Audio Recording for Video Production | Chris Brooker | Skillshare

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Audio Recording for Video Production

teacher avatar Chris Brooker, Filmmaker & YouTuber

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Why is Great Sound Important?


    • 3.

      The Shotgun/Boom Microphone


    • 4.

      How to Mount a Shotgun/Boom Microphone


    • 5.

      The Handheld/Dynamic Microphone


    • 6.

      The Dynamic Studio Microphone


    • 7.

      The Wireless Lapel/Lav Microphone


    • 8.

      How to Record


    • 9.

      Understanding Sound Levels


    • 10.

      The One Sound Tip to Know


    • 11.

      Control Wind Noise


    • 12.

      Reducing Reverb/Echo


    • 13.

      How to Sync Audio and Video


    • 14.

      Enhancing Audio in Adobe Premiere Pro


    • 15.



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About This Class

When it comes to creating videos, many beginner video creators focus on the visual side of filmmaking. They focus on cinematography, flashy in-camera video transitions, lighting and even direction and editing, but the one thing often overlooked is sound. But, sound is really important! In fact, if you took two videos; one with great video but terrible sound and one with terrible video and great sound, most people would prefer the video with better sound. You can hide bad cinematography with B-roll, transitions and other visual tricks, but bad sound is hard to hide from. 

So, let’s face this head on and get comfortable with capturing sound for video. Whether that’s for a YouTube video, an advert for your company or a major TV show, better sound doesn’t need to be complicated. In this course, I run through the different types of microphones available, how to position your mics, how to record and adjust the levels of your audio then how to avoid common problems, including reverb and wind distortion. 

No previous filmmaking or sound experience required, although a basic understanding of making videos would be beneficial. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Chris Brooker

Filmmaker & YouTuber


I’m a filmmaker and photographer from England. I graduated from London South Bank University with a first-class honors degree in 2015 and have since created hundreds of music videos, corporate films, and commercials with many established companies, record labels, and artists. 

In 2018, I turned the camera on myself and launched the Brooker Films YouTube channel. With 900 uploads and 95,000+ subscribers, I focus on sharing educational content to help others create compelling video content. I wanted to take that a step further though, so here we are.


