Video Creation Basics: Audio

Moira West


Last week we covered how to make sure your video looks great through your lighting. This week we’re tackling how to make your video sounds its best. Take a look at our tips for getting great sound on a budget.

Getting clear audio on a live recording

If you plan to record video clips, and you want to use the sound from those clips in your video, there are some simple things you can do to prepare. Take a look at our video on improving the audio in live video clips, and then read on to learn more.

  1. Cut down on background noise. Choose a room that won’t have echoes. Then, make sure all your windows are closed. Let anyone else nearby know that you’re filming, so they won’t make noise that’ll be audible when you play the video back later.

  2. Put the mic, camera, or phone near subject. The closer your recording device is to your subject, the easier it’ll be to hear, so move in as close as you can, or invest in a microphone that’ll pick up sound from further away.

  3. Do a soundcheck. Take a couple seconds and find out if you can hear the person on camera—do they need to speak up? Do you need to get closer? Is there background noise you need to remove? Find out before you start recording by shooting a short test on camera. Listen to the clip while you record, or after you’ve finished the shot. Play your audio back with headphones, which will cut out the distortion you sometimes get from phone or camera speakers.

  4. **Invest in a mic.** If you plan to do several videos, think about investing in a microphone. A lavalier mic can clip onto your speaker’s clothes and a shotgun mic catches more sound than your camera or mobile device would. Either works if you’re ready to take your video creation to the next level. Take a look at the video below to get more detail on the different types of mics you can try and the best time to use each type.

Audio tips for adding voice-over

Planning on adding voice-over to your next video? Find a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted before you begin. For an inexpensive microphone, grab your headphones and see if they also have a mic built in. Even a basic headphone mic can significantly improve the overall sound quality of your video.

Need a little help adding a voice-over to your Animoto video? Check out our voice-over guide for instructions, plus a few tips.

Choosing the right music for your video

Once you’ve added audio to your project, you’ll want to test it out with whatever song you’ve chosen for your project. Here are a few music best practices to help you find the right tune for your video.

  • Choose a song that fits your video’s style. If you’re using Animoto, you can narrow down the search by using music library filters to find the right genre and pacing for your video.
  • Stick to instrumentals or light vocals: Songs with lyrics can interfere with what your video has to say and make your audio harder to hear. Instead, look for tunes without vocals to let your content stand out. You can even add an instrumental filter to exclude any songs with vocals.

  • Lower your audio volume. If you like a song, but it’s a bit too loud, try lowering the song volume. You can find this feature under the music icon on the left-hand-side of your screen. Pull the slider to the left to lower the volume. If you pull it all the way to the left, you can turn off the music altogether, letting you have a silent soundtrack for your video.

  • Test song with audio. Before you produce, test your audio to make sure that the music doesn’t overpower your recording. If it does, try lowering the volume or look for a softer song that can let your audience hear your audio loud and clear.

If you’re not sure how to use our music library, take a look at our Resource Center guide to learn the basics and find out how to use the filters and features in it to find the right song for your project.

After you record your audio

Once you’ve finished putting together video, there a few elements you may want to add.

Muting your video clips

If you’ve recorded a video clip, but don’t want to include the sound, select the block you’d like the mute. Click on the left-most icon, and you’ll see a small speaker icon. Click on it to mute your video clip.

Add closed captions

If you’re sharing your video on social media, you may want to add closed captions for the people who’ll watch it with the sound off. Take a look at our guide to adding closed captions on Facebook, or check out YouTube’s directions to get started.

Build your skills

Now that you’ve got the basics of audio down, it’s time to put those new skills to work. We’ve designed some activities to help you practice improving the audio in your next video. Choose one (or more) that make sense for the type of videos you’re planning for your business.

  • Add voice-over to your video: Narrate your next marketing video using voice-over.

  • Set up an interview: Remember before you sit your subject down in front of the camera, practice the audio techniques discussed above to get clear audio that’ll stand out in your video.

  • Choose a new song: Already have video clips you want to use? Find a new song that suits them.

And after your video is completed, head over to our Facebook group, The Animoto Social Video Marketing Community. You can share your videos there for feedback and support, or just get inspired by fellow group members.