Creating Better Videos- Audio

This is part three in my series on creating better videos.  In our first segment we covered indoor shots and how to keep the light balanced. Then, we discussed why using a tripod is crucial to the quality of your video.  For today’s segment, we are going to discuss audio.

Good videos are made up of two main components.  The images on the screen and the sound that accompanies it.  If one of these parts is lacking or missing, the quality of your video goes down. While you may think you need to spend several hundreds of dollars on a good microphone setup, you will be surprised what you can get for under $40.

Before I show an example, let’s first discuss the different types of microphones that exist.  There are three main types that you may want to use:

  1. Shotgun Microphones- These microphones are highly directional and pick mainly the audio that is just in front of them.  It is used many times on movie sets with a boom stand that hangs it overhead those speaking.  They can get a little more expensive, but can be effective in situations where you cannot have a microphone 6 inches from your subject.  They can pick up sounds usually within 10 feet. Unfortunately though, if you are trying to interview someone in a noisy room, it can be difficult to distinguish their voice and the noise of others speaking in the room.
  2. Handheld Microphones-  Handheld microphones are like those used by news reporters.  They can be wired or wireless.  They provide a good sound of those close to the microphone.  If you want the ambient noise of others in the room, this may not be the best option.  Also, if the person using the microphone has weak arms and the microphone moves away, you may lose some of what they are speaking.
  3. Lapel Microphones-  Lapel microphones provide very good quality audio that will remain consistent as you clip it onto the persons shirt or jacket.  These microphones pick up only the person wearing it so if you are trying to interview someone else, this is not the option for you.  Unless of course you use an audio mixer and two of them.  In the example below, I use a simple $25 Audio Technica ATR 3350 wired version. (aff link)

Here’s a demo:

As you can see, adding just a simple $25 microphone changes the quality of your video immensely.  No longer do you hear the wind blowing and my voice faintly. Instead my voice now is coming through crystal clear.  So, if your camera allows for the use of an external microphone, then put the additional investment into your videos and see the major difference.  If your camera doesn’t have the option for an external microphone, have no fear!  I will have a guest post coming soon that will show you how you can accomplish the same type of audio quality.

To learn more on how to create better videos, check out this presentation that I have shared as a social media speaker on Video Basics.

photo credit: Mike Mueller


Jeremy Blanton

Jeremy Blanton is the Co-Founder of 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors. He is a social media speaker who shares with thousands of people each year on things like how to use Facebook for Business, Blogging, and How to use Twitter.

When he is not coaching or speaking, he spends most of his time working on Custom WordPress Sites for his clients.

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