Cool video, terrible sound

How to get better sound in your video review

Can sound make or break your video review? Absolutely. If your video sounds like nails on a chalkboard or a cat getting its tail stepped on, not only will your viewers bleed out of their ears, but your video will get buried on search engines.  

Here’s a couple things to consider if you want people to watch longer, and listen to you.

Start simple and focus on dialog

When making a video, you need to focus on the components that make it watchable. Your voice should be the key emphasis here, so you need to figure out where to position your mic and how to deliver your lines.

Carpet, hanging blankets?!

Without a wireless or dedicated mic set up, dialog can be tough to capture clearly.

Recording indoors can be especially tough because of echoes. A carpeted floor or hanging up some blankets will help get rid of that sound reverberation from the floor and walls.

If you are on a budget, filming with a Go Pro, smartphone, or some combo video/mic set up, you could find a quiet spot outside and project your voice loudly. This tends to work best. 

What’s that you said?

If you are using a smartphone, don’t stand 50 feet away from the camera. Record your voice a couple times from 3, 5, 10 feet away and listen back to ensure it comes through clear and audible.

Also, dialog should be recorded with the mic in the same position each time. Recording consistently makes it easier when editing everything together.

Pacing yourself

Let’s say your filmed part of your review on Saturday morning, then finished it later on Sunday night.

Maybe you had 18 cups of coffee and your dialog was super animated, then all of sudden, after 2 big mac’s and a large french fry, the rest of your dialog sounds like you were hit with a tranquilizer dart.

Even with good equipment or proper mic placement, your dialog could still come across weird if the pacing isn’t right, so make it easy on yourself and try record it all in one sitting.

Annoying background noises

Filming outside with birds singing or filming next to an ocean with waves crashing can add ambience, sure, but without good sound recording equipment, it can easily get in the way of your dialog.

Try to limit noises that muffle you out. If you need to give context to that summer trip and the breeze at the beach, maybe use separate footage with sound and film your dialog separately where it’s quiet, without interruption. 

Is one person is loud, but the other person is quiet?

If your video review has two people talking at the same time, make sure you are both distanced equally to the mic.

Again, mic on a budget, where a fixed position mic will pick up sound relative to its placement, like a smartphone. So, if you are chatting up a storm with someone, you can both talk while facing away from the mic, or both talk at the mic from the same distance.


Pain in the butt

If you plan to post your video on social media, you have to consider adding closed captions to your videos. It’s a tedious process but there’s two important factors to consider;

  • it increases your SEO and ranking for the video,
  • on a social media newsfeed, by default your video will be muted.

Overall, these tips will help you grab more viewers and it make it easy for them to find you on YouTube.