7 ways to Save Time in Audio Post Production
“Fix it in Post!” is too common of a phrase. Post Production is a time where everything comes together. The vision is finally becoming a reality. This is a time for being creative with color, music, graphics and sound effects, not for making major repairs.
Audio is often the cause of a lot of headaches due to the “fix it in Post” method. Here are seven ways to SAVE time in post and it fix it on location:
- Listen to you Location When choosing a location to shoot a video the visuals are important, but you must consider what you hear as well. Perhaps you found a great park bench in the shade for an outdoor scene, but not too far away is a busy airport. As much as we able to, “hold for sound” on location, in some cases, it’s not worth it.
- Use an External Microphone Most video cameras have a microphone but they are really only good for scratch audio, or backup. For any quality audio, you will need at least a small shotgun that attaches to the top of the camera, like the Rode Video Mics. If you have a mic stand or even better, an extra person, using an off camera boom microphone will give you much cleaner audio that is free of camera sounds and the opportunity to get closer to your subject.
- Use a Backup Microphone If you are able to use two microphones, like a boom mic and a lavalier, do it. The more backup, the better.
- Use an External Recorder The more microphones you use the more likely you will need an external recorder or mixer. This will allow more control over levels and possibly mic placement since you are no longer attached to the camera.
- Use a Slate Deciding to use an external recorder means you have little to no sound going to the camera itself. When you get in the editing room the video and audio will need to be synced together. This is a time-consuming process, making sure you use a slate or clapper for each shot will make it a lot less painful.
- Always Have Camera Audio As mentioned, it is possible to work smoothly with an external recorder and no camera audio as long as you have the slate, but life will be even easier if you make sure the camera is recording audio in some way. There are several software programs out there that can auto-sync your files as long as the video has sound waves to match. If the camera doesn’t have a mic, consider sending scratch audio from a recorder or mixer.
- Watch Your Levels No matter how you are recording your sound, watch your levels. One of the most difficult things to repair in post production is distortion or peaking sound waves. So use headphones and keep an eye on the meters.
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