Gettig audio is hit or miss for most beginner video creators. From choosing the wrong microphone, positioning the mic in the wrong place to not knowing which audio to prioritize, recording audio can get hairy fast.
To help you out, we’ve compiled tips and tricks you can keep in mind to make sure you capture excellent audio for your videos all the time.
Have The Right Equipment in the First Place
You don’t need the most expensive audio equipment, but you at least need to know what basic equipment to have in order to capture good quality audio. The basics include a boom pole, shotgun mic, audio recorder and of course, headphones. You can also start by using any audio recording device you have, like your smartphone or on-camera microphone, if those are the only things available to you.
If you opt to buy an external professional boom kit, it will cost about $500 for everything. Once you’re ready to get serious or will be working on a film, this will be a useful investment.
Position Your Microphone at the Right Place
Even if you have excellent shotgun mics, you need to place them in the right position to make sure they get great audio. Even a smartphone will show better quality audio compared to an expensive shotgun mic, if it’s placed closer to the subject. When you have a shotgun microphone, the ideal place is to position it right above your subject so you get clear, crisp audio. If the set is windy, use a dead cat or blimp and place the mic below your subject for best results.
Also, quick tip, don’t move your shoulders or arms when holding the microphone and try not to reposition the mic as you’re recording. Do a little research online and you’ll find helpful tips on how to grip the boom mic the right way.
Always Make Dialogue A Priority
Keep in mind as you record, your top priority is to capture the dialogue as crisp and clear as possible. Sound effects and various noises can be recreated later on. If there’s outside noise like a car or train that shouldn’t be there, take it into consideration prior to starting or if you notice it afterward, mention a retake while you’re working on the scene.
Set and Check the Audio Levels in Each Room
Any actor will sound louder or softer depending on the room you’re recording in. Make sure to adjust your audio each time you move to a different area or location. Your job is to make sure the audio levels don’t peak. Ideally it should be no more or less than -12 DB. Leave room for unexpected audio spikes, noises or any increase in the conversational volume.
It’s a good idea to lower the gain when you’re recording dialogue and to have at least two minutes of recorded room tone before starting. This will make it easier to have a more natural-sounding silence during the video.
Capture SFX While You’re On Set
While there’s an extensive SFX library available for free and premium online, you might have difficulty finding specific sounds to fit exact moments in your scene. To solve this problem, make sure to record SFX while you’re on set. They can be the sound of dishes clanking, doors closing and opening, machinery, car engine running, etc. Prior to hitting record, announce or note down what you are recording prior to the performance. This will help you keep track of everything with ease.
You can also test out different microphones and angles to get the best quality while you’re at it.
Getting excellent sound for your video is crucial, whether you’re a bedroom content creator or running a professional video production company. Keep these tips in mind as you proceed to record your sound and you should be on your way to capturing excellent audio for your videos.