Sound Advice: Audio - Get it Right From the Start

Sound Advice: Audio - Get it Right From the Start

10 tools and strategies you can use to caputer great sound on every shot.

So, you've bought a shiny new digital video recorder and you're blown away by the image quality. But what about the audio? Audio is possibly the most overlooked element in video production. That's too bad because audio quality can make or break any video project, regardless of budget.
You may be able to fix some things in post-production, but why go to all the trouble when you can get it right the first time? This article explores 10 tips for gathering the best possible audio on your next shoot. Some are common sense tips, but many are hard-earned lessons from the field.

1 - Plan Ahead

When shooting on location, a smart videographer scouts the site before the shoot, looking for ideal lighting and backgrounds to produce the best image possible. For your next shoot, scout with your ears too. Listen for traffic noises, machinery, animals and aircraft anything that might ruin the audio during the shoot. Depending on your topic, some background noise may be acceptable or even desirable. Just make sure you can hear your subjects over the ruckus around them.

2 - Use an External Microphone

Unless you have a high-end professional camera, your built-in microphone is absolutely worthless for anything more than your 3-year-old's birthday party. First, the microphone is built into the camera's body, and is very sensitive to noise from zoom, focus and tape drive motors. The second problem is a matter of distance. Even though you can zoom in on a subject from across the room, the microphone is stuck 20 feet away. Trust me, you need an external microphone.

3 - Choose the Right Microphone for the Job

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    Hal
    Robertson
    Wed, 08/01/2001 - 12:00am