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Leo Wattenberg

4 Basic Steps to increase Sound Quality

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Moin. 

Sound is the lifeblood of a video and more important than the visual quality if your video contains anything resembling meaningful speaking. In other words, for a viral video with a backflipping giraffe, sure, visuals matter and it works great as GIF, but for pretty much any other type of video, high-quality audio is key. But how to achieve that?

  1. Have the microphone close to the subject you're filming. The father away a microphone is from what you're trying to record, the more sensitive it needs to be, the more background noise it'll pick up. This is why you'll see reporters on TV usually either with some sort of clip-on-mic (lavmic) on their body, with a headset, or with those bulky handheld things, instead of just using a mic that's attached to the camera 2m away. 
  2. Film in quiet places. The less background noise, the easier it is to understand the people talking. Even if your film is supposed to be in a noisy place, eg a construction site, you have more options if you film while no construction is going on (eg. a sunday) and then come back later to record sound samples of construction noise that you can add later while editing. 
    If the place you're filming in is quiet, but echoey, you may want to bring some blankets with you and position them outside your shots. 
  3. Record with appropriate equipment. The first thing you should upgrade for your video production are the microphones. Here's a rough guide how, so you know what to roughly look for:
    • Making gaming videos, livestreams or other things where you just record yourself sitting at a desk? Get any USB microphone that says something about "studio" and costs between 50 and 100 USD. Note that those things pick up a lot of room noise, so if you have a lot of room echo and other noise, you may need to get additional equipment to reduce it (soundproofing). If that isn't an option, try getting the mic closer to you.
    • Making videos with people talking outside that aren't artsy short films? Get the reporter-type mics I mentioned above, so lavmics, headset mics (not the ones attached to headphones), or handheld reporter mics. 
    • Making videos with people outside that are artsy short films? Get some sort of shotgun mic and put it on a boom. Note that this requires an additional person while filming, and will likely require you to sync audio and video afterwards as you probably are going to record audio and video on different devices. If you can't have a separate audio person while filming, put the shotgun mic on your camera. 
  4. Enhance the sound in post-production. There are a lot of ways to cleanup, mix and master the sound after you've recorded it and I'm by no means a master in this field. I'll cover what I do personally in a different post. 

 

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