Upgrading from the microphone built into your camera is the best way to improve your video’s sound quality. The microphone that best suits your needs depends on what kind of videos you produce.
Here’s a way to get greater sound quality based on the types of videos you make.
1. Lavaliers are best for loud locations.
A lavalier mic is key when doing interviews or if the room is loud. What needs to be caught is the person speaking, not the ambient sound. They can be plugged into phones, DSLRs, and other recording devices. This mic is crucial for videos filmed outside.
Wired lavaliers are cheaper than wireless, and the wires can easily be hidden down the front or back of the interviewee’s shirt. However, if you want to make a good investment, then consider purchasing a wireless lavalier.
Check out this video to learn how to get a wireless lavalier microphone for less than $20!
2. USBs are best for filming with a computer.
USB microphones are fantastic for stationary use at a computer. Because they are USB mics, there’s no need to buy another computer.
These mics are ideal if you record your videos with a computer They are a huge step up from the computer’s onboard microphone and will make a big impact on sound quality.
Watch this video about the best budget USB mic.
3. Shotgun mics are best for on-the-go filming.
A shotgun mic has two big benefits to its directional sound. First, it can be used to catch ambient sound behind your subject, as well as from a long distance. Secondly, it’s great on the run if you don’t have time to set up lavalier microphones or don’t want to wear a microphone.
These microphones use a regular headphone/mic jack, so they’re very useful. They’re also powerful, so don’t be surprised if you hear sound coming from down the block.
Check out this video to learn how a shotgun microphone works.
4. Handhelds are best for musicians.
Handheld mics, specifically omnidirectional, can make an interview look like a television news report, but for music they are must haves. Directional microphones record music right in front of them, so they don’t pick up the full sound of music that reverberates off an instrument and off the walls.
Shotgun microphones and lavaliers pick up too much sound to record music well. If the video being made is meant to gather the sounds beyond a clean voice talking, invest in a good omnidirectional handheld microphone and a stand.
Watch this video to learn how to use a handheld microphone to pick up great sound!
Images are only half of the picture when it comes to videos. People are more willing to put up with bad images than awful sound, so be sure to invest in the best microphone for your channel.
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Katie Schwarz is a multimedia journalist and freelance writer from Oakland, California. As a recovering political science academic she now writes about music, television, and other pop culture. You can follow her on Instragram and Twitter as @craziesthawk.