We’ve all seen it. The TV commercial or some other video with the great image. It’s recorded well, lit well, but as soon as the person on the screen opened their mouth you cringed because they sound like they are talking from the bottom of a well or a coffee can because it was taped in a empty office, or on hardwood floors or somewhere that the audio is now echo filled and horrible. Or there is a hum, or A/C roaring in the background, or the water of a fountain is drowning out the speaker.
The most overlooked part of video is the sound. Sound quality can make or break your production. I cannot understate the importance of good audio for your video production. Yet I witness so many productions that seem to have considered sound a non issue.
One of the hardest things about sound is that you often don’t pay attention to it. You don’t realize that the A/C in your office building is literally a dull roar. You have become accustomed to it so you don’t “hear” it anymore. You don’t pay attention to the traffic outside your window since you have been working there for three years. To you, your office is quiet. It has all become white noise to you. When in reality most work places are full of noise even when empty.
One of the reasons I suggest clients shoot in studio is because we can control the sound. There are times when you want to shoot on location, but there is a lot to be said for getting your narration or interview footage on a set where there is absolutely no sound but your voice. It exemplifies your professionalism. Those computer cooling fans humming in the background scream UN-professional.
But if you must shoot on location then remember that the audio quality of your production is just as important as the video quality. Be sure your production company knows steps to take to reduce or eliminate noise. Make sure they are using the right equipment, choosing the best locations, avoiding the pitfalls of bad audio. Ask them what they are doing to ensure the audio is high quality. If they tell you not to worry, that noise is not a problem, you might want to start worrying.
A quality video is the sum of many parts. If you remember that audio is a major part of the production and take the proper precautions, you will be much happier with the results.