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University of Bristol
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Sound and microphones

Remember - 50% of your video is sound, so you want to get it right. And fixing bad sound after you've finished filming is very difficult, so choosing the right type of microphone is essential.

Tip - Use an external plugin microphone.

Don't use the camera's internal microphone unless you have no choice. The internal microphones on cheap portable video cameras tend to pic up the sound of the interal tape mechanism from inside the camera. This results in a background whining sound on the recordings which is very noticable in the final film and very hard to remove. Using an external plugin mic avoids this problem

Choose the right mic for the job 

Follow this BBC simple guide to recording sound, microphones and how to use them.

Don't be afraid to stop and start again if interupted.

If a loud car zooms by in the middle of your recording, it's impossible to remove from the soundtrack. Dont' be afraid to stop and ask your interviewee to start again. 

Keep the microphone from picking up unwanted sounds

  • Use a wind shield on the mic if outdoors
  • Tape down tie clip mics
  • Position them so that they don't rub against clothing or jewelery

Next: Safety


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