Yo Creators! Welcome to the Creator Blog Tips & Tricks. This time round we take a look at sound.
It’s said that sound quality is more important than video. And it makes sense in a lot of cases, think about it. If you truly want to get maximum info across, sound is irreplaceable. So better make it count if you want to give your fans the sweet satisfaction that they need.
Creating good sound for your videos does not have to be expensive or complicated. We’ve collected some tips and strategies from the web that can be used by anyone no matter your budget or skill level. Let’s do this.
Clean up the environment
Environmental sounds can be a pain in the neck to your recordings. Luckily fixing this is free in most cases. If you’re recording inside, first take a look at the room you’re recording in. Small rooms have less reverb than large rooms in general. Keep that in mind when picking your location. Is there noise coming in from the outside? Simply closing a window can fix this. A humming air-conditioning unit can be picked up by your microphone even if it’s not obvious by ear. So shut that thing off just to be sure.
When recording outside, you obviously have less control over your environment, but there’s some things you can take notice of. If there’s interference from for example traffic of crowd noise and you definitely can’t relocate you can try to record anyway with your microphone directed away from the source of interference.
No matter how good your mic is, there’s always some levels it can’t pick up. If the volume of your speech fluctuates too much you might have troubles picking up the lower end. Speaking louder or ‘projecting’ can solve this. It sounds obvious, but of course there’s some nuances to it. Check out some of your favorite YouTubers and take note of how they do it.
Or check out Zoomin Creator Greg Shapiro using his voice like a pro.
Use an external mic
OK, this is where it might start costing some money. But remember that good sound massively improves your creations.
The most bang for your buck you’ll probably get? A directional mic mounted to your camera.
This kind of mic picks up speech for vlogging or for example an indoor scene very well. Check your camera’s audio input to see if a mic like this is a possibility for you. Mics like this can plug directly into your camera in most of the cases so the sound is recorded together with your video so synching isn’t necessary afterwards.
You can also use a lavalier microphone connected directly to your camera. This is a good solution for recording speech in a situation where freedom of movement is not very important. In cases where freedom of movement is important it may be better to record on a separate device from your camera.
Recording audio separately
Recording your audio tracks on a separate device is how it’s done in movies. Connecting your mic to a separate recording device has some serious benefits. Firstly, you will be able to move the microphone separate from the camera which gives you more options. Secondly, the sound quality will generally be better. A dedicated sound recorder records in a higher sound ‘resolution’ than a camera’s built-in system can manage.
Directional mic and recorder
Plugging a directional mic on a boom into a recorder gives you the possibility to record good sound from outside the frame while your subjects have maximum freedom of movement.
Wireless lavalier mic
For recording speech and interviews there’s little that can beat a lavalier or ‘lapel’ mic. This system consists of a small microphone that’s placed on the lapel, a transmitter that’s carried by your subject and a receiver that’s connected to the recorder. Lapel mics won’t miss a sound since they’re placed directly on the subject. So you get maximum quality while the subject still can move around freely. Some drawbacks to this are sensitivity to rustle due to movement of clothing, hiding the mic itself and hiding the transmitter.
Lavalier plugged into phone
A solution that’s a bit more budget-friendly is to plug a lapel mic into your phone. It won’t get the bit depth of a professional recorder, but it’s still a pretty sweet and super cheap solution.
Give your sound recording the love it needs and deserves. It will take your productions to the next level. Do you have more tips, or would you like to share your experience? Let us know in the comments.