- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On November 9, 2012
If there’s one thing that immediately sets a good video apart from one that’s not-so-good-way, it’s audio.
You may have the most spectacular video footage but if the sound is tinny, distant, or otherwise makes you cringe, the viewer won’t stick around long enough to hear your message.
Whether you’re shooting a video with your iPhone, Flip or dedicated video camera you can improve the end product simply by recording great audio to accompany the video.
If your equipment already has a port for a microphone, you’re halfway there. Plug an external microphone into the camera and the difference in audio quality will be night-and-day.
“Prosumer” gear (a cut above consumer) often sports a small microphone jack next to the headphone jack. This allows for a microphone with a “mini” plug, otherwise known as a 1/8″ or 3.5mm plug, to be plugged into your camera.
Radio Shack’s tie-clip microphone is one example and is very reliable for speech. It sells for just $32.99 (battery included).
What if my Camera has no External Microphone Jack?
For those who are shooting with devices that have no plug for an external microphone, you could do worse than purchase an MP3 recorder.
MP3 recorders allow you to record clean audio, offload it from the device’s memory card and sync it to your video using an editing program.
There are many makes and models of MP3 recorders. All the models below have built-in stereo microphones or ports to plug in your own microphone. Many models allow you to put the recorders on a tripod so they can be positioned just as a microphone would.
Paul Lin is a multimedia producer based in Connecticut. He may often be found obsessing over new ways to improve video sound quality. He spent many years professionally recording and producing audio for organizations including Bloomberg Radio in NYC, National Public Radio and the Wall Street Journal Digital Network.