There is such a vast array of microphones on the market these days of many different types. It can be difficult to know where to begin when beginning our journey with audio. It’s usually the last thing on a filmmaker’s mind, but it’s one of the most important aspects of video. We stopped by the Rode stand at PhotoPlus 2019 to find out why sound is so important and how different microphones work better for different situations.
Lav mics are one of the most commonly used and versatile microphones out there. But when you don’t want them seen in the final film, you can often be facing a pretty tough challenge to hide them, especially when you don’t want the microphone placement to negatively affect the quality of the audio.
In this video, Darious Britt of D4Darious shows us ten ways to hide a lav mic while keeping your audio clean, along with a bunch of tips for attaching them.
Shure has announced their new MV88+ Video Kit for smartphone video shooters. The kit builds on the success of Shure’s previous MV88 iPhone microphone. This time, though, it’s compatible with Android, too, via Type-C USB and it comes with a Manfrotto Pixi tripod, phone clamp, and shoe mount microphone clip.
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.
With more and more people shooting video and creating content for YouTube, microphones are more ubiquitous than they used to be. But when you want to go for one that’s a little more serious, they come with all kinds of tech data. The question most of us want to know the answer to, though, is simply “How good does it sound?”
But the answer is a little more complicated than we might think. Each of those specs means something, and it’ll affect the sound in a certain way. And which is “best” depends on what you’re trying to record. This video from Podcastage looks through 10 of the most important microphone specs and breaks down their meaning in simple terms.
Whether you’re editing for a cinematic short, a promotional video, interview or even a vlog, good audio is vital. Or at least, consistent audio. One of the things many people forget with recording sound, though, is ambient noise. No matter where you are, there’s always something going on in the background. It might be birds chirping, cars in the distance, or the hum of an air conditioning unit.
Our brains typically tune out this “noise” and ignore it. But when it’s absent, we do pick up on it and it’s very noticeable. When editing video, separating out clips or switching to b-roll, these audio gaps can start to pop up here and there. This video from Ray Ortega at The Podcasters’ Studio shows us how to overcome this problem by recording our environment.
Once you graduate from on-camera mics such as the Rode VideoMic Pro the next step is usually a real shotgun mic. Shotgun mics are popular due to their very directional nature. You can point them directly toward a subject to pick out their voice from the background noise. Or, they can be used in a more controlled, studio like environment to get very clean high quality recordings.
In this side-by-side comparison, Curtis Judd puts five shotgun microphones to the test. As well as comparing just how well each picks up sound, he performs an off-axis test. This helps to illustrate just how much environment noise away from your subject the microphones reject.
If you shoot video for long enough, and you’re interested in getting quality sound (you should be), then at some point you’re going to use a boomed shotgun mic. They’re not as easy to work with as you might first think, though. Bad technique can lead to the microphone picking up vibration and handling noise. It can also quickly get pretty tiring for the boom the boom operator, too.
In this video from Aputure, Ted Sim and Stephen Harrod provide six tips to work with boom poles on set. Some of the tips help to improve the audio quality. Others simply help you last for the duration of the shoot.
Nikon aren’t the only one celebrating a milestone birthday this year. Rode microphones is also entering its 50th year in business in 2017. In their time, they’ve built an unparalleled reputation amongst many audio professionals. Whether it’s musicians, filmmakers or vloggers, their products have worked their way into our lives. They’re usually the first name you see mentioned when people are looking for microphones, too. I own three of Rode’s microphones myself.
For most photographers, the introduction to RØDE often comes with the transition to video. On-camera mics are the best way to quickly get better sound than in-camera microphones. They help to eliminate things like vibration from handling or autofocus motors. One of the most popular such microphones is the RØDE VideoMic Pro. Now, RØDE have announced a new RØDE VideoMic Pro+, as well as the RØDE VideoMic Soundfield. The first ever microphone designed to capture 3D audio from right on top of your camera.
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.