In a previous post, we talked about the best ways to create video for your website. While having first-rate images is crucial, audio plays an equally important role. Let’s take a look at some of the best methods for recording high-quality audio for your website videos.
Seems like a no-brainer, right? Having a high-performance microphone is vital for effective audio. Unfortunately, while many cameras have built-in microphones, they don’t always provide the quality needed for great production. For instance, they frequently pick up mechanical noises from inside the camera while recording.
If your sound needs improving, use a dedicated external microphone. In addition, consider using an external audio recorder if more than one microphone is needed.
Simply recording the audio and video isn’t enough to create a strong finished product. Before packing up and leaving the scene of your shoot, it’s important to have a reference of how the recording will sound. Otherwise, you could find yourself back at the office and in the disappointing and annoying position of having poor audio quality, leaving you scrambling to fix the recording – if it’s even possible.
Backups are always a good idea, so make sure you have a set (or two) of headphones with you on location. Higher-end headphones can drastically reduce background noise outside of the earpieces, which will give you a better sense of how the recording will sound.
It’s important to carefully consider your location for recording footage. While you may need to cover a topic in a noisy area, like a public park or athletic field, the background sound and chatter can severely interfere with the direct sound of the subject speaking. If this is the case, consider these alternatives:
- Record cutaway footage (b-roll).
- Add narrated voiceovers in your editing software.
- Change the distance from the noisy footage to decrease how much of it affects the direct signal.
- If the location is windy, use a microphone windsock to help reduce white noise.
» Reverb and Echo
Most rooms are made from hard materials, so they reflect sound easily. These reflections are picked up by the microphone in the form of echoes or reverb, and can be distracting and ultimately take away from the viewer’s experience.
They can also make a subject speaking close up to the camera sound like they are speaking from a distance. If you are recording in a smaller room where sound bounces around and it negatively affects the recording, consider investing in acoustic treatments, like sound panels and reflection filters.
» More Background Noises
Once you’re happy with the location and the sound of the space you are recording in, double-check to make sure other unwanted noises will intrude on the recording. For instance:
- If you have a noisy HVAC unit, temporarily turn it off to reduce persistent rumbles and whooshes.
- Take short breaks if it gets too cold or stuffy in the room.
- Turn off any nearby televisions, radios, music speakers or cell phone ringers.
- Close the door to eliminate other unwanted sounds so as to fully focus on recording the subject speaking.
If you intend to have specific background sounds in your recording, it is easier to add them later as you edit, so that you can blend it in with the direct sound to suit your taste.
These are just some of Proof Digital’s top tips for producing better audio for your website videos. If you’d like to learn more about how videos can make your website more effective and improve the user experience, – or if you are interested in outsourcing future video projects – our team of professional videographers can help. Contact us now.