I wrote last week about Putting The Work Into Youtube and one of the key points I stated was just how important audio is to the overall quality of the video. I am no means an expert but from making videos and a fair amount of research and trial and error I want to share some of my tips for improving your audio for Youtube some of these are basic housekeeping and some are DIY hacks I’ve found to help when budget and gear is lacking. A key thing to youtube and indie filmmaking is USE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE.
So let’s get started:
- Turn off all other noise – Have a noisy AC, record beside a fridge or live by a busy road? Try and move away from the noise and turn off all appliances that may interfere with your recording. If you have dedicated space to record make sure pets are outside the room and people know to leave you alone for a while to record (Nothing worse than being 3 takes into a deep monologue and a room mate, partner or kid burst in)
- Protect your mic – If you’re recording outside the audio levels are constantly changing so it’s worth investing in a windsock or dead kitten, this cuts out MOST of the wind noise so allows for a cleaner edit. For recording inside a pop filter is worth considering to cut out unwanted harsh sounds like P and Bs.
- Use what you have – Shooting an interview type scene and dont have a boom pole or want mic to remain hidden, use what you have, dig out those phone headphones and tuck into the collar of interviewee and use a recorder app on your phone. Discreet and will provide better audio than trying to salvage audio recorded from your mounted camera a few metres away.
- Post process – While a decent mic WILL provide better audio you can still apply a little editing to improve audio from any device. Your video editor will have some kind of audio feature but I recommend Audacity as it’s free and fully functioning with noise removal, compressors and levellers all built in. Learn the program and you can acheive cleaner audio and better results even with a lesser mic, though sometimes just can’t be saved.
- Last resort – Buy a better mic, I’m all for using what you have but sometimes you really do need to buy better gear, don’t go high end straight off, learn and grow as needed. Some recommendations I would give are for DSLR shooters the VideoMic Go is a great step up for beginners and intermediates with a nice price point and superb quality, for indoor recording where you can use a USB mic I’d say a Blue Snowball ice Mic as it’s great quality and a nice price too, both of these mics I own and would recommend them highly for beginners on their audio/video journey.
This is just a quick breakdown of a few tips that can be applied to improving audio when shooting for Youtube, it’s by no means an extensive list just enough to get beginners started and moving along.
I’d love hear your quick tips and audio suggestions for when you shoot, leave a comment below