Up Your DSLR Filmmaking Game with These Essential Audio Tips

Filmmakers already know that great audio is equal to success when making a film. However, this is still one of the most overlooked aspect in terms of film making. Poor quality can greatly hinder all of the other elements of a movie. In the end, your project will just turn into garbage. What’s the point of having high-quality video and groundbreaking scenes if the audio quality is poor, right?

Issues such as distracting background noises or poorly recorded dialogue are just two of the few problems filmmakers have to overcome. This will negatively impact your film overall which won’t be pleasing to watch.

So if you’re a DSLR filmmaker, then you’ve come to the right place. Listed below are a few DSLR audio tips to keep in mind to make the best film as possible. Let’s dive in!

  • Don’t Rely on Your DSLR Alone

  • An avid DSLR user already knows that the quality between the video and audio of a DSLR can sometimes contrast with each other. Just because your DSLR has great video recording doesn’t mean that it’s the same for the audio recording too. In fact, DSLRs are not really built with professional audio recording in mind no matter how you tweak its manual settings.
  • That’s why some filmmakers opt for using separate external mics to record audio while filming. The Zoom H6 or a complex mixer/recorder shall do the trick to get that professional level of audio recording you’ve been wanting for.
  • Location Scouting

  • This is by far one of the cheapest and important aspects of getting great sound quality while filming. There’s nothing wrong with spending a few days to scout your locations and test which spot works best when recording audio.
  • Scouting your location is very easy. All you need to do is go to the place at the exact same time of day you’re going to shoot and look for red flags. For example, if you’re on a rooftop, make sure that the wind won’t cause any sound recording issues. The same thing goes when you’re in a field, where you have to be aware of crickets, birds, and other wildlife animals that can make distracting background noises. The best thing you can do in this situation is to bring along your sound recordist with you and do a few tests to see what kind of noises are you picking up.
  • Record in Room Tone

  • In case you aren’t familiar with room tone, it’s basically the ambient sound of a room. Recording room tone is done in professional sets. This is important so that the audio editor can use this scene-specific background noise just in case he/she needs to patch it during editing. Audio professionals are always recording room tone depending on the location they’re filming. So for example, if you’re recording a room tone in a kitchen, the sound of the buzzing fridge, creaking doors, and slight hums from the lights inside the room is the one you should be recording.
  • Recording a room tone is usually done at the end of every scene and ranges from 30 to 60 seconds and the entire cast and crew must stay silent during this session. The reason why this is important is because room tone is usually used to blend multiple audio clips during editing. For example, you already have an audio for the actor’s dialogue, you can blend in the room tone to make it sound dynamic and fitting for that specific scene.

Verdict

  • Making a film takes a lot of hard work and dedication. And it’s vital that you pay close attention not just on the video but also to the audio recording as well. If you’re a newbie in filmmaking, then we hoped these tips will help you out for your upcoming films. What’s important is that you understand your DSLRs limited capabilities, and sacrificing a little from your budget (like buying an external mic) will take you to an extra mile.

Understanding Speaker Specs

Recording for voice-overs is not as simple as sitting down, grabbing a mic, and start your recording session. If you want to up your game in recording voice-overs, here are five simple tips that you can follow.

  1. Record Inside the Right Room

  • The key to getting good sound quality when recording a voice-over is finding the right room. If you’re going to record on a typical room such as inside your office or your home, the results may be a bit echoey. That’s why most professional recording companies have dampening panels installed on the walls to prevent sound from echoing. The slightest echo can cause the microphone to amplify the delay. Find a room that’s full of cloth and furniture. Make sure that all the windows are closed too and it’s away from highly-trafficked areas. Rooms such as closets or study hubs are perfect for voice-over recording sessions.
  1. Dampen Your Desk

  • Not just your walls, your desk can be the culprit too when it comes to echoes. Sound can easily bounce off to your desk which results in a slight echo even if you’re inside the quietest of rooms. A solution to this is to put a blanket on your desk when recording to prevent echoes.
  1. Opt for a High-Quality Mic

