What is one aspect of video recording that is not given as much importance as it should be given?
Good audio? Well recording good audio is a must. But what you need is optimum audio, recorded with optimum settings.
You can record the highest quality of videos with the most expensive equipment but poor audio can still ruin it all. Good, optimum audio is just as important as video quality. It might take some time and effort but the result will be worthwhile.
Here are some tips to record better audio in your videos.
1. Watch The Distance Of The Mic
Any type of recorded speech is composed of a series of softer and louder parts. Move closer to the microphone when you’re recording for the softer parts. For the loud portions of the speech, move a little far away from the mic.
Moving near and far away from the mic will help balance the volume variations for the recording. Louder parts won’t be too ear-shattering while the quieter parts will still be audible. With this technique, compression time will be reduced for the audio file later.
If you’re conducting an interview, place the mic just below from the speaker’s mouth. Don’t put the mic too close to someone else’s mouth because the breathing will be recorded and may distort the audio recording.
2. Use An External Mic
Some cameras and smartphones are built with sub-par pre-installed mics. They only work well for video chatting but not for a wider audience. If you aim to record professional sound quality, consider buying a good external microphone.
There are many types of microphones available on the market to suit different types of recording sessions. Put time and effort to check the best type of mic that would fit your needs. Shopping for a mic is a bit daunting so look for the right features, such as the condenser, frequencies, and polar patterns.
Here are some common types of auxiliary microphones:
⦁ Shotgun: This is the most versatile equipment for your camera setup, however, they’re not ideal for very loud environments.
⦁ Handheld: This type of mic is great for on-the-go interviews.
⦁ Wireless: If you want portability and freedom, wireless is a good choice.
⦁ Boundary: These discreet mics can be set up on a table, wall, and anywhere to widen the coverage.
⦁ Stereo Microphones: These mics are great in recording musical performances with the right gain adjustment.
3. Use Your Phone To Record Audio
If you don’t have the budget to buy a new external mic, you can use your phone instead. Modern phones, especially the iPhone, have great audio recording capabilities. Just choose a quiet location to record because these phones can pick up all the sound around them.
When recording your voice, speak to the phone closely. You don’t have to essentially hold the phone near your mouth. Simply put it in your shirt pocket and make sure that the mic faces upwards towards your voice.
You can use the built-in recording app in your phone or other similar apps in the internet. Once you’re finished recording the audio, sync them up with your video using a good editing software/
4. Remove Unnecessary Noise
Loud background noise is often a problem for amateur videographers. It can be very distracting and can make the editing process very difficult. Since it’s almost impossible to look for a soundproof location, you can do something to reduce the ambient noise.
If you’re shooting in your home, turn off all noisy appliances like fans, washing machines, and other devices that produce noise. Record away from the computer because the sound of its fan might disrupt the audio quality. Also, ask the people around you to keep quiet while you’re recording to avoid unnecessary noise.
Try covering the floor with rugs to diminish the sound of footsteps. You can also put some natural insulators against the walls to make a soundproof room. Put drapes, towels, books, and other objects that might insulate the sound.
5. Record Realistic Background Sound
Consider putting specific sound that fits the event that you’re recording. If you’re shooting at a carnival, capture the sounds of the Ferris wheel or the sound of the popcorn cooking to bring more life to your video. Realistic sounds allow your viewers to feel as if they’re present with you.
Record these sounds with pure clarity. Don’t worry about the video footage because you can just edit the sounds later and embed them on different portions of the video.
6. Check The Shooting Locations
Sometimes, the location is the problem when you’re shooting a video. Loud noises might ruin the quality of your video footage. To make sure that the location is good for shooting clear audio, check the shooting location in advance.
Bring the camera and the mic with you on the shooting location. Identify any potential noise sources. Remember, there’s a difference of what you hear on your microphone and your ears. The sound of the air conditioner might not bother you but it may be too loud when you listen to it through the headphones.
7. Protect The Mic From The Wind
If you’re going to shoot outdoors, it’s important that you protect the mic from the elements. There are three tools you can use for wind protection- foam windscreens, Rycote softies, and blimp systems.
Lightweight foam windscreens aren’t enough to fight any form of real breeze. These windscreens offer minimum wind protection and are only good to reduce wind noise indoors. They can protect the mic from wind blasts of up to 9 MPH.
Rycote softies offer good wind protection at a limited budget. They’re usually made of synthetic fur, thus the name “softies”. They put an extra layer of wind buffering material on the mic in windier environments but they’re not as effective in heavy wind situations.
Blimp systems fit for extreme wind conditions. Unlike the other two types of wind protection, blimp systems come with complete accessories such as mounting hardware, casing, and fur. They make an open chamber for your mic so it can sit prettily inside amid the high winds.
8. Use Restoration Software
So, what to do if your video is ruined with the loud air conditioner on the background? Apply restoration to remove the problematic audio.
Restoration software can work as a plug-in or an independent application in your host editing program. It can help you diminish the undesirable sounds that might distract a well-recorded interview. These sounds may include background noise, wind noise, and switching sound.
You should be good in your audio edits. Learn to properly trim the audio parts. Your goal is to remove those undesirable sounds smoothly without being noticed.
9. Keep A Controlled Recording Environment
Good quality audio is easy to reach if you record in a more controlled recording environment. If you can’t access a good recording studio, you can create some tricks.
First, adjust the microphone settings according to the background noise. Use a microphone screen to stop the overemphasis of the “p”, “t”, or “d” sounds. Determine how far you can record clear audio and note that distance for the next recordings.
To sum up, even though you are using a high quality external mic for recording audio, there are some ways you can get the optimum audio while recording your videos.