As media production has been increasing in demand, there is also an increase in demand for fieldwork. Through the years, television and film have been in the limelight. Although these are associated with the visuals, as the technology progress, the sound has been among the important aspect that should be considered. Media production houses have introduced sound since the early days, and through it, many people have engaged in every process of producing both visuals and audio. The high quality audio in production is entrusted to the production sound mixer together with the rest of the team.
The sound mixer plays a crucial role. Ideally, they are an all around crew member that oversees the entire audio situation. During filming, you might notice them as the sound recordist. After that, they are also responsible for the enhancement of the entire sound. Typically, they assist on the echo, background noises, flubbed line and more. These aspects are relatively important because the sound generalizes the whole outcome and not just the visuals alone. Generally, they are the ones responsible for making the audio high quality.
Although they are known for their several duties, their task may also vary depending on the project budget. It is because a low budget production may not fully require high quality audio at all. Part of that is the limited crew member who may handle limited equipment such as the lapel microphone, boom microphone, wires and such. But in other low budget projects, one man audio recordist is also possible. Ideally, a project might not demand too much work if the budget would not permit.
Although television and film production is in demand today, only a very limited position might cater to this kind of job. Only selected individuals who have worked in the production for several years may acquire a certain position. This would mean that it might not be practical to get into this type of career. But sooner, perhaps, as this craft will fully develop, this might also increase in demand for positions to be open. Even when the sound has developed over the years, getting into the position is a tough process.
But if by any chance you pursue this type of career, you will likely begin as a freelancer. You may start with local productions, and ideally enhance your skills. Sooner, you will find yourself being part of bigger teams. Other than that, freelancing is also a good start to gain more connection. Through this, you may consider collaboration with interesting people you meet on set. It is important to build your circle within the group you are in because you know that you will be working with hardworking individuals who are on the same path as yours.
A sound mixer may get per hour rate, and typically it could reach up to thirty three dollars an hour. Perhaps, it is not bad after all. What about the equipment and the appropriate resources? When you are a freelancer, this is still dependent on how big the production is. It is even a tough situation to find a job. For a freelance worker, this might not even pay the bills, added with the right equipment that must be purchased to achieve a high quality standard of production.
Some are passionate enough to learn on their own, while others are passionate that it leads them to enroll in a program related to music. Either way, commitment is important. In every learning process, you just have to hone your skills through application. You may consider joining gigs, attending workshops and getting involved in different training programs. This will be a good start in setting your goal at a higher level.
Sound mixers must possess a communicative and a calm personality. This is necessary to be able to provide effective communication between problematic situations. Since they are the one who handles most everything in the audio department, they need to be calm for other crew members to avoid panic and argumentative situation. Though this type of situation happens all the time, you need to have the right professionals who will be responsible for guiding the team if instances that errors may occur.
Pursuing this career may be tough, you have to start from scratch and make your way up. Part of the struggle that you may face is the lack of support both in financial and emotional aspects. You would need to acquire different types of equipment to start with the freelance life. Job in this path is uncertain, and you will likely lose the support from the people around you because you might not have enough income. But sooner, when you are truly committed, you will see yourself being at the top and in a bigger production team.