How to Get Great Audio for Your DSLR Videos

If you’re starting to film video with your DSLR, the quality of your audio plays a key role in whether or not your audience will want to watch your videos.

In this video, I’ll review the microphones I use to create my videos and to get great sound while doing almost no sound editing work in post-production software like Final Cut, Adobe Premiere or Sony Vegas.

In the past, I chose to pinch my pennies and I bought cheaper microphones and wireless microphone systems, including lavalier microphones like the Audio Technica AR3350, but what I saved in money I paid for in time, stress and frustration at least 10 times over.

After flying all the way to Thailand to record some testimonials following an event, only to discover that the audio was unusable after the participants had had already left, I was fed up and finally pulled the trigger on quality audio gear.

It was costly at the time, and I financed it on Amazon, but it was one of the best decisions I’ve made because I’ve never had another issue with losing video footage due to poor audio quality.

In this video, I talk about using the Sennheiser EW 100 G3 system that I use in noisy environments or in environments with an echo, and the Rode shotgun microphones I use in quieter environments or environment that absorb more sound.

You’ll also learn how you can increase the gain on your microphone so you can turn down the microphone input gain on your DSLR, which will result in higher quality audio with less distortion and white noise.

Although it can seem like a bit of hit, I highly recommend you get the best quality audio equipment for your DSLR that you can afford, because like a good high-quality tripod, a high-quality wireless microphone system will last for years (as compared to cheaper systems that either go bad or make you so angry that you’ll feel like throwing them away – at least that’s how I felt after spending hours in post-production trying to clean up all the hisses, pops, static and other noise).

If you’re going to be filming multiple people or a group and the environment isnt’ too loud, check out the Rode VideoMic Pro, which is a great little microphone that allows you to adjust the gain from -10 to 10 decibels.

In the video, I mention that if you’re going to use multiple wireless lavalier microphones, you’ll need a way to mix the audio outputs from the mic into a single input into the camera.

There are a couple of ways to do this, and the same general rule of thumb applies – use the best quality sound recorder / mixer that you can reasonably afford because everything that your audio goes through will affect the sound quality to some degree.

In the past, I’ve used the JuicedLink Riggy-Assist and the XLR cables that come with the Sennheisers and it works great.

I’ve also used the Tascam 60D which has recently been upgraded to the Tascam DR60D-Mark II, which is nice because it is also a recorder that will record both of your audio signals, giving you a backup of your audio in case anything happens to the audio on the DLSR.

This is the set up that I wish I had invested in before I went to Thailand and filmed the testimonials after the event I mentioned in the video. I learned my lesson and invested in better gear as soon as I got back, but I lost a lot of great footage to unusable audio, so one of the reasons why I created this video was in the hopes that you can benefit from my lessons learned without paying the high price of being stressed out when you realize that cheaper gear has cost you some great footage and a lot of your time.

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