  • Now that you’ve found a room that’s perfect for your voice-over recording session, picking the right mic is the real challenge here. High-quality mics are the key to recording great sound. However, some mics can be costly, but at least you get what you paid for. But don’t worry, there are other cheaper options out there for the budget conscious in you. The Blue Yeti is a cheap mic that records great audio quality and has the option that allows you to record directly by plugging it in a USB port. Distance is just as important too. The ideal distance from the mic to your mouth is around six inches. You may want to use a wind screen too to cut out any accidental breath distortion while recording.
  1. Keep Background Noises Away

  • High-quality microphones can pick up even the slightest of sound. Sounds such as the hum of your AC unit, or the rumbling of your fridge are just two of the few that can create distractions during your recording session. So before you start, turn off all your air conditioners, fans, cell phones, and any other devices that cause distracting background noises. If you have the skill in audio editing, you can get rid of these background noises during the editing process. But it’s better to prevent the problem first than fixing it later.
  1. Cleaning it Up

  • Now that you’re done following the steps above, it’s time to do the clean-up process. Of course, you may have recorded some great-quality audio, but if you want to take your sound to the next level, here are some audio editing techniques that you can do:
  • EQ adjusting
  • Normalizing
  • Removing Hum
  • Removing Noise Print
  • Vocal Enhancing
  • Play around with your audio editing software and experiment things to get the best audio quality as possible.

Recording for voice-overs is not as simple as sitting down, grabbing a mic, and start your recording session. If you want to up your game in recording voice-overs, here are five simple tips that you can follow.

  1. Record Inside the Right Room

  • The key to getting good sound quality when recording a voice-over is finding the right room. If you’re going to record on a typical room such as inside your office or your home, the results may be a bit echoey. That’s why most professional recording companies have dampening panels installed on the walls to prevent sound from echoing. The slightest echo can cause the microphone to amplify the delay. Find a room that’s full of cloth and furniture. Make sure that all the windows are closed too and it’s away from highly-trafficked areas. Rooms such as closets or study hubs are perfect for voice-over recording sessions.
  1. Dampen Your Desk

  • Not just your walls, your desk can be the culprit too when it comes to echoes. Sound can easily bounce off to your desk which results in a slight echo even if you’re inside the quietest of rooms. A solution to this is to put a blanket on your desk when recording to prevent echoes.
  1. Opt for a High-Quality Mic

  • Now that you’ve found a room that’s perfect for your voice-over recording session, picking the right mic is the real challenge here. High-quality mics are the key to recording great sound. However, some mics can be costly, but at least you get what you paid for. But don’t worry, there are other cheaper options out there for the budget conscious in you. The Blue Yeti is a cheap mic that records great audio quality and has the option that allows you to record directly by plugging it in a USB port. Distance is just as important too. The ideal distance from the mic to your mouth is around six inches. You may want to use a wind screen too to cut out any accidental breath distortion while recording.
  1. Keep Background Noises Away

  • High-quality microphones can pick up even the slightest of sound. Sounds such as the hum of your AC unit, or the rumbling of your fridge are just two of the few that can create distractions during your recording session. So before you start, turn off all your air conditioners, fans, cell phones, and any other devices that cause distracting background noises. If you have the skill in audio editing, you can get rid of these background noises during the editing process. But it’s better to prevent the problem first than fixing it later.
  1. Cleaning it Up

  • Now that you’re done following the steps above, it’s time to do the clean-up process. Of course, you may have recorded some great-quality audio, but if you want to take your sound to the next level, here are some audio editing techniques that you can do:
  • EQ adjusting
  • Normalizing
  • Removing Hum
  • Removing Noise Print
  • Vocal Enhancing
  • Play around with your audio editing software and experiment things to get the best audio quality as possible.

