Digital video recorders have become much more powerful in recent years, giving vivid footage and excellent details. However, many videographers know all too well that these new recorders also do a great job at capturing extraneous, background, and unwanted sounds.
How do you keep viewers from being distracted and frustrated when watching your masterpieces? There are steps that can be taken before and after you shoot that will improve the quality of your final product greatly. Here are 5 tips that will have your videos sounding better:
1. The microphone matters
Maybe more than anything, the right microphone makes a huge difference in audio quality. Microphones today come in a wide range of sizes and with an array of extra features and capabilities. Wireless mics are great for conversations and allow for mobility. Handheld mics are the go-to choice for journalists and interviewers. Lavalier, shotgun, boundary, and stereo mics also serve various functions well.
Be sure if you’re using a mic outdoors that you have wind protection. Otherwise you’ll hear the whoosh of Mother Nature instead of the performance or dialogue you want to record. Rain protection is also needed where appropriate.
2. Separate recording.
Sure, DV cameras allow you to capture sound levels consistently. However, in some cases, these circuits cannot be disabled or bypassed. Deploying a separate audio recorder can solve this issue. You’ll get better audio and, given the sophistication of modern video editing software, syncing should not be an issue.
3. Choose you’re locations carefully
In many cases, it’s about location, location, location. When scouting spots, try to bring the camera you’ll be using and headphones. This will help you find problems before shooting starts. That wind chime may seem innocuous when listening with just your ears, but with headphones, your hearing will be much more focused.
4. Editing can fix lots of mistakes
The whole purpose of editing is to put together a cohesive product and correct any goofs that were made during filming. While a number of video editing software programs have effective audio editing functions, consider using separate, dedicated audio software. Audio programs usually give you many more tools to leverage.
And if that wind chime makes it into your footage, don’t panic. Restoration software can work as a standalone or a plug-in, letting you reduce or eliminate ambient noise, crackles and the dreaded hum from electronic devices.
5. Learn the basics
With a little bit of practice, you can improve your sound quality and learn how to make smooth audio edits to get rid of those unexpected coughs and sounds. Trimming your audio tracks and using tools such as cross-fading can make your videos better. Equalization (EQ) and mixing multiple audio tracks also makes sure that voices are emphasized at the right time and dampen sounds that you don’t want to be as prominent.