How’s that title for hyperbole? Pretty good. But it’s true. Using video can be a highly effective way to reach your audience. Yet in all the video tutorials you can find on the web there’s one crucial secret that almost no one tells you.
This is it: Sound matters.
Most people are so focused on the visuals when creating videos, they pay almost no attention to what their work sounds like.
Bad Audio Can Kill a Great Video Stone Dead
If you don’t believe it’s that important, try this test.
Next time you’re watching a video and find yourself getting bored, pay close attention to the sound. Very often the audio is indistinct and difficult to hear – and that is what’s making you lose interest. Anything that’s difficult to hear is tiring to listen to.
Before you can say “back button”, the mind of the viewer starts to wander and your message and hard work is lost.
It’s especially important if you’re going to use background music, because a muddy voice recording won’t cut through the music.
How to a Get Sparkling Sound
Nine times out of ten, the problem is caused by using the built-in microphone on the camera – which is too far away from the person speaking to record clearly.
The fix is to use an external microphone on a cable. Just plug it in to the socket on your camera, clip it to your clothing and you’re done.
Because we’re not talking about those frankfurter-sized sticks you see in radio studios or on David Letterman, they’re practically invisible on-screen.
If you’re making your video using the webcam on your notebook you can plug it into the audio jack on your PC / Mac.
Test it First
It might take a little bit of trial and error to get the best position, so test well before launching into a full recording.
Hear the Difference for Yourself
You can get a great external mic for less than $30. One of the best is the Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier.
Check out the video below of a guy who bought one from Amazon (the link goes to their product page and the video review is about halfway down).
The first minute or so is recorded using the internal camcorder microphone – then he switches to using the Audio-Technica. The difference is mind-blowing.