Never make this mistake when recording interview audio

Our friend Griffin Hammond has create a video that solves a huge mistake that many interview videographers make when recording their audio.

The most frequent issue that Hammond sees is creators’ mic placement when they are shooting interviews. Often times they have to mic too far away from the person they’re interviewing and that causes a ton of problems. See for yourself:

“We want to make sure we’re capturing good audio and the way to do that is to get the audio close,” Hammond says. There are a few options videographers can use to get their mic close to their subject, both discreetly and indiscreetly. However, Hammond says he sees a lot of people record audio with their mic on the top of their camera, which keeps the mic too far from the person talking.

When shooting one of his own interviews, Hammond says “there was no way I was gonna put that microphone back on the camera, because that’s too far away.” Hammond does say the mic on camera setup is good for capturing some natural sound, but it shouldn’t be used to capture interview audio.

How do you get the mic closer for good interview audio?

First off, certain mics are easier to hide than others. For instance, if you use a lavalier mic, you can easily hide it in the speaker’s clothes. However, if you want to use a shotgun mic, which Hammond did in the video, there are ways you can keep even this big mic out of the shot while still getting quality audio.

In the video, Hammond tries to get as close as he can to the speaker without getting the mic in the shot. He leans forward and attempts to keep the mic out of the frame. He does well, but he slips up a few times and gets the mic in the shot. However, that’s no problem. In post, he is able to cover up his mistakes. Sometimes, he even blatantly put the mic into the shot because he knows he can cover it in post.

Hammond likes to get a clean shot of the interview's background before going into post
Hammond likes to get a clean shot of the interview’s background before going into post

“… to me it’s almost more important to get good, close audio than get the shot perfect,” Hammond says. “I can cover that shot up later with b-roll, but I need good audio.

If you plan to remove mics or mistakes in post, make sure you get a clean backdrop of the interview, so you can go in a place it over the mistakes in post. If you want to know more about Hammond’s post-production process for removing mics, check out our blog post about it.

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's managing editor.

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