Join Rob Garrott for an in-depth discussion in this video Audio, part of NAB 2015: Navigating the Landscape of Video Production and Post.
- Forget we'll fix it in post. You need to be on top of your game when you're recording audio. And make smart decisions before you get to post. Poor sound recording will result in poor sound quality, no matter what you do. NAB 2015 was host to pro audio exhibitors, offering the smartest solutions for gear and tips for getting the best sound. - Well with a lavalier, you can do a real nice low-profile microphone that picks up the voice extremely well, and as a perfect example, right now I've got a lavalier on my lapel of my jacket and we're going back to the camcorder wirelessly.
And then if you, in the edit, turn off my microphone right now, now the audio you're picking up is off the shotgun on the camera. There's a lot of external noise in the room and now you're really hearing that and my voice doesn't show up as well. - So let's say you're going to record some interviews in a noisy environment. Do you know the right way to do that? The NAB show floor is a great place to do your research to find and test the right gear. Good sound starts with the right mic.
A shotgun mic, a wireless lavalier, or a dynamic handheld mic are must haves. They excel at voice capturing and have a narrow focus, picking up sounds directly in front of them, while rejecting sound to the side and rear. The best way to utilize the shotgun mic is to keep it off your camera and mount it onto a boom pole with a well engineered mic mount. Within a run and gun setup, that's not possible. The mic is usually mounted right to the camera, or to a camera rig.
A mic mounted to a camera is just too far from your subject. It's best to think of the camera mounted shotgun is your backup audio source. It's there to capture any sound that gets missed by your lavalier or handheld mic. The closer your microphone can get to your subject, the better your audio will be. Your primary source for audio in a noisy environment should be a lavalier or a handheld dynamic microphone. There are a variety of forms. Omnidirectional mics pick up sounds from all directions and cardioid mics best hear what's right in front of them.
In a noisy situation like the NAB show floor, a Cardioid pattern is best. Another very important choice will be wired or wireless microphones. Wireless mics are great because your subject is free to move around. But in a crowded space like a busy show floor, interference from other wireless microphones can cause big problems. That's where the reliability of a wired microphone can save the day. No matter what mic you choose, in a noisy space, the most reliable way to ensure you know what sound you're getting is to keep your headphones on.
Headphones, not earbuds. You'll be able to hear what's being recorded, and you can be sure your cables are all still securely attached. - Well headphones are absolutely critical in the field, because you have to know you're getting good, high quality audio during your shoot. There is no fixing bad audio when you get back to the edit suite. You can fix a lot of bad video, but you cannot fix distorted, bad audio. - Professional mics usually require XLR cables. The XLR connection has a male and female component that ensures they lock in securely.
If you have a mini jack on your camera, you made need an XLR adapter. Adapters come in two basic varieties. Passive and active or powered. Passive adapters simply pass the signal from your microphone down to a mini jack connection and provide only limited control over the audio levels. Active or powered adapters are more expensive, but they give you very good preamps that can cleanly boost a weak signal and take the burden off the camera for controlling audio levels.
Some cameras just have terrible audio capabilities. And the best workflow on the show floor might be to record audio separately to a dedicated audio recording device. This means using what's called a sync sound workflow. No matter what external device you record to, the most important step is to have some kind of audio signal going to your camera. - The audio system on a lot of these DSLR cameras is kind of an afterthought. What our device does is have a really good front end for microphones and you have a feed that goes into your camera that you can use to synchronize up in your editing software, so you get a really high quality audio recording to go with your great looking video.
- Each year, the NAB show floor proves to be an incredible opportunity to research and test the best gear from around the world. And learn how you can get the best sound.