 

When it comes to choosing a home entertainment system, a lot of equipment comes into mind. Be it a DVD Player, an AV receiver, and lastly, the speaker. However, no matter how expensive and high-quality your DVD player and AV receiver is, this will just mean nothing when you have a poorly designed speaker.

Most of us judge the sound quality of a device by listening to how it sounds like when being operated. But what we didn’t know is that it all comes down to the spec sheet that most of us sometimes overlook.

Speaker Specs

  • When you take a look at a spec sheet of a speaker, you’ll never find something that talks about its sound quality. But here are some things that you’ll definitely take a look at:
  • Frequency Response – This is the range of audible frequencies the speaker can produce between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. In real life, we can only hear up to 20 kHz and no more than that. While bass frequencies that are below 30 Hz are more felt than heard. You’ll also notice that there is a plus/minus deviation that indicates how flat or neutral a sound is. The lower the number, the better. However, speaker placement inside a room also plays a vital role in how loud we can hear such.
  • Sensitivity – This gives you an idea of how reliable and efficient a speaker is. Meaning, it determines how loud will it play when being tested with standard test signal while measured at a specific distance.
  • Sound-Pressure Volume – This one is expressed in decibels (dB). The higher the number, the more efficient it is. Numbers in the mid-80s are ideal. While numbers exceeding 90dB is excellent.
  • Impedance – This one tells how much strain the speaker can carry when being connected on an amplifier. The lower the number, the more strain it is. 8 ohms is already considered an “easy” load for most speakers. If you purchased a speaker that has 4-ohms in it, make sure that it can handle the extra load the amplifier will put into it.

Speaker Material

  • The material quality doesn’t actually matter when it comes to choosing a speaker. Aluminum, Titanium, Kevlar, or any kind of material can be used to build a speaker. What matters is the inside and the quality of these components.

 

 

 

What to Listen While Shopping for Speakers

  • When you’re in a speaker shop, don’t forget to bring some favorite discs. Whether if it’s a movie, soundtrack, or any kinds of discs that has content on it. And then proceed to listen and asking yourself these questions:
  • How does it sound like? – Are the instruments clear? Natural? Or muffled or shrill? When listening to a movie, is the dialogue clear and understandable?
  • How about the overall sound balance? – If the speaker is too “boomy” that only emphasized the sound of the bass, then you’re missing out a lot of details. Opt for a speaker that has an equal sound balance where you can hear all the instruments while playing a music track. Or where you can hear the dialogue of the actors/actresses, the background music, and the ambiance while viewing a movie.
  • Do you feel the immersion? – While listening, do you feel like you’re inside a concert hall? Or you’re inside the location of a movie scene? If so, then that’s some good speakers they got there. High-quality speakers can create an illusion that transports you to another space only by listening.
  • Trust your instincts – You’re the buyer, the listener, the user. You know what good and bad audio sound like.

 

If you’re still unsure after purchasing your new set of speakers, you can hire a home tech pro that specializes in audio/video installation and calibration. This will help you get the most out of your speaker purchase and to provide your home with a top-notch entertainment system.

Record Great Voice-Overs by Following These Five Simple Tips

Recording for voice-overs is not as simple as sitting down, grabbing a mic, and start your recording session. If you want to up your game in recording voice-overs, here are five simple tips that you can follow.

  1. Record Inside the Right Room

  • The key to getting good sound quality when recording a voice-over is finding the right room. If you’re going to record on a typical room such as inside your office or your home, the results may be a bit echoey. That’s why most professional recording companies have dampening panels installed on the walls to prevent sound from echoing. The slightest echo can cause the microphone to amplify the delay. Find a room that’s full of cloth and furniture. Make sure that all the windows are closed too and it’s away from highly-trafficked areas. Rooms such as closets or study hubs are perfect for voice-over recording sessions.
  1. Dampen Your Desk

  • Not just your walls, your desk can be the culprit too when it comes to echoes. Sound can easily bounce off to your desk which results in a slight echo even if you’re inside the quietest of rooms. A solution to this is to put a blanket on your desk when recording to prevent echoes.
  1. Opt for a High-Quality Mic

