Carl Warner answers Rebecca Rees' questions
1. Do you work for a company or are you an independent mixer?
2. What does a Production Sound Mixer do?
3. What kind of projects have you worked on?
I worked on network television commercials for: Colgate, Frito Lay, Maiden Form Bras, Manhattan Shirts, General Electric, Ford, General Motors, Haines Hosiery, Fruit of The Loom, Scott Tissue, Fallstaff Beer, Miller Brewing co., Coca Cola, Wilson Sporting Goods and many other major TV commercials.
When I was much younger I worked on the big budget feature films as Production Sound Mixer today at 76 years of age, I have slowed down a bit and in feature film Production work mostly on medium and low budget features. Just finished one in Nashville, CHRISTMAS DIP.
4. What kind of equipment do you work with?
Our microphone inventory includes the usual pro mikes (Senn 815, Schoeps etc.) but, we use our low priced Okatava MC 012 and several low priced Audio Technica shotguns on most of our low budget feature work with really excellent results. On low budget features we use a Mackie or our Spirit Folio mixers (modified by us to offer more flexibility). Of course we have windscreen blimps for all of our shotguns. We almost always take our sound cart with lights and bells on location shoots. Our equipment packages include Motorola business band walkie talkies, one or two loud hailers, at least four wireless lav mikes and a 400 MHz headphone distribution transmitter with battery operated receivers.
5. Approximately how much do you make a year?
6. What kind of education and experience did you have prior to getting
The human ear is somewhat complimented. Sudden loud sounds, for example, can cause hearing to become diminished affecting certain frequencies of audio more than others. Then human hearing will, after a long period of headphone listening, become "tired" and sounds will not be heard the same as "normal". There is of course much more to the psychology of sound, all of this in my opinion vital to someone desiring to become a really first rate professional Sound Mixer.
At least some formal learning in sound technology is very important. Courses at a trade school or college (or even just studying sound technology text books) in electronic theory, reverb and acoustics would by quite useful.
Finally, there is something that can't be learned--you either have it
or you don't. You have to be born with an "ear" for sound. Somewhat like
a musician's ear.
Edited excerpts from discussion thread "Please help me" March 2001 at CAS Webboard http://www.ideabuzz.com/cas/webboard
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