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1. Introduction: When it comes to creating videos, most beginner video creators are going to think about how they can improve the visual aspects of their video. So they'll focus on cinematography, a lighting, flashy video transitions, and they'll even focus on the editing process as well. But a lot of beginners will neglect the other half of video and there's audio because video is made up of thick percent visual the video, and then it's also made up of 50 percent audio. If you neglect the audio then the video is going to see more amateur. In this course, I'm going to run you through everything you need to know about audio and how you can get started on your journey to capturing cleaner audio. I'll talk about the different microphones available to you. How you can record this into a sound recording, monitoring your levels, how to sync your sound in the edit, and then I'll even talk about how you can improve the quality of your audio in the editing process inside of Adobe Premiere Pro. But before we get into the course, let me please just introduce myself. My name is Chris Burka. I'm a full-time video creator. I'm producing videos, this is what I do for a career. I'm used to capture in clean audio onset and making sure that it sounds great. In this course, I'm going to lean into what I've learned onset and share everything that I know about audio to help you on your creative journey. Let's get into the course. 2. Why is Great Sound Important?: The first question before we get into the actual how-to capture clean audio, the first question is, why is clean audio so important? You would probably just assume that if you focus on the video, you can just use the microphone in the camera and all will be fine. But there is a lot more that goes into audio that you may not be aware of. So the reason why it's important to capture clean audio and focus on cleaning it up is because having that clean audio will make your videos appear to be more professional. If you see a video with great visuals but terrible tiny audio, it will seem quite amateur. However, if you flip that and you have a video film than an iPhone, but you've got great audio that video is going to seem more professional than the one with the bad audio. The thing with video is you can cut away to B-roll. You can use flashy transitions. You can hide weak cinematography, but you can't hide from bad audio. If you've got bad audio in your videos, you can't hide that. You can try adding in some music or some sound design just to add a few different levels. But that tiny, scratchy, empty-sounding audio, it's still going to be there and that's just going to make your whole video seem more amateur. So this is where we want to focus on getting microphones into our scene and getting them as close to our talent as possible. So in the next few episodes, I'm going to talk about a few of the different microphones available to you and then once I've gone through all of that, I'm going to talk about how you can record your audio and talk about levels and a few more things that you need to know in order to capture clean audio. 3. The Shotgun/Boom Microphone: Now, the first microphone that I'm going to talk about is the shotgun microphone, and that is this microphone here. This is your typical option when you want to boom your microphone. Let me take this back a few steps and let me just talk about what this is and the benefits of using a microphone like this are. Now, this particular microphone is the Rode NTG2. It's not a really expensive microphone. It's around 200 or 300 pounds or dollars. It's really great because, first of all, it's lightweight, which means you can put this on a boom pole or you can mount this on a stand, or you could even hold this if you wanted to. But it's also really good because a shotgun microphone has a specific pattern where it rejects sounds from the side or the back. If you were using the microphone in your camera, that's just going to capture sound in every specific direction. If you were standing next to a busy road, you're going to capture the sound of the traffic and the person that you're capturing audio of, which means your audio can be extremely unprofessional, and it can be very difficult to take the audio of the person talking out of that mix. It's very difficult to separate those layers. Whereas, a shotgun microphone, because it's rejecting the sound from behind and around the microphone, it's only picking up what's in front of it. It means if I talk directly into the microphone from here, the audio sounds really clear. However, when I go the exact same distance, but now I'm speaking into the side of the microphone, the audio, all of a sudden, sounds really empty and tinny. If I go from behind the microphone as well, the sound is the exact same. The benefit of using this microphone is you really are limiting what audio you're capturing. Again, if you're standing next to that busy road, cars are passing by, there's loads of traffic noise, if you use this microphone and point it towards the person talking, you're going to get that audio raised up above the rest of the audio. You can clearly identify the audio source that you want to focus on. The first microphone that you want to explore is a directional microphone or a boom microphone. 4. How to Mount a Shotgun/Boom Microphone: When it comes to mounting a shotgun microphone above somebody for an interview setup, for example, there are a few steps that you want to take because the whole point of having a boom microphone or a shotgun microphone setup is to have it out of the frame. You've got to have this mounted just above frame or even below frame, depending on your composition. But generally, you going to go above the frame. There's a few things that you're going to need. First of all, you need your actual shotgun microphone, and then of course, you're going to need the microphone holder. This is just a small clip and the microphone is just going to go into that clip, so it's just holding the microphone in place. Then you're going to need a boom arm. As you can see, this is a road boom pole. Essentially, I can either extend this, make this shorter, make this longer, and it's just a big pole for me to hold the microphone. Now I could just directly hold this above the person talking like this. I could have this just angled outside a frame, just make sure the mic's not in the shot, and that could be a great way of capturing audio and having the mic out of the frame. Or if I had my hands full, maybe I was a one-person shooter and I needed to do visual and sound at the same time, then in that instance, I could get a stand and I could get this clip here that the boom microphone can go into and then I'll just get a converter to stick those two bits together. As you can see, this is just a cradle for the boom mic. The booms going to slide into here and then it's just going to boom above the shot. Let me demonstrate that for you. As you can see, the lights down is just going outside of the frame over here, so the stand with the boom holder is going over there. Then I'm just going to place this boom arm over here. There you go. That's about right. Make sure it's about the same length of me, so make sure that there's enough room for it to go above the frame and be out of the shot. Then I'm just going to angle this towards myself. Then we're just going to raise the whole thing up out of the frame. There we go. That's now all out of frame except for this microphone which is in the way. I'm just going to angle this towards myself. That's in roughly the right position. You want this to be angled slightly down towards the subject and then you want to try and get that as close as possible. But as you can see, it's definitely in the frame, so I would need to take this up. There you go. You can see there's a little bit of room. If I wanted to, I could tilt the shot down a bit and bring the microphone down. But if I tilt the camera up, you'll see exactly where this microphone is. There you go. As you can see, the microphone is all the way up here. It's boomed out of the shot. It's completely out of the shot because of this long arm. The arm is traveling up across here, then the light stand starts here, and this is where the stand is. It's very close to me, but you can't see it in the frame. This is angled down and that's perfectly out of the shot. If I was to readjust the frame, there we go, you'll see that slightly end. But to correct this, I will just zoom in a little bit because I want to try and keep this distance here between the microphone and myself. That is how I would mount this boom microphone above somebody talking in this interview style setup. 