The Sound Assistant supports, and works under the direction of, the Sound Supervisor, who is responsible for the quality of all sound recorded on location, or in studio, on multi-camera TV programmes.
He or she must have excellent aural skills, a good knowledge of how the principal sound technologies and devices function, and a proven track record in a live TV environment.
Prior to going on location, the Sound Assistant will ensure all equipment, cables and consumables are packed as per the specification drawn up for the project. On location, he or she sets up all sound equipment and positions and tests all microphones for the production. The Sound Assistant also looks after the maintenance and repair of sound equipment.
In the case of a TV show, the Sound Assistant must be familiar with the show’s script and running order. This allows him or her to cover for a location recordist should the need arise. Where sports coverage is concerned, a knowledge of the sport being covered is important.
The role requires the experience and ability to switch repeatedly between different types of TV broadcasts, whether they are sports events or talent shows.
This role requires a capacity for teamwork, an ability to take direction and to work to the highest levels of detail.
To perform this role, you must:
Have excellent aural skills.
Have the necessary technical skills for the operation and maintenance of the principal sound equipment.
Have good skills of concentration and be able to function in recording environments where varying degrees of “control” apply.
Enjoy working as part of a team.
Know how to deal communicate with anyone, from celebrities, members of the public, to fellow technical crew.
Many Sound Assistants enter the industry as unskilled trainees or apprentices who have shown a clear interest in sound, and have demonstrated their own practical efforts to engage with, and record, sound. Media and Film Studies courses that have covered sound are helpful but not essential.