In a world where video reigns supreme, many often forget about the equally important counterpart, audio. A great video can be ruined by subpar audio and the opposite also applies. A good video can become great with the right audio mix. The following are tips to help you achieve a professional sounding video.
Use a Good Mic
Mic choice is key to getting great audio and should be tailored to the needs of your project. Most built-in camera mics are not going to provide the professional quality we are striving for. They also often sit much too far away from your subject. Two more adequate options for mics are the â€œlavalierâ€ and â€œshotgunâ€ mic.
A lavalier mic is commonly used for interviews because it is easily clipped to a shirt or jacket. You want to make sure it sits close enough to the subjectâ€™s mouth (the upper chest is usually a good spot) and is well hidden, but not rubbing against the clothes. A Shotgun mic is a long, narrow mic held above the subject on a boom stand. This is a great choice if your subject is going to be moving and you want the mic to be out of view. You want to make sure the mic is above the subject and pointing towards the heart area.
Use an Audio Mixer
Depending on the camera, many of these mics can be plugged in directly. However, to have more control over your audioâ€™s gain level, monitoring and mobility, these mics can be connected to an audio mixer. In most cases, there is a single â€œsound guyâ€ dedicated to making sure everything is sounding the way it should. The audio is typically monitored through headphones that can be plugged directly into the mixer.
Use a Professional DAW
DAW stands for â€œDigital Audio Workstationâ€. Examples of a few great professional DAWs include ProTools, Logic and Cubase. Once the recorded audio has been matched to the video and edited, you can then load the project into a DAW to specifically manipulate it. Here you can tweak and manipulate the recorded audio, add music, fades or create original sound effects and music. This gives you complete control of your recorded audio and allows you to add a countless number of enhancements.