Amateur filmmakers often focus on the visuals and forget about sound assuming that the on board mic will be adequate. Heres a step by step guide to recording great sound.
- Have someone who is familiar with the process to provide care and attention. Even on the tightest of budgets you should always have a sound man.
- Scout for quiet locations.
- Record sound separately. Never use an on board mic. An affordable recorder is the zoom H1. Sync up later using plural eyes.
- Never let the levels peak. Keep levels at about 2/3rds, if unsure it is better that it is slightly quiet rather than distorted.
- Monitor levels, using headphones.
- Never say you will fix sound in post. Your final mix is only as good as your source quality.
- Get microphone as near to subject as possible. Use a boom pole to get the microphone near the subject.
- Record ambience. At the end of a shoot in a location record room tone and any other sounds you can't get from a sound archive.