The sound in your video blog is arguably more important than the visuals. Unfortunately, the manufacturers of inexpensive video cameras are quick to skimp when it comes to sound. Most cameras only have a tiny omnidirectional microphone that hears the operator better than the subjects. Very few have an input to attach your own microphone. I’ve got a few suggestions to help improve your sound quality.
Even without an external microphone, there are some things you can do. I’ve mentioned it before, but locations have a huge effect on your sound quality. Reducing the background noise in a room is key. Turn off fans or rattling A/C. Don’t record in a room with someone typing on a keyboard. If the room you’re in has an echo, change rooms, or try moving the camera closer.
The other thing to remember, when thinking about sound, is the little distractions we tune out in normal life, but are quite noticeable in a video. The click of a watch repeatedly hitting a table, clinking earrings or jingly bracelets will be much more annoying than you think. Finally, remember to speak clearly. If you’re normally a quiet speaker, be sure to make a test run and see if you’re speaking loudly enough. Speak clearly, projecting past the camera, rather than to the camera.
If you do have a camera with a microphone input (sometimes called aux input or auxiliary input), use it. Shotgun mics are the long, thin ones with the foam cover you see on TV reporters’ cameras. They’re directional, meaning they’re designed to capture the sound that they’re pointed at, and reduce the sounds coming from elsewhere. Lavalier mics are the little ones that attach to your shirt or hang from your neck. You can get them wired or wireless. They’re nice and close to your mouth, so they’re great for one person shots. An even smaller selection of cameras have more than one input, so having one for each person isn’t doable without a lot of extra equipment. Standard handheld microphones are good, especially if you’re going to hold it in front of you, but you wouldn’t normally attach one to your camera like the shotgun mic – but it’s still usually better than the built-in one.
We hope this gives you some good ideas for improving the sound in your next video blog. If you’ve got any questions, please feel free to contact us.
Fourandhalf is an Internet and Social Marketing company working exclusively with Property Managers; we also publish a technology blog dedicated to the business of Property Management.