Lesson Six: Capturing Audio for the Story

While filming your clips, always keep your ears open for audio that adds something to the story (you might capture meaningful audio and separate it from a visually uninspiring clip later).

Incorporating audio into your story can enhance connection, create nostalgia of an environment, preserve the memory of a voice or sound, reflect emotion, and is just a overall way to deepen meaning and richness into your film if you do it with intention.

If you are relying on your in-camera microphone, consider turning up your microphone sensitivity to increase the volume of your audio. I keep mine on maximum (20db) , which typically yields good results but occasionally I do get clipping of audio when kids get loud (or from a newborn cry) and that ends up sounding fuzzy. I simply trim that out in post processing if possible, or lower the overall volume of the clip.

Here is a film where all audio was from my in-camera microphone. The sound is quite clear and high quality.:

You can also use a supplementary audio capture source in addition to your microphone, such as the Voice Recorder App on an iphone (for layering audio, not as a primary source of synced audio). Minimizing all background noise will give you the best chance of acquiring high quality audio clips with your app and microphone. Having soft surfaces in the room, even sitting on a couch with pillows and cushions, will reduce echo. The app is a handy way to capture audio of sounds like prayer, song, and other voices that will lend meaning to your film but where you don’t necessarily need the corresponding video clip. You can title the clips, trim them, adjust the audio, etc within the app. Email the audio clips to yourself to be imported into Premiere Pro when editing.

I provide a recommendation for external microphones in lesson 12 (Optional Gear), so you can refer to that if you are sure that you would like to work with an external mic.

Here is an example of a film where I layered in audio throughout (my own voice and my childrens' voices, recorded through the Voice Recorder App):