  • Now that you’ve found a room that’s perfect for your voice-over recording session, picking the right mic is the real challenge here. High-quality mics are the key to recording great sound. However, some mics can be costly, but at least you get what you paid for. But don’t worry, there are other cheaper options out there for the budget conscious in you. The Blue Yeti is a cheap mic that records great audio quality and has the option that allows you to record directly by plugging it in a USB port. Distance is just as important too. The ideal distance from the mic to your mouth is around six inches. You may want to use a wind screen too to cut out any accidental breath distortion while recording.
  1. Keep Background Noises Away

  • High-quality microphones can pick up even the slightest of sound. Sounds such as the hum of your AC unit, or the rumbling of your fridge are just two of the few that can create distractions during your recording session. So before you start, turn off all your air conditioners, fans, cell phones, and any other devices that cause distracting background noises. If you have the skill in audio editing, you can get rid of these background noises during the editing process. But it’s better to prevent the problem first than fixing it later.
  1. Cleaning it Up

  • Now that you’re done following the steps above, it’s time to do the clean-up process. Of course, you may have recorded some great-quality audio, but if you want to take your sound to the next level, here are some audio editing techniques that you can do:
  • EQ adjusting
  • Normalizing
  • Removing Hum
  • Removing Noise Print
  • Vocal Enhancing
  • Play around with your audio editing software and experiment things to get the best audio quality as possible.

Nine Mistakes You Should Avoid When Shooting Documentary Interviews

 

When it comes to shooting a documentary interview, professionalism must be made. However, it can be a bit overwhelming to shoot one especially when you’re on a tight schedule. That’s why mistakes are sometimes made while doing one. But with proper preparation, you can avoid these nine common documentary interview mistakes listed down below.

  1. Interviewees in Moving Chairs

  • Keeping your subject still into place is the key to a perfect documentary interview. Don’t let them sit in moving chairs such as swivel chairs, rocking chairs, and rolling office chairs. It will be incredibly hard to edit when you see your subject bouncing or turning around an inch every second. Let them sit on a solid chair to avoid this mistake.
  1. Yes or No Questions

  • Before you make the interview, you should’ve already prepared the questions you have to ask the interviewee. And while making one, avoid questions that require a Yes or No for an answer. Make it more professional and conversational so the interviewee will give his/her opinion about that matter.
  1. Jotting Down Notes During an Interview

  • Eye-to-eye contact is crucial when it comes to interviews, so avoid writing down notes about their opinions or answers while conversing them. If you do, they’ll be distracted on your pen and paper, losing the immersion of the interview. The worst part is that they’ll tend to slow down when speaking so you’ll be able to keep up while writing. Giving the impression that you’re just interested in your notes and not in their opinion about the matter.
  1. Rushing Things

  • Don’t be afraid to allow short pauses and silences during an interview. It can be a little awkward at first but rushing to the next question after the next one can cause you to talk over the subject. Create short breakpoints for at least 2 to 3 seconds. It’s also ideal to pause a little longer to create additional room tone that will come in handy in the editing process.
  1. Interviewees Getting Out of Topic

  • Make your interviewee comfortable of what they want to say, but don’t let them ramble off topic that’s miles away from the original one. If they do, don’t cut them off directly as this may startle them, find a respectful way to get them back on topic.
  1. Not Checking Your Camera Settings

  • Before the interview begins, be sure to check your camera settings first especially when you’re doing multiple camera shots. Match the video settings of all your cameras so that the video editor won’t run into syncing issues during the editing process.
  1. Bad Lighting

  • Not properly lighting your subject is definitely one thing that you should avoid when shooting interviews. This will depend on the location you are in. If you’re only using one light to light your subject, you’ll probably get harsh shadows in the background. Try to shoot the interview away from walls or backdrops and use some uplight to get that beautiful backlighting effect. If you’re doing an interview in an office, desk lights or lamps will come in useful to balance your lighting.
  1. No Audio Recorder

