Sound Guy School is the quickest and most practical course in Audio available.
This course is designed to get you up to speed and ready for work in 7 days. Each learning module builds on the previous module, so go in order and do one module per day.
Commit to doing the action steps every day at the end of each module and you’ll be ready for your first gig by the end of the week.
Module 1: Audio Basics
For all the newbies to Audio who will be going through this program, this Module will be a crash course in basic audio signal flow and how it relates to sound recording for television. If you already have a good understanding of signal flow, this will be a good introduction to how it relates to recording sound for television. This module will also cover the fundamental differences between recording sound for television vs. all other recording situations. The differences are few, but crucial to understand in order to do it right. You’ll learn:
- Signal flow in typical music recording and sound reinforcement situations.
- The key differences between recording sound for television and all other recording situations that will make you or break you.
- How to tell a transducer from a transistor.
- Digital vs. Analog recording.
- Signal to noise ratios.
- How to tell an omni mic from a cardioid mic.
- Equalization and other timbre effects, and how they affect the overall sound.
- Limiters and Compressors, and how they affect the overall sound.
- The foundation of knowledge to be able to problem-solve and troubleshoot on the fly – the very essence of what’s going to save your butt when you have trouble in the field!
Module 2: Signal Flow Applied
Apply what you’ve just learned about signal flow to a portable audio mixing/recording setup. This module will cover the basics of a sound mixer bag all the way from the microphone source to the tape and back! We’ll cover basic audio setups and advanced multi-track setups. You’ll learn how to mix for isolation (yes, isolation is good), how to mix with confidence (literally), the differences in recording sound for scripted vs. unscripted television, and video vs. film. You’ll also learn the absolute toughest part of the whole job – the judgement call – and your absolute #1 job on set! You’ll learn:
- How signal flow from a music scenario applies to the world of Television on a macro level.
- How TV signal flow applies on a micro level to your world: the mixer bag.
- How to mix for the best isolation when there aren’t enough tracks to go around.
- How to mix with “confidence” – the ONLY way you should ever mix.
- The in’s and out’s of a basic mixer bag.
- The in’s and out’s of advanced mixer bags, including portable multi-track recorders.
- Scripted vs. Unscripted television, and how it affects your job as a sound guy.
- Video vs. film, and how it affects your job as a sound guy.
- How to handle the absolute toughest part of your whole job – the judgment call.
- Your absolute #1 job on set, and how to always be doing this without losing your mind.
Module 3: The Dreaded Wireless!
The wireless mystery will be revealed! By the end of this module, there will be no more guesswork involved in wireless, and you’ll be confident in your ability to make wireless work for you instead of the other way around. You’ll learn:
- The basics of wireless audio.
- Why wireless audio might not sound as good as wired audio, but why wireless is the way to go.
- How to manage multiple wireless kits for effective reality TV sound recording.
- How to setup your wireless kits for maximum performance, including Lectrosonics and Sennheiser wireless systems.
- How to coordinate multiple wireless frequency transmissions to avoid interference with your other wireless transmissions.
- How to avoid interference with environmental factors that affect wireless transmissions.
- How to avoid interference with wireless transmissions from OTHER sound guys who might be working nearby.
- How to effectively hide and conceal lavalier microphones like a freakin’ pro!
- Tips and tricks to use in any situation that can save your butt from getting fired off the job!
Module 4: Run n’ Gun and What’s Expected at the Shoot
Here it’s time to take everything you’ve learned so far and learn how to do it while running through the streets of New York, or dodging race cars, or trying not to fall off a boat, or just simply staying out of the shot! You can know all the recording theory and technical knowledge in the world, but if you can’t keep up with the fast pace of shooting television, especially reality television, you’re not going to make it. You’ll learn:
- How to do everything you’ve learned so far while running.
- How to stay safe on set and avoid the mistakes I made.
- How to stay out of the shot – this one skill will tell everybody on set whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro.
- How to do the camera dance.
- How to boom effectively while keeping it out of the shot.
- How to tell if your cameraman is shooting wide or tight and what you need to do to accommodate the shot.
- How to problem-solve and troubleshoot gear on the fly when you have limited resources and limited time.
Module 5: Survival Gear
Find out what survival gear you must always have available in your personal kit. Whether you own your own sound package or not, having this gear is a requisite – without it you can be fired just like that and never be hired again. You’ll learn:
- Exactly what gear you MUST have, and what gear you can get by without.
- When and how to use each piece of gear in your survival kit.
- What gear you can safely leave in your kit, and what gear you need to keep on you at all times.
- The #1 tool you must always have with you. Having this tool will tell everyone that you’re serious about this job.
- How and where to get this gear as cheap and easy as possible.
Module 6: Your First Gig
Little-known industry secrets that will help you get your first gig QUICKLY, and what to expect on that first day. How to make everybody think you’re a seasoned veteran so you can skip the whole “paying your dues” process. This is the stuff they DON’T teach you in a regular school! You’ll learn:
- Industry secrets that will get you your first gig QUICKLY.
- What to expect on your first day as a sound guy.
- How to skip the whole “paying your dues” process and just get on with it!
- How to tell the difference between crew members of each department.
- The difference between Grip and Electric.
- Who’s who on set and who you should be getting to know in order to get your next gig.
- The three golden rules to getting hired again and again.
- The #1 rule of production NEVER to break.
- How to make everyone think you’re a seasoned professional.
- Well-known jokes for use on set that will make everybody think you’ve been doing this forever.
Module 7: Your Budding Career
This is where you’ll learn the nuts and bolts of making your new career long and prosperous. You’ll learn the Finances of Freelance work, whether to go Union or not, whether to buy your own gear or sub-rent it, how to market your services, how much to charge for your services, invoicing, bookkeeping, and all the other little details that nobody ever tells you that you need to know! You’ll learn:
- How to make this a long-term career that’s both rewarding and fulfilling.
- How to make this a prosperous career.
- The finances of the freelance lifestyle.
- How to survive “mini-recessions” that will make you and your career recession-proof.
- To go Union or not to go Union, that is the question!
- Whether to buy your own sound package or not – there are more factors involved than meets the eye.
- How to market your services on a national scale.
- How much to charge for your services.
- How to give yourself a pay-raise.
- Being your own bill collector – how to keep track of who owes you money.
- Invoicing and bookkeeping.
- Whether to incorporate or not.
- The key to it all – your attitude – and how it affects your life on a day-to-day basis as well as a long-term basis.
- How to have plenty of work but still have a life outside of work.
- The benefits and disadvantages of being a freelancer.