5. The Handheld/Dynamic Microphone: Now the next microphone that I want to talk about is this vocal microphone. Typically, when people think about sound, this is the microphone that they're probably going to think of, because when you watch the stage performance, when you watch somebody presenting in front of a live audience, this is the microphone that they have. Now, this specific microphone does sound really good. That's because I have the microphone very close to me. I'm talking and the microphone is literally right next to my mouth. The problem is, the second I take it even just 30 centimeters away, the microphone is over there, and now all of a sudden the audio doesn't sound anywhere near as good as it did when the microphone was up this close. Now, this microphone works a little bit differently to the shotgun microphone. Essentially, this microphone is picking up anywhere on this top part of the microphone. You can get these types of microphones which are completely 360. You can talk into the bottom, you can talk into the side, but this specific one is only really capturing what's above this line. You can hold this at an angle and it was still work, but if you talk into it from this angle, it won't work as well. Now, this works really good if you are presenting or if you're doing something where it doesn't matter if the microphone is in the shot. The problem is as soon as you take this out of the shot and you try and treat this as a boom microphone or you're trying to hide this out of the frame because of that distance, because of that separation from the subjects on the microphone, all over sudden the microphone sounds very empty, very tiny, and very flat. If you are looking for a video and you don't want to see the microphone in shot, then this is not your option. However, if you're doing something presenting, or on stage, then this is a really good option. You can get wired versions, and you can also get wireless versions, giving you more flexibility and more freedom on stage or wherever you're filming. This is also really good at conferences and corporate videos. 6. The Dynamic Studio Microphone: Now the next microphone that I'm talking about is this vocal microphone or the studio microphone. This specific microphone is the short SM7B. This is a famous microphone. There are so many studios and so many artists, bands, and groups that have used this microphone to capture really clear audio. If you watch a podcast, you'll notice most of the podcasts you are watching, they have this microphone in shot. The reason why is because it captures really clean audio. However, this microphone works in a very similar way to the previous microphone, the handheld vocal microphone. Up this close, this microphone sounds really clean, really clear, and it's got a really nice bassy feel, which makes it perfect for voice-overs, podcasts, or YouTube videos like this. You see, this sound is really good and this is a perfect choice for this type of video because this is just a casual me talking into the camera. It doesn't matter that you can see the microphone in the shots. However, if we were going for something like an interview-based video and you didn't want to see the microphone and shots, then this is not the option for you again, because the problem is this sounds really great up-close. But the problem is, even if I just go back here, the audio doesn't sound anywhere near as good as it did when I was up this close to it. If you had this boomed up just above the shots so place just up here, just outside of the frame and angled down it would sound empty, flat, and thin. In order to capture really clean audio, you want to try and make sure you are quite close to this microphone. A general rule of thumb is you want to just close your hand, make a fist, and this is the distance you want to be. You take your fist, you place that on the microphone. By by the end of your fist is where your mouse should be. That's roughly the amount of space you want between this microphone and your face. Podcasts, radio shows, voiceovers, casual talking video like this, you can get away with this microphone and it captures a really clean audio. But if you want to remove the microphone, again, this is not your choice. 7. The Wireless Lapel/Lav Microphone: Now the next microphone that I'm going to talk about, and this is one that you are probably very familiar with, and that is the wireless lav or lapel microphone. Essentially, this is just a microphone that I am wearing. As you can see, I've got this microphone just here and this is what's capturing my audio. Now, wireless microphones or wireless lapel microphones are really great because you're not tied to a specific point. This studio microphone in front of me is great but it means I'm stuck to this point. I can't move around because the audio unfortunately is affected. However, because with a wireless microphone and the microphone is stuck to me, it means I can get up and I can walk around. As you can see, I am walking around and you can hear my audio. It is nice and clean. I don't have to be marked to a specific point. I can just walk around in circles and the audio is still absolutely perfectly clear. I can even walk behind the camera, and it doesn't matter because the audio is going to sound really clean, really consistent, really great, and it's awesome because I'm not locked into one point. That is the real benefit of using wireless lapel microphones. As you can see, I'm holding this box here. This is the receiver. A wireless microphone is made up of a few different pieces. You've got this here, which is the receiver, and then plugged into that is the cable. This cable is running underneath my shirt. It's coming up underneath my shirt and I've mounted the microphone here using a microphone clip. But in order to capture the data that this is transmitting, you need a receiver and that is the second half of this combination. This is your receiver. You've got this other wireless box, looks exactly the same as this wireless box. This transmitter is sending this to this receiver. Then this receiver plugs into an audio recorder. With a wireless lav setup, you have two halves, you've got the receiver and the transmitter. This transmitter that I'm wearing is transmitting the signal to a receiver and the receiver can either plug into a camera or an audio recorder. Now, of course, there's multiple ways to mount a wireless microphone. You don't have to go for this clip, if you wanted to hide it instead, let me just show you on a different wireless microphone. This is a wireless microphone without anything attached to it. You can see it's just a small cable. If you didn't want to use the clip, you could use something called an invisiLav, which is just this small silicon wallet and you just pop the microphone into this invisiLav and then you get a sticky. These stickies are from Rycote. These are really good stickies, they are double-sided