KitPlus - The TV-Bay Magazine

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EDUCATION Gemma Frith My eyes had been opened to the world of sound. I used to hate audio. Every time we recorded audio on a location shoot, something seemed to go wrong. It was a nightmare. And because I didn’t understand it, I avoided it and would do anything to not be responsible for recording sound. However, eventually it got to a point where I hated how much I hated audio more than I hated audio itself! It became frustrating that I couldn’t get it right, and I didn’t want to have to avoid it anymore; I wanted to become a master of audio. That may have been slightly ambitious, but still, I was going to try. In the first year of my course BSc Television and Broadcasting at the University of Portsmouth, I personally only recorded audio twice, both of which were on location filming on screen interviews. As I had no prior experience with audio recording before starting this course, there was a lot I didn’t know how to do and my lack of experience made things a lot more difficult and meant that, when something went wrong or the audio didn’t turn out as expected, I didn’t know why. I therefore came to the conclusion that more experience recording audio could be the solution; practise makes perfect. As I entered the second year of my course, I started a radio unit where we had to create a podcast in small groups. This was the perfect opportunity for me to start tackling my dislike of audio. We decided to focus our podcast on the refugee crisis and organised two days where we would be recording audio out on location. The first day was at a protest taking place in Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square and the second was an interview with a very busy man from the Red Cross. Both of these were one-offs, 42 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 113 MAY 2016 opportunities that wouldn’t arise again, so there was no room for error. Anticipating these dates was quite nerve racking. What if our audio peaked? What if it was too quiet? What if it’s too windy? All of these questions only made us prepare more and I ensured I knew the Zoom H2 microphone inside out. I wanted everything to run smoothly. Much to my surprise, recording at the protest was relatively stress free. When there’s no camera to worry about, or lighting problems to address, sound recording is a lot easier than I had anticipated. After the protest, we listened back to the audio and we were pleasantly surprised! For a windy day, there was virtually no wind noise and only some minor peaking during some interviews; a lot of progress from my audio recording in the first year. This gave us a massive confidence boost for our interview which, luckily, went equally as smoothly. My eyes had been opened to the world of sound and how much quicker and easier recording an audio interview is compared to setting up an interview to be filmed on camera. If only all shoots could be this stress free.