Most of the production sound mixers major in sound recording; however, they begin working in the field as juniors and trainees. They train in that area for at least two years before they proceed to become sound assistants. Working together with hire firms or equipment manufacturers can offer the chance to know more about sound equipment and to create meaningful contacts in the industry. Production sound mixers can gain the experience they need ion working in short films, adverts as well as television productions.
Once the trainees proceed to become boom operators, they normally work with the same production sound mixers for several years to gain vast experience, before they are given the opportunity to lead the sound department as production sound mixers. It is the responsibility of the production sound mixers to ensure the conversation recorded during filming is clear enough. Even though the emotional aspect and storytelling of the script are delivered via dialogue, the majority of film sets are in harsh environments, and that is challenging to mixers as they have to deal with unwanted noise, or the needed camera shots constraint the placing of microphones properly.
Sometimes it is better to record the dialogue of actors again after shooting and syncing, but most directors prefer to use the real lines of conversations recorded during filming by the boom experts, production sound mixers and sound professionals using several microphones, hard disk recorders or digital audiotape. Production sound mixers work as freelancers on drama as well as features productions. The working hours are extensive, and most of the time, they are working away from home. Two weeks prior to the first day of main photography, the director and producer meet with production sound engineers to talk about their creative intentions.?
Some of the things they will discuss include the budget, technical requirements, and whether the sound should be stylized or naturalistic. Also, they meet the visual effects directors and the costume department to discuss where the microphones will be placed on actors and tour all the locations to see if there are any potential sound issues. When filming starts, the sound crew members will get to the set earlier than the rest of the team to make sure their equipment is ready for the day. During practice sessions, when the actors and director of photography go through all the moves and lighting, the boom operator and the sound production engineer strategize where to place the microphones to achieve the best sound quality.
After each takes, the production sound mixers, which are offset but nearby, will check the quality of the sound recording and determine if they should proceed or go for another take. The same way directors strive to make sure they have enough overall coverage of every scene, boom operators work closely with production sound mixers to choose suitable types of microphones and properly position these microphones in every set to ensure satisfactory sound coverage. It is the role of production sound mixers to set up playback speakers and equipment for actors when music is needed in a scene.