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.
- 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.
- 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.