Make your videos sit up and speak with crisp, intelligible narration.
When you hear the word "narration," what do you think of? Do you remember the uninspired drone that accompanied the grade school filmstrip Fantastic World of Fungi? Or do you think of the upbeat, assertive voice woven through those snappy late-night infomercials?
Done well, narration is the off-camera voice that ties a production together, maintains viewer interest and conveys valuable information. Done poorly, narration can suck the life right out of your video.
So how do you make sure your narration is effective? Good narration is well written, well delivered and well recorded.
Writing and delivery are important topics, but beyond our scope here. Once you have a tight, effective script and someone talented willing to read it, this is how you actually record narration that's crisp and intelligible.
Location is Everything
You might think that audio equipment like microphones and tape decks are the most important factors for recording good sound. While they certainly are important (we'll cover equipment in a little bit), the simplest and most important thing you can do for good narration is pick a good recording location.
Find the right acoustical setting and put the mike in the right place in relation to the speaker, and with almost any equipment (you can even use your camcorder for very positive results) your narration audio will turn out okay.
Ideally, you should find an indoor location free from unwanted noises. Traffic, people talking, lawn mowers--all these will compromise your audio by becoming a permanent part of your narration track.
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