3 Ways to Improve Audio Quality

It goes without saying that if you hire a professional team to do your videos for you, you won't have this problem, but companies recording their own content is becoming more and more popular as equipment prices drop and access to learning is virtually free with YouTube and the like. Audio is an area that many pro-video users even struggle with or forget about, so I've put together a guide on best practice, for best audio.

Studies have shown that as long as the audio in a video, is of high enough quality, audiences are more likely to excuse less-than-perfect or even bad video quality! Clearly good audio is important, but it can be difficult to get right without spending hundreds on a top quality recorder. So what can you do?

Let's just say that you have zero experience recording video and audio, other than the occasional family holiday recording, but you want to film yourself promoting a new product or service. You work from home and have little to no equipment available to you.

Set the scene? Great.

Getting quality audio is about preparation of your surroundings.

Getting quality audio is about preparation of your surroundings.

1
RECORD THE AUDIO SEPERATE TO THE VIDEO


What does this mean? Lets say you are using your phone to record this video as you haven't got much else available. Most phones will have a Mic (Microphone) built in and when you record video 9 times out of 10 it will record the sound too. This is fine, however the mic is an omnidirectional mic, meaning it pics up everything going on around it. I mean EVERYTHING. Even stuff our own ears can't pick up like static noise. This can be problematic if you're filming yourself from a reasonable distance, as more of the ambient noise will be muddled with your voice. This is where external Audio recording comes in. 

Huh? Recording the audio from a better quality source and then syncing it with the footage later in the editing process - that's it. This way you can position your camera where you want it and record audio without the worry of picking up more ambient noise than the important stuff. So in this scenario your best bet would be to use a separate phone to capture just audio, you can also invest in a reasonably cheap mic for your phone to enhance this audio further. Capture this audio as close to you as possible for clarity. When you have begun recording on both devices make a quick sharp noise (a Clap works fine) to create a sync point in the audio for later on. Record the video as usual. Once in the editing software of your choosing (there are many free ones available) line up the audio spike with the frame of you clapping, this should sync the audio for the rest of the video. Taa-daa, your video should now have much clearer audio. Also by making the video separate to the audio you can position the camera freely knowing it will not affect your audio.

2
ACOUSTICS.

To put it simply, the area in which you record audio greatly affects its quality. For example, recording inside a church will give completely different results in comparison to a busy street corner. There are many factors you need to consider; Wind, room size, ambient noise, for example. Instead of telling you how to tackle each one of these issues, I will inform you of an ideal environment in which to record your audio:

Record indoors. It is much easier to record audio in an indoor environment. There is no wind, wildlife or lots of ambient noise like cars or people. Recording outside is difficult and should only be attempted

The room needs to be relatively small, but big enough to fit you and anything you want to do as part of the video.

Make sure the only technology around is the devices being used to record. Electronic devices such as computers or mobile phones give off an electrical frequency that can sometimes be picked up by the mic giving that horrible hiss, or white noise.

Keep away from people. Anyone who is not involved in the recording of the video should be made aware that a video is being shot and moved away from the recording area, or at least told to stay quiet while filming. The worst thing is having a perfect take being ruined by talking or shouting in the background.

3
TEST THE AUDIO FIRST

Always test the audio before recording the final piece to camera. Either by recording a snippet of yourself talking and then playing it back, or if you can plug headphones in and listen to it live that works too. This gives you a great indication as to the quality you are to expect of the audio and can help you identify what needs to be done to improve it. E.g a printer in the opposite room is just loud enough to be heard through the mic, or maybe you might hear something outside but the mic doesn't pic it up, like a car engine. These factors can be identified early and be dealt with before recording, which helps avoid circumstances where you would have to re-film.

So there you have it! Three simple ways to be more conscious and aware of how to get better audio when filming content yourself - so the next time you've asked someone for a video testimonial you know what to do!

'til next time,
Troy
Junior Editor
•REDSCAR
 

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What's in a name?

This blog has been a long time coming. Pretty much every new person we meet on our filming travels asks me 'What does •REDSCAR mean then?'. And every time they ask that and I tell them, I always say 'I should put that on the site really!'. So that's exactly what I'm doing.

