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How to Get Great Audio

Posted by Alysia Cutchis on April 4, 2016

When you’re creating a corporate video campaign, a lot of time and effort is put into the visuals, script, and strategy. Audio quality is usually an afterthought, only addressed if it comes out especially poor.

The fact is that audio quality has a huge effect on the overall quality of your video. Below, we’ll discuss exactly why audio matters, address some common audio issues and outline the most important equipment concerns you’ll have.

Does Audio Quality Really Matter That Much?

It’s hard to overstate the value of audio quality in corporate videos. Many experts now believe that it’s a fallacy to divide learners into either audio or visual. Instead, it’s better to focus on providing teaching methods that combine the two equally. That means if you want to get your message across and teach your audience something, you need strong audio in addition to strong visuals. If you fail to do so, you’ll alienate the auditory learning portion of your audience at best, and your entire audience at worst.

Another reason it’s important to nail your audio quality is that most viewers simply don’t have the patience to give your video much of a chance. On average, 20% of your viewers will abandon your video within 10 seconds, and a full third of them will do so before 20 seconds have passed. What you need to take away is that viewers are fickle. If you give them any reason to do so, they’ll stop watching. It would be extremely frustrating to convince a prospect to click a video only for your audio to cause them to navigate away before getting to the heart of your content.

Finally, it’s important to realize that your video is an extension of your brand. Even if your audience is willing to complete watching a video with poor audio quality, it doesn’t reflect well on your organization. Bad audio shows that you don’t care enough to create a top-notch video, and leaves your audience wondering if the services you provide are similar. If you want to inspire confidence in your audience, make sure your video conveys the same quality your brand does.

What Are Some of the Most Common Audio Problems?

It’s clear that audio quality has a distinct impact on the overall quality and success of your corporate videos. The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure that you eliminate some of these common audio issues:

    • Background noise. There are lots of different things that could end up spoiling your audio, many of which you can control. Make sure heaters and air conditioning units are turned off during filming. Ensure that everybody has their cell phones turned off. Usually, most background noise can be successfully eliminated by simply using the right microphone.
    • Wind. If you’re filming outside, a windy day is your biggest enemy. It creates a constant pounding noise that completely ruins your audio. Luckily, reducing wind noise is usually as simple as investing in a solid windscreen for your microphones.
    • Buzzing or humming. If you’re picking up a faint buzzing or humming whenever you shoot your videos, it’s probably the cables fault. If you’re running power cables over the audio cables, you’re actually catching the hum of electricity in your video. Make sure that you’re not overlapping the cables too often or taping them together. If at all possible, invest in wireless microphones to eliminate buzzing completely.
    • Poor balance. You have to make sure that your audio is level throughout the entire video. If you have more than one person in the video, make sure one isn’t talking louder than the other. If you’re using music or other piped in audio, ensure that it isn’t jarring or louder than the feed you’re recording live.

What Equipment Do I Need For Superb Audio?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that your microphone is the most important piece of equipment you’ll need when it comes to boosting your audio’s quality. The internal microphone in most video recorders simply aren’t powerful enough to grab audio unless the subject is directly next to the camera.

To supplement your camera, there are distinctly different types of microphones. Both work well depending on what you’re trying to achieve:

    • Lavalier microphones. Lavaliers are clip-on microphones that you’ll attach directly to an actor’s shirt. If you’re going to have one or more people moving around quite a bit, they’re exactly what you need. The key to getting good audio from a lavalier microphone is placing the mic exactly correctly, so you’ll want to test it plenty of times before shooting for real.
    • Shotgun microphones. Shotguns differ from lavalier microphones since they’re stationary and only pick sound up from one direction. They’ll accept sound in the direction they’re facing, and block out noise coming from any other direction.

The biggest benefit of a shotgun microphone is that it can be hung above a person’s head in order to not be visible on camera. Lavalier microphones, when properly placed, are usually visible. They’re also cumbersome to wear, which generally makes shotgun microphones a better choice if it’s feasible to do so.

It’s also important to consider the equipment you’re recording with. If you have a lower end video camera, it might not have the capacity to record and save the same audio your microphone can. That means you’ll have distorted or poor sound when you end up playing everything back.If that’s the case, you’ll want to use a separate recorder completely, combining the audio and video during the editing process.

Get great audio
If you’re able to find the right microphone, your audio quality is going to see a drastic improvement.

Of course, if you want to avoid the hassle of scoping out expensive audio equipment, your best bet is to find a crew that can help you out. Make sure to reach out to us here at Crews Control to get matched up with a crew that can handle your next corporate video campaign, on both the audio and visual side!

Simply contact us by clicking here!

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