Christophe's Audio Tips for Film

15 Mar 2016

Christophe's Audio Tips for Film

Our Head of Technology here at AFTT, Christophe has put together some top Audio tips to help you make the most of your film.



AFTT Secret Tip – If you read it in a Scottish accent, it sounds more like Christophe ;)

Boom Pole

Rode NTG1 Mics, are shotgun mics,  they’re called shotgun mics because, like a shotgun, they hit (or record) anything in a 30 degree angle in front of themselves, so they won’t be recording anything behind them such as the person holding the boom pole. Always remember to point the mic at the subject speaking, not just in the general area where the subjects are located.


Lapel mics are great on subjects to make sure you get clear speech audio as they are very close to the mouth, you don’t get much audio pollution in your recording. However, lapel mics can often be too warm, not collecting enough atmos, and therefore detracting from the locations that you appear to be shooting in. To counter this, always collect about 30 seconds of location atmos which can be looped in post production to create the desired location effect.

If you are using lapel mics,  always have a shotgun mic on set with you to collect atmos or backup your lapels.


Sound Levels

Remember that any problems you have recording audio while on-set often can only be fixed in post production, which means that if you have to raise the gain in post in order to hear the actors, you’re also going to increase the background noise. To counter this, always set your sound levels with your faders at 12 o clock, so that you can lower or raise the audio coming in on that mic channel to alter the audio as needed. It is a much smoother transition using the faders than the gain.

Check your Audio

Audio is a very important part of film making. If you have beautiful shots and a horrible soundtrack, it can completely ruin the feel of the shots. Check your audio on set to make sure it has all recorded properly before you wrap up for the day and miss your opportunity to re record.

For more information on studying one of our Film courses, click here.