sticky tape. You just stick this on to the invisiLav like this. Make sure it's nicely on. Then all you have to do is just peel back this. Then this sticks wherever you want this to stick. You could stick this to the outside, but the whole point of having this sticky system is to stick this to the inside. You would stick this to the inside of your shirts and you won't be able to see the microphone. The beauty of this is it's really strong, but it is skin safe as well, so it doesn't actually hurt, if you stick it to your skin and then you pull it off, it doesn't make any difference. It doesn't hurt. The one thing I would say with wireless microphones though, is first of all, I would say try putting in a small loose knot towards the top of the microphone. This means if the cable is accidentally pulled, it's not going to pull the microphone out of place. It would just pull on this knot. Just make sure that it is loose enough to give you that give, so roughly this loose. Then if the cable is pulled, it doesn't matter because the knot is affected and not the mount or the microphone. Then of course as well, you want to be very careful with the positioning of this. You want this to be somewhere around this area here. You can feed the cable up through someone's collar or place it behind their ear. But generally, I just try and feed it up the shirt and around here. These microphones are brilliant and these are really good if you want that flexibility because they give you very clean audio. However, you have to be very careful and very considerate when you're placing one of these on your talent. You can't just run up to somebody and stick a microphone under their shirt. You have to remember the people you are mounting this microphone to are people, so you have to speak to them, have the conversation with them. You can offer them to do it, or if they feel comfortable, you can do it for them, but just be very considerate. Especially, if you're a male mounting a microphone on a female, you want to be very considerate and make sure you have that open dialogue. Don't just start putting microphones on people because they'll get freaked out and they'll feel uncomfortable. Just have that open line of communication. Of course, if you're placing the microphone on yourself, then just go ahead, stick it wherever you need it to stick, and great, carry on. There's one thing that I do have to say with wireless microphones, and that is they will need a little bit more assistance than this microphone, for example, because this microphone is either on the skin or close to the skin or mounted onto clothes. You can get a little bit of rustle, so this won't sound pleasant, but if I just rub this microphone, you you can hear that really horrible noise and that is because the end of the microphone is exposed and it's rubbing on material. You also get this on people with a really hairy chest. The microphone could be rubbing on the hairs of their chest and it does not sound great. Once you've got the microphone mounted, just have a listen, make sure the audio sounds really clear, and if for any reason the microphone slips, falls, or you get any of this cloth or hair rustle noise, then just go in and fix it. But again, make sure you have that communication before you go in and start adjusting someone's microphone that's mounted to their chest. Wireless microphones are really great, so they give you a really clean audio source and this is an option that I really like to lean into. If I'm filming a corporate interview, for example, I like to do something called the belt and braces method. This is where I use a wireless microphone and a shotgun mic at the same time. I've got two different types of audio coming in to the wireless recorder and this means if the wireless has a little bit of rub, it's fine or if the shotgun microphone doesn't sound great, I've got the wireless mic. However, in this type of setup where I'm in a controlled environment, the audio sounds great and I can use a studio microphone. This is the microphone I would go for instead of a lav. Essentially, the whole point of looking at all of this is to say that there is a tool for each and every job. If you need to move around, walk and have that flexibility then a wireless mic is great. But if you're in a controlled environment, a studio microphone could be a great option. Either way, picking the right right is really important when it comes to capturing your audio. 8. How to Record: So now that I've run you through all of the different types of microphones available to you, you're probably wondering, that's great, but how do I actually capture the audio? So we've got the microphone, but how do we get the signal from this microphone? Well, there's two more things that you're going to need. Because if you look at the bottom of the microphones, you'll see these three pins, and these are your XLR pins. So these ones that stick out are male XLR pins, and this means that you're going to need a cable that plugs into this. That is where the male to female XLR cable comes into play. So this is your XLR cable, and you'll see at either end we have these pins. On one, you've got the male side, and on the other, you've got the female side. Essentially, all you need to do is plug your microphone into this one side of the cable and then on the other end of the cable, you've got this male pin situation again. This is where we need to plug into a camera or into an audio recorder. Now if you're shooting on something like a Sony FA7 for example, you'll notice you have these XLR inputs already installed on your camera. However, if you're shooting on a digital SLR, a mirrorless, or even just a phone, then you won't have these XLR ports built into your camera, so that's why you'll need to buy an audio recorder. This is the audio recorder that I used to use when I was on a digital SLR camera. This is great and it takes two XLR inputs. However, as my business grew and I needed to take in more audio feeds, I did have to upgrade to this XLR recorder, these audio recorder, and that is the Zoom H8. The difference between this one and that one is this has two and this one has six inputs. So this just means the higher-end, more expensive one can just take in more microphones at once. But this one does the job. So essentially all you do is just plug in this male XLR cable into the bottom of this audio recorder, and now you've got your audio setup complete. So you would just turn this on, press record, and start capturing your audio. Alternatively though, if you didn't want to record into an audio recorder, then you can get a different type of cable. This allows you to plug the audio straight into your camera using the 3.5 millimeter jack that is installed on your camera. This is the option that you'll see on most digital SLRs. So as you can see, this camera right here is the Canon 5D, this is the camera that I used to shoot on. Before I had an audio recorder, I basically just used to open up this part of the camera, and as you'll see there is this 3.5 millimeter input. So I would get a cable that would plug into this, so an XLR on one side and then get that converted into this 3.5 millimeter input into here, and then plug this into camera. The problem is doing it this way straight into camera, is your camera is going to control the levels. Unfortunately, that gives you less control. So by plugging it into something like this, you get to control the levels. But bringing up the topic of levels, that takes me on to the next video, and that is what are levels? 