  • Cameras may have a built-in audio recorder, but not all of them can record good quality sound. However, if you’re using a camera with an XLR port in it, then you’re good to go. If you don’t have one, then now is the time to invest in getting a good audio recorder. DSLRs or Mirrorless Cameras don’t have true dedicated audio ports as they only come with built-in audio recorders that record terrible sound quality.
  1. Not Checking Audio Levels

  • When filming, whether a documentary or a short video project, audio is just as important as video. If you bought an audio recorder to aid you during recording sound, don’t forget to check the audio levels while shooting the interview. This ensures you that every sound coming from you and the interviewee can be heard.

Make Your Video’s Sound Quality Even Better with These Quick Audio Tips

When it comes to making video projects, attention to detail is definitely important. And audio quality is no exception. In this article, we are going to tackle a few important tips to make your video project’s audio quality sound great.

  • Microphones
  • When we talk about achieving good quality audio, investing in a good microphone is a must. It’s important to choose the right type of microphone that can capture every sound depending on the environment you’re filming in. Here are four pickup patterns every filmmaker should know.
  1. Cardioid – Cardioid mics are one of the most popular all-purpose microphones most filmmakers use these days. This pickup pattern is versatile and can pick up any kinds of sound whether you’re filming a documentary, wedding, or any kinds of event. Keep in mind that they can also pick up plenty of background noises when you’re not in a controlled environment.
  2. Omnidirectional – This type of pickup pattern can record audio in every direction. They are mostly used in interviews and are put inside the interviewee’s shirt. However, it can pick up some additional background noises. The most popular omnidirectional mics are lavalier mics.
  3. Hypercardioid – This type of mic records in a specific directional pattern. It records every noise it can hear in front of it. This mic is often used in documentaries, news interviews, and even recording instruments. If you’re worried about it capturing background noises at the back, then one thing you should know that this mic can only capture little sound behind it. Meaning, it won’t capture the videographer’s breathing or the sound of the camera while adjusting manual controls.
  4. Supercardioid – This type of mic act much like hypercardioids. The only difference is that it focuses on capturing audio in the front, and not on the back. This is frequently used on boom poles during filming to capture the actor/actresses dialogue.

 

  • Audio Recorders
  • Most indie filmmakers and video producers should have a separate audio recorder. This is because many DSLR and mirrorless cameras don’t have an XLR port built-in. XLR port is used to capture high-quality audio from a professional microphone. If you have a camera with an XLR port, then you’re good to go. However, if you have a camera with only a 3.5mm headphone jack only, then this is a time where an external audio recorder is needed.
  • It won’t be easy investing in a good quality audio recording device as they come at insanely expensive prices. Most of these recorders can range up to $200 to $1000. If you’re tight on budget, there are some that costs between $100 and $300. If you really don’t have the budget to buy one, then use your smartphone instead as a recorder.
  • Audio Editing
  • Now that you’re done with the filming process, it’s time to sit down and edit your masterpiece. However, the challenging part of this is editing the audio. Not that the audio is hard to adjust, but you have to make sure that it sounds good on a range of different devices.
  • Editing for television requires a few tweaks here and there as there are much stricter guidelines to follow. But if you’re editing for the web or an independent film only, you can have your own freedom on the process. Listed below is a guide on how to organize your audio tracks in a proper manner.
  • Audio Tracks 1 and 2 – Sync Sound (SOT) – This is the audio of your main speaker, it’s called Sound-On-Tape (SOT).
  • Audio Tracks 3 and 4 – Sync Sound (NAT/SOT) – This is the audio coming from the b-roll footage, or the ambient sound of the environment. NAT/SOT stands for Natural Sound-On-Tape.
  • Audio Track 5 – Narration (VO) – This is a track for audio coming from the voice-overs.
  • Audio Tracks 6, 7, and 8 – Sound Effects (SFX) – This track is solely reserved for sound effects.
  • Audio Tracks 9 and 10 – Music Cue 1 – This track is where you put the music score of your film or any kinds of royalty-free music.
  • Audio Tracks 11 and 12 – Music Cue 2 – Having separate tracks for music allows you to easily fade between songs.
  • Every audio track should have different audio levels. But keep in mind that audio levels should never ever go above zero dB. If it exceeds over zero, the audio will sound distorted, making it unpleasant to hear. Here are some dB guidelines below to help you level your audio better.
  • Audio Mix Levels: -3db to -6dB
  • Speaker (SOT) Audio Levels: -6 dB to -12 dB
  • SFX Levels: -12 dB to -18 dB
  • Underscore Music Level: -18 dB

