On this week’s Creator’s Tip, we show you how you can capture good, solid audio for your videos, and why you should. The YouTube Advertiser Playbook has a lot to say about capturing good audio and why it’s so important. Many viewers will forgive poor footage or even poor editing, but if the audio is sub-standard it can really ruin a great video and you will potentially lose your audience. We give you 6 great tips on how to lock down the best audio quality you can:
Tip #1: Talk Very Clearly to the Camera
We know this might sound obvious but talking clearly and loudly (but not shouting) into the camera is a practice that many get wrong. If your voice is clear and loud enough then it can make all the difference to the sound quality of your video. If you are naturally a soft-spoken person, try and speak up as much as you can and project your voice in a clear and natural way.
Tip #2: Record in a Very Quiet Space
Tim recorded this week’s Creator’s Tip in his basement studio and was very mindful to turn off any appliances that could cause annoying background noise. He also ensured that he recorded the video while family members were out of the house, and he switched off his phone so he wouldn’t be disturbed by any calls or text notifications. Eliminating any possible background noise means that the camera mic can focus right in on the subject’s voice which will enhance the audio quality.
Tip #3 Use Cue Cards
If you have a lot that you need to say, or you have a hard time remembering your lines, tape cue cards just beneath the camera lens to help you follow your script. Writing your lines down on paper with a thick marker pen, and putting them close to the camera where you can see them could really help you. Just remember to keep looking directly into the lens when you are speaking so the viewer knows you are talking to them
Tip #4 Get as Close to the Microphone as You Can
For most microphones, the further away you are, the poorer the sound quality. Try and stand as close as you possibly can, especially if you are filming yourself and holding the camera out in front of you. Use a wide angle lens so you can stand as near to the camera as possible. Doing this means you have the best possible chance of capturing high quality audio.
Tip #5 Don’t Use Zoom!
Try and refrain as much as possible from zooming in on your subject whilst recording them. If you watch movies or television shows, you’ll see that a lot of them avoid zooming in completely, and there’s a reason for that. The mic can often pick up the sound of the lens zooming in and out which is the last thing you want. Instead, film a shot of your subject in one position, then film then in another, closer position. Need more reasons to stop zooming? Read this excellent article from Videomaker that will tell you all you need to know.
Tip #6 Use an External Microphone
If at all possible, avoid using the default mic that came with your camera as it is usually terrible quality and will pick up all sorts of extra background noise. Investing in an external microphone, especially a lavalier mic, means you can get as close as possible to your face and eliminate a lot of external audio annoyances. For a really noisy environment, a hand-held mic can isolate any sound other than the voice speaking directly into it. These types of mics are great for interviews, especially on the convention floor or another noisy area. Also consider using a boom microphone, so you can hold it above your subject’s head out of shot. That way you can still capture the best audio you can without being too intrusive. Do some research and identity the best microphone for your circumstances.
You can read more audio advice for your video production in the YouTube Advertiser Playbook. Please let us know in the comments below if you have any tried and tested tips for capturing the best audio for your video content.