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Audio Surgery

Here is some info for getting good audio
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You’ll want your audio to sound as good as your video looks. Capturing good audio for video isn’t as easy as it sounds (no pun intended). The audio should be clear, detailed and right up front with no wavering or drop in volume or intensity. The best way to start is by not using the on-board microphone attached to the camera for your intended final audio. It’s best to use a separate mic, either a lav, hand held or boom with the mic as close to the actor or sound source as possible. If using a hand held boom pole be careful not to let the microphone drop into the video scene. When using a wireless it’s best to get to the location early and check out all channels and then select the best one with best performance. It also gives you a better chance at finding out if a wireless will be useful at the location and work out any bugs before the shoot. This is also a good time to check out cables, field mixer, headphones, install fresh batteries in everything etc. If you’re recording audio to a separate recorder still use the on-board or built in camera mic to capture the sound which will only be used as a reference to later sync up the sound in post production. Always bring a slate along with you. The video production crew will usually use one but sometimes not. Use of a slate for each scene will aid in syncing up the audio later in post. It’s always good to record a few minutes of background audio both prior to the shoot and at times during the shoot. This will be valuable during post when connecting scenes. For interviews, a method I use at times is a lav along with a hypercardioid mic mounted on a boom. I get much better results with a hyper or shotgun than with a lav. Using this process I have the lav as backup if the talent momentarily moves or turns their head. Don’t forget to carefully document and log the scene. Again, a slate can be great help with this. It’s very time consuming and adds to the cost to have to sift through audio and video trying to find which goes with which. You should have a copy of the script and have pretty good knowledge of dialogue flow. This will aid is documenting and logging scenes based on the portion of script that’s shooting that day.