The worst mistake a videographer can make is forgetting about their audio. Bad audio and sound design can leave any great shot useless. Here’s how to avoid that.
In this article, we will provide you will a number of resources you can utilize to ensure your video sounds the best it can. Even the slightest audio improvement could make a world of difference for your videos, so let’s get started.
Those new to video may start out thinking that there’s no need for audio like sound effects, music or miked audio. You can do it that way, but the results will probably be pretty disappointing.
Well recorded audio and effective sound design are essential to any production. You should be planning your sound design from day one of script writing. Make sound an active player in the development of your videos.
To ensure that you have the best equipment for capturing sound in the field, look through our Microphone Buyer’s Guide along with our Deciphering Mic Tech Specs article. And be sure to check out these resources on the basics of sound design:
Audio and Sound Design Techniques
The scope of audio covers a lot of ground — ranging from the dialogue your characters speak to the soft breeze you added into a scene for a more calming tone. So, there are different techniques for each type of audio you’re working on. And when recording in the field, you’re also forced to deal with unwanted noise getting into your recording. There are ways of working around that noise, like using a mic capable of blocking unwanted noise or rerecording in a sound booth.
When you’re recording outside with a mic or picking files and mixing them, use these techniques to ensure your audio adds life to your videos, instead of becoming a distraction:
- Location Sound Recording: How to Cut through the Noise
- How to Properly Use Sound Effects to Enrich your Next Video
- How to Properly Monitor Audio for Better Sounding Video
- Sound Design: How Sound Helps Tell Your Visual Stories
- Advanced Audio Editing Course Overview
- How to Monitor Sound in Post
- How to Use Wireless Mics
- Construing Narrative Through Sound Design
- How to Match Sound From Two or More Separate Recordings
- Event and Concert Audio
- Location Audio Microphone Progression
- Get Better Audio Using Compressors
- Temporary Audio to Polished Mix
- How to use a Mixing Board
- Finding and Using Free Sound Effects
Audio Mistakes and How to Fix Them
While most mistakes can be avoided through organization and preparation, don’t worry if there are mistakes in your audio. Just use it as a learning experience. To avoid mistakes, always understand how to use your equipment, check your levels and plan!
But sometimes mistakes are inevitable. Luckily there are techniques we can use to try and fix those mistakes in post.
These articles will both help you avoid audio goof-ups and help you correct those mistakes when they’re unavoidable:
- The Biggest Factors Impacting Your Audio Quality, Ranked
- How to Make the Most of Your Audio Mistakes
- 10 Bad Audio Habits to Avoid
- Now Hear This: Bad Audio is the Most Egregious Error a Video Producer can Commit
- How to Avoid or Fix Reverb
- Five Ways to Fix Messy Audio
Don’t forget music!
Audio — which includes music and sound effects — sets the tone of your entire video. When chosen right, music will pull your audience in. When chosen incorrectly, however, it can destroy any kind of believability in your video. Just imagine if Halloween’s Michael Myers stalked his victims to an upbeat disco track instead of the series’ iconic piano rift. The movie’s shots could be exactly the same, but the different soundtrack would ruin the suspense.
- Q&A: Where to Find Free Music for Your Video
- Licensing Music
- The Weight of Music in Storytelling
- How to Choose the Right Music for Your Next Vid
Sometimes you just have to do it yourself. There are lots of stock music and sound effects online, but maybe they just aren’t working for you. The pros often have to create their own sounds because there’s nothing out there like what they want for their projects.
You can make your own sound effects, too! Here’s how — plus, some resources for perfecting a few other DIY audio techniques:
- Step by Step Guide to DIY Voice Over
- How the Pros Find and Make the Sound Effects They Need
- How to: DIY Sound Treatment
- Why and How to Add Natural Audio for a More Polished Soundtrack
Audio and Sound Design should never be put on the back burner
Audio is important to the entire tone of your video, so never push it to the back burner. Poor audio will drop the production value of any video, no matter how good the video looks.