Pro Tools 101 Official Courseware is a little confused about decibels
Q: What is the right mic for hihats?
Do you really PERFORM for your audience? Or just stand there like dumb clucks?
How much difference does mastering really make? [with audio]
Q: How can I record an electric guitar in stereo?
How to achieve a huge bass drum sound with EQ, reverb and compression
Mixing: Where to start? - The vocal?
Can you use the classic AKG C451 on snare drum?
Silence.. silence.. silence.. tap tap.. IS THE MICROPHONE ON?
Avid's had it, or has it?
Let's be clear that you're not doing it to meet film stars. Yes, you'll probably enjoy it at first, and you will meet them and talk to them in the course of your daily work. But after a while the novelty will wane and the most fun you'll get from that part of the job is when you meet someone at a party and they ask what you do for a living...
A location film sound recordist could work anywhere in the world, on projects from TV documentaries to Hollywood feature films. Don't expect home comforts. You could be almost boiled alive in the Sahara on one shoot, or frozen solid in the Antarctic on another. You will need to be physically resilient for this, if not necessarily tough.
Location film sound recordists start their career by operating a boom mic (a boom is sometimes known as a fishpole). To do this successfully you will bear three things in mind...
While you are fulfilling this role, you will be keeping a close eye on what the recordist is doing and learning the trade.
Location film sound recordists don't use big mixing consoles, neither do they use computers for that part of their work. Instead they generally have a trolley, with wheels for mobility, with a small mixer - maybe just four channels - and a portable hard disk recorder.
In the old days of film sound recording, sound was pretty much last on people's list because it was so hard to do it well and fit in with the needs and schedules of shooting the pictures. So most, and sometimes all, the dialog was re-recorded in post-production.
Now, with a variety of tools such as personal microphones, multiple wireless channels and multitrack portable hard disk recorders, it is possible for the location film sound recordist to cover more possibilities, and come back with usable material.
One thing that hasn't changed over the years is the preference for a physical storage medium rather than the internal disk of a computer or hard disk recorder. DVD-RAM has proven very useful in this context. DVD-RAM, unlike DVD-R and DVD+R, is enclosed in a protective caddy, which is vital for professional standards of reliability. Of course, the recordist can keep a copy on hard disk too, just in case.
Location film sound recordists enjoy their work and strive for the best. For example, how would you set about recording a cannon?
The easy answer would be don't bother and use a sound effects library - they are packed out with all kinds of gunfire.
But a location film sound recordist will probably use a tough-as-old-boots mic close up to capture the direct sound, a couple of mics placed progressively further away. Another mic to capture any slap-back echo from a nearby hard surface, and one to capture the sound of the projectile entering the target (if the armorer is so bold as to use real ammunition!). Each mic will be recorded on a separate track for later mixing.
If this sounds enticing, perhaps you could consider a career being a film sound recordist.