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Quiet in the House!: A (Floor) Plan for Better Audio

Quiet in the House!: A (Floor) Plan for Better Audio

Hickory-dickory-doc, how come I keep hearing that clock? Tips for muffling those troublesome background noises when shooting interviews around the house.

When Mark's dad first proposed the idea of a surprise 50th anniversary party for Mark's grandparents, he knew immediately what he would give them. He'd make them a video that captured his whole family sharing their thoughts, memories and funny stories about his grandparents' marriage. Mark knew he'd be creating a keepsake that his family would enjoy for decades.

He also knew he would have to pay special attention to the audio. His grandfather wasn't hearing so well these days, and had a hard time understanding the people speaking in Mark's last college video project. The audio in that last video was muffled, something his instructor had commented on. Mark didn't realize at the time how tricky recording clean audio could be. Determined to do better this time, Mark read everything he could about audio. He only has the mike that is on his camcorder, but he's got some ideas for how to improve the audio on this video.

Location #1: the Bedroom
Mark decides to start by recording his younger sister Trisha, and figures Trisha's bedroom would be the best place to shoot. He sets up his tripod in her room, frames up the shot he wants and listens carefully to the sound in the room. The buzz of the neighbor's lawnmower seems awfully loud, and he looks around for the reason. Lifting the blinds in the window, he sees that the window is open about a quarter of an inch. Knowing that sound passes unhindered through even the smallest cracks and spreads back out through the room, he closes the window tight. This reduces the sound of the mower noticeably.

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Tags:  August 1998
Sat, 08/01/1998 - 12:00am