9. Understanding Sound Levels: Like I mentioned in the previous video, in order to capture audio from a microphones, we need an XLR cable, so I'm just going to plug this XLR cable into the microphone, and then we need an audio recorder. Let me just plug this audio recorder into this. As you can see, I've already got audio going into the recorder, so I've got audio coming in on audio level 2. This is this microphone. I'm not going to affect this microphone. I'm going to plug this into a separate channel. I'm going to put this microphone into channel 4. As you can see, I've now got audio coming into channel 4. You can see you've got number two here, which is my vocal microphone here, and then you can see I've got number four, and at the moment, number four is very quiet. In order to turn that up, I just need to turn this number. But the problem is if I take it too far, you can see this has started to flash, and you can see this audio waveform here, this level thing here, this is clipping. As you can see, I'm in the yellow and then it's hitting all the way at the end, and as you can hear, because of that, we are getting distortion in this audio. That distortion is the sound of that harsh, horrible, unpleasant sound that you're getting. In order to fix that, in order to get rid of this distortion from this microphone here, we want to make sure that we turn the levels down. You want to make sure that the peak of your levels, so the loudest points of your levels, you can see it's coming all the way over here. You want to make sure that it's living between negative 12 and negative 6. We're just going to turn this down a little bit, and now you can see that peak is living in negative 12 to negative 6. That is roughly where we want the audio to sit. Now we can speak into a microphone as loud or as quiet as we want, and that information is going to go into the microphone. It will run through the XLR cable and it will come into the audio recorder, and the levels is the way that we're going to adjust that. You see, if I was going to talk really quietly into this microphone, then I would need to turn the levels on this microphone all the way up to make that correction. But if I was to talk into this microphone really loudly then I would need to turn those levels down to correct for that. However, if I was talking a comfortable position, comfortable level, I would want to turn that up just a little bit to make sure I was capturing the right amounts of levels. That is how levels work. You see the thing is with levels is people often think levels and volume are the exact same thing. The volume on the audio is just the volume that you're getting into your headphones, the levels are the levels that your audio is being recorded at, so if you record at a too loud level, the audio will distort. But if you record at a too low-level then the audio is going to sound really quiet and when you try to enhance that in the edit, unfortunately, you're going to get a lot of noise appear. Let me show you what I mean. I'm going to turn this level all the way down. We're down towards negative 48. Now, I'm going to bring this up in the edits, and unfortunately you can hear there's a lot of grain, there's a lot of noise there. That's because the audio waveform is too quiet when we've recorded it. Again, I'll go the opposite direction. I'm going to turn this all the way up. Now this audio has started to distort. I'm going to turn this down to a comfortable level in the edit, and even though I turned the volume down, because the levels were too loud, the audio has distorted, so this signal sounds really unpleasant. In order to capture the perfect clean audio, I want to make sure that those levels are living between negative 12 and negative 6. Of course, some other people would tell you a different number, but you want to make sure that it is not hitting anywhere near the red. If it's hitting the red, it's too loud and it's peaking, and that is levels. That's one thing that people always forget when they're recording sound. They forget about the levels, and forgetting about the levels is one of the ways that you can instantly ruin your audio. You could have really clean audio, you could have a great microphone positioned in a perfect position, but unfortunately, if your levels are incorrect, then it doesn't make any difference because you'll have distorted or really noisy audio. 10. The One Sound Tip to Know: At this moment in time, I've talked all about the different microphones available to you. I've talked about how to plug that into an audio recorder, and then monitor your levels to get the cleanest possible sound. But the one thing I haven't talked about is positioning of your mics, because this is essentially the big difference between great audio and terrible audio. You could use all of the best microphones, but if they're placed incorrectly then the audio will be bad. The most important thing that you're going to want to know, and if there's one piece of information that you take away from this course, let it be this. The number one way to get clean audio is to get your microphones as close to the person talking as possible. If you're using a shotgun microphone, you want to have this positioned just out of frame, just above the person talking, and that is how you're going to get the cleanest audio. If you're in a studio and you're using a studio microphone, get really close to the microphone, because that's going to give you the cleanest audio. If you've got a lapel, don't mount it down halfway down your belly or in your lower chest, you want to place this somewhere up here. You want to place it up closer to the source of the sound, which is the mouth. The same with a handheld microphone, rather than holding the microphone down here, you want to make sure it is very close to your mouth. Essentially, the best and the easiest way to capture clean sound is to get the microphone as close to the person talking as possible. That's the most simple tip I can give you. That's why when everybody gives you the advice to stop using the microphone in the camera, it's not because the microphone is bad, it's because the microphone is far away from the person talking. If there's a camera operator standing there filming and the person standing in front of the camera talking is a meter away, that means the sound need to travel a meter before it hits the camera microphone. Yes, the microphone in the camera, it's not a great microphone, but if you talked into the microphone this close, honestly, it would sound pretty good. The reason why we have an external microphone, the reason why we're using a shotgun, a lapel, a studio, a vocal mic, whatever option you use, the reason why we're using that microphone is to get it closer to the person talking. That means even if you buy an external microphone, but you place it on top of the camera, it's not going to make a massive difference. Yes, the audio might be slightly sharper, but you won't get that really warm, rich sound that you're looking for, and that's because the microphone is too far away. This is the reason why boom microphones, those big boom poles exists. The reason why you see sound operators holding these massive poles that go over the camera crews and they let the microphone dangle above the person talking, it's because they're trying to get the microphone as close to the person talking as possible. All of that said and done, the best thing to do to capture clean audio is get the microphone nice and close. You see the problem is, if you don't have the microphone close, then the person talking, their audio sinks into this pool of sound. If you're out on location, you will have people walking around you'll pick up their audio in the background, you'll have traffic, you'll have cars, you'll have wind noise, you'll have the sound of birds in the sky. You'll get all of this sound. [NOISE] If the microphone is far away, then it just becomes this big stew, this big pool of audio, and it's very difficult to pick out the audio that you're trying to find. But when you place the microphone close, you're making everything else sink into the background. You're making that one audio source that you're really interested in pop out from the background. If you are a Hollywood level producer and you're producing the next blockbuster, this technique is exactly the same as if you just picked up your phone, you've just picked up an external microphone, you've never filmed a video before in your life, both of those polar opposites are going to use this advice exactly the same. Get the microphone as close as possible. That's the easiest way to improve your audio without even buying extra equipment. You can just get your camera closer to the person talking and you'll have cleaner audio, or if you do get a microphone, just getting it closer will give you that clean audio. 