Audio (NV)

two men looking at camera

All cameras have an on-board (built-in) microphone. If you are in a good acoustical space and the only subject, or actor, in the shoot, this may be just fine. However, external microphone kits or boom microphones are best and afford the best audio results. Poor audio can cause a viewer to abandon watching your video. Always test your audio and listen for distracting sounds that the microphone may have picked up, but you didn’t hear with your natural ear. That is what is called ambient noise. We recorded a remote show from the kitchen. When we listened to the recording there was this buzzing sound. When we figured out what it was, it was obvious – the refrigerator motor. Our brain filtered it out because it was part of our everyday existence. We ceased to hear it, but the microphone picked it up. Needless to say, we had to scratch that take. So, beware of the ambient noise. For best results find a quiet location and use good microphones.

microphone examples

All in all, a studio shoot is best for audio, but not mandatory. The person editing the video can add the likeness or your business or shop into the clip so don’t worry about the background. They will shoot it against a “green screen” which allows for changing the background during editing. Otherwise, shooting with external mics in your own space is the next best thing. Your videographer may bring what is called a boom microphone. The mic is connected to a long pole that extends into your shoot without being seen. It can be mounted on a mic stand or a sound person may hold it during the shoot. Don’t get hung up here, because shooting in your business may be the best for your purpose. It may offer the best look and feel to building a relationship with the viewers. There are awesome sound engineers as well as equipment to capture the audio for your video that will make you proud. If you find you will be shooting a lot of video from the suggested list in the introduction, you might want to invest in a good mic or three. Our favorite, for windows or Mac, is the USB mic Blue Yeti. Rode and PoP (less than $15.00 on Amazon) makes great lapel mics. Lapel or lavalier microphones are great for interviews or when more than one person is in the recording.

Whatever mic you choose, treat the room with some acoustic material as in the photo and an area rug, if the floor is not carpeted. In a pinch a blanket and a coat rack will do the trick of absorbing sound keeping it from bouncing off the walls. If you are in a room with a lot of windows, hanging sound absorption drapes is another way of treating your space for good audio output.

Sidebar. Use the tools you have until you can afford better. Our first shows were recorded from a desktop iMac utilizing the built-in microphone. It got the job done. As we got better, better more appropriate equipment was purchased or gifted, and I hired producers for client shows.