Audio is often the biggest challenge for filmmakers, especially newer ones. Most people just coming into the world of video don’t realise how much of a big deal it really is to get good quality audio. And while can be quite gear dependent, you don’t always need the most expensive kit to get decent quality sound. In this video, filmmakers Parker Walbeck and Nick Sales talk though their top ten tips and techniques for getting good quality sound for your videos.
Personal and experimental projects can be a lot of fun for both those who create them and those who view them. This particular project was created by Italian film photographer Mario Cipriano, and it’s definitely a little bit odd, but pretty cool.
He combines film photographs he shot with his Leica M6 with a sound recorder to capture the five seconds leading up to the shot being taken, and the five seconds following it. Each photo then has 10 seconds of audio to accompany it. It’s fascinating to watch played back in video form.
Sennheiser’s new Memory Mic is a wireless microphone designed for smartphones. We saw it teased at NAB earlier in the year, and it does look like a pretty cool piece of microphone tech. It connects via Bluetooth but keeps recording without dropping even if you go out of range of the phone. And if the Sennheiser samples clips are anything to go by, it sounds pretty good, too.
Regardless of whether you call them lav, lavalier or lapel mics, they are wonderful things. Often used for interviews, spoken pieces to camera, and for when you can’t get a shotgun boomed overhead. What makes them great is that they can be so easily hidden from the camera’s view. You can hide them in clothes, under hair, on set pieces, and all kinds of places to keep them off camera but pick up quality audio.
This video from Creative North shares a handful of great tips on how to do exactly that. Mount and hide them to create great quality audio. It also covers some of the things you can do to cut down noise as your subject moves around – which can be a big problem for beginners to lav mics.
If you’re in search of sound effects, here’s something great coming from the BBC. Their library of more than 16,000 sound effects is now available, and you can download anything you like for free.
I use my phone to grab quick video clips regularly. But it’s not ideal, especially when it comes to audio. Smartphone microphones just aren’t that great. It’s a little ironic, really, given that, being phones, their primary function is to hear people talking and to let other people hear you talk. But when you point a phone camera at somebody and they start talking, usually you just hear them drowned out by background noise.
It appears Sennheiser are working to solve this problem, though, with a new product they’re calling “Memory Mic”. This is a working title as it’s still in development, but it essentially allows you to record audio wirelessly on your subject, and it does it without continuous access to wifi or Bluetooth. NoFilmSchool got to check it out in person at NAB this week and recorded a short video.
We’ve written about building a brand as a photographer or a filmmaker. Branding sure involves many different aspects and requires a lot of effort and skill, but have you ever thought about sound branding? Sonic branding experts Andrew Stafford and Steve Milton discuss this topic for WIRED. They explain the psychology behind many sounds that you’ll instantly recognize. Messenger chat, Skype call, Mac startup sound… What makes them so recognizable and what are they telling us?
Some of you might think this is some magic bullet post processing trick to remove reverb from audio files. But it’s not. No, the only way you’re going to be able to get rid of that echo in your sound is to solve the issue at the source. That means treating the room to eliminate it completely. In this video, DIYCameraGuy, Michael Lohrum shows us some of the ways we can get fix a room so that echoes don’t happen.
No matter how good the equipment we use to record audio, there’s always some room for improvement. Of course, we have to record it properly, eliminate background noise, echo, ground hum and pre-amp hiss, but there’s more to it than that. High-end voiceovers just have a feel about them that isn’t just a plain old voice recording. They have a warmth and richness to them.
Getting that feel isn’t so difficult. Your mileage will vary depending on the source material (your natural voice), but it’s just a few simple steps in Adobe Audition. In this video, Nathaniel Dodson from Tutvid walks us through the whole process.