A previously unrecognised beautiful young wildlife photographer is contacted out of the blue by a director and has her work incorporated into a Hollywood movie. It sounds like a plot to a movie itself (well, maybe a straight to cable movie!) but that is exactly what happened to Swedish photographer Danni Connor Wild when Oscar-winning sound editor and designer Mark Mangini contacted her and asked to use a recording she’d made of a baby squirrel in the movie Dune.
Microphones come with a whole lot of technical and confusing sounding specifications. Ultimately, what matters to people most is how they sound. But not all sounds are created equally, nor are all microphones. Different types of microphones and different specs of the same type of microphone handle certain sounds better than others, and some are just better built.
Understanding those specs can give you some idea of microphone suitability for your video and audio projects before you’ve even heard them, but what do they all mean? In this video, Andrew from Deity talks us through the five most common microphone specs and what they mean.
Shotgun microphones are the go-to for many filmmakers when recording audio. Whether it’s on-camera or boomed overhead of your subject, they offer a great ability to isolate the subject from the environmental noise around them.
But a lot of people don’t have great experiences with shotgun mics, because they’re not sure on exactly how to use them. Sure, it might be better than they’d get with the in-camera mics, but it can still be made even better. In this video, Kai Wong offers up five tips to help improve your shotgun mic recordings.
This is an interesting little product. Reclouder is a “personal hybrid audio recorder” that saves audio to an SD card but also automatically uploads it to the cloud. It’s a 2-channel recorder, meaning you just get left and right stereo sound, but it can take its input from 3.5mm mic sockets or through a pair of line/XLR combo sockets (one with 48v phantom power).
At the moment, it still seems to be somewhere in the development stages but is expected to go the crowdfunding route at some point for a very reduced $129. The regular retail is expected to be $199.
Voiceovers are an acquired skill. If you’ve never done them before, they’re not that easy to just jump into and do. Your first few aren’t going to be great, but you’ll get better at them the more you do.
The more you do, the more tips and tricks you’ll pick up, too. Kevin, the Basic Filmmaker has picked up more than a couple of tricks over the years to help him with voiceovers. In this video, he goes through 25 of them to help you with yours. He also shows practical demonstrations for many of them to illustrate why they’re a good idea.
A lot is said on the topic of recording audio. Which microphone to use for recording this or that. Where to place them, how to hide them from your shot, and so on. But once you’ve got all your audio recorded and you’re editing your video, what do you do with all of this sound? This video from Pond5 shows 5 basic, but essential, audio mixing techniques every filmmaker or YouTuber should know in order to get the best final result.
When we hear of “seeing sounds”, we think of conditions like synesthesia, or perhaps a mind-altering substance here and there. But being able to see sounds is an actual technological thing, too. It lets you “see” where sounds are coming from. Extremely handy if, for example, you’re attempting to soundproof a room or trying to track something emitting a certain noise.
And that’s exactly what SOUNDCAM does. Using a camera and an array of 64 microphones, it lets you see exactly from where a sound is being emitted. CAE Software and Systems who manufacturer the SOUNDCAM claim that “it’s intuitive and as easy to use as a smartphone”. Well, I’d like to see them slip this thing into their pocket.
Shock mounts are the best friend you can have for a boom mic. They eliminate all kinds of vibration and handling noise from your audio recording. Some microphones come with one, but you’ll often have to buy your own separately. Or, you can do like DIYCameraGuy, Michael Lohrum, and make your own using flexible gear ties. And in this video, he shows us how to make one.
For those of you who aren’t planning to ditch YouTube and will keep making videos, you know sound is important. People will forgive a slightly dodgy video if the audio’s perfect. But if the audio isn’t great, then it doesn’t matter how pretty the picture is.
Getting good audio can be a struggle, although it’s really not that difficult. As with lighting, you just need to understand the principles. Once you do, you can even get good quality audio with your phone. In this video, Darious Britt offers up a whole bunch of tips and techniques for recording audio and the principles for getting good sound.
This is probably one of the silliest, but practical, DIY sound recording options I’ve seen. This 2 minute video from YouTuber Thru Art shows us how we can build own own sound booth for recording voiceovers using items from around our homes. It actually doesn’t sound that bad, although you might look like you’re trying to build a tent in the living room.