Keep the Beat Going with These Top 10 Wedding Music Tips

  • Ask for Recommendations

  • Approach your friends and family and ask them for recommendations on what’s best for wedding music. Ask them if what kind of music do DJs and musicians play on any past weddings they have attended.
  • Sound Check

  • Check if the music you want to play at your wedding fits in with the venue. Stringed instruments don’t fit into beach weddings, or the last thing you’ll see is your violinist being carried away by the waves. Also, if your wedding is set into a public place, some noise restrictions may apply.
  • Review

  • Before booking a musician, be mindful to check their work first. A demo CD from them will come in useful, or just let them play live in front of you during hiring. Ensure how many singers and instrumentalist are there so that every money you paid is worth it.
  • Consider About Overtime

  • Some DJs or musicians are sometimes hired for a maximum of 4 hours. If you think that your wedding will last longer than that, consider hiring them for overtime with extra pay.
  • Contract Cues

  • Jot down everything about the band/musicians you’ve hired. This includes the names and contact numbers of your performers. Don’t forget the date of your wedding and the venue, and what hour should they play. Make a deal about the price and how much will it cost if they’ll go overtime.
  • Explore Different Genres

  • Mellow love songs fit perfectly during a wedding dance. However, it doesn’t fit with your cake cutting session or maybe, during the bouquet toss. Make sure that the band can play different genres that can fit with every situation during the wedding.
  • Be in Control

  • It’s your wedding, you have in control of what you want. Let your band/DJ know when you want to play or not to play their music. There are some times where we need some quiet moments, and there are times that we just want to rock out hard on the dance floor.
  • Be Intimate

  • While dancing with your partner, whisper soothing things to each other and keep yourself on the mood of love. Make sure to tell the videographers to stay out of the way when both of you are having the time of your lives. You don’t want to get distracted at the moment when you suddenly see that huge lens in front of your face.
  • Backups are Important
  • If ever hiring a musician is too costly and you opt for playing music on a pre-recorded CD instead, then take time to write down all the track title and their number and let the person in charge of the sound system follow it. This will make things easier to avoid confusion on what to play next.
  • Dress Code

  • Talk to your hired DJ/band what kind of clothes will they wear during your wedding date. You don’t want to let your grandma get a heart attack if the musicians wear something like they’re in a Magic Mike show.

Important Audio Tips Every Filmmaker Should Be Aware Of

One of the most challenging part of every filmmaker is probably the audio aspect of their film. In fact, this is one thing that filmmakers had taken for granted that they don’t even realize that it makes up 50% of their film.

This is not the case for bigtime movie makers in Holywood though. But for amateur filmmakers, attention to audio is definitely a must. Believe it or not, the picture quality means nothing if the audio sounds mediocre or something.

So try this test. Close your eyes and open your TV. Grab a home movie and a Holywood movie and listen to its sound. Do you hear a difference? Definitely! And that difference is worlds apart from each other. So how can we make audio quality better when it comes to filming? Continue reading down below.

