People may be willing to sit through less-than-stellar video, but bad audio will send your viewers scrambling for the exit button. Corbin Anderson shows you tips for choosing the microphone that's right for your Camtasia 9 project.
- [Instructor] Clean, clear audio is key, regardless of what type of video you're producing. Now people may be willing to sit through less than stellar video, but bad audio is going to send your viewers scrambling for the exit button. People are frequently asking me, what is the best microphone to use? And I don't really have an answer for this. It depends on your project, your skill level, and of course, your budget. I'm going to share some options and even a few specifics mics, but I'm going to issue a bit of a disclaimer first.
There are so many choices available, and products are updating so fast, that there's just no way I can have experience with all the products. I'll share some tools that worked out for me, but don't take this is the be-all, do-all of mics. Look around on sites like BHPhotoVideo and Amazon. You can check out the reviews and find the mic that's right for you. First off, we have the broadcast headset. For screen capture recordings, this is a stellar way to go. Broadcast headsets are a two-component setup.
You'll need both a headset with an XLR output and a preamp to boost your input level with a USB output for your computer. Now be aware, a setup like this is not super-cheap. Broadcast headsets run from a hundred to five hundred bucks, and even up. Preamps start at about a hundred bucks and can go up to a couple grand. Another great option is an all-in-one audio recorder, like the Zoom H6. At the time I'm recording this, it sells for about 350 bucks. And this is a super-handy multimedia tool.
It's a mobile audio recorder, and it also is a preamp with a USB output. If I could only choose one audio tool, it would be this. I use it on almost every multimedia project I create, whether I'm out in the field or in the studio. I can use one of the stock mics to record, plug in almost any type of external mic, or even use it as a preamp for a broadcast headset. If you want to keep things simple, consider a USB desktop mic.
These plug directly into your USB port and they range from 20 bucks to a few hundred. This one is a Snowball from Blue, it runs about 50 bucks, and despite the low price, it sounds really good. Another option is a lavalier, like you see on the news. You can just clip it on your shirt, plug it in your computer. You can get USB lavaliers or the three-ring connector types. Be sure to get the right connection for your computer. Now an added bonus of the three-ring type is, they'll work great with your smartphone.
There are plenty to choose from, ranging from 10 bucks to a few hundred. Then of course, there's the USB headset. I have several of these, including a wireless one, but usually just use them for live online sessions. If you're shooting for a pro-sounding recording, I recommend one of the options we've already looked at. I've just never found a USB headset that has the audio quality I'm looking for. In the same genre, we have earbuds. Now, truth be told, I really like this option, just because it's so simple and unobtrusive.
But once again, the recording quality is lacking. They're great for online sessions and webchats, but not my first choice for recording. That said, in a pinch, they can function as a makeshift lavalier for your phone. And at the bottom of the barrel, we have the built-in laptop mic. Now to start with, these are usually low-quality microphones. But the real problem is proximity. Unless you get really close to the mic, the sound quality is pretty crummy. And they to pick up a lot of ambient noise.
I see people go this route a lot for online sessions or live tutorials, and I get that it's easy and convenient, but it can be a real drag to suffer through on the viewer end. So there are some options for you to explore. The bottom line is, if you want a pro-sounding recording, don't skimp on audio quality. It is at least as important as video, and maybe even more so.
- Selecting and setting up a microphone
- Scripting a business communication
- Recording a screen capture
- Capturing media with a smartphone
- Getting media into Camtasia
- Editing video and audio
- Adding music
- Animating media
- Including closed-captioning
- Publishing and sharing a video