -- not on fixing mistakes and problems.  In addition to learning the gear, we will work on creative ways to capture sound that supports and improves our images. We will also analyze existing recordings and scenes from several genres of film.

On the first week, there will be a listening lab assignment.  Otherwise, there will be no work outside of class time. We will do some exercises during class time, and we will do two video shoots (also during class time). These shoots will function like tests to see if we are getting the concepts presented in class.  Reference handouts will be given out in class, and can also be downloaded from our website (see above).

Recommended Textbook:  The Location Sound Bible: How to Record Professional Dialog for Film and TV by Ric Viers (2012)

You will gain access to sound equipment in the cage as we cover it during the semester.

Your grade will be determined by attendance (50%), class participation (25%), and participation in shoots (25%).  A maximum of two absences will be allowed this semester. Additional absences must be pre approved.

Week 1 (Sept 17):

FPFV-585/285 Syllabus

Basics of sound;

Audio terminology;

Listening Assignment:

Listening Assignment Booklet

Instructions & Answer Sheet

(MP3) Sound Files

Sound images used in lecture

Big Ol' Film/Video Sound Glossary

Video: The Soundman

Reading for next week: Chapter 2: Sound Basics; Chapter 3: Microphone Basics

Week 2 (Sept 24):
Review Assignment;
Basics of Microphones;
Assignment: Listening List
CalArts Cage Microphone Comparison
Common Audio Connectors
Dynamic Microphone Diagram
Condenser Microphone Diagram

Directional Characteristics

Cardioid Patterns

Interference Tube Diagram

Interference Tube Diagram 2

Video: Finding His Voice (1929)

VIdeo: Rockwell Retro Encabulator
Reading: Chapter 5: Boom Techniques

Week 3 (October 1):

Review Assignment;

Assignment: Onomatopoeias

Finishing Microphones; Booming

The AM-300 Headphone Amp

The Shure FP22 Quick Start

The Shure FP22 Complete Instructions

Field Mixer Basic Handout

Sound Devices Mix Pre Portable Mixer: Full User Guide

Shure FP24 Microphone Mixer: Full User Guide

Tips on the Use of the Mic Boompole

The Art of Zen-Boom

Top Ten Sins of the Boom Operator

An Open Letter from Your Sound Department

Production Sound Essentials

Using Professional Mics with Consumer Cameras:

Reading: Chapter 10: SIgnal Flow

Week 4 (October 8):

Class shoot:

Using the Slate

Week 5 (October 15):

Evaluation of Dailies

How's They Do That? – Documentaries

Week 6 (October 22):

Analog & Digital Sound Recording

Sound Devices Recorders:

Sound Devices 722 2-Channel Recorder Quick Start

Sound Devices 722 User Guide

Sound Devices 744T 4-Channel Time Code Recorder Quick Start

Sound Devices 744T User Guide

Sound Devices Shortcuts

Field Recorder Workflows for Pro Tools

List of Headphone Settings for Sound Devices Recorders

Setting Up Headphones for Sound Devices Recorders

Film Sync Settings for Sound Devices 744T

Week 7 (October 29):

Sound Devices Recorders, part 2:

Recording with a Field Mixer and a Video Camera

Double System Recording with 722 and a Video Camera

File Naming & Numbering

Week 8 (November 5):
Stereo Recording & Miking!

Sennheiser 418S MS Stereo Shotgun Microphone

Stereo Microphone Techniques

XY Stereo Miking

AB Stereo Miking

MS Stereo Miking

Week 9 (November 12):
Wireless Mics & Recording in Cars
Recording Dialogue In a Vehicle

TV Stations Within 50 Miles of CalArts

Handy Web Tool for Finding Frequencies (form Sennheiser)

Map of LA TV Transmitters
Lectrosonics Wireless Microphones:
Quick Start for Transmitters
Quick Start for UCR100 Receivers
Quick Start for UCR401 Receivers
Manual for LMa Transmitters
Manual for U400a Transmitters
Manual for UCR100 Receivers
Manual for UCR401 Receivers
Chart showing recommended TV channels for our blocks
Sennheiser Wireless Microphones:
Sennheiser EW100 Basic Menu Instructions
Sennheiser EW100 Simplified Manual
Sennheiser EW100 Full Manual
Sennheiser EW100G2 Simplified Manual
Sennheiser EW100G2 Full Manual
Sennheiser EW100G3 Simplified Manual
Sennheiser EW100G3 Full Manual
Illustration of Multipath Interference  (courtesy Lectrosonics)

Illustration of Companding Technique (courtesy Lectrosonics)

Securing Lavalieres with Tape Triangles

Cub Mic Frequency Response

Cub Mic Directional Characteristics

Cub Mic Owner's Manual

Week 10 (November 19): 

Class Car Shoot!  

Hitchin' to Barstow script

Week 11 (November 26): 
Thanksgiving -- No Class

Week 12 (December 3): 

Viewing Dailies & Car Scenes

Week 13 (December 10): 

Faux & Field ADR
Location Foley
Scouting locations

Week 14 (December 18): 

Introduction to Post & Surround
Class Conclusions