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  • toby wray

Video Tips for Marketeers #8 Recording Good Sound (part two


Continuing on from last week I can’t stress enough how much good sound makes you look like a professional. I’ve come across professional camera ops who struggle on some of the areas I mention below, many of us now are marketing, photographing and filming for clients so we need all the skills.


Microphone Positioning

The best place for a microphone is as close to the sound source as possible to get clear sound, we’re talking less than a meter ideally. By the way waving a ‘rifle’ (highly directional) mic in the general direction of the interviewee definitely doesn’t work. This can conflict with the camera if you want to get a wide shot. This is why you often see lapel mics used and mics on long poles(booms).


Using your mic

It is a good idea to do some sound tests before filming. Your lapel mic might work really well until you realise your interviewee is wearing a shell suit or squeaky leather! Rifle mics on a boom pole work really well and you can mount any sort of mic on them. Ideally your mic will have some kind of rubber mounting to separate out any shakes or noise the boom operator (op) makes and a furry cover called a windshield.


Your kit needn't be complicated but good kit like this mixer is easy to use and not that expensive.

Headphones

Wearing headphones is a must if sound is to be used and not the in ear type, they must cut out external noise. It is surprising what your mind will filter out which, when you watch your rushes, will ruin your sequence. Even computer fans or fridges or a crew member with annoying breathing habits can make your footage unusable.


Good voice recording

Keep the microphone close to, but not directly in front of your subject and ask the speaker to talk in their normal voice. Beware of speakers who stress their “s’s” or or “p’s”, try and angle the mic so it doesn’t pick these up too much. Don’t be frightened to ask them to speak clearly in a noisy environment. Ask them to repeat something if you don’t feel it was clear either because of the speaker mumbling, stuttering or a background noise. After all they want to be heard clearly.


Recording an atmosphere.

If you choose to cut at a point when a background noise is prominent, even in a quiet room, it will seem odd. Getting a separate recording of the room or location means you can add this separate layer in the edit and smooth over the cut. It will also mean you can add it when you have someone talking or coughing in a “silent” shot of a scene. If you collect these you will realise how many different sounds a “silent” environment has and how it alters your film. Think of the low rumble of engines in a ship and the power that conveys.


Next week, interview techniques.


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