How to record great audio for your videos?

Audio. It’s not the sexiest but it’s the most important and often most over looked aspect of creating a video. Audiences might sit through shaky footage and chock it up as an artistic choice, but bad audio is never tolerated. It’s easy to just lay a music track over a bunch of beautifully shot b-roll (and that can actually make a great video!) but if you’re creating a video for your brand, you may be recording interview or a voiceover.

At EditMate, in the audio editing/mixing stage of post-production we can improve the sound of your video but it’s extremely important to record the best possible audio quality you can WHEN you’re shooting. Here are a few videos that give you various options for recording audio, without having to hire an expensive sound guy/gal.

To start, skip forward to the 1:26 mark on this video. The guys at Film Riot give you the basics on 3 different kinds of microphones that are available (handheld, lavalier, +  shotgun) depending on what you need to record.

After you’ve figured out which microphone to use, go to the 5:34 mark for vital tips for recording audio, including:

-finding your audio levels
-noting the sounds of your surroundings
-recording “room noise”

You can quit watching once the ad for SquareSpace pops up :)

If you want to record with a shotgun or lavalier mic (and your iPhone!), we recommend the Rode Videomic Pro ($189) and Rode smartLav + ($80) which can plug straight into your phone or DSLR.

In this video, 2 adorable Norwegians test out both in different environments showing the benefits of each and also show how to optimize your audio by adjusting the audio gain settings in your DSLR when working with the shotgun mic. Andyax has other great videos for the more advanced shooter on his YouTube channel if you’re looking for more tips… or if you just can’t get enough of that accent.

Another option is to use your iPhone as the external mic! In this video, the good fellows at FStoppers explain how you can record using your iPhone, earbuds and the free app iTalk by Griffin.

 

As Lee mentions at the 1:57 mark: when you’re shooting, make sure to give yourself an on-screen visual cue (like clapping with hands in the shot) to make it easy to sync up the audio and video in post. You can quit watching this video at the 2:15 mark, once he gets into loading files.

 

For more examples that will give you a better understanding of which mic will work best for your project,  this video from Wistia is also worth a watch.

Finally, a boom microphone has the advantage of freeing up subjects movement without disturbing the sound. A boom mic is simple: it’s simply a mic mounted on a boom arm and positioned just out of camera frame. You can make a boom from just about anything that’s the right shape… microphone stand with its legs removed, even a broomstick or a fishing pole! We’d recommend creating one with your smartphone and a stand, as seen in this video also from Wistia starting at the 2:22 mark.

If you have any questions on the best way to record audio for your project, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help. Until then, happy recording. :)

 

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