Video Pro Secret #2: Sound quality is even more important than video quality
2nd Installment By Jay Carter, Beyond Measure Media
This post is borrowed from BeyondMeasureMedia.com
Last time, we explored why the story your video tells is so important, and how a great video will always pass the “I Should Certainly Hope So” test.
Today, we reveal the Secret #2: Sound quality. While video quality can go a long way toward telling a clear and compelling video story, I think sound quality is even more important.
Bad Video Happens
Most (honest) professional videographers have a war story or two. Memories of a time they really blew it behind the camera, especially at the beginning of their career.
Hey, stuff happens – out-of-focus interviews, a bright-blue shot of what is supposed to be a white wall, an accidental jerk of the camera away from the action.
But even in the face of those kinds of video mistakes, there are usually ways of correcting or covering those flaws and recovering what could still turn out to be a decent video.
But sound? You really can’t screw that up.
Mess up on the sound, and your video is most likely dead in the water.
Here’s a good example:
Watch (and listen) to the two short interview clips below.
Clip #1: Bad Sound Quality
The sound you’re hearing in this first clip above came from the onboard mic that was attached to the camera.
It sounds like the subject is talking into a microphone that was located across the room, because that’s exactly what was happening.
The too-lengthy distance between the person on camera and the microphone is the biggest reason why many videos recorded on smart phones often appear less than professional.
Listening to a person who sounds far away makes the viewer feel far away. It causes their attention to wane. Rather than taking the viewer on a journey, bad sound reinforces that they’re just watching a video – a video that is annoyingly hard to hear and understand.
Now compare that to clip number two below.
Clip #2: Good Sound Quality
In this second clip the audio is recorded from a lavaliere microphone clipped to the subject’s collar.
This simple improvement in sound quality changes everything.
Despite the fact that this is a poorly-lit shot, despite the fact that there is no depth to the shot, it’s still (mostly) usable in a video, particularly if we’re only using a quick clip of the interview.
For the interviews we shoot – and even for b-roll footage of people doing things – we use a wireless Sennheiser lavaliere microphone to pick up deep, rich audio.
There are even lav mics available these days that can attach to your smart phone, delivering a richer and more professional sound quality than what most smart phone video cameras can deliver by themselves.
But isn’t just about making your video “sound professional.” It’s deeper than that.
Sound quality can make a viewer pay closer attention to the on-camera speaker. It can make the entire experience sound (and thus, feel) more intimate.
More than fancy lighting, more than stunning panoramic images, more than pretty much anything else, a rich quality sound can pull a viewer into the story being told on a screen.
In the next post, we’ll uncover our third secret for creating powerful videos – a secret tool I personally use on nearly every project I produce to “dial up” the emotional impact of an interview.
Also, if you’re in the Portland, Oregon area, stay tuned for Part 2 of “Pro Secrets for Making Great Videos” in November.
Jay Carter is a former Texas TV news anchor and reporter, with numerous awards from the Associated Press and the Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in broadcast storytelling. He has worked as a radio news anchor and voiceover talent. He works with his wife and business partner, Michele Kim Carter, at Beyond Measure Media creating video stories and testimonials for businesses and nonprofits.
A note from AM:PM PR
According to Google, in 2016, more video content will be uploaded in 30 days than all three major U.S. T.V. networks combined have created in 30 years and a Cisco forecast report predicts online video will be responsible for 80% of internet traffic by 2019.
Video is the quickest way to influence an audience and the most effective tool for telling complicated stories. In an age with so much content coming coming at us, video can also be the easiest tool for learning new things.
We see video as a powerful communications tool and regularly recommend it to clients.
A decade ago, businesses struggled to understand social networking and some doubted its value or predicted it a fad and fell behind their competition. Today, video is the tool every organization should include in their marketing plans.
Here’s a great source for on using video for business: By 2019, Video Marketing Will Be Everything. You’ve Got to Get in on the Trend — Now.