So you’re planning on recording an interview on location and are hoping to get some background audio to lay over an image for your project. Have you got the following?

Make sure you have everything you need before you start recording | CMTO

A recorder
This one’s a no-brainer. If you’re planning on recording audio outside of a recording or radio studio you need to record to something. The most ideal thing to do would be to buy your own recorder. If you’re going to do that, Zoom is the most reliable brand of recorders. Otherwise, your radio station might have one you can rent out. There are also companies that rent gear out.

Don’t stress if you don’t have the resources to buy or rent a recorder. A lot of content makers record audio using their smartphones.

Microphone

An external microphone is a handy but non-essential piece of equipment that can help you record on location. The benefit of getting your hands on something like a directional/shotgun or lapelle microphone is that you can pinpoint exactly what you are wanting to record rather than picking up everything on site. The downside to bringing external microphones is that they are clunky, expensive and can intimidate people who aren’t used to being recorded.

If you are recording on your iPhone, try using those headphones with a built in microphone. They are typically used for talking on the phone hands free but they can also become an inexpensive lapelle microphone.

Wind sock
The sound of wind can be relaxing when trying to get to sleep. When you try and record outdoors without protecting your microphone chances are you’ll end up with a horrible windy sound that you won’t be able to fix in post-production. Recording on location means that you need to be prepared for the elements. We put together an article about the best practice when it comes to recording on location. A windsock protects your microphone from that horrible sound of air blowing across the mic.

Headphones 
Even though nearly all recording gear allows you to see how loud your recording is, if you don’t have headphones, your content is probably not going to be very good quality. Even if they are just a basic pair, you should have headphones to monitor your recording. Otherwise you will record someone talking and only realise they are off-mic in post production.

Batteries
If you are using recording gear that takes batteries put new ones in.

Spare batteries or a power source
You should always carry a spare set of batteries or a power source in case you run out of juice. If you are recording on your smartphone you should pack your charger.

A notepad and pen
Chances are if you’re recording on location your audio file is going to be pretty long. If you have no way to tell what point in the recording the golden moments happen, you’ll be in for a very long time in post-production.

It’s good to make notes as you go when there is good content that you want to come back to in post production. Just remember that however long your audio is, you’re going to be spending more than double that amount of time in post-production. Writing time stamps down using a pen and paper can help reduce time in post-production.

Resources
Here’s an extensive guide to different types of microphones and what they are used for

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