Get the Perfect Audio in Your Videos


Most of us use our compact cameras and DSLRs to do more than photography. Often, we shoot the occasional home video or document an important event. Some of us might even want to shoot a short film or make a video project. However, ensuring good quality sound in these video clips can be slightly challenging. We give you a few tips on how to make your videos sound better.

Scout for a Good Location

Regardless of whether you are at an outdoor location or shooting indoors, look around a little and you will find an area which is relatively quiet. Avoid standing near generators, speakers or large fans.

Do Not Touch the Mic

Figure out where the onboard mic is located and try to keep your hands away from it. Unwanted noise can be caused by fingers accidentally brushing the mic.

Get Close

The closer you are to your subject, the better they will sound. Most microphones are prone to how to something called AGC or Automatic Gain Control. It automatically adjusts the sound recording level so that the mic will pick up something, no matter how faint it is. The further away you are from your sound source, the more AGC will magnify the sound you are trying to record. This means that unwanted background noise will also be magnified.

Record Ambient Sounds

Each place has its own ‘buzz’. This may be sounds of waves crashing on the shore, noisy crowds or even birds chirping. Record a minute or two of footage with just the ambient sound. If you intend to edit your videos later, you can simply add this background sound track to cover the gaps in your audio recording—when a person stops talking or takes a long pause or when a performance ends.

Switch to Manual Focus

Often, autofocus motors and zooming actions make a lot of unwanted whirs and clicks that are recorded as well. Use manual focus to ensure that the frame is wellfocused and then start recording the clip. Alternatively, you can look for lenses that are stabilised for quieter video, for instance, Canon has a range of STM lenses designed to eliminate mechanical noise during video.

Plug in an External Mic

If your camera has a line-in for an external microphone, then make use of the option and use an external mic. Alternatively, you can look for microphones that fit on to the hot shoe and check if they are compatible with your camera.

Tags: how to, manual focus, April 2015, ambient sounds, mic