You just booked a looping gig and were told there would be Police calls, Hospital calls, and the “regular” stuff. You said “sure” but have NO clue what to prepare. This is where research comes in.
As you continue to get more and more looping jobs, you will start to put together a binder or file folders full of info and cheat sheets from all of your jobs. You bring this binder with you at all times and it becomes your “bible”. The producer walks into the session and says… “we are adding some police radio chatter here” and you can say “No problem…I happen to have some NYC Police radio calls right here in my binder” and BAM you save the day!!!!!
So where can you get this info? Well, if your roommate is a nurse you can just ask her for some hospital lingo and write it down. If not…you’ll have to be more resourceful. Google is my best friend. Find out as much as you can about the location of the film/show (Does it take place in the Bronx? A specific college campus? Or just a feel of a certain area of the country?) This will help you get the right kind of dialogue. A military hospital “talks” different than a county hospital. Google “lingo”, “terms”, etc and copy/paste into a new doc or print out the page from the website. I like to put my full sheets of paper in clear plastic sleeves that have holes to be placed in a binder. This way I can take the full sheets out and the paper won’t make noise during the cue. Other people use note cards.
Police calls can also be heard streaming online (on police radio sites) if you want to get a feel for what they sound like in real life. Sometimes I’ll copy an entire call I hear. These and hospital calls (the intercom’s you hear saying “paging Dr Jones to the ER stat”) are pretty common. So are airport PA’s (“Flight 626 to Cincinnati is now boarding at gate 12A”). “Regular stuff” can include coffee shops, downtown street, and any “common” places. You never know what you’ll need to know next. This is why if you are an expert at something (for example you were in the Army for 10 years or you have a degree in criminal justice) you should note it when trying to get looping jobs. They want the real deal most of the time. I know it seems silly when you don’t even hear the looping all the time, but the producers will want to know everything is authentic for the times you WILL hear it. If you can fake it, fine, but you’d better be prepared!