Most volggers get started using nothing more than a smartphone and a YouTube account, but if you want to take your vlog to the next level, it’s worth considering an upgrade on your audio – the latest smartphone cameras do the job perfectly well, but the audio still leaves a lot to be desired.
So, here’s a run-down of the best audio equipment for your vlog set-up.
A suitable microphone
If you’re looking to improve the audio fidelity of your vlogs, then a new microphone should be top of your shopping list – you might think the microphone in your camera or smartphone is good enough, but it really isn’t. These are basic, consumer microphones, which are not only low quality, but also capture every single sound around you, including the slightest breeze. These omnidirectional microphones can’t isolate the sounds you need.
So, you should arm yourself with a unidirectional cardioid professional microphone, which is made for speech and only record sound from one direction, i.e. your mouth.
There are three main types of microphones you should consider:
- A condenser microphone – these convert acoustic sounds into electrical signals, and although often used to record music, they are great for recording speech.
- A lavalier microphone – these are those really small microphones you can clip to your clothing, and are useful when you don’t want to face a static microphone when speaking. Although these are usually omnidirectional, but the noise is easy to suppress since they’re attached close to your mouth. The best results are usually gained when used with a foam cover. If you’re going to be moving around a lot, it’s worth getting a wireless lavalier microphone.
- A shotgun microphone – these have narrow area at the front to capture sound, and cancel soundwaves that come from other directions. Great for recording over a long distance, these are also the most common types of microphone to attach to a DSLR camera.
One of the best ways to improve the sound quality of your videos is to monitor the audio levels as you’re recording, and a good quality pair of monitoring headphones are key to this. Ideally, over-ear, your headphones should isolate the sounds, cancelling out any external noise so the only things you can hear are coming from the microphone speakers.
Noise editing software
A new, quality microphone will help with audio fidelity and sound isolation, as will on-set monitoring, but it might be worth giving your video a final run through some noise editing software to clean things up.
Many people often assume that video is purely a visual medium, but vlogs are led by dialog, what you see is only half the experience, so it pays to get your audio sorted. Even with all the above equipment in place, always make sure microphones are situated in places that naturally eliminate most external noises, and try shoot your videos so any audio problems can be easily fixed during editing.