Marketing April 30, 2014 Last updated September 18th, 2018 598 Reads share

Sound Essentials On Your Video Shoot

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A video relies heavily on the quality of its audio and the same goes for a corporate video production. Bad audio recording, poor sound monitoring and inexperience can quickly turn any video production from sweet to sour. In this article we explore the sound recording essentials for corporate video shoots and how using these tips will make your video a complete success.

Scout Your Location

Before you think about recording any audio your first order of business is to scope out your location for anything that might generate unwanted and intruding sound.

You’d be surprised how a simple corporate boardroom can seem so quiet at first glance, yet when you begin filming air conditioners, phones, neighbouring offices and even employees working above or below you can start creating all kinds of disruptive noise.

Liaise with your client to arrange a quiet atmosphere around your location, then discuss with the building manager if any air conditioning or electrical appliances can be turned off during filming.

Get Your Mic In To Position

Your microphone positioning will play a big part in whether your audio is captured in a clear, crisp fashion or in a faint, inaudible mess.

If you’re using a lapel mic make sure it is secured correctly and not likely to be affected by any body movement during the shoot. A boom mic should be kept as close to the person speaking as possible without encroaching on the framing of the shot. If you are using directional microphones be sure to keep them at a close-but-comfortable distance to the speakers mouth.

Remember that while it is usually imperative to have your mic as close to the sound source as possible you don’t want to do so at the expense of your overall shot.

Monitor Your Sound

A professional sound monitoring kit is made up of an essential pair of headphones and the trusty sound level display on the LCD display of the camera. These tools are vital to capturing great quality audio.

It’s worth bearing in mind that a sound mixer and a boom mic operator without headphones are about as much use as a chocolate teapot. Headphones give a true representation of the audio being recorded on set. They can clearly indicate whether there is interfering ambient noise, or whether the audio is sounding perfect.

Using the sound level on your camera LCD screen is also a great indicator of peaking or distorting audio, and should be monitored frequently throughout filming. However, these levels doesn’t inform the sound engineer’s ears on what sound is actually being captured. This is why using both headphone and sound level monitoring in tandem is key.

Capture Natural Sounds On Set

While it may seem like your microphones are always trying to keep out the natural sound of your filming location it is actually ideal to take a moment to record just the ambient noise on set.

There may be cause to re-record audio for your corporate video production or completely reshoot a certain section. Often if it was not possible to eradicate certain noises during recording some portions of your audio could be unusable.

If this is the case you will need to re-shoot scenes or re-record audio that fit in seamlessly with the other clips you have recorded. What you will find is that these other clips have ambient noises from your filming environment under the audio, which you will need to recreate to make your new footage fit alongside it.

To do this you will use the natural audio you have taken a moment to record on your location during the original corporate shoot, which you can then use to blend the audio of the new footage in with the older clips. This way you can maintain continuity in your audio throughout your corporate video production, no matter if you have to re-shoot any segments later on.

Images: ”headphone and microphone isolated on white. 3d rendered image / Shutterstock.com

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Madeleine Hammond

Madeleine Hammond

Madeleine Hammond is a marketing executive at Skeleton Productions - one of the UK's leading video production companies.

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