Tag Archives: audio equipment

Different Types of Audio Equipment

While every video shoot is different, whether it be an independent project or a shoot that requires a team of videographers, recording sound is still one of the most important aspects to create a successful video. Whether it is a how-to, corporate, or entertainment video, there is an overwhelming amount of technology to choose from. Audio equipment is designed for recording, mixing, and reproducing sound, but the most important device on a video shoot is a microphone, which is solely responsible for picking up sound at an appropriate decibel, so that the footage is able to be heard and edited successfully. The most popular microphones are as follows:

Built-In Microphones

As the name implies, built in microphones are found in the camera. While there is a wide range of cameras to choose from, chances are that this type of microphone will be too far away from your subject, and the sound will not record as well as it could with a separate piece of audio equipment. Instead, this microphone will pick up every sound that occurs between your subject and the camera’s placement, which might be useful for ambience. This is why audio equipment, apart from the camera itself, is so important. In order for the video to resonate with the audience, they need to be able to hear it.

Audio

Lavalier Microphones

Perhaps the most useful for professional corporate videos, and most used by news anchors and interviewees, lavalier mics are small, portable microphones that can be attached to a person’s clothing, allowing them to speak and be heard clearly. When using this type of microphone, it is important to have a windscreen to protect against any frequency. Clothing is the most commonly used protection, but the subject may also use their body to deflect the wind or any background noise.

Audio engineer w/ boom pole

Ken, boom mic operator

Shotgun Microphones

The most common piece of audio equipment, that can be found on almost any set, is the shotgun microphone. It is not attached to the camera or the subject, but operated by a boom operator. Due to its shape, and its directionality, shotgun microphones are able to pick up very specific sounds, ones that happen right in front of the blimp (the cage covered in fur, meant to mask any wind). This type of microphone is most effective on the sets of interviews, but are versatile enough to be used anywhere. The sound has to be constantly monitored in order to keep up with the ranging frequencies.

Handheld Microphones

Handheld microphones, for the most part, are used by news anchors, infomercials, or any talent lecturing or performing on stage. These microphones can also be used to pick up surrounding sounds in order to create ambience. Rarely, during an interview, if a lavaliler mic is not available, a handheld microphone can be placed out of frame. This is an innovative, successful way to pick up sound.

Skillman Video Group LLC specializes in video production Boston. Call us anytime at 1-800-784-0140.

Slate

Separate Audio and Video

This past week the Skillman Video Group interns, Jason and Chloe, created their own Boston marketing videos from the ground up. This included everything from scripting to shooting, and they used advanced Boston videographer and audio recording equipment. Let’s break down working on a video production set with separate audio and video equipment. This is often the case for high-end Boston video production shoots, and is a vital skill for entering the Boston video company industry. Here are 5 tips for running separate audio and video feeds.

  • Learn to control the boom mic.
    Audio engineer w/ boom pole

    Ken, SVG boom mic operator

    There is a running joke in the film industry about boom mics falling into frame (especially in older films), but this is because boom mic operators fight for every inch of proximity to the source of a sound. The audio operator must constantly coordinate with the director of photography to know the frame boundaries and where to safely place the microphone.

  • Always use a slate or simulated slate for organizational purposes. This will prove vital for post video production services. Essentially, you need to have the number of the scene, shot letter, the number of the take, and a snapping sound. You can also just clap with your hands in front of the camera. Be sure to clearly enunciate a term or word for each shot letter. For example: If the scene is marked as 1AT2, say “one alpha take two” before closing the slate.
  • Map out where the camera operator and audio operator should be at all times. If the camera has to move then the audio operator needs to be ready. This will prevent the boom mic (and operator) from being in the frame, casting a shadow, etc., especially for camera whips and pans.
  • Always keep an eye on wiring throughout the set. The audio equipment will add its own flurry of cables and cords, so keep these into account to ensure safety for everyone involved. A loose cable can lead to a falling injury, a fire, or worse for a video production company.
  • Audio levels must be monitored constantly. The last thing an editing team wants is to start working on footage that is accompanied by sub-par audio. This includes audio that is both too quiet and audio that keeps clipping on loud voices. Check in with the director of photography and the director to ensure satisfaction.

Skillman Videography Group LLC specializes in Boston video production. Call us anytime at 1-800-784-0140.