How to Get Better Audio for your Commercials (if you’re on a Budget)
Ever wondered how to get better audio in your commercials and videos? If you’re shooting a commercial or a video for YouTube ads, but your budget isn’t really big, here we cover 5 tips and some budget hacks to help you achieve your goal. Of course, it will always be savvy to spend a bit of budget on the audio post-production of your videos, but if you’re just getting started, here’s how to get the most out of your recordings.
5 tips to get better audio (if you’re on a budget)
1. Shoot in a quiet place with good acoustics
The first tip is to make sure you can shoot in a quiet place with good acoustics. You will certainly want to avoid a room with a lot of echo, if possible, but even if you don’t have many places at hand to choose from, there are several things you can do to dampen the sound in a room.
Many small to mid-market businesses do not have big budgets to invest in TV commercials or videos, which is why many of them try to shoot the videos themselves with the help of an audio post-production company to take care of the final product sound-wise. Most of the time they even use a room from their own office — all they need to make it suitable for Shooting is to put a carpet on the floor, add some pillows and remove all sources of potential noise.
In fact, they don’t even need fancy equipment to record both video and sound. There are tons of amazing videos out there that were recorded simply using a shotgun mic and a Canon camera, and the end result is pretty great.
If you can’t afford the luxury of booking an acoustically treated room for shooting your video, don’t worry — choose a room that is not very large in size and make sure you can add some pillows or a carpet to reduce the echo and dampen the sound. It will pay off in the end.
2. Develop your vocals
This tip only applies if you’re the one who is going to be appearing in your video. Many business owners choose to appear in their own videos as part of their marketing strategy, like this:
Even if you have appeared in your videos before, there’s always room for mastering the art of properly projecting your vocals. Not even the most expensive microphone in the market will capture the sound you like if you’re not projecting your vocals in the right way. There’s nothing that can make up for speaking too quiet or too low or too faint.
One way to really boost your audio is to also boost the volume of your voice. A vocal coach can also come in handy, but just make sure you’re speaking from your diaphragm — that’s going to help you get the most out of your microphone and your camera and will definitely make the audio post-production process much easier.
3. Do voiceovers
A quick hack to better the sound of your videos is to do voiceovers with the camera or even mobile phone you’re using to record your video. If you have an existing recording of a video you want to use as a commercial, but the audio is not really good, what you can do is use the onboard microphone of the camera and speak directly into it at a very close distance, and you will end up having a much better version of the audio you had recorded in the first place.
4. Get a USB microphone
If you’re considering spending a bit of budget on equipment to level up your video and sound recording game, especially for voiceovers, getting a USB microphone is certainly a good purchase. USB microphones are a great solution and they come in at around 50 USD and they sound really good.
All you need to do to record that separate voiceover is to download a free software like Audacity and use it to manipulate your recording. Also, this will help you record all tracks so that you can send those to the audio post-production company you’re gonna be working with, if that were the case.
In order to do a voiceover you just have to record and sync up that audio with the existing recording or the portion of the audio that you want to enhance.
5. Use an external microphone
Having an external microphone that plugs into your camera is definitely a way to enhance your audio and get better audio while shooting videos for commercials or ads. Unfortunately, to do this you will need a mic input in your camera, but if you have one there are several options to do this. A shotgun mic usually does the trick; however, depending on the nature of your video, a lavalier might also be a good choice.