Camcorder Microphone:
Tips for Shooting Video That Can Be Heard As Well As Seen…!

An on-board camcorder microphone is included in all portable video cameras.

Here are some tips to help you get the best possible performance from your video camera's microphone...!

The Camcorder Microphone and Environmental Sound Pickup…

The built-in camcorder microphone is intended for environmental sound pickup while shooting your video.

Sometimes however... Videographers may be frustrated by the mediocre quality of the audio recorded by the built-in microphone on their camcorder or digital video camera!

One of the problems with on-board camcorder microphones is that they're prone to pick up a lot of the environmental noise that you don't want... such as:

*  Wind,

*  Traffic,

*  People talking in the background, etc.

While not recording clearly the audio that you really  want.

Most professional videographers will tell you that while audiences will tolerate some  flaws in the video presentation...

Poor audio quality will immediately turn off your viewers if it persists.

Ways to Improve Your Audio Quality When You're Shooting Video With an Onboard Camera Microphone…

If you want to shoot video like a Pro... you should be continually assessing the audio while you're shooting your video for these things...

  • Quality
  • Balance
  • Background noise (and other factors)

Often background noises such as... traffic, people talking, environmental noise, etc. which may seem faint to the ear during the video shoot...

Prove to be very  noticeable on the video soundtrack.

So… A word to the wise is:

* Always monitor your sound as best you can when you're shooting your footage!

Tips for Best Possible Audio Quality Reproduction When Shooting with the Camera's Microphone…

Here are some simple tips to get the best sound quality using only the on-board microphone for sound pick-up...

    * Look and see where the camcorder microphone is on your camcorder. In the small cameras, they are sometimes in strange places! Think about the direction the sound is coming from and how your microphone can pick it up the best. Knowing this will give you a good idea on how you can best position the camcorder for the highest quality sound pickup while you're shooting.

 * Keep your camcorder as close as possible to the subject when shooting in order to best hear them. For on-board camera microphones the best audio pickup is at about 2–4 feet from the subject.

 * Shoot in as quiet a location as possible. Ambient background noise, such as traffic and people talking, are easily picked up

 * Protect your microphone from wind. A foam sponge cover over the mic can reduce and dampen low-pitched wind rumble.  Even just shooting with your back to the wind will protect the mic a bit and get you much better quality sound.

 * 12–bit or 16–bit recording...? Bit rate is the amount of data (measured in bits) transmitted or received per second. You can adjust the audio recording bit rate in most camcorders.  A 16–bit recording will give you high quality (CD–like) audio. A 12–bit rate is okay and will reduce the file size, but is lower in quality.

 * If you have a headphone jack on your video camera use it to hear what is really being recorded. You can use headphones or an earpiece to better monitor the sound being recorded and adjust your camera position accordingly. You can also use the earpiece to listen to a replay of the video soundtrack to get an idea of the audio quality of the video right on the spot. You may want to reshoot the footage if the audio isn't of high quality.

 * Use your camcorder’s manual audio levels 's if needed, if you have them. Some cameras have manual noise reduction controls also. On low-end camcorders they merely reduce all sound coming to the camera. On high-end camcorders they will allow you to electronically (by equalization) lower unwanted frequencies (like wind sound) and raise the wanted frequencies (like voices). If you have this feature on your camera... Be sure to test and experiment with it before you use it.

Follow these tips when you shoot and you’ll have a video presentation that not only can be SEEN... but... can be HEARD as well!

Your audience will thank you...!!

Have fun...!  Dan

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