The name of your company or brand is just as important as the design and look. How do you choose a name that represents what it is that you do? The process we (Dan and I - we both started RedScar together) went through to get to •REDSCAR was a fairly simple one, but one that most people find quite interesting! Read on if you'd like to know...

Our primary aim was to create work that leaves a positive impression on people that watch our videos - whether clients, the public, or prospects. A quick discussion led us to Films That Leave A Mark - this became our tagline. Now we needed a name. We both hated the idea of using the word 'corporate' or 'video' or 'media' or any combination of those with the words 'services' - basically anything that sounded like a lot of other companies out there. Yes it tells you what you DO, but it left us feeling uninspired and frankly, bored.

We hit up thesaurus.com and typed in 'mark' to see if we could resonate our tagline with a fresh name to boot. Here are the results we saw...

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The word 'scar' jumped out to us, so we played around with that word. Scar, scarred, Scarred Media? Too aggressive perhaps. We brainstormed and eventually simply rearranged the letters:

SCAR[RED]
[RED]SCAR

And that's it. •REDSCAR was born! We dropped the last 3 letters of SCARRED and dumped them at the beginning and hey presto, we had our name. People always remark with intrigue when they hear how the RedScar name came to be. The funny thing is, most people also assume a second word after •REDSCAR; •REDSCAR Media, •REDSCAR Films, or Productions.

We are simply •REDSCAR! it's short, snappy, memorable, and a winner with our clients...so far!

Thanks for reading, hopefully this little insight gave you an interesting read over your lunch break!

Until next time,

 - Jamie
Creative Director, •REDSCAR

 

We've got a third date...

Lucky us! We've been asked by Modelzed, the organisers of Miss Great Britain to come back for the third year running to capture the grand final itself as well as the run up to the event. What does it take to be Miss Great Britain? Take a look at our 10 minute behind the scenes featurette we did for Miss GB 2014 here. Short on time? This short promo from the 2013 event will show you briefly!

It's been a pleasure working with the Modelzed team and all of the girls who participate in the event, and we're really looking forward to this years event which takes place on Friday 11th September at the Athena, in Leicester. You can buy tickets for the event here.

We cover the whole event on the Friday evening as well as filming all of the lead up to the event involving the girls. Beach body contest, practicing the heats, interviews with the girls and the team...you name it we capture it.

Here's to continued working relationships with great clients...and awesome events!

'Til next time,
Jamie.

 

WELCOME TO •REDSCAR

Welcome. Here you find the new •REDSCAR, home of video, design and storyboards.

What's that? Why yes, we have been working out, thanks. We've had a facelift, got a whole new body, and feel a hell of a lot sexier than before. In 2015, you hear the term '21st century digital marketing' banded about a lot. As business owners we know what this is, but many don't appreciate what this means. 

Let's assume you don't have video content yet. Does your competitor have a video on their homepage or somewhere on their site? If yes, you're behind them. If no, you'll need it to stay ahead. Why? Video equals value. It's commonly known that prospects are more likely to stick around on your site and conversion rates are higher, with companies that use - and more importantly understand - video content in their marketing.

Our old self was stuck somewhere in the mid 2000s, and we didn't launch until 2011! The brand worked, more specifically the logo, but the site was quite weak and didn't carry much weight. We approached London designer, and original •REDSCAR advocate Dan Anscombe to give us a fresh, solid, contemporary look - something we could use to showcase the work we do to the clients we want, and already have. I'll get him on soon to do a guest blog about the process we collaborated on to get from where we were, to where we are now.

So what's so special about the new site and brand? Rebrand is rebirth! Our new slick yet simple logo packs solidly, and the sites ease of use across desktop, laptop and mobile is incredible. We have a new freephone number ensuring our national coverage isn't overlooked, and we now have a LIVE chat option. Got a burning question that can't wait via email? If we're online, we can chat with you in our built in messenger. I'll be updating this blog regularly with all things video; events we've covered, project case studies, Q&A sessions - nothing will be left unmentioned!

We were 4 years old on 5th August 2015, so made it through the terrible twos. Enjoy the site, take a look around, and have a think on the above. Video equals value.  

Until next time!

Best
Jamie