Techniques For Boom Operation

By now, we should all know what a boom is for film, what it does, why we use it and the importance of operating such a device.  Let’s quickly summarize some of the in’s and out’s of proper film audio techniques.

Boom for sound recording:

The boom is basically a microphone attached to the rod. The rod is used handled by the technical person known as the boom operator. The whole equipment of microphone attached on the rod is called a boom. The purpose of a boom is to record the best quality of sound without placing the camera in the video.

Technicalities involved in it:

It seems to some people that boom operation is quite simple. But the reality is opposite to it. A lot of work goes in placing the microphone rightly. The boom operator is given all the script of the subject whose sound is supposed to be recorded. The operator has to remember the poses and the sound level of the lines as he has to move the boom according to it. There are literally many types of mic. The expert has to keep in mind the types and use them according to the situation.

Techniques for boom operators:

The boom operator has to follow some specific techniques and ways to ensure that the sound recorded is of the best quality and there is no need to record it again. It also helps in saving time as there is no need to shoot the scene multiple times. At the same time, it should be ensured that the mic doesn’t come in the video as it will require cutting and recording the scene again. So let’s have a look at some of the important techniques for the experts:

1: Close to the mouth:

The mic should be placed close to the speaker’s mouth. It will result in recording the best quality of sound. But it should be ensured parallel to it that mic is not coming in the video and the shadow is not forming as well. Hence, it is a quite stressful task as balancing the light and video camera is quite difficult.

2: Blocking the set:

Blocking the set is a technical thing and it is done by the director only. The director has to ensure the balance in all the things before blocking the set. The lights should be in balance and the shadows must not be there in the video. The subjects should be in the correct and ideal position so as to guarantee the maximum exposure in the video. Blocking the set will help the boom expert to place the mic at the ideal level.

3: Types of mic:

The type of the mic must be considered. It totally depends on the conditions of the shoot. If the shoot is done outside, the shotgun mic will be used. Shotgun mic has slits on it to cut the maximum background noise but it can cause the subject’s voice to lose some of the quality. Small diaphragm hyper-cardioids mic is used in the indoor situation. They deliver the best quality of sound in the indoor conditions. But they can collect background noise too.

4: Overhead booming:

It is the most favorite angle of boom. The mic is located above and a little bit before the actor’s head. In this way, the mic is closer to the mouth and the better quality of sound is recorded.

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