For Students: Sound, Man

MicsPardon me for going ghost for a bit. A new video is on the way (one week or less)!

I was waiting for some new equipment to arrive and of the several things I bought, I’m most excited about those bad boys up there—Rode’s smartlav+ Lavalier Microphones for Smartphones.  The more expensive ($200) Zoom H4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder had been my go-to recorder. It came highly recommended from my video production buddies, so I went with it when I was putting my New to Video-Making starter kit last fall.

Several videos later, I’ve gotten the hang of using it, but don’t much like that I basically have to put it next my subject’s mouth (save for attaching some other doohickey to it) to get excellent sound. I suppose as a novice, I thought I’d be able to put it on a table in front of someone and hear more of them and less of the surrounding room. Silly me.

In my Hino video, it was between his legs on the ground. That went terribly. In the Naima video it was just out of the shot frame on a stool next to her. Because the room was so quiet, her voice came through clearly, but every time she rubbed her jeans or patted her knees, it was super loud. Fail.

Enter my buddy Jas’, who’d watched a few of my videos and knew I could use some sound help. She shot me the texts below:

Jas' smartlav+ Text

I jumped online and ordered a pair at a relatively cheap steal ($80 a piece). I just used one on my latest shoot and I’m sold. The quality is easily the best I’ve experienced and it’s super easy to use. I just plug it in to my iPhone, hit record and just like that, all the audio in my prior video stinks in comparison to it (the Ro James clip was pretty solid, though).

So I pass this advice to y’all now. If you too don’t have hundreds to spend on audio devices, the smartlav+ the way to go.

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