Advice From Field Recording Experts



Location Scouts for Audio


There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with a production. Whether it be a movie, TV show, or commercial there are important details you must pay attention to in order to have a successful shoot. Location scouting is a vital step in the pre-production stages of film. When most people are scouting location’s, they are thinking about what looks visually appealing and although that’s an essential part that is not the only thing you want to consider. Audio is just as important, and let me tell you, the last thing you want is noisy sound that’s difficult to fix. Today we want to point out 3 important things to look for when you’re on a location scout when you don’t have a sound representative present.


  1. How close is the nearest airport?

Have you ever been standing on the ground to look up and you hear a loud plane flying above your head? Unfortunately, we can’t redirect air traffic, so make sure you’re not in a direct path to the airport. Helicopters or other air traffic can really make a shoot day suck.


  1. If you are shooting indoors listen for air conditioning or other loud compressor noises.

The main thing you want to check for is how much of these noises are controllable? Can we unplug units or turn them off? Most of the time this is as easy as switching the a/c unit to off, but there’s always that one time that you don’t have access or control of these things. So always make sure to double check!


  1. If you are shooting an event or in a place that uses house wireless equipment make sure to put your sound mixer in touch with the house RF technician.

The house RF technician is usually running wireless mics, comms, and on some shows safety gear. If you don’t coordinate with the house RF you can essentially mess up the performance of their gear as well as your own. We’re happy to say that all of us working for Stickman Sound are FCC licensed but most owners and operators today are not, so make sure you work with someone who is legitimate and knows what they’re doing.


Good luck and happy location scouting!

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Stickman PDF Location Scout