Hire a Production Sound Mixer

Looking to hire a Production Sound Mixer? The Sab Network is home to some of the best Production Sound Mixers. Follow, connect, hire and be inspired.

Associated Members

What is a Production Sound Mixer?

A production Sound Mixer, also known as a Location Sound Recordist, Location Sound Engineer, or simply Sound Mixer, is a member of a film or television crew who is responsible for recording all sound on set using professional audio equipment for later inclusion in the finished product or for reference by sound designers, or sound effects editors. This requires the selection and deployment of microphones, the selection of recording media, and the real-time mixing of audio signals.

What do Production Sound Mixers do?

Production Sound Mixers have the challenging duty of ensuring that the dialogue recorded during filming is clear and understandable. Although dialogue conveys much of the story and emotional effect of a script, most film sets are difficult locations for Mixers to work in because there are often unwanted noises to contend with, or the required camera shots make microphone placement difficult.

Although it is sometimes easier to re-record actors' dialogue after filming (post-syncing), most directors prefer to use the lines of dialogue recorded during filming by Production Sound Mixers, boom operators, and sound assistants using multiple microphones and DAT (Digital Audio Tape) or hard disk recorders. Production Sound Mixers work on feature films and dramas as freelancers.

Production Sound Mixers meet with the producer and director around two weeks before the first day of primary photography to discuss their creative intents (is the sound genuine or stylised, etc. ), technical constraints, and budget constraints. They also meet with the wardrobe department and visual effects supervisors to discuss microphone placement on or around the performers and visit all locations to check for any potential sound issues. Sound crews arrive on-site half an hour before call time to put up their equipment before filming begins.

The Production Sound Mixer and boom operator plan where microphones should be placed to achieve the best possible sound quality during rehearsals, when the director, director of photography, and actors run through all camera moves and lighting. Production Sound Mixers (who are offset but close by) examine the sound recording quality after each take and, if required, request another take.

Production Sound Mixers work with the boom operator to select appropriate types of microphones (e.g., close-ups or extreme angled shots may require clip microphones that do not appear in frame) and carefully reposition these microphones for each setup, just as directors strive to ensure that they have adequate overall coverage of each scene. Production Sound Mixers also set up playback equipment and speakers for the actors if music is required in a scene.

Production Sound Mixers may transfer the day's sound recording files to post-production via ISDN at the end of each shooting day, in addition to giving over the meticulously labelled originals to the camera assistant, who packages them with the camera rushes. Production Sound Mixers finish work when the film is completed.

Production Sound Mixer Responsibilities

Every video shoot has different sound requirements and challenges.

Recording Clean Dialog, Ambiences, Action Sounds, Ensuring Audio and Camera Sync, Creating a Mix, Logging MetaData, and much more, are some of the responsibilities of a Production Sound Mixer. It takes a lot of experience and an extensive knowledge base to draw on to provide exceptional location sound recording services for video productions.

Their primary responsibility is to deliver exceptionally great sounding audio by employing creative solutions to elevate the level of sound recorded during production.

What are The Skills and Tools of a Sound Mixer?

Production Sound Mixers must have a good understanding of electronics and an expert knowledge of acoustics and sound recording, playback and editing equipment (analogue and digital). They must understand the requirements of the other departments on feature films, including camera, rigging, art department, wardrobe, hair and makeup. They should also be aware of and comply with on set protocols. Production Sound Mixers must be computer literate. Good communication skills, Diplomacy and tact Ability to give and accept direction are also skills they must master.

Key Skills include:

  • Excellent Aural skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Diplomacy and tact
  • Ability to give and to accept direction
  • Precise attention to detail
  • Ability to make decisions under pressure
  • Knowledge of the requirements of the relevant Health and Safety legislation and procedures

Who do Production Sound Mixers work with?

Production Sound Mixers collaborate with Sound Assistants, Boom Operators, Sound Designers and Sound Effects Editors, among other crew members.

The sound mixer is considered a department head and is thus entirely responsible for all aspects of sound production, including hiring a boom operator and sound assistant, planning the technical layout involving sound, including both sound systems and ancillary devices involved in syncing and time offsets, predicting and discussing sound-related issues with the rest of the crew, and ordering and preparing the sound equipment to be used on set.

Sound crews usually arrive on-site at least 30 minutes before the start of filming to ensure that their equipment is ready for the shoot. When the Director and Director of Photography run through the parts with the actors on set during rehearsal, the Production Sound Mixer and Boom Operator are present to verify camera motions and lighting are adequate for the intended production.

Production Sound Mixers will also meet with Costume and Visual Effects Supervisors to discuss the proper positioning of microphones on actor costumes and in or around the actors on set. The mixer may also pay a visit to the film shoot location at this time to identify whether there are any potential sound difficulties, such as interference or outside noise, that need to be addressed.

Why Hire a Production Sound Mixer?

Hiring a production sound mixer is a critical task for you to ensure that your video production project runs smoothly.

When a movie has a fantastic sound, it goes unnoticed. When a movie's sound is terrible, you can't pay attention to anything else. The production sound mixer is in charge of ensuring that this never happens. They create the groundwork for future sound designers to bring the movie's sound to life.

How much does it cost to hire a Production Sound Mixer?

Our Production Sound charges are in line with BECTU rates and APA for commercial projects. Sab members pay a fixed subscription to be part of the network, discussions on rates should be had directly with the member.

Why Choose The Sab Network to hire your Production Sound Mixer?

If you're searching for an award-winning team that has proven to be loyal, trustworthy, and competent, the Sab Network is the place to go. The Sab Network is a referral-only network of industry specialists who can help you with all of your production requirements.

We understand how tough it can be to find qualified professionals who can meet our clients' expectations. Our mission is to help you reach your goal! 

Our member’s clients consist of the biggest Broadcasters, Corporations and Production companies both here in the UK and throughout the world. 

If you have any questions regarding how The Sab Network operates or would like to talk about any aspect of employing freelancers, please get in contact with us.