Great Audio is the Other Half of Great Video

Most people think because they are shooting with an HD camera that automatically they are going to create epic video. It definitely helps but without great audio your video will suck.

Great audio is one of the most overlooked aspects of shooting video, but it is also one of the most important, why do you think there is a job for a "Sound Guy"?

If you were to show 2 groups of people the exact same video, one shot using the built in camera mic and the other using quality microphones like a lapel or lavalier mic, you would find that people will start to pick up on the bad areas of the film and not know their criticisms are caused by the poor audio.

When shooting video you have some options for capturing audio. One of the easiest is to get a wireless lavalier mic that clips to the shirt of your talent.


  • Pic up quality sound
  • Allow your talent to have the freedom to move around

Lavaliers also have some cons when using them:

  • Can pick of noise if they rub on your talent’s clothing
  • Are omni-directional so they pick up sound from all directions

This last point can be a challenge because this type of mic will pick up more room noise, and can muddle the talent’s voice being picked up.

Now the other option you have is a shotgun microphone. This in my opinion is your best option. A shot gun mic looks just like the name suggests, a long tube like microphone that is perfect for picking up whatever sound it is pointed at.

That last statement is the key to shotgun mics. They are designed to only pick up sound that they are pointed at and reduce side or room noise.

This directionality also has its downfall, if you are not pointed directly at your talent, you could loose some of what is said. Also it is very important to use a wind muff or "dead cat", because shotgun mics are also very sensitive to wind noise especially if you are shooting outdoors.

Now that you have a basic overview of capturing great audio, let’s take a look at these 3 videos created by Sennheiser. You will see award-winning film maker Geert Verdickt talking about the different types of microphones in the first video. In the second he talks about wireless microphones and in the third he talks about handheld mics and their directivity.

Not only are these videos really informative, but they are also very entertaining…enjoy!