Audio quality can often make or break a video project. Most people spend their time getting all the right camera equipment and composing their shots perfectly, but completely neglect their sound.

Even though most cameras come with built in audio recording, the quality is often poor and restricts the many types of shots. Camera microphones tend to capture all sound surrounding the camera, which captures ambient noises you may not want in your video. Using an external recording device can give you more freedom to shoot in a variety of different ways.  It also allows for more control over specific audio settings to improve the quality of sound. For example, a boom microphone can be used to isolate someone’s voice.

Separating the audio from your camera allows you to take a variety of different shots while still capturing quality audio. You can even shoot at long distances and capture quality audio by keeping your audio equipment close to the subject. External audio devices provide more flexibility to hide sound equipment when shooting in tight spaces, as well. They can also be useful in situations where there is a lot of camera movement. The audio recordist will not have to mirror all of the camera’s movements or worry about giving all the connected wires enough slack to prevent equipment damage if the audio is separate from the camera.

The video below explains many benefits of using an external audio recorder and shows how to set up audio and video clips to make them easier to sync and organize in post production. Finally, the video takes you through the quick process of syncing up your audio and video clips using Final Cut Pro.

Audio for this video was recorded externally on the Fostex DC-R302, using a Rode NT3 Microphone. Also, check out our video tutorial on the Fostex digital audio recorder.  

For more information on sound equipment or audio syncing, contact Instructional Support Services at lsa-iss-ltc@umich.edu.