Audio for videographers

I’ll share a little secret with you guys. I used to shoot a lot of video for corporations. That’s how I got into this audio thing. I had clients that didn’t want to pay for a second crew member so I had to figure audio out. This is not the best way to work but unfortunately sometimes it’s the only way. I understand if you’re in a pinch and need to do it all yourself!

I’ll share a few things I learned on the way to putting the camera on the shelf. Mainly, how to get professional sounding audio when you’re working one man band. Good enough even that you may also start to be thought of as the pro who gets great audio.

First is keep it simple! Focus on the workflow so you have as few things that can go wrong as possible. Let’s run through the typical scenarios where you may need to do a shoot one man band.

Shooting a sit down interview:

Use a wired lav instead of a wireless one.

If you have a professional camera like one of the Sony FX series cameras you can use XLR inputs to go directly to the camera. Sure this limits what you can do, and you’re stuck with the camera’s pre-amps, but if it’s a simple interview where you just have one person on camera you’re eliminating a lot of possibilities for mistakes. Put some headphones on and listen to the audio being recorded to the camera.

Again if you’re using a professional quality camera, you can also hang a quality boom microphone above your speaker. My personal favorite microphones are made by Schoeps. To my ears they sound the best but if you’re spending less, I also love Sennheiser mics, the Sennheiser 8050 is a small microphone that works well at the end of a pole or on the front of a camera when you don’t need clear dialog but “nat sound.” If you must go even cheaper, Sennheiser makes some prosumer mics as well. The prosumer mics will have a lot more self-noise and may not sound as nice when off pattern when you’re swinging the camera around but may sound good enough when you have good mic placement for an interview.

B-roll coverage

This gets us to another time when you may be one man band – Shooting b-roll. Obviously if you need to pick-up what people are saying on-camera and cover action at the same time, having a professional mixer on hand is crucial. But if what you really need is some natural sound it’s possible to to do

Posted on: April 24, 2023, by :