This example is about setting mike levels whilst recording podcasts in the field. The session occurs in a training room with the windows open.

1: CURIOSITY STATE (5 minutes)

  1. Trainer tells one or two "horror stories" about having done recording sessions in the past where they have set the mike levels incorrectly, only to anger the client by having to redo the session later on.
  2. Trainer states a colloquial golden rule for all sound and video production - "crap in, crap out". You have to get a good signal from your mike(s) into your recording system, no matter what the environmental conditions!

 

2: STUDY STATE (5 minutes)

  1. Trainer uses live gear, as well as a PowerPoint slide summary of the process (also in the group's notes) to slowly and calmly show the group the step-by-step process for getting a great mike signal happening in less than pristine, real-life conditions.
  2. Trainer points out that the room's windows are open, letting in all manner of ambient sound spill.
  3. Trainer encourages questions before moving on to the activity.

 

3: ACTIVITY STATE (30 minutes)

  1. Trainer sets a challenge for pairs to complete - to set up not one, but two mikes on a table top, as if for an interview. The challenge is to set up the mikes so that (a) their levels match and (b) have excellent signal quality.
  2. To make things a little trickier, the trainer also starts an electric fan over on one side of the room, so that one of the mikes will be picking it up more than the other.
  3. The group must therefore balance their two mikes in an unbalanced situation (which is often the case when recording sound in the field).
  4. Trainer roams, assists, coaches, re-states the process etc.  
  5. Finally, each pair briefly records a mock interview, one after the other. The results are then listened to, compared contrasted, analysed etc.

 

4: REFLECTION STATE (10 minutes)

  1. Trainer led discussion based on the results achieved by the group. The focus is on what the challenges are in setting up mikes in the field, rather than in a pristine studio environment.
  2. Trainer asks if the group felt overloaded at any point. After all, they were setting up mike signals for the first time in the field, so how did they feel about setting up and balancing two?
  3. The group explore the reality that their very first job/task may involve 2 or more mikes - the reason for the task.
  4. General Q&A to complete the session.