Three Tips For Field Recording Safely

Posted by Luke Farroh on

Field Recording

Sometimes field recording we can get wrapped up into a moment, the sounds, and our gear as we try to get impressive recordings but we fail to realize sometimes we can put ourselves in danger and not the best environment or circumstances. This Discussion Monday will be safety tips while field recording, a startling situation, and a discussion talking about all of the above and more.

The Story

Field recording downtown late at night in a huge city as I finished setting up my microphone stand with my over the ear headphones monitoring my input levels someone walked up behind me and grabbed my shoulder. I quickly spun around scared not knowing who it was or what he wanted - I quickly ripped off my headphones and he asked: "Do you know I can find this bar?" I was still startled and took a minute to answer him and after I mumbled him the directions to the bar he said thanks and walked off. 
After the recording session, I thought about what happened and I realized it could have gone a variety of different ways. It could have been a lot worse. Always be aware and believe safety is always first.
SMLXL
Safety Tips: 

Safety > Good Recordings

1. Look Up - Always look around you and beware of your environment.
2. Bring A Friend - If you are recording alone late at night or in an environment, you feel uncomfortable. They don't need to be a friend that does audio either they just need to be quiet when you are recording. 
Safety is in numbers - Your friend can be an extra set of eyes and ears.
3. Monitoring Levels Visually and Don't Wear Headphones - I will not wear headphones especially over the ear headphones when I am field recording at night.
This probably sounds insane, but I value my own and others safety more than getting awesome recordings.
When I record at night I use headphones as a tool to identify problems in recordings quickly and check the hardware. After I check that there aren't any problems, I take off my headphones and press record. I monitor my levels visually and identify sounds and problems sonically with my ears.
I don't just say safety is first for field recording I practice it by being aware of my environment, staying cautious, and staying safe.

Questions

   1. Have you thought about your safety and others while field recording?
   2. Want to share your story? Want to share some of your tips on safety field recording?
Let’s start a discussion - Comment Below

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