The built-in microphone in your camera is designed to pick up the loudest sound within 15-20 feet of it and record that sound at %100 percent. The human ear can selectively focus in on a certain sound while ignoring other, louder, sounds. For example, you can carry on a conversation while ignoring the radio. Your camera’s audio system is not so advanced as yours; here are some tips for improving the sound quality of your videos.
Like lighting, the sound quality of your video is of crucial importance—if the your video’s audio is garbled or drowned out by background noise, there will be little point in watching the video. The AGC(automatic gain control) on your camcorder was designed to pick up on any sound in the area and magnify it. Sounds great, but what if there is no particular sounds being made? Unfortunately, the AGC then pumps up the volume of any background noise available, filling your video with sounds of static.
Most camcorder’s microphone is located on the front of the camera and is usually omni-directional, meaning that it picks up sound coming in from all directions. If you need to hone in on sound coming from one specific direction(which is often the case), you would need a “directional” microphone, such as a shotgun mic. There are several varieties of shotgun mics available , ranging from one that your subject would hold in their hand, to ones that you can mount on your camera and point toward the sound you want to record. They filter out sound coming from the sides and magnify sound coming from the direction in which they are pointed. This type of mic is excellent for recording anywhere that would have a lot of background noise, such as at concerts, sporting events, or along a highway.
A lavalier mic is a small microphone that can be clipped to a person’s clothing to record audio without having to get the camera really close to the person. Musicians sometimes attach them to their instruments; every interviewee wears this type of microphone, sometimes hidden under their clothing. They can be a little pricey, but are invaluable for recording a child’s first piano recital or their lines in the school play.
Learning to be aware of surrounding noises and preparing to record good sound takes a little extra effort. However, with a bit of forethought and extra equipment, your home videos can have clean, professional-quality audio.