What is a Sound Assistant?

Written by 90 Seconds
Last updated: October 4, 2023
What is a Sound Assistant?

There are numerous roles in the production of a movie and every position is vital to ensure that the highest quality movie results on the other side.

In addition to the visual effects of the movie, the sound that plays in the background is also important. Without the right soundtrack, the audience would not experience the proper mood from the scene.

Furthermore, the various parts of the soundtrack in the movie need to be played to varying degrees of intensity. For example, sometimes the music needs to play more loudly than the explosions in the background; however, neither of these can be too loud because then the audience wouldn’t be able to hear the characters speaking on screen. All of these tasks fall on the shoulders of the sound team for the movie.

One of the positions involved in the manipulation of movie sound is called a sound assistant. These individuals will work closely with music supervisors and the boom operators to make sure that the movie has the proper sound in every scene.

Primary roles

The assistant has important positions throughout the movie sound production.

Sound assembly

Much of what the assistant is going to do is help set up and break down equipment. For example, the assistant is going to be responsible for positioning microphones and speakers in the proper locations to catch and project the proper amount of sound.

They will also be asked to record the sound in various test runs and work with the supervisor to make sure that the recordings sound clean before the scene is filmed.

In this sense, the sound assistant will gain valuable experience in the sound production world.

Equipment maintenance

They will also be responsible for performing maintenance on important equipment to ensure it doesn’t break. If the equipment breaks prematurely, the movie could go over budget.

When they perform maintenance on the equipment, they will be expected to locate and report any technical problems.

Sound assistants may be asked to fix technical problems with the equipment or perhaps find replacements if something is broken beyond repair.

Secondary roles

Asssitants will be asked to fill in for other positions if necessary.

Secondary Boom Operator

Sometimes, films may need an extra boom operator for certain scenes that require an extra boom operator or perhaps a boom operator is out sick. In this situation, the sound assistant would be expected to fill in for this important role.

The boom operator is responsible for the mixing of various sounds from speaking roles, music, and special effects. Assistants can apply their experience with equipment positioning for this role.

Secondary sound recording

The assistant may also be asked to fill in for the sound recorder from time to time. This is the person that is responsible for making sure that the sounds sync up well with the visuals of the scene.

This is a great way for people to gain valuable experience in other areas of movie production.