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  • Thom Baker

Sound Advice

What separates an amateur video from a professional video? Well, there are several things but one you might not have thought about is... sound. Sound is easy to overlook when you're doing a video. Most people don't know that the eyes are more forgiving then than ears. Bad sound is an easy give a way to a cheap, poorly produced video. Sound can be too tinny, have too much bass, distorted or have un-even volume. The most obvious clue of poor production is a noisy, hollow audio track, because the sound was recorded with an on-camera microphone. The audio doesn't sound full, it has echo and a lot of extraneous, unwanted environmental sound. Professionals have an array of tools to record high quality audio. Lavaliere microphones attach directly to the speaker using wired or wireless technology. Shotgun microphones are another alternative which pick up directional sound. Audio editing software has several tools that can help the quality in post production after it has been recorded such as compression, equalization, noise gates, echo removal and other enhancements. But audio tools only go so far. It is by far better to record the audio properly on location than to hear, "We'll fix it in post". Add bad audio to a well or poorly recorded video and you will have a post that will not help your professional image, it may actually damage it! Hiring a professional, not only to shoot the imagery, but to record the audio and professional edit the production will increase your visibility and promote your expertise, respectability, and sophistication.

Thom Baker Cinematographer/Editor

Former Adjunct Professor, University of Missouri, College of Engineering

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