  1. Location Scouting

  • In order to capture good quality audio, you must understand and know your location first. Before filming, try to sit in the location for a few minutes and observe the sounds you can hear. This enables you to know if it is the perfect location to shoot your film. If it wasn’t, then try finding another one. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as an instant button that can get rid of any sound distractions. So do your research and do some location scouting.
  1. Opt for a shotgun mic

  • To make your life easier when filming, invest in getting a good shotgun mic. Most shotgun mics are designed with being directional in mind. Meaning, it will record everything it captures in front of you, not that loud sound of air conditioning behind you.
  1. A lavaliere mic is a good choice too

  • A lavaliere mic is definitely the ideal choice when you’re interviewing someone while filming. It’s basically a mic that you put on the actor/actresses shirt near their mouths. This mic will pick up even the slightest vibrations coming from the throat of a person. The real challenge here is how to hide the mic so that it won’t be seen while filming.
  1. Headphones

  • Many of you may be wondering, why are headphones important when it comes to filming? First, having headphones ensures that the sound is good. And second, it enables you to hear that every sound is being recorded while filming. By the way, don’t opt for cheap ones. There’s nothing wrong with spending a little amount of cash for a nice pair of headphones.
  1. Background sound recording

  • Lastly, recording background sounds shouldn’t be forgotten. Natural background noises can help fill in any gaps during the editing process. So after filming, tell the whole cast and crew to be quiet for at least 30 seconds and record every natural noise that’s present in the room.

Five Important Tips for First Time Podcast Creators

Have a business? Now is the time to create a podcast for more audience engagement. Up to 57 million people are listening to Podcasts in the U.S, which means that it’s one of the most effective medium of making your business grow.

But before you get into that, here are five important tips about podcasting to keep in mind.

  • Define Your Target Audience

  • If you’re running a local business, then a podcast isn’t a great idea for you. Doing so is just a waste of time and the audience engagement will be too small and limited. Keep in mind that most podcast listeners are young to young adults. So if your target audience is about ages 55 and up, then to stick what works best for you.
  • Good Equipment is a Must

  • A podcasting setup can cost you about $500, don’t be surprised about this since we want to create great quality audio for your audience. Invest in high-quality microphones as well as reliable audio recording software. Don’t forget to hire a good producer or editor to clean up your audio. A good hosting platform is ideal too such as Libsyn and Podbean.
  • Pick an Engaging Topic

  • A topic that you’re confident about is important when creating a podcast. Pick a topic that you already know and ensure that it stands out from the rest. Keep in mind that a narrow topic is better than a broad one. And lastly, a podcast should be like an interaction with your audience, like you’re really talking to them and telling them what you want them to hear, not an infomercial about your business.
  • Pick a Reliable Host

  • It’s important to choose a host that already has knowledge about the ins and outs of a business. A host with a relationship with the industry, the time to do a show on a regular basis, and has the skills to promote your business in social media is the one you should definitely pick.
  • Consistency is Key

  • Keep your podcast show running as long as you like, and keep them 30 minutes short for each episode. You don’t want to bore your audience to sleep when doing one right? The more frequent and consistent you are, the more audience you can reach. If you can’t maintain a podcast for at least two episodes per week on a regular basis, then don’t bother making one.

Five Essential Tips About Audio Mixing for Films and Video Projects

  1. High-Quality Speakers is Important

  • Consider getting a high-quality speaker for your editing needs. The better the speaker, the more information you can hear. High-quality speakers can emit even the lightest sounds such as small pops, dynamic range, and other nuances that you can’t clearly hear through laptop speakers.
  • Another reason is that you want to know what your film/project sound like in different setups. So listening starting from the lowest quality to the highest levels of quality is definitely important.
  1. Opt for High-Quality Headphones Too

  • If you ask for advice from audio engineers, the first thing they’ll spit out of their mouth is to get high-quality headphones. This is important especially for the budget conscious, where speakers might be too costly for them.
  1. Review on Different Devices

  • If you want to test how your film/project sounds like on different devices, consider reviewing them not just on your laptop, but also on your smartphones, TV, portable media players, and among others. This is a great way to test how your audio sounds in a range of devices.
  1. Focus on What’s Best for You

  • Now that you’re done checking how your audio sounds like in different devices, you then realize that not all of them are equal. It may sound good on your laptop, but not as good on your smartphone. If you can’t make it perfect and equal for other devices, then focus on one that you think is important. Films are usually viewed on a laptop or TV so make these as your medium for your project.
  1. Find a Volume Reference

  • This is a trick most filmmakers use during editing. Volume-reference your project’s audio to the medium you’ve chosen. For example, try matching your audio output to Netflix or YouTube and use it as a reference when you edit your project. This ensures that you get the same quality of sound as the bigger ones.

