Ambient sound: establishes a sense of location. When recording ambient sound get at least 30-second clips. Exps: market, park, nightclub, traffic, office, restaurant, sporting event, beach, college campus
Natural sounds: mark the action in the story and move the story forward. Exps: footsteps, door shutting
Voiceovers: help weave story together
Planning is important
Choose the right story. For some stories you will need to find secondary locations to get the sound you need.
Research and pre-interviews: Go to the location before your interviews if possible to get an idea of what the place sounds like. Pay attention to any sounds that will make it difficult to record: buzzing lights, construction equipment, etc. Find out if there is a quiet place to record.
Do you need to be at the location at a certain time to get the sound you want? If necessary, call ahead.
A pre-interview should clarify where the interview will take place and help give you an idea of what sounds will be around.