Ty Ford’s Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


Now in its fourth edition and sixth printing.

User Comments

“Thank you very much and your video microphone tutorial saved me at least

100 hours of reading on the web.”

Michael Maardt


“I read your book from cover to cover last night. It's fantastic Ty. Well done. Love the size of it and the very clear and easy to understand topics you have covered.”

Matt Gerber-Corn


“Wanted to thank you immensely for your book. I've been doing location audio for years and as I continue to sharpen my skills I've got to say its great to have a condensed version of all the conventional wisdom, rules of thumb, and technical information I need right at my finger tips. In fact, I've made it required reading for everyone in my department for the feature we start filming May 1st.”

Jason Marraccini - President,

ECG Productions

"Thank you so much! I think that little book has helped my understanding of field recording more than surfing the web or 'trial and error'! I wish I would have bought this book before spending money on some of the equipment I have bought. Thanks again.”

Josh Johnson.

"A clear, simple, pocket sized book any video guy should own. Why should you fill a large concrete space with helium balloons for better sound?  Buy the book. Don't waste your time with trial and error.  Learn from the expert. Everything from what's that mic called? To why use an audio field mixer? Thanks.”

Benji Meyer.

"At first I was a bit wary because of the size, but then I started reading and really appreciated the succinct and practical information. I've already purchased a good mixer and my next buy is a better set of wireless mics. The guide is just the right size to keep with my gear. Good work!"

Constance Beutel

"Great stuff in a little handy reference!! I watched that video you mentioned, AWESOME - it was like a shot in the arm of audio knowledge."


Topics covered


Lavs, hypers, shotguns..

*Application Notes:

When to use each microphone and why.


Why a mixer? How to connect and calibrate.

*Good Gear List:

Future-proof your audio with good gear.

*Q&A, FAQ and Index:

Practical experience at your fingertips.

*Microphone & Gear Rentals:

A list of rental house websites.

*Anti-Panic Audio Checklist: Check the back page! See below!

Excerpts From Ty Ford's

Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


This field guide was written in the early stages of a technical revolution and is updated as the technology changes. That revolution brought us easy to use, affordable video cameras and editing systems that yield professionally acceptable video quality.

The technical and creative empowerment that has resulted from this revolution is profound, impacting the entire traditional production and postproduction industry. While upper-tier video facilities are still required for high-end work, mid-tier video facilities in every city and country have born the brunt of this democratization of technology.

They have become dinosaurs; with too many rooms of equipment that costs ten to thirty times that of the equipment available today. Most of this older equipment is so complex that specialists are required to maintain it and make it work.

Checking the rearview mirror as we pull away from this era of video technologists, we see them standing at the roadside anchored to piles of expensive and obsolete equipment. In front, and quickly coming over the horizon are new cameras, editing systems and computers faster than we ever thought possible and with storage cheaper than we ever imagined.

But while white balancing a picture, framing a shot, maintaining focus and remaining relatively steady are exponentially easier with this new generation of video gear, getting good audio remains a challenge for several reasons.

The low cost of some of the video gear has required manufacturers to skimp on the robustness of the audio circuitry. As a result, the audio sections of a lot of this gear are more susceptible to noise and distortion. Audio gear that works with one camcorder may not work with another.


Point: Regular condenser mics need Phantom Power. That power comes from a separate Phantom Power supply, a camera or a mixer.


The Audio Bootcamp Field Guide helps you make better buying decisions and fits

in your camera bag.

Don't leave home without it!

Dirty little Secret #1: even omni directional mics are directional at higher frequencies. Here's another; directional mics may not be as directional as you think. Let's discuss.

You may see high quality shotgun mics used in run and gun video journalism, but just because you see a shotgun mic mounted to a camera, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the primary mic. More often than not with professional production, there’s an audio person with a boom mic and a mixer feeding the camera’s audio inputs.

Mixers also allow you to change audio levels during a take without touching (and jiggling) the camera. Good audio pros do this all the time, even when just one person is talking. On most cameras, the audio level adjustments are mounted in such a way that you can’t get to them during a take anyway.

MiniCam and DVcam Inputs

A slight diversion is required for those who have cameras that have a 1/8” TRS audio jack instead of  XLR connectors.

The most frequently asked question I get is from owners of these cameras who want to plug in a standard mic that has an XLR connector. A regular female XLR to male 1/8” TRS won’t work.

Caution: Anytime you convert from balanced audio to unbalanced audio, and that’s what these cables do, you increase the potential for interference. That’s just one of the downsides of using camcorders and other equipment with unbalanced audio inputs or outputs. If you’re wearing headphones, you’ll hear it.

Audio’s “Tough Love”

If you are getting paid to get it right, you can’t afford to buy cheap gear.  The good news is that unlike video gear, good audio gear last a long time and will serve you well over the years.

Feel safer, in control and more confident about your audio.

Demonstrations and seminars available

Contact Ty Ford Audio

Audio Bootcamp Field Guide by Ty Ford is a delightfully concise no nonsense introduction to professional sound recording...kino-eye.com

Please visit my Online Book and CD Store.http://mkt.com/tyford