How to Improve Audio for Your Vlogs

Any dedicated vlogger will tell you that quality video is only half the equation to making a popular vlog. Audio is at least half the battle.

Good sound is arguably even more important than good visuals. In fact, it’s been found that people will react more negatively to a video as a whole if its audio quality is mediocre.

Imagine investing all that time into capturing incredible footage only to be let down by your audio! In this post, we’ll look at ways to ensure you can capture the best vlogging audio, and the equipment you’ll need to do it.

How to record great vlog audio

microphone for vlogging

It’s hardly surprising that the highest quality videos contain clean audio – that is, no distracting background noises. But it’s not as easy to achieve as you would think.

Do a voiceover or apply background music

Shooting outdoors and including the audio from the shoot can be tricky. There’s almost always distracting background noise from the wind or background chatter.

But recording a voiceover in a different location enables you to create crisp, clean, audible sound easily. You can record the audio indoors in a quiet environment and simply add it to the video later.

Don’t have a soundproof location? Why not overlay the video with a great soundtrack? Just be sure you’re using no-copyright or royalty-free background music.

Create a sound booth

If you’re shooting outdoors, an external microphone is essential – and we’ll cover this below. But what if you want to apply a voiceover, or you’re simply recording a face-to-camera shot?

In this case, it’s best to create a sound booth, which reduces echoes, the background hum of household appliances, and the neighbours mowing their lawns.

You can set up a homemade sound booth in a small, carpeted room. Even a closet will do (in fact, it might just be best!). Hang sound blankets around windows or walls to prevent echo and unplug any buzzing or humming appliances.

Listen to the recorded audio before you leave the location

It’s a nightmare returning from a video shoot only to discover that the audio is terrible! Don’t let this be you.

Bring a pair of headphones to play the audio back before you leave the scene. If it’s poor quality, you can do another take more easily while you’re still on location.

If you’ve recorded the audio directly into the camera, make sure your camera also has a headphone port.

Get the right equipment

At the end of the day, all these efforts we’ve listed will probably come to nothing if you don’t have a good external microphone – separate to your camera – to record amazing sound.

The microphones built into cameras generally aren’t powerful enough to filter out certain sounds from a distance, meaning they record all noise. A dedicated microphone, on the other hand, is made to pick up exactly the audio you intended to record.

There are several types of external microphones and recorders vloggers choose to use.

The best vlog audio setup

vlogger with camera and microphone

The two most commonly-used professional vlog audio setups are using shotgun microphones (most often attached to the camera or computer) or using lavalier microphones.

Shotgun microphones

A high quality shotgun microphone is one of the most popular pieces of vlogging equipment.

A shotgun mic can be attached to the hot shoe of your DSLR or mirrorless camera with a cable connection, making it easy to capture top-notch sound from the direction you’re pointing the mic in.

Vloggers love shotgun mics because they can’t be seen in the frame and because they can be incredibly powerful. These microphones are directional, meaning they’re sensitive to audio only from the one direction you’re pointing the mic in.

For the best results, a shotgun microphone should be placed 1-6 feet from the subject.

Popular shotgun microphones include the RØDE VideoMic GO and the RØDE VideoMic Pro. The RØDE VideoMicro can even be attached to GoPro cameras with a 3.5mm adapter.

shotgun rode microphone on dslr

Lavalier microphones

Lavalier mics, also commonly just called lav mics, are typically unidirectional, which means they can record background noise. But because they’re clipped onto the clothing quite close to the speaker, that background noise isn’t usually an issue and the spoken audio is crisp and clean.

Lavalier microphones are tiny and unobtrusive, but they can still be seen on camera, which some vloggers don’t like. But while the quality isn’t as good as shotgun mics, they’re a fantastic option for vloggers who tend to record from their offices or studios.

Lav mics can come as wireless or wired. Wireless mics are powered by a transmitter pack while wired mics usually have a power module somewhere along the length of cable.

If your lavalier mic isn’t attached to the camera and is instead recording into a recorder or other device, there’s a handy trick to help you sync up the audio with the video later – clap at the beginning of each recording. This creates a sound spike that’s easy to sync up in editing software.

Ready to start recording better vlogs?

As soon as you start recording in quiet environments or with the right equipment, you’ll love the difference in vlog sound quality.
Get ahead of the game with a quality microphone. Camera House has a huge range of shotgun and lavalier microphones as well as recorders. Shop our audio equipment online today to see the difference in your vlogs.

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