Audio tips, all filmmakers MUST know

February 15th, 2021  |  by amaliehluthra

Audio tips for filmmakers:

Audio is essential when it comes to filmmaking in any genre. Poor audio can ruin a great story. Every filmmaker has their own audio setup, especially in the indie filmmaking world, but are you missing a trick?

In today’s article, we will look at some audio tips to better place you when recording audio. We also delve into some of the best setups depending on your project. Audio arrangements for short films compared to an audio setup of an interview differ slightly but significantly impact the quality of sound you record.

Let’s jump into it!

Audio tips, all filmmakers MUST know

Audio is overlooked occasionally as you can get stuck into the visuals a little too much, but it’s an integral part of filmmaking, that shouldn’t be half-assed. Here is our overview of the essential tips and tricks you can use in your next audio setup.

Different formats require different audio

Yep, it’s true! When recording different formats, you will want to use different audio sources.

Lavalier Mic

For instance, when recording an interview, you will want to use a close, but a hidden microphone. The lavalier mic is perfect for this.

It allows the audience to focus on your subject and what they are discussing without seeing a colossal microphone close up to the subjects face, distorting their facial expressions or any mannerisms that make them interesting.

The lavalier is also great at picking up clear, crisp sound within interviews. The size and quality make it an ideal option for an interview or an action scene.

Directional Microphones

Directional microphones are great for filming a two-person scene, where you want to avoid catching any background noise.

These microphones capture audio coming from the direction they are pointing; this avoids picking up additional noise from the other angles. They’re great for close-up shots in a scene where maybe the main characters are having a picnic, for example. This situation could be key to the movie, and you want to hear the character deliver the line crisply, and clearly. A directional microphone would be ideal for this. 

Shotgun Mic

Another example is using a Shotgun mic for short films and indie films. A shotgun mic is a microphone that clips into your DSLR’s hot shoe clip on the top of the camera.

It captures audio 360 degrees, at a high quality. They are reasonably priced and easy to carry, slotting directly onto the hot shoe of your camera - perfect for low budget filmmakers.

An excellent guide for looking at which microphone to use and an in-depth look at their specs can be found here.

Get clear audio when on location

When on location, you must make sure that you do everything you can think of to ensure you capture the crispest, most precise audio you can.

It gives you the best possible chance of avoiding heavy background noise, interfering with essential scenes relying on clear-cut audio.

You’ll want to make sure that you have someone on-site to listen out for any potential noise that could creep into your audio. This means looking out for any electrical equipment that may create dull humming noises.

This happens quite often where you’ll have a clock or a refrigerator out of shot that will produce vibrations, that will be picked up on the audio waves.

Overall, preparation is key when recording audio for your latest film. You want to make sure the location is well-prepped, and you are using the correct microphone for your latest shoot.

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