How to get great audio on your next video
Audio is super important when it comes to making a video. The tips in this post/video will give you the info you need to make sure the audio in your DIY videos is as good as possible.
Everybody’s doing the social-distance shuffle these days and if you’re not, unless you’ve been deemed essential, we collectively shun you. Shun you. But you still need to get the word out about your businesses goings on. Here are your quick tips for do-it-yourself video.
Let’s talk about audio. Is it weird that I start with audio before video in a video about video? I don’t think so. Basically, you want to put the mic as close to your mouth as possible, even if it’s just on your camera. That’s okay. Don’t put the mic too close to your mouth, that’s a whole thing all by itself. That’s a little weird. Also don’t record in your bathroom. See, it just doesn’t sound that good in here.
As far as microphones go, you have some options. You can use the built-in mic on your camera, no problem. Or, you can use what’s called a shotgun mic. This is a windscreen or windsock and you would use this on the mic if you were outside so that you don’t get that … This plugs into a cable, you plug it into your pre-amp or your camera and then that’s how you record the sound, but probably overkill.
Or, you can use a lavalier mic or a lav or a lapel mic. These lapel mikes or lav mics are great options because they’re going to give you a lot better sound quality. You can get these on Amazon for less than a $100 for your phone. I typically don’t use lavalier mics on my professional shoots because I don’t like the look of this, which, by the way, would actually tuck under your shirt. The little wire here, we’re trying to keep this G-rated so …
But for your informal videos where you’re talking to your clients and your customers and your employees, no problem. The look of this is certainly worth the trade off. This is going to get you a lot better sound quality than the microphone that’s on your camera. There are two pieces. There’s a transmitter and receiver. You wear one of them. The one that I have here is wireless, meaning that although there is a wire coming from the little microphone up here, this is not plugged in right now, by the way. This component actually sends the information from the microphone through the cable and out of this little transmitter, and then I have a separate wireless receiver that plugs into a camera or your phone. So, easy peasy.
Okay, so as far as audio quality on my Google Pixel 3, I am about an arm’s length away so I can actually touch my phone. There’s no other microphones, it’s just my phone. Now, I’m going to back up a little bit and the phone should actually adjust. Most of the settings on a phone are all automated, so you don’t have to mess with anything. You press the button and go. I’m going to just back up a little bit. You’ll probably see the light adjusting too a little bit, and right now I’m about eight feet away from the phone. Still, I’m just recording the audio on the phone. There’s no external microphones.
A great thing to do is to test the audio quality, so wherever you’re going to be in the frame, make that you’re actually at that same distance, do a quick little five-second test. You can say your ABCs or whatever. Always good to do a quick test before you record.
Another great option for a microphone is a USB mic. Most popular one of these is the Blue Yeti. It’s a little over $100. They work fantastic. So, if you’re going to do these on a regular basis from like a desktop-type situation with your laptop, for example, or even your phone, those work great.
The acoustics in your room are also really important. Soft surfaces are your friend. Carpet is awesome. Drapes, awesome. Sometimes you might even need to put a towel or something against a window if you’re right next to a window. Any of those soft surfaces that are going to absorb sound will be really helpful to the audio quality on your videos.
So, basically you want to put the mic as close to your mouth as possible, but not too close. And don’t record in your bathroom. Here’s to good sound.