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Mic Check: Why Good Audio Makes Your Video

April 27, 2017

Audio is the element that makes or breaks a video.

Some would even go so far to say that audio is more important than images in video. A video with poor to average visuals paired with clear, quality audio is far more likely to succeed than a video with great visuals and bad audio.

 

Audio quality vs. video quality:

 

In this video, when the videographer switches to bad audio, it’s unbearable to listen to or to decipher what he is saying, even though the video quality is much better than the previous clip.

 

Watch this video to hear the difference in good audio vs. bad audio:

 

 

 

When recording video, it’s important to understand the different types of sound that your production requires. A professional video that utilizes good audio makes use of both ambient and directional sound. For example, a video of a chef cooking in a kitchen might include ambient audio of all of the sounds going on around a kitchen, but also uses crisp, directional audio of the sound of a steak hitting the grill.

If you just utilized the ambient audio, you wouldn’t get that added detail of the sizzle of a steak hitting the grill. However, if you don't use the ambient noise around the grill, the tuned-in sizzle isn’t quite as effective.

 

Understanding the different types of microphones available is important in video production as well. Certain types of audio require different types of microphones. For example, an audio recording of a bird chirping or a babbling brook in nature is going to require a different kind of microphone than audio from a subject speaking in a one-on-one interview. 

 

Here are some tips on what microphone is best for what type of audio that you're looking for: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Omnidirectional Microphones/Recorders:
→ Record sound from all different directions - best used for ambient sound (sound in a general area). → One drawback about this type of mic is that they cannot distinguish between wanted and unwanted sounds.
→ example: Zoom H4NSP 4-Channel Handy Recorder

 

 

 





 

 

Cardioid Microphones: 

“directional”, picks up sound on an axis or from a specific direction - not what’s behind it.Cardioid Microphones:

→ usually used in live performances because they won’t pick up the crowd behind a band
→ example: Sennheiser e935

 

 

 

 

Hypercardioid and Supercardioid Microphones:

→ Condenser microphones that record sound coming from the front and the sides, not from behind.

→ Good for outdoor situations. Used with boom poles in noisy settings
→ example: shotgun mic Sennheiser MKE 600 shotgun

 

 

 

Lavalier/Lapel Microphones:

→ Small condenser microphones with an omnidirectional pickup pattern.

→ Work best in a wireless system.

→ These are the mics that you see pinned to people’s collars in interviews.

→ Good for close-up recording when the sound source is very near the microphone
→ example: Sennheiser AVX Lavalier Digital Wireless Set

 

 

 

 

 

 

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