Recording sound like a pro
Many creators find that good sound can transform their channel from amateurish to professional. Learn some of the best methods for capturing quality sound when recording dialogue on set.
Good sound is essential. Learn tips to record sound like a pro.
What is good sound?
At the foundation, good sound means capturing clean audio at an acceptable recording level, so that your audience understands what your video is communicating. But good sound is actually much more than that: it involves thoughtfully planning your shoots with sound in mind.
This process starts when you’re selecting your location. If you’re recording outside, things like traffic or wind can make a big difference. Research your locations to avoid unpleasant surprises. And if you’re inside, consider the room’s acoustics and noises that electronics or other elements might create.
Good sound can significantly impact how viewers experience your video. Audiences are typically more forgiving of camera and lighting mistakes than they are of poor sound quality and recording.
See it in action
Sound enhances short filmSound plays a large role in this short film, whether it’s the clamor of keyboards and phones in the office or a car driving down a dirt road.
Types of microphones
Aside from the mic that’s built into your camera, there are three main types of mics:
- Shotgun microphones are the most highly directional. They are most readily used with most YouTube formats, including video blogs.
- Lavalier microphones can be pinned onto the subject. They are great for doing interviews or shoots where the subject talks from a distance.
- Boom microphones are often held above the frame of the scene on a long pole. Because of this, they generally require an extra crew member. They are recommended for capturing dialogue among several people or for wide shots that don’t allow for a mic on the speaker.
If you’re on a budget and recording with your smartphone, you can find free apps and low-cost compact external mics that help you capture better sound (listen to a few samples). For other situations, you might actually want a combination of mics, especially if you’re trying to isolate sound from specific sources.
Ways to improve recording
There are things you can do to enhance your recording conditions. If you’re inside, try padding your space with sound blankets and foam to cut down on excess echo. Avoid recording near noisy refrigerators and air conditioners, and remember to silence your electronic devices, which could potentially interrupt your recording.
If you’re outside, it might not be possible to prevent all background noise. In this case, it’s super important to choose the right mic, as well as test your mic so that you know you’re getting good audio levels.
Here are a few more tips for recording like a pro:
- Check the connection from your mic to your camera’s audio input. Also confirm if your mic requires a separate power source.
- Keep the mic positioned close to the desired audio source (your mouth when speaking). And project your voice strongly—but don’t yell.
- Have someone monitor the sound while recording (through headphones). If it’s just you, do a test run and play it back to yourself.
How much of an impact does good sound have on your channel?Try it now
Now that you have incredible sound, check your YouTube Analytics to see whether your subscribers or views are increasing. You may want to check your Audience retention report to see if fans are watching longer instead of clicking away. Review watch time to see if they are finishing more of your videos. If so, it may be because they can hear them better.