Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Good Audio Is Key To Quality Video Production

For good audio, use an external microphone and headphones

It’s the little things that will get you–Part 3

Here’s my third post in a series of short video production tips about how to increase the quality of your production.

Be sure to add these 3 to your shooting checklist.

Use an external microphone

Audio is half the picture so getting good audio is just as important as good video and will instantly increase the production value of your video. If your camera accepts external mikes, great! If you haven’t invested in a camera yet, I highly recommend getting one with the ability to plug in an external microphone. The Kodak Z18 is a nice, very inexpensive camera for around $150 (I’ve seen them on Amazon refurbished for $130) and you can plug in a mic.

You can get a lavalier mic (wired or wireless) which you can clip on. They really give a sense of presence and will make a 200% improvement in the sound of the person speaking over a built-in mic. You can buy a simple lavalier mic at Radio Shack for $26.49 online. You can also find more professional mics in the $200-$500 range. B&H Photo Video sells our favorite mics from Sennheiser and Audio Technica for under $300.

Shotgun mics are another option to use and although you can spend thousands of dollars on a top end professional model, perfectly good quality mics can be found in the $255 – $500 range. Shotgun mics are good in situations where you don’t have the time or ability to clip a lavalier mic onto a person. You can use them on a boom or on-camera. Contrary to popular belief, they do not “suck in” the sound from a distant source; they reduce the sound coming from other directions. The closer you can get, the better the sound.

Another resource is AllProSound.com* where you can save up to 60% off on used and demo gear.

Use headphones

How do you know if you are getting good sound if you can’t hear it?

To make sure you are getting good audio, always use your headphones. Even though they may be uncomfortable and a bit of a pain and mess up your hair, they are essential to making sure that you are getting quality audio.  The only way to know your sound is distorted or if you are receiving interference is to listen through quality headphones. If digital audio levels peak, they “flat line” and the sound becomes distorted and there is no way you can fix that.

You can get headphones priced from $40 to $100. I love the Sony 7506 model, which sells for about $90. In a pinch, you can use earbuds but they do not work as well. Quality headphones are one of the best investments you can make.

Watch your audio levels

If your camera displays audio levels, it is important to pay attention to them…especially if you aren’t using headphones. I still recommend wearing headphones rather than just relying on the level meters because your ears can hear buzzing and other interference you may be getting while the levels would just be registering this as sound.

For more tips on producing videos for sale, order my DVD, My Secrets Of Producing Successful Special Interest Videos.

*We’re an affiliate of this company so if you go through this link and purchase, we will get a small commission. You can bypass the link and go to them directly if you prefer. Either way, we only recommend and are affiliates of companies we use, trust and believe in.


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