Learn about how to record high-quality audio. Look at various microphone options (such as standup USB mics, lavalier mics, wireless lavs, and mini shotgun mics).
- There's one more very important component of production that I need to mention, and that is audio. The truth is a video can have beautiful visuals, but if the audio isn't clear, it can remove the audience from the experience like none other. Think of YouTube videos that you've watched where the sound is echoey or muffled or tinny. It's a pretty big turnoff. For me, it not only affects my perception of the quality of the video, but I believe it also subconsciously affects how I feel about the content of the video itself.
Clear, crisp audio lends a certain sense of resonance and authority that you really want to make sure to take advantage of. So all of this said, I highly recommend that you don't rely on built-in microphones on your cameras. Even though webcams and phone camera microphones are getting better and better, and many contain dynamic noise cancellation features, I would still suggest that you make just a small investment and get an external microphone. It really will make a big difference in the quality of your audio.
For smaller productions like this, there are a number of options. If you're recording via webcam, then you can get a stand-up USB condenser microphone to plug right in your computer. The market is saturated with great affordable options. So read those reviews, and get one that meets your production requirements. One thing about stand-up USB mics, though, is that you have to position yourself fairly close to the microphone to get optimal audio, and so depending on the type of video that you're shooting, you might want a bit more flexibility if you need to move around or if you just want to be a bit further away from the camera, and in that case, a great solution is a lavalier mic.
A lavalier mic is a small mic that clips onto your shirt, and so no matter how far you are from the camera, the mic is always within the perfect proximity to your voice. You can see that I'm using a lavalier now, even though I'm about eight feet from my camera. I'm currently tethered to the camera by a cable, which is fine because I'm sitting down and not moving around, but you can also get a wireless lavalier mic if you need even more flexibility in your movement, like if you're recording yourself teach a class or a seminar, for example.
In that case, you wear the microphone on your person, and then a receiver plugs into your camera. I've used them many times before and generally have a lot of success with them. One other type of mic that I've used in the these smaller productions is a mini shotgun mic. A shotgun mic has a very narrow pickup pattern so that it picks up audio from subjects that are pointed directly at it and largely ignores audio from areas that it's not pointed at, and because the goal is to focus on the speaker and eliminate other room noise, it can be a good option if the speaker is within about six feet of the mic.
On large movie sets, crews mount shotgun mics on long boom poles and point the mics directly at the actors, but on small shoots like this, you can actually mount the shotgun mic on your camera, and again, you can use it if you're not positioned too far away. Here, you can see me demonstrating this in action using the built-in mounts on the iographer case. So take some time to do a bit of research on microphones that others are using, and maybe even get a few different types of mics for different recording situations.
I'll often use a lavalier on training videos like this, but if I'm doing a live talk or a webinar, I'll switch to a stand-up USB mic for my webcam. Bottom line, make the investment in better, clearer audio for each video you create.