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Audio Production

The most important element for any good video

The single most important element required to create an effective video is the audio production

Five Tips to Record High-Quality Audio

Before you go and hire someone to produce video for you, take a moment and read the following tips:

Tip #1: Invest in a good quality microphone

Selecting equipment that will support plugging in a good microphone (or multiple microphones) will make a world of difference to the quality of the audio for your videos.

When buying a microphone, you usually get what you pay for. When you compare the acceptable low-quality audio with similar narration recorded with a better microphone, there is a noticeable difference.

You will need to decide whether to get an omnidirectional mic (records sound from all directions) or a unidirectional mic (records sound from one direction). Your best bet is to go with a unidirectional microphone. This is great for recording narration because it only picks up the sound coming from the narrator, so you won’t get a lot of the ambient noise. One of the highest rated (and most reasonably priced) desktop microphones is the yeti USB microphone by Blue Microphones.

Tip #2: Maintain a consistent environment

In an ideal world, you’d have a recording studio where you can control all of the sound. When indoors, you typically don’t have to worry about unwanted background noise (unless you share a rental space with a company offering music lessons!). You can also set up your indoor space to include objects that capture and muffle sound bouncing off the walls. When you don’t have a perfectly set up recording studio environment, this means you just need to get creative! Do your best to maintain a consistent environment:

  • Use the same room and maintain the same settings on your computer and microphone;
  • When using a desktop microphone, use a mic stand and measure the recording distance. When you find the optimal distance, use the same distance each time;
  • If you can, obtain a screen for your microphone, to help prevent the popping p’s that plague so many amateur recording sessions. Buying a pop screen from a music supply store will set you back $20-30, depending on the quality of the screen and the stand it’s mounted on.

When you are not able to record audio indoors, give thought to the location of your shoot. If you need to obtain outdoor shots, take into consideration all background noise that will be automatically included in your video. Is your location prone to traffic noise and sirens? Are their better times of day that reduce unwanted noise (of course there may be a tradeoff with lighting).

If you are wanting to include particular sounds in the background, then this should also factor into your choice of location. For example, if you are wanting the ambient sounds of the sea, waves lapping, and birds calling then capturing audio near a shore might be perfect. You may need to have more than one device capture all the various pieces of sound: one for the ambient sounds of the waves and birds and a unidirectional lapel microphone to capture someone speaking.

Tip #3: Pick the right sounds or take the time to find the right sounds

The difference between professional audio producers and newbies is the time they spend learning there sound libraries and picking appropriate sounds to go along with each section of video. Sometimes it is appropriate to create and record brand new sounds, particularly if they are out of the ordinary. Other times, it is more effective to use a sound bank and purchase a professionally pre-recorded sound.

Then you need to ensure that if you are using background music that the music chosen complements the video you are creating. Music is powerful and helps create a mood. You want to create the right mood and that the background track avoids being a distraction. The background music is meant to help—rather than hinder—the video viewing experience.

For example, if you are doing a video for a school of music and discussing the music lessons offered, have a medley of music in the background that most people will recognize and admire. Perhaps if you are doing a video for a motorcycle shop, describing their services, it would be better to have instrumental rock music with occasional special effects of a motorcycle revving.

Tip #4: Minimize ambient noise as much as you can

Do your best to get rid of as much ambient noise as you can in the environment where you are recording. Again, this will be much easier to do when recording indoors, particularly if you have your own studio. Some simple things you can do to reduce ambient noise:

  • Turn off and unplug all unnecessary equipment: unplug office machines and computers, turn off fans and air conditioners;
  • Place your microphone away from your computer. You might not realize it, but your computer makes a lot of fan noise (the fan that keeps the computer cooled);
  • Tell everyone around you to be quiet. Put signs on the recording room door. Do whatever it takes to reduce extraneous noise.

Tip #5: Dampen the sound

In a recording studio, the walls are designed to absorb sound waves. You can do something similar. Here are some simple suggestions:

  • If you can get your hands on some cubicle walls, they work very well to absorb sound.
  • Try placing rails on the walls and hanging blankets from the rails.
  • You can quickly assemble a PVC piping frame and then hang curtains on it using shower curtain rings.

Audio production services are included as part of our video production services. We ensure that all audio associated with your video is high quality and enhances the effectiveness of the video script and content.