Sep 28th 2011 1:43PM
While Pre-Production and the On-site overview are essential in preparing for a business profile shoot, nothing determines the outcome of the final product more than clean and clear audio. In terms of quality control - no one has patience or the stomach for poor audio. Given the audio driven interview format of these products, if the audio is not just right, we cannot deliver to the client. We have spoken about audio here before, but now is a good opportunity to discuss some brief techniques.
Before we get started, its worth listening to a few quick samples where the audio has prevented the edit from delivering straight to the client:
The single biggest factor behind bad audio is almost always not using a quality lav microphone. Even the best onboard microphones will never provide a clear signal of someone speaking. It is critical that you use a lav on all business profiles - though we realize some individuals are more comfortable with setting a boom on a stand but we prefer lavs almost without exception. But because our business profile videos are scheduled to fit within a 90 minute timeframe, the Lav is always going to be faster and provide better results for a one man band.
With that in mind, the formula becomes pretty simple: use a lav, keep your levels around -12 db on the LCD, and listen throughout with headphones to make sure you are not picking up any unwanted ambient noise like an AC unit or fridge. If you are using new gear, do a few practice runs prior to your shoot to familiarize yourself with what you get in the field and compare it to what you hear in post.
There are still plenty of other things to keep in mind when capturing audio, but if you are a fanatic about those preliminary techniques, it will go a long way ensuring you are capturing great audio for any type of shoots that include an interview.