At first, audio is not a sexy topic, especially compared to cameras, lenses and editing techniques. But the audio quality of your videos will make or break the experience for your audience.
As you start to research how to get better audio, you’ll here some version of the following expression:
It’s better to have bad visuals and good audio than to have good visuals and bad audio.
Most beginner content creators start off as the latter and then soon after learn the importance of making their videos sound good.
This week’s video is a quick tutorial with 4 quick tips on how to improve the audio quality of your videos.
Put yourself in a situation with the least background noise and the best acoustics possible
Choose a space where you can control the noise and make sure it’s quiet.
You also want to avoid empty rooms because those kinds of spaces create tonnes of echo and unpleasant reverberations. Instead, choose smaller spaces that are fuller with furniture, appliances and even people. All these added elements will help to absorb and diffuse the sound waves so your voice sounds much clearer and crisper
If you’re able to, get some sound treatment for your designated recording space is possible.
Get your mic as close to your mouth (the sound source) as possible
The closer you put the mic, the more richness and range of your voice it will pick up. But also, the less background and ambient noises it will register.
Whether you’re using a lavalier, shotgun mic, and external on-camera mic or a studio-style microphone, you should get those as close to your mouth as appropriate to maximize their use.
This brings up the question:
Is it okay for my mic to be visible or obvious?
It really depends.
It depends on the look you want for your video aesthetics and your brand. Many people have built brands and looks around having their microphones in the frame. A decade ago the overwhelming opinion would have been to keep the mics hidden at all cost but the times are changing.
Look through your favourite Youtubers or social media personalities and see how many of them reveal their microphone in frame.
Record at the right level
The standard recording level for audio recording in the video world is about -12dB. That’s also the volume that is recommended in general for content being released into the world.
Recording too high can distort your audio or causing “clipping”. Recording too low will make your audio too low and when you try to bring the volume up, you get a lot of signal noise in your track.
Of course, not every syllable you say will come through at -12dB but the levels should generally average in that range.
Record in the best quality and format available for the most flexibility
All the cool kids are recording their audio in .WAV format. This container is usually associated with a lossless form of audio. This means that it’s not compressed, which allows you more flexibility in the edit to get right of low-frequency noise and to tweak it to your desired sound.
A few limitations with recording in WAV is that it most times requires using an external audio device and some syncing with your video in the edit. It’s also a bigger file size.
However, if you’re doing the first three tips well, you may not even need to record in WAV.
For some details and some examples of the concepts above, check out the associated video for this post.
Until the next post, stay courageous, friends!