How can I increase the clarity of the sound in my videos?

juliadoyle

Active member
I am having trouble increasing the quality of my sound in the videos I film. I am working on a very low budget because I am a student, I use mostly an iphone and a lavallier. This doesn’t seem to be enough. I know that pros use special gear to separately film (or purchase) background sounds such as steps, wind etc. I would want to try and record some of it myself with my gear. Also, when people speak in my videos, their voice is not so clear if I film outside and there is traffic.

Any advice?
 

Robert Miller

Active member
You could try looking for free libraries online with foliage. Unless you have professional gear, it would be very difficult to record quality foliage with just a lav. As for the background noise, try re-recording the audio in a quiet environment. It would be difficult because the original audio would have to match the recorded one in timing and lipsync.
 

Oskar Kuusk

Active member
There si no "easy fix" on a low budget. You have to work with what you have.
You have to avoid background noise such as traffic, wind or kids screaming and playing. Try filming at early hours, when most people are asleep.
As for foliage...just as Robert suggested, you should look for it online. There are some free libraries that you could use.
You can also try and film crowded places and add a voice over. This could work for a documentary or just to illustrate the "thoughts" of your characters. Rather than having them speak in those areas, you can film them in those areas and add a voice over.
 

Oscar

New member
Hi Julia. I edit audio on RX9 and 7 by izotope. RX the top audio editor in the market. The music and SFX for my videos and audio post production project come from Arlist.io. The subscription is 14 dollars a month and the quality is great. There are other websites and also some free ones like FREESXF.co.uk. Recording foley with that mic doesn't look good.
I can give you a hand editing some of your dialogue and giving you feedback if you want. The first two answers to your post are good advice too.

Best regards,

Oscar
 

FredGinsburg

Member
Staff member
Age old problem... how to get Hollywood quality location sound without using Hollywood quality recording equipment. Sorry, but you are going to have to up your game. I would suggest putting some flyers up at the local film schools and try to find a sound team to help you out. If you do have to shoot this without equipment, then try to avoid close-ups of the lips so that you can loop it easily later on. If you do require some dramatic close-ups with lip sync dialogue, then shoot the master shot (wide shot) on location; and then cheat and shoot the clean close-ups somewhere else where it is quiet. We did that a lot on TV shows. For example, wide shots on the beach, talent at water's edge (super noisy). Then move the blankets as distant as possible away from the surf. And then some pickup shots on a soundstage.
 

juliadoyle

Active member
You could try looking for free libraries online with foliage. Unless you have professional gear, it would be very difficult to record quality foliage with just a lav. As for the background noise, try re-recording the audio in a quiet environment. It would be difficult because the original audio would have to match the recorded one in timing and lipsync.
Thank you, Robert! Sadly, I do not have professional gear so I think I should start looking for foliage :)
 

juliadoyle

Active member
There si no "easy fix" on a low budget. You have to work with what you have.
You have to avoid background noise such as traffic, wind or kids screaming and playing. Try filming at early hours, when most people are asleep.
As for foliage...just as Robert suggested, you should look for it online. There are some free libraries that you could use.
You can also try and film crowded places and add a voice over. This could work for a documentary or just to illustrate the "thoughts" of your characters. Rather than having them speak in those areas, you can film them in those areas and add a voice over.
I didn't think of filming at early hours. You are right! It would be so much easier when people are just not on the streets. The hardest part is to get other people involved that early in the morning.
 

juliadoyle

Active member
Age old problem... how to get Hollywood quality location sound without using Hollywood quality recording equipment. Sorry, but you are going to have to up your game. I would suggest putting some flyers up at the local film schools and try to find a sound team to help you out. If you do have to shoot this without equipment, then try to avoid close-ups of the lips so that you can loop it easily later on. If you do require some dramatic close-ups with lip sync dialogue, then shoot the master shot (wide shot) on location; and then cheat and shoot the clean close-ups somewhere else where it is quiet. We did that a lot on TV shows. For example, wide shots on the beach, talent at water's edge (super noisy). Then move the blankets as distant as possible away from the surf. And then some pickup shots on a soundstage.
I understand this and you are right. At this point, I just hope for my sound to be clear and understood by the viewer. I tried to find a team to help me out, without much success. Thank you very much for your suggestions on how to shoot, they are really helpful!
 

juliadoyle

Active member
Hi Julia. I edit audio on RX9 and 7 by izotope. RX the top audio editor in the market. The music and SFX for my videos and audio post production project come from Arlist.io. The subscription is 14 dollars a month and the quality is great. There are other websites and also some free ones like FREESXF.co.uk. Recording foley with that mic doesn't look good.
I can give you a hand editing some of your dialogue and giving you feedback if you want. The first two answers to your post are good advice too.

Best regards,

Oscar
Thank you, Oscar! $14 is a good price for my budget, this might be a good alternative for me.
 
R

raducangeorgiana

Guest
In the past year, I saw many people shoot videos and using the wireless airpods to capture the audio at a decent quality.
 

ivan94film

Active member
Another option you can do in future project is to record dry takes.

Have the actors play the scene and concentrate on just the image. If you like the take, tell your actors to re-enact everything as close to the previous take as possible but this time you go with your mic (like a boom operator) and prioritize capturing good sound. (If possible you can also get a close up of the actor.) This is what Robert Rodriguez did on his first film El Mariachi as a one man crew.

Don't forget to record the environment sound / room tone after you're done.

It will not be 100% similar but you can edit the flow later in your NLE.

Then in post you will want to record ADR and play around with reverbs to get it as close to the on location sound as possible.

When working with sound use a good DAW like Audition or protools. RX10 is really good as well, it will help a lot but there is only so much it can fix before it starts to sound artificial.

It is worth investing on good sound equipment over a really good camera/lens, most audience will stop watching if you have amazing cinematography but terrible sound. Audience will be more forgiving if you have amazing sound but decent cinematography.

If you cannot afford better sound equipment in the near future then I would also plan and scout more thoroughly for your next shoot. Find locations that don't have extreme noise fluctuations etc.

Good luck!
 
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