11. Control Wind Noise: When it comes to capturing audio inside, in a controlled environments, it's very manageable and very easy to get clean audio. However, if you're outside on location, the weather can have a big effect on your audio. The number one culprit of bad audio is wind noise. That's 5k, four complete beginner runners. You see, this microphone here, the shotgun microphone or the rode NTG-2 in this environment without any wind noise, it sounds incredible. However, if we were outside and the weather was a little bit windy this is what we would be fighting. [NOISE] That solid wind noise is going to destroy our audio, and unfortunately, it's very difficult to fix that in the edit. In fact, I would say it's basically impossible to fix in the edit. It's really important that you take precautions and you take measures onset to make sure this wind noise doesn't become a problem. The best thing for you is a windsock or a dead cat. This is a windsock or a dead cat and essentially this is just a piece of fluffy material that goes over the microphone. This is essentially just going to disperse that wind and make sure that it doesn't hit the microphone. If I just place this onto the shotgun mic, you'll see now that has turned into a fluffy tail. It looks ridiculous. But when I perform that same demonstration, [NOISE] it's nowhere near as bad as it used to be. It might not be perfect, you can still hear the wind noise there, but that's a lot more manageable and you can work a lot more with that. However, if the wind was starting to get really heavy, then you can purchase something called a blimp. A blimp is essentially this big package that goes around the microphone and it doesn't matter what weather you're shooting. You could be shooting in the middle of a hurricane and you would be completely fine regarding your audio. Your audio would be cleaned because the audio is not hitting the microphone it's hitting the blimp, that package around the microphone and it's just going to disperse the audio away from the mic. The same thing can be applied for your wireless microphones. As you can see in these packets here, I just have these small pieces of fluff. These look completely ridiculous, but if you stick these onto your wireless microphone they do the exact same thing. If I grab my love and I stick this to that side, and then I wear this microphone even though it looks a little bit ridiculous, it's going to cancel out a lot of that wind noise. In fact, you can pretty much just try this on the outside of your top and be completely fine. You'll see this a lot when you're watching TV programs and somebody is presenting outside, they'll have this piece of fluff just on that shirt and it looks completely random but that is because the microphone is being shielded from the wind. Essentially, the wind just passes across the top of this fluffy rather than actually hitting the microphone. That's the best way to avoid that horrible wind noise, because that wind noise completely ruins audio. 12. Reducing Reverb/Echo: Once you understand all of the basics of capturing audio, so plugging into an audio recorder, getting your microphone as close to the subject as possible. Once you've done all of that, there can still be some challenges because audio can be a little bit temperamental, especially if you're in the wrong environment. I've talked a little bit about wind noise in the previous video, but in this video I'm talking all about echo or reverb. If you're filming in a location and there's a lot of echo, then you're going to have to try and take some steps to improve the quality of your audio. You see the reason why we get echo in our audio is because if you're in large rooms or if you're in a room with loads of hard surfaces, the audio is just going to bounce all over the place from wall to wall and you'll get this echo. It doesn't matter, you could have a wireless microphone, you could have a shotgun microphone perfectly positioned in place, but if you're in the wrong location, this echo can be very difficult to fight. So first of all, you want to look at your location and figure out, first of all, do you have to film here? Things you want to avoid are hard surfaces. If you're in a room and it's got laminate flooring, it's got nothing on the wall so it's just hard plain walls and a hard plain ceiling, then your audio or the person's audio that is talking, will bounce on the floor, the wall, the ceiling, the wall, the floor, the ceiling, just got to bounce all over the place and reverb. You want to look for somewhere with some soft furnishings. When looking for a room, try and look for somewhere that has carpet or maybe they've got something on the walls, maybe they've got some blankets on the wall or they've got something on the wall which is just going to soften up, maybe some curtains. You want that material there, which is just going to soak up the sound. Now the room that I'm filming in is a spare bedroom, and when I first started to film in here, there was so much echo because all of the walls are just completely plain. They're just typical bedroom walls, and the sound just bounced all over the place. There you go. That is a quick summary of nested sequences, why they're useful and how you can nest and unnest your. So I installed some foam sound panels to all of the walls, and now all of that echo has just been soaked up. That is because the soft surface, these foam panels, are soaking up all of that audio, and that makes the audio so much better. In fact, if you go back and look at my YouTube videos from around 2019, 2018, I was living in a rented flat and it had laminate flooring and these hard walls, and my audio was dreadful. It was really echoey and there was a lot of reverb. Even though the microphone was close to me, the audio was bad. So I would seriously recommend making the investment in getting one, maybe even two of these for your kids. So the first thing I would look out for is your hard surfaces, and then second of all, I would make sure that it is not a large room. Because if it's a large room and it got hard surfaces like a big grand hall, then this can be very difficult to work with. However, there are some steps that you can take if you have to film in the space. First of all, you want to try and create a sound wall around the person if you can. Try and add in some soft furnishings. You could put a rug on the floor underneath the person that is talking, and then you can also use blankets that can be wrapped around the outside of the frame to stop that sound traveling so much. So even though the audio in this room sounds pretty good, it could still be improved on. If I put myself and the microphone under a blanket, you'll instantly see how much better the audio is. Now just before I do this, nothing has been done to the audio. I haven't changed any audio settings, the only difference is there is a blanket over my head. I'm just going to double check my levels just to make sure that everything is completely fine. But when I pull this blanket over myself and I take this over the microphone, you can tell instantly the audio sounds so much better, and that is because the audio is no longer bouncing off all of the surfaces in the room. Now when I take that blanket off, all of a sudden, the audio instantly has changed. It's now bouncing off the walls a little bit more than it was, so just having that blanket above myself has dramatically changed the quality of the audio. Of course, though, you can't throw a blanket over somebody's head when you're filming an interview because that would be ridiculous. But if you get some C stands or some light stands and you clip some blankets around the subject, outside of the frame, and you even have one above and resting on the floor below the chair that they're sitting on, instantly the sound quality will improve because there's less surfaces for the audio to bounce off. So reverb is caused by audio bouncing off hard surfaces. So if you can add furnishings, add a sofa in, add some blankets around the frame to just soak up that sound or even change to a location which is a bit smaller and has more soft surfaces, then that's really going to help you to improve your audio and remove that reverb. You can do a little bit of D reverb or a D echo effect in Premier or other editing softwares, but if you can capture it clean on location, it's going to be so much cleaner and so much better. 13. How to Sync Audio and Video: The problem with recording your audio into an audio recorder like this, Zoom H4, and all my Zoom H8 is the audio and the video are recorded on two separate devices. The audio from the audio recorder is recorded into an SD card, and then the footage is recorded into the camera's SD card, STD card, SSD, whatever it is, it's recorded into a separate place. This means we have two separate files : One for an audio and one for our video. How do we sync these together? Well, before you even press record and start recording your scene, you want to make sure you do a sync clap on every single take. With the audio recording and the visual recording, you want to simply clap inferences of your face. Make sure you can see the clap and make sure you can hear the clap. Don't do it away from the microphone. Make sure you get close to the microphone and clap. Doing this will create a visual cue. When your hands go together. This is the sync points. Then when you look at your audio, you'll notice a very sharp spike in the waveform. This line here, this is your sync points. Go through to that line in your edits, make a cut there. Go through to the video to the point where the hands come together and that is your sync points. Make a cut on the video there, put the two together, and you'll notice they are now perfectly in sync. Now, in Adobe Premiere and other video editing software, you can just select your video and your audio, right-click and select synchronize, and chances are, it will do a very decent job of getting that in sync, but it's not reliable. Just doing a sync clap in your video every time you record a new video and audio track is a great way of ensuring it's going to be nice and in sync. 14. Enhancing Audio in Adobe Premiere Pro: Once you've got all of your audio recorded, we can get this imported into Adobe Premiere Pro. This is where we can go ahead and start repairing and fixing and enhancing our audio. The first step is, I'm just going to listen through and check the levels. "When it comes to creating videos, most beginner video creators are going to think about how they can improve the visual aspects of their video." As you can see, it's living somewhere down at minus 12, so I'm just going to boost this a little bit. In order to boost that, I'm just going to grab this line here, and I'm just going to bring it up. You can see that's going to be two decibels, 2.9 decibels, 3.3 decibels. This is the boost we're going to get on that audio. Let me just take that back and playback from the beginning. "When it comes to creating video." Now, as you can see here at the top there, that was too loud so I'm just going to bring this back down again. Let's go 1.2. Let's play this back. "When it comes to creating videos, most beginner video create." Much better, that looks really healthy. I would just go through your audio and make sure it doesn't peak any points. If it does peak though, you could just go in, select the pencil here. Let's say if this peak here, let's say this peaked. Let's create a point before it. Let's make a point after it. We'll just pull that middle bit down as you'll hear. "Audio, because video." That drops a little bit. If I take that even further, you'll hear that even more. "Because video is made up of a video and there is audio, because video is made." Much better, but of course that wasn't actually peaking. I'm just going to undo all of that. Let's just get into enhancing. In order to start this process, we're just going to go into the effects window in Premiere. We'll go and search for parametric equalizer, which should be this one here. Parametric equalizer, we'll drop this onto our audio, and this is our voice over or our dialogue scene. We'll go into Edit. As you can see here, you've got all your different tones and your frequencies of your audio, represented by these different points. If we play the audio, "when it comes to creating videos, most beginner video creators." This is a visual representation of our audio. First of all, I'm just going to start off by going to the vocal enhancer preset. Because that's going to get us pretty much all the way there. Let's select that and let's play this back to hear the difference. "We are going to think about how they can improve the visual aspects of their video, so they'll focus on cinematography, lighting, flashy video transition." As you can hear all of a sudden that audio sounds a lot more rounded. You've got the higher frequencies up here being enhanced, so they're being taken up, so they're being louder. Then you've got these lower frequencies. The really basic tones that we would probably neglect than being rolled off. You can see HP is your high pass filter, and then on the other side you've got a low-pass filter. This is essentially the high-pass filter is just rolling off the bottom end of those frequencies. If I take that off, I take it all the way back to here, "transitions and they'll even focus on the edit." It sounds basic, but if I take this back to where it was, "process as well but," it sounds a lot more balanced across all of our frequencies. In this example, I could pretty much just leave that, but feel free to go through all of these different points and just play with these. Somewhere across here is going be your mid-level. We can pull this down, see what changes that makes, "a lots of beginners will neglect." Then if we pull that up, "the other half of video." You can see they're drastically different from one another. But I find vocal enhancer gets it 95 percent right, so I'm happy with how that sounds. We're going to close this down and carry on. Next up we're going to just run some denoising through, so search for denoise. That should be under noise reduction/ restoration. In my audio, you can very gently hear in the background there is a fun noise and that it's coming from my lights that I was using to film. If I just go into Edit and I just select output noise only if we play this back, you can see the processing focus is going to be on all frequencies. Let's play this back, "On cinematography lighting, flashy video transition [inaudible] ". All of that noise is going to be removed and we can hear too much of my audio. I'm just going to go ahead and focus on the preset. Now because it's a fun noise is going to be on the higher frequencies. I'm going to select focus on higher frequencies. We'll play this back again [inaudible]. Now you can see it's just the top end of my voice being