Getting high quality audio often means recording your audio on a separate device to your camera.
If you use this method for getting high quality audio for your films, podcast or how-to-video it will be much better received by your audience. Bad sounding audio is a big reason for videos to be given the thumbs down on YouTube.
So, you will have lots of audio files if you do multiple takes and lots of video that do not relate to each other in terms of their names. For example vidoe0465.mp4 and 001STEREO.wav do not make much sense the day after the shoot.
There are probably a few ways to make this work, however, here is a really simple one that anyone can do.
The 2 key principles
- Have a method of synching
- Have a method of identification
This is easy. The clapper boards we have all seen are clapped in front of the camera. This creates a visual clap and an auditory one. This means you can simply match the audio spike and the video clap in the edit. This will sync your audio and video perfectly. If you don’t have a clapper board simply clap your hands in front of the camera, it does the same thing.
Identifying which video clip goes with which audio clip is essential for an efficient workflow.
The clapper board usually has a way of writing on it to display a reference number or text. This can be used to organise all of your shots and audio clips as you can see the information on the film.
If you are simply clapping your hands then there is a really simple alternative.
- Get the camera and your audio recorder rolling
- Create a simple log sheet with the scene name, the film file name and the audio file name but say it out loud as you are writing it. This way it records too.
- Clap in front of the camera and audio recorder.
When the shoot ends, at the minimum you will have a 3 column list containing scene name, video file name and audio file name. Sure, you can add in a notes column or anything else you feel is needed.
Additionally, many cameras will record audio on their own, but you will be discarding this in favour of the higher quality separately recorded audio, however, before you bin this it can aid in synching the files together as both audio files will contain the clap spike in the waveforms.
We covered this and more in our blog series.