FaceBook Twitter
Sign up to the Newsletter!

For the latest news on film,
branding, photography and design.

Blog

Tips on How to Improve Your Video’s Sound

By lunamik / August 15, 2016
Strategy

A great video project almost always involves a cosmic-tonne of work regarding. But a great video project is never without great audio. The reason it goes hand in hand, and you have heard this before, but viewers are a lot more forgiving when it comes to poor video quality, but when it comes to poor sound quality, it’s just a big turn off for us. So with that in mind, every single second of your audio recordings should be scrutinised to produce if you want to produce a great chemistry between the audio and video aspect of your project. Everything from the start of recording up to the editing and mixing is important. So Lunamik’s here to show you some tips on how you can improve and create great audio for your video production.

Choose the right microphone

If you plan to produce a video that is heavy on audio recordings, you might want to invest a little cash to ensure that you get a microphone that’s will do the job. And to put simply, if you want a good place to start, Rode and Sennheiser are where it’s at! But There are various kinds of microphones out there. Choosing the microphone you will use depends highly on your shooting location. It is also important to know more about the pickup patterns of your microphone or how it records sound spatially. There are different pickup patterns, but these four are the ones you should know about.

Omnidirectional

An omnidirectional microphone is a kind that can record sound from all directions. It is suitable for interviews. The downside of an omnidirectional microphone is that it can still pick up background noise that can decrease the quality of sound you recording. Lavalier mic is the most common example of an omnidirectional microphone used for video productions.

Cardioid

Cardioid microphones are one of the most popular all-around microphones because of its very flexible pickup pattern. Its versatility makes it ideal for almost any kind of purposes such as events, documentaries or even weddings. For a cardioid microphone to have it full effect, a controlled environment with minimal background noise is required.

Hypercardioid

Hypercardioid are microphones that have a particular directional pickup pattern. It is usually the mic mounted on top of a camera for enhanced audio recording during news, documentaries, interviews, and music recordings. Also known as shotgun mics, the hypercardioid microphones only pick up limited sound behind the mic. It can limit the background noise especially when the sound does not come from the pickup pattern direction of the microphone.

Supercardioid

Supercardioid microphones work the same way as hypercardioids. The only difference between the two is that supercardioid has the ability to isolate an audio. It is the receiver used on boom poles.

Audio recorders

The next piece of equipment that can optimise sound recording is the audio recorder. There are a lot of cameras and video equipment that do not have a built-in audio recorder, and even if they do, it’s probably a good idea to steer well clear of them. The audio recorder helps in recording quality audio using a professional microphone. A camera with an XLR input means that your camera already has an audio recorder. Otherwise, you can buy an external audio recorder.

Depending on your budget, there are a ridiculous amount of audio recorders available. If you are willing to invest money, you should opt to purchase a high-end portable recorder that costs around $200-$1000. A simple low-end recorder usually cost between $100 and $300. For those who are on a budget, you can check ways on how you can use your old iPhone as your audio recorder.

Sound Editor

Thanks to modern-technology, there are also heaps of audio editing software that can help you improve the quality of your audio recordings. It is true that editing audio for television is a lot harder because of the strict guidelines that must be met. Some music/sound editing software can be complicated and will require time for familiarity and efficient usage. But when you are editing audio for a film or corporate video, the rules are more flexible.

Learning how to edit your audio can be easier because of the material available on the internet. You can watch videos on how you can effectively organise your audio recordings. The checker-boarding technique is a favourite technique used by major film studios. It is a technique that involves categorising the sound of each audio track. The audio tracks are classified into the following:
• Sync Sound (SOT) – Audio Tracks 1 and 2
Audio from the main speaker also known as Sound-on-Tape.
• Sync Sound (NAT/SOT) –Audio Tracks 3 and 4
Audio from b-roll footage also known as Natural Sound-on Tape
• Narration (VO) – Audio Track 5
Audio from voice overs (VO)
• Sound Effects (SFX) –Audio Tracks 6, 7, and 8
Audio from sound effects
• Music Cue 1 –Audio Tracks 9 and 10
Audio reserved for songs, score, and soundtrack
• Music Cue 2 –Audio Tracks 11 and 12
Audio for other music intended to fade between songs

Audio Levels

There are different recommended audio levels which you can find. Each mixer has preferred audio levels. The general rule for all is that audio levels should never be above zero DB. When you exceed zero DB, the music or sound usually starts to be distorted. Other than this, you are free to adjust the level according to your liking.