A well-crafted video has the power to captivate and engage viewers, driving your message home with impact.
In doing so, strong visuals and an even stronger story are crucial. At the same time, impeccable audio often goes overlooked. But really, if you want to create a memorable video, your audio has to be great.
Here are a few tips on how to easily get better audio.
What Did You Say?!
You can’t do much with your audio if you don’t really have audio.
I have seen many organizations publish videos that were shot from an iPhone. That’s fine, but iPhone mics aren’t great. They capture every noise in a room, and the people on screen sound like they are a mile away.
A simple solution is to use a microphone of some kind. A good microphone can make your interviews crisp and clear, capturing the essence of every word. There’s much not of a video or story if we don’t clearly understand what a person is saying.
Remember, capturing emotions and nuances during interviews is essential for creating a connection with your audience. Don’t risk compromising this connection due to poor audio quality.
How Loud Is Too Loud?
For your interview audio, aim to keep it around -12 decibels (Db). You can find the audio levels in most editing software, and you can also see levels on whatever audio recording device you have. Try to steer clear of a video that’s either too loud or barely audible.
Balanced audio levels — in which the audio levels hover around around -12Db — ensure a comfortable viewing experience, preventing viewers from reaching for the volume controls or cringing from sudden audio spikes.
Set The Mood With Music
Background music never hurts. It can add flavor and depth to your marketing video.
Check our past videos. The skiing video is the only one without background music. The others have upbeat background music.
To keep things simple, you can download free music from YouTube’s Audio Library. You can sift through tons of songs, and you typically want to find one that aligns with the look and feel of the video. In most cases, we have used upbeat music. That’s because our videos highlight the benefit an organization is making.
Also, make sure the background music isn’t too loud. I recommend making it half as loud as the interview audio, maybe -24Db or quieter. That way, we still hear the music, though it’s clearly not the focus.
The Magic of J- and L-Cuts
I imagine you’ve watched a video or movie, and noticed that the audio just seemed to flow together. Every shot worked well together, and the dialogue and music made everything work.
It’s quite possible the editors were working L- and J-cuts. In an L-cut, audio from one scene spills over into the next scene. For example, you may be watching a conversation between two people, and notice that we keep hearing the people even after we stopped seeing them on screen.
You can catch many L-cuts in our video from Winter Park, Co. We still hear the skiers talking from their interviews even after we no longer see them talking on screen.
A J-cut is the reverse. Here, the audio from one scene starts before we see where the sound is coming from. There is a J-cut at the beginning of the skiing video. We hear Larry and Brad start their run while the title slide is still on screen.
J-cuts help us anticipate what’s about to happen, while L-cuts let us transition into whatever is next. Both add rhythm and make the video flow.
When you’d ready to create a video that sounds, looks and feels good, hop on my calendar. We’re here for you.