picked out and then a little bit of the audio as well. If we turn this off and we play this back with the volume down a touch, "having to think about how they can improve the visual aspects of their video, they'll focus on cinematography, lighting flashy video transition." You can see that sounds instantly so much better. I will just go ahead and close this down. But if you're not quite getting the loop that you're going for, it's not quite working. You can go into the preset, go heavy or light noise reduction, and then just make your adjustments from there. But from here I'm just going to carry on. Of course, if we go down into our effects panel, we go into audio effects. You can see you've got all of these folders. All completely forward presets and effects that we can use. You've got amplitude and compression. You can see you've got, dynamics, dynamics processing, multiband compressor. You've got delay and echo, so you can add some echoing. You've got filters and EQs, modulation, noise reduction, reverb, special stereo, time, and pitch, you've got all of these different effects. In fact, if we do go into time and pitch and we go into the pitch shifter, you can see if you select Edit, you can actually change the pitch of your audio. If we play this original audio, "transitions and they'll even focus on the edit." If I pull this semitones down a touch, you can see that's going to make my voice deeper. "Pitching process as well, but a lot of beginners would neglect the other half of the video." That sounds very weird. Let's pull it the other way, "there is audio because video is my." If you wanted to make your voice sound a little bit deeper, you can just push it one semitone across, "made up of 50 percent visual, the video." Or alternatively, we can go into sense, so this should be a little bit less intense. "Then it also made up of 50 percent audio. If you," see it's very particular on the sense versus semitones. Semitones is just going to make a massive difference, "two aspects of their video. [inaudible] " However, sense is just going to make a very subtle change. If you want to slightly increase the pitch, "on cinematography," you just push that to the right. If you want to slightly decrease the pitch, pull that to the left, "lighting flashy video," but I don't need that in this example. I'm just going to turn a pitch shifter off. Of course, we can just carry on with enhancing this audio. There's only one more thing that I wanted to add onto this. That is the DeEsser because I'm so close to the microphone when I'm talking. That means all of the unpleasant sounds from the mouth are going to be included in the audio. This is because I'm speaking into this vocal microphone. If I use the DeEsser, it should just take up the sharp S sounds and the small mouth sounds you hear as I'm talking. Any saliva that is moving around inside the mouth or any sharp S that the DeEsser is going to take that edge off to make it sound a little bit more pleasant. We'll go into Edit. You can just go into default and the presets, and you can select one of these, so you can go for a low voice, DeEsser, a high voice DeEsser, or you can go for a low voice DeShar. Let's go for a low voice DeEsser to see where we're starting. "Most beginner video." Again, we're just going to select Output Sibilance Only. This is all the stuff that it's filtering out, "they're going to think bout how they can improve the visual aspect." See that's taking too much out to the top of my voice. I'm just going to move the frequency over, " [inaudible]. " Again it's too much as you can hear. It starting to attack the area that we want to remove. It's the sharp S sounds that is mostly going to be targeted here. Of course, if you wanted to increase the area that you wanted to effect, you can increase or decrease the bandwidth. But I think the 3,000 hertz range is a really good range. Then of course, you could increase or decrease the threshold of the effects. Let's just turn output sibilance only off, and let's just listen to our audio, "beginner video creators are going to think about how they can improve the visual aspects of their video." Now, if I turn this off, Let's listen to that same sentence. "Creators are going to think about how they can improve the visual aspects of their video." It's a very subtle difference, but there is a little bit different there. It just makes the audio sound a little bit richer and not as harsh on the ears. Now that I have applied all my effects to this clip. Of course, you can go through all of the different presets here and effect everything you want. But that is generally all I do to my audio. I'm now going to show you an example of how you can fix bad audio in the edit. The audio that I'm about to play is the audio from the camera. This first audio is the audio from the voice recorder and the microphone. This blue audio is going to be from the camera, so it was around a meter away from me. Just instantly listen to how tinny and empty that sounds, "when it comes to creating videos, most beginner video creators." If I go ahead and copy all of the effects from the microphone and the voice recorder clip and drop them onto the camera audio clip. Even though I've gone through the exact same process, "we're going to think about how they can improve the visual aspects of their video." You can see it sounds empty, it sounds thin, and it doesn't have that same weight that the first audio file has. Let me do a direct comparison. This is the camera audio, "beginner video creators are going to think about how they," this is the audio from the microphone. "When it comes to creating videos, most beginner video creators are going to think about how they can improve the visual." You can see the second audio, it has the weight, it's got that thickness there, it's got that richness. It just sounds so much more professional. When you marry this up to your visuals, instantly it sounds so much better and therefore it makes your video appear more professional. That is my brief summary of how I edit audio inside of Adobe Premiere Pro and how editing audio, when you have a good starting point with a good microphone versus a bad starting point with a camera microphone can make such a massive difference in your editing program. But of course, feel free to explore Premiere, explore all of the presets that they have available to you. Honestly your audio should sound great providing that you follow all of the tips mentioned in this course. 15. Outro: There you go. Thank you ever so much for watching this course. I really do appreciate your support. At this moment in time, you should feel comfortable identifying the different types of microphones available to you. You should be able to position those microphones correctly to capture the cleanest possible sound and use audio recorders to monitor the levels to get the correct level of sound into your recorder. Of course, as well, you should be able to enhance the audio in Premiere to take that to the next level. My challenge to you now is to go ahead and shoot a short film. It doesn't need to be long, may be just a one sequence, maybe just a few shots, but just focus on capturing really clean audio. This could be an interview, it could be a drama, it could be a presenter's video into camera, wherever you choose to shoot, just capture a short video and focus on your cleanest possible sound. If you do, then please do consider uploading your work to the students projects section, and I promise I will checkout your work and give you any feedback that I can give you. Thank you ever so much for watching this course. If you are interested in learning more about video production, then please do check out some of my other courses available on my page. Thank you once again, and hopefully, I will see you on the next course. See you there.