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This is the second in a series of discussions about roles within the sound team for new comers to the industry. A previous post is about the role of the boom operator.

I am hoping that users who have professional experience within the role of utility sound technician can explain what the job involves, as well as relay their personal experiences.

Thank you


State University, Wikipedia

Utility sound technician

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I've never even heard of this before. Nice one. – Andrew Spitz Jun 2 '10 at 20:57
up vote 4 down vote accepted

A sound utility (also know as a Third or an A3) has a lot of responsibilities.

Most of the time, he is responsible for setting up and storing the rig, laying and wrapping cables, gear maintenance, repair (soldering cables, etc..) and such. Often times he will also become a second boom op, if one is needed. He will also do runs and such for the boom op and mixer (coffee, snacks, runs to Radio Shack, etc...)

It's fairly rare to see an A3 though. Most sound teams (even on big gigs) will only use two people. Really big ones will often use 3 though, but it's pretty expensive - an A3 will make $300+ a day on a pro gig.

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question that I've wondered for a while.. who is responsible for wiring up talent with lavs? is that a sound recordist's duties, sound utility, or is it a group effort? – VCProd Jun 4 '10 at 14:04

everything Colin said plus keeping members of the team in silence ( Shouting ''silence please!'' some times does the trick). I've also was responsible for playback and music amplification in some gigs where I performed as an A3.

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In the context of conferences and corporate events sometimes the A3 will be responsible for small sound setups in breakout rooms. Also, available for unforeseen absences of the A1 or A2. I have also been the "mic rangler" and headset positioner for multiple speaker events.

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