Cheap cameras don’t have to have cheap sound

Experts will tell you…

One of the most important aspects of your video is the sound.

Capturing Audio You heard that right.  Not the lighting, nor the 1080p, 24 frames per second, yadda yadda yadda.
The Sound.  The Audio.  That might seem funny as tend to think about video as being a visual medium.

There’s plenty of equipment out there to record sound.  Everything from the small pinhole on the camera itself to the Boom Mic Operator with 50lbs of equipment hanging around his neck.  There’s a reason the movie industry pays big dollars for ADR Editors, Foley Artists, Re-Recording Mixers and the like – to get the best possible audio into their products.

Each instance has it’s own unique needs and corresponding tool to go with it.  Use the right tool for the job and your video will be better.  Much better.  As in… people will watch it longer, better.  That’s what you really want, right?

“Ok, so audio is important, I get it, but I’m shooting video with my Cell Phone”

With the incredible video capabilities that today’s cell phones have – that’s great!  The same can be said for pocket camcorders like the Flip or Kodak Playtouch.  Their video can be fabulous.  Their audio recording?  Not so much.  Matter of fact, it’s pretty crappy unless you are in a silent enclosed room.  Unfortunately it’s hard to pipe in better audio into a cell phone.  There are some hacks out there but they are limited.  One of the big limitations some cameras have is the lack of a external microphone jack.  How can you get better sound if you can’t plug in a microphone?

I purposely shot the video below on the lowest definition camera I had – my very old Flip Ultra II.  It has no external microphone jack.  Instead of using the audio that the camera caught, I simultaneously recorded the audio on a separate device and then combined the better audio with the video in post production.  Links to the equipment shown or used are under the video.

So there you have it – all you need to start producing better sounding videos!

Mike Mueller

Mike builds the custom Apps that create the Tabs that make
Custom Facebook Pages special.
He also shoots commercial high def video. He's an avid hockey fan, rides a motorcycle (a really fast one), loves strong beer and good red wine.
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  • Dan

    Great post Mike, thanks for the info.  Can the lavaliere you mentioned plug into my iPhone?  I’m thinking of using it for filming testimonial videos.

  • hmmm Dan, I am not sure if you can hook up a mic like that. But you CAN pick up a Zoom h1 like Mike mentioned for like $80 and do it that way & have excellent sound with the lav mic.

  • Dan – I don’t have an iphone but I believe you could with a http://www.kvconnection.com/product-p/km-iphone-mic.htm (that’s one of those hacks I mentioned)

  • Thanks for sharing such an interesting information.

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  • Hm. interesting, but i don`t think that it wiil be very useful for me.

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