Audio is half of the viewing experience. Learn from these tips to improve your video’s sound quality.
For content creators like me, capturing good audio is very important. I find that most viewers are willing to forgive blurry footage or bad editing but bad audio greatly ruins the overall quality of the content. To help you get the best audio, here are five tips to lock down the best audio quality.
1. Invest in a Good Microphone
Modern cameras are built-in with microphones but it is encouraged that you to use an external microphone because the default mic usually has sub-par quality and picks up all sorts of background noise. Most external mics are built to capture audio from certain directions and have the ability to dampen the sound coming from unwanted directions. This helps you record clearer audio which is easier to post-process. You can also use windshields or mic foam to help dampen the sound.
2. Choose a Quiet Space To Record
If you have the privilege of recording in a studio, do so. A closed and quiet space can help keep the audio clear and eliminate unwanted background noise. You can also buy sound panels to help reduce the echo inside the room.
However, if you do not have your own studio and only forced to record it at your own home, find the quietest place in your home and learn how to soundproof that part of the house. Sound panels, blankets, carpets can help prevent the sound from bouncing off the walls. You can also choose to record at night when people are asleep. This helps reduce the chance of disturbances happening during recording. Eliminating any possible background noise means that the mic can focus on the subject’s voice which will enhance the audio quality.
3. Get as Close To the Mic as Possible
For most microphones, the further away you are, the poorer the sound quality. Try and stand as close as you possibly can, especially if you are filming yourself and holding the camera in front of you. Make sure that the mic is pointing at you while you record. The closer you are to the mic, the better the audio quality of the recording. Make sure that you also check the optimal mic settings before recording.
4. Talk Loudly and Clearly
It may be an obvious requirement but enunciating the words properly while recording can make a big impact on your audio. Speak clearly and loudly, but don’t shout into the mic. This can make all the difference to the sound quality of your video. Mumbling and almost whispering to the mic will give you inaudible audio and this is not particularly good for the viewing experience. This will also be harder to salvage during post-processing.
5. Learn Basic Audio Post-Processing
Programs such as Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve have their own native audio editing tab which is quite powerful. You can reduce background noise, make your audio louder, reduce the hum or hiss among other things.
Alternatively, you can use other software like Adobe Audition or Audacity to edit your audio. I personally use Adobe Audition because it's just easier to use and do all sorts of edits to improve my audio. I also like the dynamic linking functionality of Adobe, meaning you can edit the clip in Audition and the corresponding clip in Premiere Pro would already be edited. There’s also Fairlight in DaVinci Resolve which has most of the functions seen in Adobe Audition.
That’s it! Recording quality audio is not rocket science but paying attention to the quality is a discipline one has to develop when recording videos. I hope you will be able to apply all of these tips on your next video.