Expert insights

The Magic of Sound

This is the final post in our four-part series on video shooting (you can read our first three posts herehere, and here). A video is not complete without its audio components and in this blog post, we will be focusing on audio and how it affects the quality of your video. 

Is there anything more frustrating than poor sound quality in a video? Whether it’s background noise, competing music tracks, or a muffled recording, bad audio is a real video buzzkill. This is especially true in a MOOC, where the audio carries the bulk of the course content. So, how do you ensure your MOOC videos are audible enough?  

Plan Your Audio Before You Start: 

Some sound components will be recorded during filming and the rest will be added during post-production. The sound you might want from the filming process include: 

  • Location sound – the hum of conversation in the background, phones ringing, traffic, anything that is needed for narrative effect. 
  • Ambient sound or room tone – the sound atmosphere natural to the environment where filming takes place. 
  • Dialogue – the course faculty speaking on camera. 

The most efficient method is to know in advance what sounds you’ll need, and to place microphones in the right locations to pick them up. Here are some things to keep in mind:  

  1. Make sure you have the right mic for the shoot. 
  1. Choose your shooting locations carefully to avoid problematic audio environments. 
  1. When microphones are used outdoors, they require wind protection. 
  1. Check your recording with AGC (Automatic Gain Control). It decides what is too loud and too soft and adjusts the recording level accordingly. 
  1. Address background/wind noise problems. 

Headphones: 

During the shoot, try listening to the audio with a pair of headphones. This way, you will be able to catch the disturbances before they’re recorded. Unfortunately, not every camera has a headphone jack. In these cases, try monitoring the sound through a mixer or simply do a test recording before the shoot. 

Shooting outdoors can be challenging, but some preparation and practice will have you ready to tackle those projects.  

We hope you enjoyed this series. Stay tuned for more!  

[This post was written by Srikanth Bade, Video Lead, IIMBx]  

 

 
 

 

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