Getting good audio recording is more than just investing in a quality device. Whether you’re recording your own music or live streaming events to your YouTube channel, here are a few beginner tips from Runner’s World magazine video producer Pat Heine to help you get it right every time.
NOT USING HEADPHONES
If you plug headphones into your recording device, you’ll be able to hear every blip and hiss in the recording in real time, and be able to record another take, or remove something distracting from the environment.
RECORDING ON AUTO/AGC (AUTOMATIC GAIN CONTROL)
AGC is an algorithm that gives the recording device license to meter sound levels as you’re recording, and is intended to make loud sounds a little less loud and quiet sounds a little more audible. This can get tricky for the device as it is responding to the sound as it is happening, which can result in jumpiness and inconsistencies. Says Heine,
Whenever possible, set audio levels manually for control. Using auto settings can result in unwanted noise mostly for quiet situations where the algorithm will boost the signal.
IGNORING BACKGROUND NOISE
Before you start recording, shut your eyes and listen for any “white noise” that your recording device might pick up. Turn off the fridge, A/C unit, and shut the door. Recording outside? Heine suggests investing in a windscreen fitted for your device.
USING YOUR CAMERA'S BUILT-IN MIC
These are often pretty low-quality and don’t have the option to monitor via headphones. If you’re using a camera that doesn’t have a microphone jack, investing in an audio-specific device like the Olympus LS-P4 will allow you to record cleaner, clearer audio.
NOT BRINGING EXTRA BATTERIES
Wireless receivers and external recorders use a lot of battery power. According to Heine,
You should ALWAYS start with a fresh set of batteries in all your equipment, and bring backup.
Depending on the length of your shooting/recording session, at least three sets each of the batteries your gear requires, so you’re never stuck with dead equipment.