In this post we will talk about what audio equipment we use during our filming process, their features and use, and some tricks on how you can capture the best audio.
Recording good audio is crucial for your videos to be successful and professional. You might be great at capturing dynamic and engaging video footage or you may be an editing whizz, but it all falls apart if the quality of your audio is poor.
There are many types of microphones that we use when recording audio for all of our videos. This is so that we have multiple audio backups and because they each have a different purpose, but we will touch more on that later in this post. Here are three examples:-
A lavalier microphone or lavalier (also known as a lav, lapel mic, clip mic, body mic, collar mic, neck mic or personal mic) is a small microphone used for television, theatre, and public speaking applications in order to allow for hands-free operation.
They work great with transmitters and receivers, but also with Mobile Devices such as Phones or Sound Recorders. A word of warning though, check the connector as there are different kinds for different devices despite the fact that they are the same size.
2. On Camera Microphones
Compact Directional On-camera Microphones work well, as the name suggests, the directional nature helps to eliminate some sounds outside of the direction of the mic. Rode are possible the best known manufacturer, however there is a range of suppliers available.
3. Condenser and Dynamic Microphones
These types of Microphones are used in different scenarios, for example, dynamic microphones may be used at a rock concert, whereas condenser tends to be more sensitive and used for recording acoustic instruments. Some microphones need external power sources known as Phantom Power.
Here are some of our tips and tricks on how you can capture the best audio for your videos.
- Invest in a good quality microphone
This may be a bit cliché, but it does need to be noted. When it comes to microphones, you do typically get what you pay for. A quality microphone is going to give you good audio. This isn’t to say that you can’t make do with an inexpensive one as for the most part they work fine and are sometimes adequate for what you need them for, especially if you follow the tips outlined below.
However, if you were to compare the audio between a good quality microphone and a lesser one, there would be a noticeable difference.
- Reduce the amount of ambient noise
When listening to any audio you want to limit the amount of distractions from your subject. This could be anything from the wind, passing traffic or conversations happening in the background. There is rarely a time when there will be complete silence, but you do want to get rid of the noise you have control over. However, you may actually want to capture the ambient noise, if so then it may be best to do this separately and incorporate it into your editing. For example, the sounds of birds singing or water flowing over rocks.
If you are recording the audio from inside make sure there is no electrical interference with your equipment, i.e. make sure all mobile phones are turned to “Aeroplane Mode” and that you are away from any computer monitors, that you are in a quiet room away from others, and away from any equipment that may generate noise.
If you are however, recording audio outside, make sure you are in a quiet environment away from any distracting noise such as traffic, if it is windy try to shield the microphone with either a wind protector or by placing a cloth over the microphone, or by recording in a shielded area. By doing this, you can help create a clear audio recording.
- Dampen the sound
This is similar to the point we made earlier about wanting to create a clear audio track, but this is more to do with the narrative you are recording and less about avoiding background noise. When recording dialogue one of the biggest challenges you might face is the tinniness of a room and how it affects the vocals. A way to combat this is to try and dampen the walls using material to reduce reverb and echo. In a recording studio, the walls are designed to absorb the sound waves and when recording indoors you need to create something similar, historically the studios would put egg boxes on the walls to change the dynamics of the soundwaves.
- Always have multiple microphones
As mentioned before, whenever we are filming, we always use multiple microphones and different types. Backups are essential for audio, a sound engineer can use different tracks and blend them to produce the best quality.
- Speak clearly
Now this might be an obvious one but again it is important, especially if you are trying to get your business message across to your target audience. You may have a great accompanying video, but if they can’t understand what you are saying then the message will be lost.
Even if you are using top-of-the-range recording equipment, the high quality doesn’t matter if you aren’t using it correctly. You should try speaking slowly and clearly, watching your pronunciation, and attempt to avoid stuttering. As well as this, try to not speak too loudly or too closely into the microphone as this could create sharp popping or hissing sounds.
Another point is to not be afraid to allow for pauses and silence, or to record the dialogue in separate parts. More often than not this helps the subject to relax and can make the editing process easier.
We hope this has been helpful to you.
If you would like anymore advice on this then please [get in touch].
Scarlet Butterfly Media