EB Sound, the Eternal ‘Poor Relation’ – Talking to an Expert

In the traditional film production, sound recording still has a certain status. EB (electronic reporting) teams, however, don’t necessarily handle it in a professional way, often even neglecting it completely. This can lead to ongoing problems with the sound. More understanding and attention from editors, directors and other responsible people could help though. Everyone is at least a bit interested in camera technology, mainly because the result is visible. The interest in sound engineering and recording, however, is still extremely poor.
We have asked Michael Mücher, a trainer and expert for video, TV and audio a few simple, ever-recurring questions. The interview was conducted by Nils van Well, project manager Volkswagen TV.

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How does that sound?

Sound is the poor relation at the shooting location. Annoyance during editing is often caused by sound. Interviews are levelled down primitively and sound muffled, microphones are set up wrong and record more ambient sounds than required, electric noises can be found on the soundtrack and once, the assistant immediately asserted: “stupid sound.”

XLR-connectorsIt is not surprising as the person recording the sound in their role as camera assistant is so poorly paid that they want to become a cameraman as quickly as possible. In conventional ENG teams, you tend to meet young assistants with little experience who almost never put a great deal of commitment into recording the sound. If I come across an old hand with headphones at the shoot, I immediately relax, for I know that I’m in good hands. The creeping erosion of pay for camera teams has de-professionalised the recording of sound.
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