I’ve recently started making real estate video’s and interviews.
I’m using the BOYA lavalier microphone for better audio, when I’m speaking in front of the camera.
While filming, the audio quality seems to be good when i listen to it on the camera, but when I upload my files on my computer, it often doesn’t sound that great anymore. Can you give me some tips on how to improve the audio while filming?
What type of mic do you suggest?
Thank you in advance.
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Freq response is all over the map. Inconsistant impedance. Only 75db snr. So-so sensitivity. Higher distortion. Microphonic cable. Electret power. No wonder.
Having used MANY, MANY microphones, I can confidently say that I can count on one hand the number of microphones that cost less than $100usd that I would trust in a professional setting. And Boya isn't one of them.
(Samson GoMic is a decent clip tabletop one, though).
For Lavs, expect to pay in range of $150-300 for decent pro mics. AT, Countryman, Shure, Sony, Sennheiser,...even Rode, Samson, Line6 or maybe even (blah) Nady or (ugh) Azden.
The deal with mics, which is similar to the deal with any raw physical transducers (speakers, lens optics) is that there is a clear linear or better progression in quality with price. In other words, you DO get what you pay for.
While it's true the quality of microphones varies, even the best mic is going to sound like crap if not used correctly. What exactly is wrong with your current recordings?
That's so true, jagabo. Location, location, location.
Keep the mic CLOSE to the mouth. Use closed-back headphones for field monitoring.
And don't record in a room with a lot of echo. Turn off the air conditioning and other noise sources.
While filming, the audio quality seems to be good when i listen to it on the camera, but when I upload my files on my computer, it often doesn’t sound that great anymore.
Some audio problems can (to a certain extent) be fixed in post-production, some can´t but you need to be able to pinpoint the nature of the problem. Apart from that, obviously there´s what´s been already mentioned about good microphone placement, using good quality closed headphones to monitor the sound and so on (there are plenty of guides and tutorials around), also to consider is the kind of camera you recorded your video with, does it have a manual gain control or is it automatic only (which can lead to its own set of problems)
Thank you for your replies.
The camera I'm using is the Canon 800D.
On the recording of the interviews, the biggest problem is that the voices don't sound 'clean and clear'. I took this recording in a livingroom.
There were no background noises that I noticed while recording. Afterwards, when I was editing, I noticed that the voices sound a too soft and heard a kind of hum as well.
Are there any tutorials you recommend? Do you think it would be a good investment if I would buy a shotgun mic? Or is the lavalier best for this purpose?
"Living room" tells me it was probably a lot more "live" (echoey) than would be optimal, as most LRs have expanse of hard surface with little breakup. Boxy, rectangular setup also sets up bothersome room modes (weird eq peaks & dips based on standing waves at certain wavelengths/frequencies).
What might help you understand is this: if you are like most people, you've got 2 ears (and 2 pathways to and constructs in the brain). Meaning you have a binaural hearing system. It is quirkier and much more complicated than a mono (monaural) or even stereo hearing system. Google "c*o*c*k*t*a*i*l effect" (sorry have to use that to get past the censors) and you'll see the the binaural ear/brain combination is capable of isolating wanted sounds from unwanted/ambient sounds. And this is one of the things that's going on in those rooms, almost irrespective of closeness/proximity. You can hear what you want and your ear/brain system subdues the impression of the other sounds.
But a microphone (mono or stereo but usually mono), unless it is a specifically attuned binaural-style system, doesn't have that isolating capability, so it will just lump everything together. And a sound that you might think is in the "foreground" ends up being recorded as if it is in the background.
Unfortunately, for most productions, a binaural workflow is not an efficient or straightforward production choice. So you have to learn to listen like a (mono) microphone does. One way to improve this approach is if you plug the mike into the recorder/cam and take the output into a set of headphones, but use an earplug in one ear. This way, you're ONLY hearing what and how the mike does.
Next thing is that unless I am mistaken, you are likely recording to AAC format. Which is NOT optimal.
And you may or may not be shooting using AGC (auto gain control, or audio "leveling"), which keeps sound at a consistent recorded level even when the source may not actually be consistent. Only rarely is this recommended.
"There were no background noises". - There are ALWAYS background noises.
A standard "very quiet" household room has ~40-45dB of background noise. Electrical appliances (fridge, TV) have hum & whine/whistle. AC/heater/Blower has fan whirr, hum & hiss. Even overhead fans, slower moving though they may be, affect the sound. And electric lights have a near-ultrasonic keen (which you can notice the loss of if you cut the power to your house). Most houses are louder than that. If you have open windows, there's the breeze, or traffic or nature noises. I recently ran tests on some classrooms and conference rooms, and they had background noise in the high 50s or low 60s, but of course they are more public (open to outside) and with harder surfaces.
Most recording studios are in the lower 30s, maybe high 20s. Only the best ones are in the lower 20s or possibly below. Yes, even there, there are background noises.
You also have to train yourself to hear these things so that you can eliminate them or compensate for/against them.
On another note: your mike appears to be omnidirectional. For better isolation (because of sensitivity primarily in one direction assuming you point it right) go with Cardioid mics (aka Unidirectional), or Shotgun (line lobed).
Consider recording separately (double system) to an audio-centric recorder, recording in LPCM (uncompressed) instead of AAC. Those should have better A/D circuits and preamp gain adjustment capability than the 800D. Then sync & replace in post.
Before recording audio, one of the first important thing to pay attention at is the monitoring. In your case if your monitoring level is high during the recording phase, you will naturally record with too low input gain!!! during the recording, if you don't take a look at the VUmeter you won't see that there is not enough level..and when you listen to the files in a medium volume listening environment you'll notice that the audio level is to low.
So before using a recorder especially if it's with a headset, one have to find the good monitoring level (headphones level) before manipulating the recorder input gain..