How Do I Get Better Sound In My Videos?

Hey All!  Welcome to our little space on the web.  If you do not know much about us, we are a large family and our kids have a YouTube channel.  We shoot a ton of video, much of it doesn’t even make it to YouTube.  One of the most commented items we had in the beginning of our YouTube adventures was that people could not hear what we were saying.  That is when I asked the question, “how do I get better sound in my videos?”.

We currently film most of our videos with a Panasonic GH-1.  This is a great video camera!  The only problem is the automatic gain control (AGC) with the microphone input.  What every sound it hears, it amplifies it.  Let’s say we are filming a narrator scene, which we often do, and there is a fan running in the background.  The AGC will amplify the sound of that fan.  It will sound like a plane propeller in the background.  We need to fix that.

One of the ways we can fix that is to use an external recorder such as the Tascam DR-05 or the Zoom H1.  These are nice recorders that can get around your camera’s AGC.  Pair these recorders with an external mic and a home made boom pole out of a paint stick or a piece of PVC pipe and you have a very nice semi-professional setup.

The hardest part about using an external recorder is to match up the audio to the moving lips in post.  There is a real easy way around that, when you get ready to start filming, stand in front of your camera and clap.  This will make a large spike in the audio that will be easily seen in your post processing software.  When you import the external recorder audio into the your post software, you can line up the spikes in audio from the clap with your camera audio spike from the clap.  Then everything is line up.  If that seems too time consuming for you, there is also some software that will do it for you!

We are working on some videos and demos to show you how to do this in the near future.  We purchased the Tascam Dr-05, only because it looked more durable.  Trust me, we need durable! We are perfecting this now with our videos, so look for more to come soon.


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