Image of digital sound waves.

Audio killed the video star

It would be reasonable to assume that the most important element in video production is visual. This is a mistake most video beginners make. We have all been forced to watch friends’ Insta videos or Snapchats  from concerts with completely over-modulated audio. For me, bad audio is neck and neck with shaky video as number one video killer.

Part of the reason bad audio is so prevalent is that you don’t know it is happening while you are recording. The simplest way to fix this problem is wearing headphones. It is really easy in theory. However, smartphone recording does not allow for this, but I said in my first post your smartphone is plenty good enough. Unfortunately, this is one instance where you have to sacrifice some functionality for the price and convenience of smartphones. The following tips will help you get the best audio possible while recording on your smartphone.

Use an external microphone –

Your phone’s internal microphone works fine if only one sound can be detected. When was the last time you were in a setting with only one sound? Take thirty seconds and count how many different sounds you can hear. I will wait… I was listening to my headphones and still was able to hear six other things. Internal microphones are omnidirectional. They pick up sound all around the the microphone. Often this will pick up unwanted sound. A quick Google search yields a plethora of microphones compatible for smartphones. Most are inexpensive, and they will allow you to isolate only the audio you want.

Find a quiet place –

This seems obvious, and for the most part it is. The fewer sounds going on the higher the quality of your video will be. More goes into a quiet place than simply a lack of external sounds. Record yourself in an empty conference room. Hear how it echoes? Since a professional recording booth is expensive and not available in most settings, here is DIY version for $30. This will give you professional sounding audio for your voice overs. In a pinch the best thing to do is getting as many pillows, cushions, coats etc into the smallest space possible. The softer the surroundings the better the results will be.

Get close –

This tip applies to nearly all aspects of video production. Regardless of how your audio is being recorded, the closer you are to the source the better the audio will sound. Unless you have top of the line professional equipment, you need to do everything you can to make it easier on yourself. As I mentioned before, the omnidirectional microphone will pick up all sound from around your smartphone, but if you can be as close as possible to the source your want to record the more that sound will come through.

Crisp, clean audio is a tell-tale sign of professional video. These three tips will dramatically improve the audio quality of any video you create. Your viewers expect top quality audio, so no one will be complimenting you, but they will like your work more.




Sean is a web specialist. He runs the email marketing program, helps in website design, manages social media accounts, and uploads weekly ads. In 2017, Sean started Grocer Podcast, a month show that intends to be another way to get information to retailers. Prior to joining AWG, Sean spent three years as a high school teacher. Sean is an avid cook, sports fan and Kansas Citian.