One of the hardest aspects of our film to get write on the day of filming was sound recording. As each of our characters has a different level of volume, it was hard to get a good balance between each character. When recording Smiddy or Babydoll speaking, the sound recordists was able to get in quite close to get a very rich and full bodied sound which has good bass frequencies. However, when recording The Colonel speaking, because his character is mostly shouting his lines, the volume had to be turned down – or the microphone had to be moved back. As a result, not only is the level of the vocals different – as it was hard to get this to match the level of the other characters, but the background/ambient noise level is different. With Smiddy and Babydolls lines, the background noise is quite loud, as to pick up their vocals we had to turn up the master volume and get the microphone in close. Alternatively, The Colonel had less background noise as the microphone levels were lower and the microphone was placed further back from the actor.
Unfortunately, the quality of The Colonels dialogue is really lacking in the footage we captured. This is due to a number of reasons. The Colonel was miked up from further away – so the recording isn’t as full bodied, it is lacking the bass frequency that the other characters have. Furthermore, when recording The Colonels audio, I didn’t realize on the day as I was concentrating on directing the characters and setting up the shots, but our sound recordists had the colonels audio recorded ‘off axis’. Here, in an attempt to reduce the input gain of The Colonels very loud yelling, Heath didn’t have the microphone pointed directly at The Colonels mouth, but rather had it pointed on an angle (off axis). I can see why Heath decided to do this, as the volume levels were peaking – and he didn’t want to move too far away as then the quality of the audio would not be as good. However, being shotgun (uni directional) microphones, when recording, you really need to have the microphone pointed directly at the source of the sound in order to get the richest quality sound.
I’m kicking myself, because I did know about these simple principals before filming (as I’ve had a lot of experience with sound recording being a musician), but I was so busy on the day that I didn’t take the time to have a listen to the sound through the headphones.