Without sound, television would be a very different medium. It transforms moving pictures into a realistic experience. The sound department records and operates the sound equipment, such as microphones and playback equipment, on a production set. 

Skills needed 

  • Knowledge and good operation of sound recording, playback and editing equipment
  • Strong communication and aural skills
  • Able to move equipment and have physical stamina
  • Work well as a team and instruct and accept direction
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Ability to make quick decisions under pressure
  • Sound understanding of other departments including camera, art department and wardrobe

Job roles

  • Sound trainee
  • Sound assistant
  • Boom operator
  • Production sound mixer

Duties include

  • Set up and take down sound equipment including checking and charging batteries, preparing mics and headphones
  • Operating booms, placing radio or clip microphones and laying carpet
  • Liaising with producers to discuss creative plans for the production and specific technical requirements
  • Ensuring all sound rushes are packaged and labelled
  • Looking for any sound faults and fixing them on duty 

Useful links

How to get into sound | Tips in 60 seconds

How to break into sound recording | Tips in 60 seconds

How to succeed in sound, with sound supervisor Louise Wilcox

Want to work in sound? Strictly's Sound Supervisor spills the beans

The secrets of sound

The secrets of sound | Video highlights