Four Audio Mixing Tips with Mastering in Mind

Mixing a song takes a lot of dedication and hard work. If you’re a mix engineer, you consider this mix as your own masterpiece. Passing your creation to the mastering engineer will lead to some negative afterthoughts. You will then begin to think that mastering can screw up the song that you’ve put a lot of heart and soul into it.

Some people perceive that mixing is the optimal version of a song, and mastering is like a step backward to what was originally created. However, this common misconception turns out to be incorrect. To think of it, mastering is an essential step to improve a song. It’s like the cherry to the cake that will take the song to a whole new level to make it ready to be released for distribution.

With that being said, mixing is the intermediary step between recording and mastering. The job of the mixing engineer is to prepare a song that’s ready to be mixed. In this article, we’re going to share about four mixing tips with mastering in mind. Continue reading down below.

  1. Learn How to Use a Mix Bus Limiter

  • The first step to mix with mastering in mind is knowing how to perform dynamic range compression on your creation. Doing so will ensure that the amplitude of a signal is not too high or low. Limiters are usually used by mastering engineers but it’s still a nice idea to use one to monitor your mix. This enables you to hear how it would sound like after the song has been mastered. This will expose things that need to be altered to fix some mistakes.
  • While mixing, use a mix bus limiter regularly and use it as a reference to your mix. Once it’s complete, let the master engineer take over from there.
  1. Experiment Things with a Mix Bus EQ

  • Spectral processing is often used by mastering engineers to fix errors on your mix and improve its overall sound. For you as a mixer, you should learn how to use a Mix Bus EQ to change the overall tone of your mix. Whether you like it to be dark, bright, or vice versa, the mix bus EQ got you covered. Most mastering engineers prefer the tone of the song to be already determined before it lands to his/her desk and using a spectral processor is just optional depending on your mix.
  • With that being said, your job as a mixer is to lock your mix into place on a tone you want. This is why a mix bus EQ is essential. However, you must use it purposefully. Don’t overdo your mix that your master engineer will have a hard time to determine what kind of overall tone you want your mix to be.
  1. Print at 32-bit Floating Point

  • A mix is usually printed in a digital file before being sent to the mastering engineer. There are three types of saving options for this digital file. The fixed 16-bit depth, the 24-bit depth, and the 32-bit floating point. The higher the format, the better the numerical resolution or precision it is.
  • Native-based Digital Audio Workstations process mix signals at 32-bit floating point. This is why both mixers and master engineers typically work with 32-bit signals. Printing your final mix at 16 or 24 bit will result to lower resolution outputs. What the master engineers do in this situation is they convert the signal to 32-bit. However, the conversion process can negatively impact the mix and some of the signal’s precision is lost. This kind of situation can be easily avoided when you print your final piece into 32-bit in the first place.
  1. Bounce Stems and Alternative Mixes

  • If you think that you’re done with mixing a song, there are still some several other files worth printing that’s part of the process. Stems are separate audio files that can be added to make the final mix later on. Master engineers will highly appreciate if you create stem files for different audio tracks. Vocals, drums, and other instruments are good candidates for stem files.
  • While printing stems, it’s ideal to create alternative mixes first. For example, you can create a “TV mix”, where the lead vocals area removed with the Background music left intact. Another example is songs where the instruments and vocals are separated. It may be time-consuming, but it’s worth the time creating these files so you don’t have to worry about making changes and starting over again in the future.