Audio for Video

What sound does a tree make when it falls but no one is there to hear it? 

If you’re wondering what that has to do with anything, don’t worry we’ll get to it. For now, let’s cover some tips about recording audio for that video you’re either planning or in the process of making. For starters, let’s begin with the question everyone always asks:

Tip 1

How high should I set my recording level? 

If you’re using an iPhone or another smartphone without a third party app, then you won’t have the ability to adjust the audio levels. Instead, plan to adjust the audio by how close or far away your microphone is from the speaker. 

Something to know is that audio levels are negative and the smaller the number the louder your recording level. Just keep that in mind. Now, if you are using a camera, then plan to keep your levels between -20db and -6db. If you can manage it, you want to make sure that you’re never going above that -6db mark because your audio file can clip — i.e. cut out some of your sound — which is an ugly thing that you can’t really recover from. However, if your audio is a little low you can always raise it in the edit. 

Tip 2

What gear do I need?

For interviews, it is a really good idea to use a lavalier microphone. If you want more information on lavalier mics (including which ones we recommend), check out ______ (with link). Another option if you’re planning to do what are called, “stand up” interviews, which are just quick interviews where you grab someone at an event to answer some questions, is to  use what’s called a shotgun microphone. For more information on that, check out this video. (link) In both situations, you want to find a space that is generally as quiet as possible.

Tip 3

Anything else?

Just remember that audio is the easiest part of video production: the easiest to get right and the easiest to screw up. So to make sure that you’re getting good audio, plan to keep your levels a bit lower (around -10db if you are able to set it) and make sure that you’re recording your interviews in the quietest spaces possible. 

Happy Recording!