B2 Productions: Houston We May Have an Audio Problem

September 9, 2018
Tracy Phillips

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It’s a funny pic. Who are they recording with that audio mic? I’ve seen a few people use this pic on social platforms with tips and tricks for video recording. DO NOT DO THIS for audio recording. Here are a couple quick tips to help record the best darn audio you can:

Find the right place. If you are outside, you are at the will of nature, traffic, people, etc. In some cases, this is a-ok so long as the ambient noise is not drowning out your subject. If you are indoors (office, home), walk around your shooting area and clap your hands. You are listening to the sound in different areas as your clapping: echo bad, less echo good. You want a more enclosed or contained area (office, room). Carpeting helps. Anything that will inhibit the audio from bouncing around the room. If you are on marble or a hard floor, put something down (moving pads work) in front of your subject to knock down the bounce.

Get a good pair of cans (headphones). You’ll need them to listen to your audio while recording. I’ve only made the mistake once of not monitoring audio during a shoot and it bit me in the ass.

If your subject is going to speak into a recorder directly (e.g. Zoom recorder) get the recorder as close to them as possible (while keeping the mic out of frame or your shot).

Using a boom: or shotgun mic.  For set up, you will need a stand and a mic pole holder (kind of looks like a fishing rod holder) and an XLR or some other cable to get the audio from the mic into the camera (what cable do you use? Depends on the mic and camera audio input). Get the mic as close to your subject without over modulating (squelching) when the on screen-talent is hitting a higher tone.

Have your subject read a few lines before you start. Have them speak in a range of different tones to make sure you are ‘level’ (audio not too high, not too low). I like my level around -6db. Gives me room to push in post if needed and doesn’t require a lot of bump if you need to bring up the audio levels a few hairs.

Audio is a tricky game. Unless you have a good grip on the subject you can really screw the pooch on a shoot. Which brings us to our last tip: Hire a professional. It’s what they do. Besides, they come with the gear and they know how to set up the talent and the recording for the best results.

For more information about B2 Productions click here: www.b2productions.com

Having trouble with what to say on camera, click here: www.videoscriptsuccess.com