Creating videos is fun, and people can spend a lot of time pouring time and energy into them. For people coming from a photography background, their focus tends to be on the visuals. Resolution, presets, software that allows you to tweak the aesthetics, and filters seem to be all the rage. All of this can be important, but it falls to the wayside if the audio is not to at least a standard quality.
Whenever I startup a video with awful audio or audio that is clipping, then I immediately am turned off. Nine times out of ten, the video gets stopped/ turned off, unless there really is no other resource for what I am watching or need. Decent audio is essential for those wanting to create videos, no matter what genre or type of video they intend on doing.
A lot of people will have videos on whilst they are doing something else, I hold my hand up here, as I do this sometimes, so it is imperative that audio is stable and comfortable on the ear. I find I am more likely to hold onto information when I can hear it clearly, and most likely remember videos with bad audio as just that: ‘ahh yes, that video was awful’.
Fortunately, in this day and age there are a lot of ways you can achieve good audio fairly cheaply. Rode have taken over a large part of the amateur to enthusiast market when it comes to audio for videos on mediums such as YouTube and vimeo, etc. In all honesty, they are a perfectly good shout. You cannot go wrong with their products, as they are likely the cheapest decent quality vs reliability on the market.
For those of you doing lots of podcasts at home or at a desk, it my be worth picking up basics from a DAW or a more basic software, and purchasing a quality audio interface and microphone set up. Now, this will not be or everybody, but if you are looking at just doing podcasts from one place for the long term, you will not regret taking this path. If you own a mac, there are several programs you can get ranging from cheap to top range. In terms of microphones, Rode do make studio mics, but Sure are industry standard when it comes to microphones, and you will see most YouTube royalty using them.
I have a music tech background, with some music recording experience. As you will see in my earlier videos, my last suggestion is what I used primarily: Logic Pro with audio interface and different microphones. These was perfect for the videos done at a desk or table, but not useable when doing run and gun photography videos on the streets. This is when I started to turn towards Rode’s video mic range.
I have owned a couple of their microphones, and never been blown away especially, other than the fact is they do the job well and are reliable. I have recently purchased the Rode filmmaker kit, and have been reaping the benefits of this medium to record audio for my videos. However, this is only really beneficial when it is just me recording.
Prior to this, I was using the Rode Lav+ with apps to record on the phone. But ultimately, this is not supported well by the Rode app, and other apps are fiddly, and it is awkward transferring to the computer. So it made sense to continue my search for covering audio for my needs.
In conclusion, if you are starting out, stick to one tried and tested method. Try things out. If you do have the budget for the Rode filmmaker kit, checkout one of their cheap video mics. There are everlasting microphones in this range for varying budgets. For anyone else, this will make a great alternative along side the film maker kit. At a pinch, you can use both with a 3.5 to 2x 3.5 jack splitter, in order to record more than on person for audio. If you can afford it or have a background in recording, then it is worth going the DAW with audio interface with mic route. This will be especially beneficial to anyone wanting to do podcasts long term from one location.
You can get away with poor quality visual in a video if the audio is good. You cannot get away with it the other way around, people with struggle to appreciate the content you are trying to put across, and may not stay until the end of the video. Whatever you decide to do, stay creative and don’t give up! - Sly