Audio Challenges and Solutions | Robert Wiley

Audio Challenges and Solutions | Robert Wiley – As an audio operator, you can oftentimes face unforeseen challenges. In a final product, no one wants to leave the client saying, “Wait, did you hear that?” It is very important that every sound is clear and crisp. In order to achieve the perfect end result, an audio-op has to be prepared for every individual shoot. 

At Assignment Desk, we pride ourselves that all of our vendors are vetted with the proper tools and practices. This helps ensure that your shoot is a success! Our preferred Washington D.C. audio operator, Robert Wiley, gave us some tips and insight on how he sets up for shoots and explains just how every shoot is different. Get the details below:

So where do you start?

The first thing to do when arriving on set is to scope out the area in which you’ll be working, and quickly assess the situation so you can get setup. Since the DP usually has more gear, Robert usually helps them get their gear and set it up. This can include staging an open case, grabbing stands, and setting the lights up. It is always important to help out your team, and this will show in the final product! 

What do we do now that everything is set up?

Next, Robert gets himself set up for audio. 

During this time, he is grabbing his mixer and setting up the necessary microphones. As we mentioned earlier, every shoot is different. Therefore, different situations call for different solutions. For example, if the shoot involves a speaker at the podium, Robert is looking for a multi-box, and for insurance he will usually put a wireless mic on the podium as well. It’s always great to have a plan B if plan A doesn’t workout!

That’s cool for event audio capture – but what about interviews?

It is critical to capture all of the dialogue in interviews! Robert usually uses a mic and a boom on the individual to give the editors two sources of audio to utilize. The main goal of these shoots is to make the editors’ job easier. Robert says whatever he can use, whether it is sound blankets, mic covers, or wind screens, he uses them!

Tell me about when I am on a “run and gun” style shoot…

“Run and Gun” filming is spontaneous, with no set direction or plan. Robert says that “If it’s ‘Run-Gun’ and we are capturing ‘man on the street’ interviews, I usually use a boom with an outdoor windscreen. This filters more sound, and angles it towards the chest area for men but towards the head for women.” The reason for this positioning is because men’s voices resonate more than women’s voices, since female voices are typically softer and lighter.

Audio Challenges and Solutions | Robert Wiley

“Being an Audio Op you have to think on your feet and when you’re in-sync with the DP, the job will usually go by quickly.” – Robert Wiley

Thanks so much to Robert for the amazing tips on how to tackle audio challenges and solutions. Do you have an upcoming shoot in the DC area and need an audio op? Give our team a call to book Robert today!

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