The Three Keys to Great Audio for Video

Do you want better audio for your video? This might help…

This video shows the three keys to great audio for video. They are:

  1. Equipment
  2. Placement
  3. Monitoring

In this video I try to boil down audio for video to make it simple to understand and remember.

I pulled this out of the membership library to make it available for everyone to watch. If you’re a member, you may have already seen this.

If you’re not a member, this is an opportunity to see one of the more than 200 videos available to members. If you think this information is helpful and you want more like it, check out an Izzy Video Membership here.

32 thoughts on “The Three Keys to Great Audio for Video

  1. Using a separate but up close mic is preferable to a shotgun mic. 1. if a video has crappy video quality but great sound, people will watch it. (assuming what is said matters of course) the reverse is also true. If the video is great and the audio poor people will not watch it. The shotgun mic is a bad option as it will also capture room boomyness as well as other sounds and it limits where you can put your camera as you need to be as close as possible to the subject for the mic. Using a separate mic to add in during the post production means the camera can be anywhere in the room for depth of field purposes etc. while the audio will always be close-mic quality, assuming you can place the audio recorder next to the subject.

    1. Hi James,

      The shotgun mic is usually a great choice — if you have it close to the subject. I think what you’re referring to is if you have it on your camera (and therefore far away from your subject) — then it’s frequently a bad choice.

      Personally I think the audio quality from a close-mounted shotgun mic is MUCH better than the quality from a lavalier. I like lavaliers for their flexibility, but I prefer the audio quality from a shotgun. But again, it needs to be mounted close to the subject…

      Anyway, I hope that helps clarify.

      All the best,

  2. I always find your comments very useful. You have the ability to describe various complex tutorials in a very simple, clear and precise way.

  3. Never tire of watching your videos, they are clean Izzy to understand and I am sure every body just loves them.
    Also I can wish you a Merry Christmas
    Like to see a video where you are showing how to use a Sound mixer in the field.

  4. Izzy your clip was very helpful, a person can usually get away with bad video, not bad audio. I’ll watch an 70’s concert clip w/ bad video, not poor audio.

  5. I really enjoy watching your VERY informative videos. I am very close to buying your tutorials for FCPX. I have watched them off of the web, but would like to own them as well. This sound video makes some very good points except, I would have liked a brief description about XLR and why I need it. I recently sold an XLR mic and cable because I didn’t know what it was…..Bummer. I have since gotten some idea of why I would need it, but maybe some viewers don’t know anything about it or why they should have one. Thanks so much for all these great tutorials.

    1. Hi George,

      Thanks for the kind words! :)

      And yes, I should do a video on XLR at some point — though I worry it might be a little technical. We’ll see…

      Thanks for the feedback!

      All the best,

  6. Bonjour Izzy, Thanks for the fine instructions on the audio. Although it is for high end
    technical people, I enjoyed the lesson. Learned a lot since becoming a member.
    Thank you again Izzy.
    Best regards, Leo

  7. Izzy, I already knew all of this!  But you know what?   I watched it anyway!  Really nice clean presentation.  I don’t have a shotgun mic yet and am shopping.  What do you think of the compact shotguns like the Rode VideoMic? I notice you were using the Sennheiser.

    1. I’ve never owned the Rode VideoMic, but I’ve heard great things about it. And the audio I’ve heard recorded by it — it’s all been great too.

      I hope that helps… Thanks for the kind words. :)

  8. Dear Izzy, Nice basic audio. What the world really needs is a nice step by step hands on of each feature and set up of the Zoom H4n. It is tricky and I have had huge issues with cards, with transfer and setting it up has been confusing. The sound is great and I think great audio with careful edits can fix a mediocre video into a repeat watch. I also use a Mackie Mixer to mix and line in on my DSLR for 4 people in a scene. Thanks and Happy Holidays.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. And Happy Holidays to you too! :)

      I’ve thought about doing more detailed training on the H4n, but I don’t really know how many people in my audience have it. So I usually try to keep things more general…

      Anyway, thanks again!

  9. Nice job, Izzy. Maybe give examples of the name brand of the head phones for people to understand the difference.
    The quality is much nicer with the shotgun mic but I have to use the lavalier mic due to the people moving around without a boom operator.
    Keep up the good work.

  10. Izzy, Great clip on audio for video. I regularly use a shotgun mic and find the quality quite acceptable. In fact, I shot an outdoor wedding this past summer and there was no sound system to amplify the audio for the many guests and only the front row heard the minister and the couple. However, all who saw the video were very pleased that (because of my shotgun mic) they could hear everything clearly. And by the way, rather than seeing the headphones as geeky or silly I see them as a way to portray my professionalism at what I do.
    Thanks again

  11. Thank you Izzy! These tips are very helpful to guys like me who’ve made terrible mistakes in audio recordings. These audio mistakes really ruin everything about a great video take. So keep on keepin on and we owe you much for all your efforts and great educational videos!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *