Sound Track: The External Advantage
All too often videomakers will seek out and purchase the camcorder model with every whiz-bang, superduper digital video effect available. They have great plans for video masterpieces, but when it comes time to shoot, they quietly settle for the sound from their built-in mike. They don't realize there are alternatives available to them which will greatly enhance the quality of their audio.
Most of the better-quality camcorders have an input for an external mike. There's a reason for this. The internal mike has to deal with a lot of problems. These include camcorder noise from drive motors and handling, the distance to the sound source and even wind.
For example: the greater the distance between your camcorder and your subject, the greater effect ambient sound (natural environmental sound) has on your soundtrack. In cases where ambient sound is high, it could override and eliminate the sound you desire. Wind creates similar problems with much the same results.
So, while a camcorder's internal mike is adequate for family events in which capturing the moment is the main concern, for high-quality audio, you need to consider some alternatives. This month we'll find out how basic miking techniques allow you to improve on the sound available from your camcorder's internal mike. We'll look at different microphone types and how pickup patterns apply when choosing a mike. We'll also learn to use mikes in recording stereo.
Choosing a Microphone
There are many kinds of mikes available. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of each type can help you make the proper choice for a given situation.
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