Video Sound – 7 Tips to Better Sound Quality
Snap, Crackle and Pop belong in your cereal, NOT your video. You also don’t need humming lights, air conditioning blowers, chatter and any other sounds that interfere with your video. And, unless they really are in one, you don’t want your subjects to sound like they are in a tunnel. These are all common problems when shooting video.
Improving audio quality doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but it does need a small investment AND more attention.
Here are 7 Tips that will help.
It’s much easier to get it right during production.
Sound isn’t like color, issues are hard, if not impossible to fix, post production. So you have to get them right the first time. Plan, use the right equipment and dedicate someone to the quality control upfront.
Don’t use the microphone attached to the video camera
This microphone is best for ambient sound.
It is made for that purpose. It’s not made to capture someone talking from across the room. This is what results in a “tinny” or “tunnel” sound.
Get the microphone closer to the speaker.
The closer the mic is to the subject or primary sound source, the better it will be. You will significantly reduce the ambient noises and increase the quality of the sound. On the person or nearby is best.
Use Handheld, Lavalier and Boom Mics
These microphones are designed to get closer to the source and allow for different options. Your decision on which to use will depend on how many people will be speaking, will it be a Question & Answer piece, the proximity of the subjects to one another and whether you want the mic to be seen or not.
Decent mics can be found for 0 each–but better ones can be significantly more expensive.
Monitor Sound with a Volume Meter
These meters show a read out of the volume which needs to be adjusted to keep the sound constant. Different people and sounds are often not at the same volume, without a meter your sound will be uneven and often uncomfortable for the viewer.
If you don’t have a volume meter or mic inputs-GET THEM!
Most low end cameras (under 00) are not equipped with a meter to measure and adjust the sound or inputs for external microphones. A converter module that can supply you with both a meter and a couple of inputs can be added to most cameras and camcorders for about 0-0. (Search terms like XLR-Pro Adapter Box for the best model for you)
Have a person dedicated to sound
If it is possible, have someone with headphones on listening to the sound, monitoring the sound and making adjustments as needed. This will ensure the quality at the time of the shoot. You wouldn’t shoot the video without someone looking at a screen, but every day people shoot video without the sound being monitored.
If you follow these tips and pay attention to the quality of the sound before and during production, you’ll be much happier with the final product and so will your viewers!
Jay Gross is a former TV newsman with over 25 years of experience running a production company. Always known for being on the cutting edge of technology, he also knows how to the most out of each subject and enjoys sharing that information. You can reach Jay at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his site at http://www.jgstudiohd.com