Three Easy Tips For Recording Way Better Audio

three easy tips for recording way better audio

As I have been filming more and more video I have been really struggling with ways to improve the audio quality of my footage.

It seemed that no matter what I did, or what gear I was using, I always ended up with a massive amount of noise in my audio.

This led to more and more expensive gear purchases – without much benefit.  But, as with most things in photography that seem easy but aren’t – the problem was largely with my technique – not my gear.

Fortunately, I recently had the opportunity to hang out with a bunch of musicians for an afternoon and got some really killer tips for recording better audio.

So to help you avoid the same mistakes that I have been making, here are three easy tips for recording way better audio with your video.

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Five Audio Options for Your Home or Office Studio

Photo: screen grab from YouTube video

Photo: screen grab from YouTube video

Being photographers we are accustomed to pay attention to composition, lighting, depth of field, colors, focal length and many other factors that comprise the final frame.

Photographers entering the world of video have the advantage of already mastering all these aspects, but one of the most important aspects in video gets ignored way too often – audio.

Audio recording is not something that automatically comes to mind for a stills photographer, in many cases leading to sloppy sound that ruins the video, but luckily Jay P. Morgan from The Slanted Lens is here to help.

Watch the video for five options for recording audio in your home studio. Jay explains the advantages, disadvantages and price of these solutions, ranging from free to $1,000.

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How to Approach A Talent To Place a Lav Mic On Their Shirt Like A Pro

If you are shooting a video with someone who is not accustomed to getting videos that part where you attach a Lavalier mic to their clothes can be kinda awkward. If you are wiring up an actor, there is a good chance they did this before and they maybe even done this enough time to help you. But with documentaries or interviews it may be your talent’s first time where someone approaches them to run a cable through their shirt.

If you do it wrong (and there is definitely a wrong way of doing this) not only you look like a PITA you may also take from your talents confidence which you want to be high for the actual interview.

The Location Crew came up with a short 10 minutes tutorial that explains how to do this right. Interestingly enough, an important part of the process is not even related to connecting a microphone, it is connected to gaining your talent’s trust and breaking that personal barrier to make them feel comfy.

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RØDE Enters Wireless Audio With RØDELink and Filmmaker Kit

rode-wireless-01

Rode made a name for themselves as quality microphones suppliers and many sound guy swear by their mics (as do I). While they do make great microphones, one thing was always missing from their offering, a wireless system. The kind of transmitter that goes in the pocket (along with a lav mic) for the speaker and has a receiver unit where you actually record the audio. This can be the camera or an external recorder.

Rode changes this today as they announce their RØDELink and RØDELink Filmmaker Kit. A kit aimed at filmmakers. Rode says that more kits will join this new ecosystem.

Here is an overview of the features which seems pretty impressive for around $400 (preorder at B&H). This is about $230 below the comparable Sennheiser kit.

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Zoom’s New H5: One of the Best Affordable DSLR Microphones Yet

Zoom-H5_Louder-650x296

One of the best thing about DSLR cameras is that they’ve made professional filmmaking become more and more affordable for the kids that wish to pursue it. But when your camera has the ability to shoot videos with quality that’s good enough for even filming House, M.D., you want to make sure your sound can match up with it. There’s nothing worse than having an outstanding looking film become completely pointless because of its sound quality, and the microphones that come built in DSLRs don’t really help that at all.

Luckily, there’s companies that offer both expensive and cheap solutions to that; one of them is Zoom, who delve into the latter. The microphones the company has offered give great sound quality for the prices they come at, and they’re expanding their catalogue with the newly announced Zoom H5.

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Hack: Get a Phantom Powered Microphone On Any Camera

One of the drawbacks of using the camera in-microphone port is that it only supports 3.5mm and while there are some decent solution for that (see the Rode video mic pro), if you really want nice audio, the higher end shotgun microphones require something called Phantom Power – this is a way to provide the microphone with electricity via the same XLR cable that connects it to the recorder (in our case – the camera).

Mike Kobal shares a clever hack for getting Phantom powered XLR shot gun mics on a DSLR. (seems like everyone is hacking their DSLRs nowadays – this really compliments the power hack we featured last week)

The solution is to use the  IK Multimedia iRig Pre Microphone Interface which is originally a Mic to iOS Device, but works wonders on the GH4 video monster and other DSLR.

The irig Pre goes via an iPhone to standard plug converter and plugs into the microphone jack and the head phone jack. And both the shotgun mic and the earphones goes into the iRig Pre.

Mike suggests to get a few connectors as they are very flimsy.

[The $29 XLR hack for the Panasonic Lumix GH4 via ISO 1200]