Nothing can take the edge off a good marketing video and flip it into the realms of dismal amateur production or “deadly dud” faster than low sound quality during recording. Yes, candid videos do phenomenally well on YouTube, but you should never confuse “candid” with “low quality.”
When you’re actually planning to sell that video you’re making, it becomes even more crucial that the sound quality creates no “glitches” or rough spots to distract viewers from your message. Fortunately, today’s video editing software (and hardware) can go a long way towards helping your video present a polished and professional image.
Recording short segments, and putting them together after the fact in the editing process, also helps cut down on and minimize mistakes such as stumbling over a word and getting tongue-tied – which happens more than even professionals care to admit. (Just look at all the “bloopers” shows there have been, over the years.)
One of the first components of sound editing you need to know about, however, is “layering.” You speaking on camera is the raw, unedited reality. Adding in that soft soundtrack behind your voice, fading out as you begin to talk, or setting a video entirely to music, is “layering.”
Throwing in sound effects is also “layering”.
In most video editing software, inserting a sound effect (such as a crowd cheering, or a bird tweeting) is as simple as dragging the sound clip and dropping it onto the second (or third) “track” in your software editor. The same applies to insert music.
Most video editing software allows you to apply special effects to your sound clips, just as you do to your video clips. You can fade in or out, and adjust the volume at the primary level. With more sophisticated video editing software, you can do much more, including removing unnecessary background noises. This is done by using multiple “tracks.”
Another critical element, however, is the hardware you use. If your video making equipment consists of an old digital camera, you’re stuck with a lot of background noise (especially if you’re shooting outdoors) and “tinny” sound quality. If your aim is a “candid” video, these are faults that can be overlooked (despite what sound professionals would probably tell you): However, low sound to the point where your viewers can’t really make out what you’re saying is not acceptable.
However, investing in decent audio recording equipment is something you might want to seriously consider – particularly if your video marketing is going to include teleseminars or interviews. You can get proper equipment and software for less than the price of mobile phones nowadays – and one other advantage of modern sound recording software is they are easy to learn. (You’re likely to have more trouble programming your new TV remote, in most cases!)
When should you invest in decent sound recording equipment and/or software? If you’re planning to specialize in any of these areas:
• Re-purposing content
• Updating existing videos with new material
• Archiving your material
• Video narrations or voice-overs
Sound is sometimes an overlooked element of video marketing. Keeping it real is one thing – but not hearing what’s being said is merely unacceptable. Decide for yourself whether your present equipment is not up to the job, or perfectly fine – but don’t leave it to chance. Know what you’re doing, and why.