In this video, you will discover the best microphones for creating great video content. And not only that…you will also learn the best practices to follow to make sure you get the best sound quality in your videos.
When creating video content, getting the sound right can make a huge impact on the overall quality of your video. Done wrong, and all the hard work you’ve put into your production can easily go to waste!
But don’t worry, with the 4 tips I’m about to share with you, you’ll be good to go!
Hi there, I’m Jess. Before we get started, make sure to hit the subscribe button so you can get notified every time we post one of our new videos to help you with your video marketing.
And let me know: what microphone are you currently using for your videos? Post your answers down below in the comments, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
So before we get into our top tips, let’s answer the first question that’s probably on your mind:
Why do I need to use a microphone?
You may be wondering why you can’t just use your camera’s built-in microphone.
Let me stop you right there with a simple answer: just don’t.
In general, internal mics on your camera are just not good enough. I know a lot of you are using DSLRs, and we do too, and while these cameras are designed to capture great quality video, their microphones are kind of an afterthought.
An external microphone, however, is built specifically to record great quality audio, and investing in one is the best way to make sure your sound quality matches your video quality.
So, if that’s convinced you to give more thought to your sound recording, let’s get into the 4 best practices to help you achieve professional-level sound quality.
TIP 1. USE A BOOM OR LAV MIC
There are two types of microphones to choose between: booms mics are also sometimes known as shotgun mics, and lavs mics are sometimes also referred to as lapel mics.
Boom mics can either be attached to your camera, or held in place by a boom operator, while lavs need to be attached to your subject’s clothing.
Boom mics are directional, meaning they only capture audio from the direction they’re pointed in. This makes them perfect for shooting outside, as they won’t pick up as much noise as a lapel mic.
They will also allow you to move around more freely, since you won’t need to worry about creating ruffling sounds whenever you move or speaking into the microphone.
Lapel mics on the other hand are great for ensuring you can clearly pick up everything your subject is saying and reducing echoes. I’m actually wearing one right now.
For most simple piece-to-camera YouTube videos, a lav mic is my recommended way to go. That said, if you don’t want your viewers to see your mic, and you have a boom operator on hand, booms can also be a great choice.
Ok, now that you are familiar with the options you have when it comes to mics, let’s move on to our next best practice…
TIP 2. SHOOT IN THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT
I speak from experience when I say that even if you have spent megabucks on sound equipment, it isn’t going to do much if you’re shooting in front of a passing freight train.
Make sure you film in a quiet environment that has little ambient noise. Try to avoid air conditioners, refrigerators, and anything else that makes a distracting humming sound.
Using a boom mic can help reduce ambient noise, but they’re not perfect.
Also, if you’re filming around other people, don’t be afraid to politely ask them to keep the noise down during your shoot if possible. Your viewers don’t need to hear side conversations about Stacey’s big gaffe at the Christmas party during your video.
If you are regularly shooting in a location with distracting sounds, this next tip can really help you minimize some minor background noise.
TIP 3. USE AN AUDIO MIXER
I get that it’s tempting to just attach your microphone directly into your camera, if possible. It makes filming a breeze: you don’t need to sync your audio, and everything is saved in one place.
However, if you’re noticing that there’s a lot of background noise in your shots or your subjects are speaking at different levels, an audio mixer will give you better control and lead to a more polished final product.
Mixers might look a bit intimidating, but they’re actually pretty easy to use. Just look up a few quick tutorials and you’ll have it down in no time.
Personally, I like the Tascam DR-60DmkII, or the DR40 if you want something a bit more straightforward.
With all that sorted, to our next tip.
TIP 4. CHOOSE THE RIGHT MICROPHONE MODEL
Now, for the juicy stuff: which microphone model is right for you?
But just before we proceed, a quick note that we at Spiel aren’t affiliated at all with any product I mention in this video so all our recommendations are from our personal experience to help our viewers and not because we will receive any kind of kickback.
OK? So moving on…
If you’re in the market for a boom mic, my personal favourite is the Sennheiser MKE600. Its highly-directional design and the included foam windshield helps reduce ambient noise, making filming outside a breeze, while its built-in camera shoe and shock mount make it easy to attach directly onto your camera.
For a notch below that in price, I recommend the Audio-Technica AT897 because of its ability to capture remarkably clear sound both up close and at a distance.
If you’re on a budget though, you cannot go wrong with the Tascam TM-2X, a powerful microphone that handles loud sounds extremely well, or the Rode VideoMic, my personal favorite if you’re recording on SLR.
When it comes to lapel mics, the Sennheiser EW 100 ENG G3-A is our top pick due to its wireless connectivity and XLR capabilities.
If that’s a bit out of your budget, check out the MOVO WMIC50, which features a super long range and great recording quality.
And finally if you just want to get your feet wet without breaking the bank, the Pyle Pro PDWM96 is an easy-to-use and affordable solution.
But don’t worry if any of these sound a bit too pricey for you, because I have a…
As always, I’m keen to share any great hacks when it comes to filmmaking on a budget.
So if your budget is really tight, you can always try recording audio on your phone. It’s not an ideal solution, but it will be better than your camera’s built-in mic. We’ve found that the iPhone microphone quality is actually surprisingly good, when having used it as a back up.
Also, if you’ve got a spare $40, check out the Rode Smartlav+. It works like a lav but connects directly to your smartphone.
So – that’s it dear viewers! I hope you’ve found these tips helpful and you’re ready to go out there and start filming with professional sounding sound!
And, if you found this video to be helpful, then make sure you subscribe to our channel for more such videos.
Also, if you need any further help with your video marketing, you can always get in touch with us here at Spiel, simply visit www.spielcreative.com
Thanks for watching – and goodbye for now!