Your members are listening. And if you want to interest, engage and inspire them, then what they hear is crucial.
When planning a video, content creators frequently focus on the visual intrigue of a project – how will it be filmed, how will the message be conveyed on-screen, what branding and assets will be used. One frequently overlooked, but just as important, piece of the content puzzle is how it sounds.
Imagine watching an interview with your favorite actor and not being able to understand what they’re saying because the audio is distorted, quiet and inconsistent. Odds are, you won’t go back to that channel the next time you want to hear what your favorite actor is working on.
Your members will feel the same way about your content!
With great audio comes great value (to you and your members)
On the other hand, high-quality (sometimes referred to as high-fidelity) audio elevates the overall message of your video and, with the increasing popularity of other content formats like podcasting, provides you with a valuable asset to turn into multiple different pieces of content for the cost of one recording session.
The best part? All it takes to create your own high-quality audio is a few simple steps.
How to get great audio on every project
Find a quiet spot to film
It doesn’t have to be silent, but do your best to minimize background noise or opportunities for noise pollution. Turn off the HVAC system while you film to avoid having it kick on in the middle of your interview and set up away from heavily traveled areas like hallways, entrances and helicopter landing pads.
Use an external microphone
Most cameras (or phones if that’s what you’re using – we won’t judge!) have built-in microphones. But don’t rely on them!
Instead, use a lavalier microphone. It clips onto the interviewee’s shirt and will allow you to dial in the audio levels that you need to hear your subject clearly. Just make sure that it’s aimed toward the interviewee’s mouth, and the cable is hidden by their jacket or shirt.
Make sure your interviewee is comfortable
Let’s face it: some people are just uncomfortable in front of the camera. They might fidget or mumble, and that’s okay!
Treat the interview like a conversation and don’t be afraid to take a little extra time to make sure that the interviewee is speaking in their full voice.
I like to start interviews by asking about the interviewee’s day and dialing in audio levels as they get more comfortable. Once you’re sure that they’re speaking in their full voice and done fidgeting, you’re ready to dive into the interview questions.
Even if they’re just earbuds, headphones give you better insight into your audio levels, and let you hear when they’re clipping (which is when the sound is too loud and pushes the threshold where the sound distorts).
At first it can be awkward to hold a conversation while you’re wearing headphones, but you’ll get used to it. Plus, it beats having unusable, distorted audio.