Chicago Sound Design & Mix: Zach Goheen

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Turn Off the Red Light


Sound Design & Mix


Zach Goheen

A “Sound Designer/Mixer” is a person that is responsible for recording all sounds on set during a production.

Hi everyone and thanks for joining us here at Exposing the Crew: A Place for Chicago-made Short Films!

This week’s ETC HIGHLIGHT is the short film Turn Off the Red Light.   

“The sound of a film can help take you into alternate realities, like taking you into the mind of a dialogless character.” (Justin Jackola, Director at JJack Productions)

Turn Off the Red Light is a short film about a new tenant that tries everything he can to block out a blinding red light that blasts through his apartment window every evening, compromising his sanity.

The Sound Design & Mix must know how to balance their creativity and technical components in order to design a believable sound for a video. The audio heard in the above short film was designed by this week’s EXPOSED crew member, Zach Goheen.

The Sound Designer works closely with the Director to determine the correct audio style of a film.  Once this is determined, they would arrive on location with the appropriate equipment needed.  The types of equipment that can be used are multi-channel mixers, shotgun mics, wireless lav mics, boom poles, headphones, and computer sound logs.

When taping, audio is recorded into a multi-channel audio mixer. This is a system completely separate from the camera’s recording. On smaller indie projects you’ll sometimes see the audio being recorded straight to camera, but that’s not ideal for adjusting audio levels on the fly.

The Sound Designer is also considered a department head, responsible for hiring a boom operator and utility sound technician.  These factors are determined by location, and budget of a production.

You can learn more about Zach Goheen at

Thank you for watching this week’s “EXPOSED” short film, and reading our new blog Exposing the Crew: A Place for Chicago-made Short Films!

See you next Tuesday!