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High-quality sound is one of the most frequently overlooked factors in film and video production. It’s half of the equation in audiovisual terms, yet image often plays a dominant role. The Film Study Center possesses a wide array of microphones and sonic transducers – available for loan to current FSC fellows and students of Critical Media Practice – to aid in the production of immersive and nuanced soundtracks or audio-only works.

Like any tool, one must understand how a microphone functions and which applications it is best suited to fully reap its benefits. In this workshop, led by FSC Film and Video Technician Stefan Grabowski, we will discuss a variety of microphone designs and their ideal uses, whether you’re wanting to conduct interviews in controlled spaces, capture location sound in noisy outdoor environments, or create complex aural textures by means of less conventional tools such as hydrophones, contact microphones, or parabolic reflectors. We will discuss different pickup patterns, stereo configurations and microphone arrays, and the characteristics of each of these. We will also cover basic recording techniques, dealing with placement as well as ways to avoid handling and wind noise.

This workshop aims to inform participants about the microphone resources available to them through the Film Study Center and to inspire thoughtful, creative audio projects and film sound design. For more comprehensive instruction on sound recording, editing, and mixing, please consider taking a course such as Sonic Ethnography; For training on specific microphones, individual appointments can be made with Stefan.

Note: This workshop is limited to current FSC fellows and CMP students. Please RSVP.