Microphone Tips For Recording Great Audio In Your Videos

Here’s another fun video tutorial for you in our Year of the Video series! This one is all about how to ensure you have excellent AUDIO when recording your videos. There’s nothing worse than coming across what appears to be an excellent video that you really want to watch… but it has terrible audio quality. Most people will click off in a nanosecond!

In fact, people will long forgive bad video quality (e.g. grainy, wobbly) but they won’t forgive bad audio. With the inexpensive microphones available today, there’s no reason not to capture top quality audio… even from your smartphone!

In the video below, Emmy award® winning director David Gumpel and his wife Catherine Hedden from Films About Me share their top microphone tips to help you record better videos. Be sure to listen to the whole video for David’s NUMBER ONE tip for audio! It’s a goodie. :)

Recommended microphone – for smartphones too!

David and Catherine recommend this affordable mic: the Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone. It comes with little clips and a windscreen and is a mere $17 from Amazon.com!

audio technica microphone

Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone. Just $17 on Amazon!

You will need an ADAPTER to use with your smartphone. David recommends this one:

Sescom smartphone mic adaptor

Smartphone microphone adaptor

You can find links to the recommended microphone and smartphone adaptor – along with other cool gear – on Films About Me’s Pinterest page.

NEW! Video marketing training course

Learn directly from Mari, David and Catherine in our brand new online training course called Video Success Secrets – runs February 12th and 14th. More details here.

Video Success Secrets

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Got video questions? Feel free to post here and we’ll do our best to answer you in a timely manner! And/or come post on Films About Me‘s Facebook fan page!

2013: The Year of the Video – free webinar, instant replay

If you missed our mega webinar on January 24th, you can still catch the replay! We had 8,500 people registered and several thousand people from around the world joined us live! The feedback was awesome. You can get instant access to the replay here.

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Mari Smith

Forbes Top Social Media Power Influencer | Facebook Marketing Expert | Globe-trotting Speaker, Author | 'Mari like Ferrari' | Bubbly Scottish-Canadian!

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Posted in Content Marketing, Video Marketing
  • http://www.facebook.com/nick.usborne Nick Usborne

    Yep, that’s the exact same microphone I use. Both excellent and cheap.:)

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.patereau Susan Patereau

    Hi you guys! Great that you have teamed up. I have a questions about the mic. I got it, and the adapter. I put it on my iPhone, I make video – several pieces about 3 to 4 minutes each. When I edit in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, the sound is fine at first but it does not match up with the video about a minute in. The further into the clip, the more off it is. Have you had this happen and do you have any suggestions on what I might be doing to cause that?

  • http://twitter.com/cgcmh1 Chris Groves

    I have one mic jack on my camera. How do you best handle multiple microphones, like you have in this video with 3 people talking, is there a splitter for the microphone jack?

  • http://marismith.com Mari Smith

    Aha – great question. I’ll ask Catherine/David to respond!

  • http://marismith.com Mari Smith

    Sweet!!

  • http://marismith.com Mari Smith

    Ohhh excellent question @facebook-1056901614:disqus — I’ve had this happen on some of my videos, too. Sometimes they play just fine locally (on my desktop) but online they get out of sync and I’ve never understood what caused this. Hm. Hopefully David can shed some light on this for us. I’ll see if he can hop over to leave a comment!

  • http://www.facebook.com/CatherineAnneHedden Catherine Hedden

    Some microphones will work with a “y” connector for 2. For 3 mic you’ll need a mixer. Here is a pretty inexpensive one. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=3631&is=REG&Q=&A=details

  • http://www.facebook.com/CatherineAnneHedden Catherine Hedden

    Hi Susan, Did you check the file before you loaded it into the edit system? The original files should be in sync. Sounds like a conversion problem. What did Adobe convert them to? (from David). Be sure to back-up your files before you convert them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CatherineAnneHedden Catherine Hedden

    Aaaah, glad you like them too, Nick.

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.patereau Susan Patereau

    Catherine Hedden – Thanks to you and to David – He’s right! I went back and viewed my original iPhone video and the video and audio are perfectly synced all the way through. I’m going to take this up with Premiere Pro now. Really appreciate your response!

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.patereau Susan Patereau

    @MariSmith:disqus See my response to @Catherine Hedden. It’s a Premiere Pro problem, probably.(Oh, say that 3 times fast!) I’ll take it up with them. If you use a different editing program, your problem is probably in that program, too. If you find out anything, post it here. I will too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.patereau Susan Patereau

    @facebook-1205792243:disqus @MariSmith:disqus I have good news this morning. I was able to locate the answer to my problem by going to the Adobe Premiere Pro forum. The problem is that the iPhone records with variable speed. The answer is to download the movie to my PC, open it in QuickTime and save it as a movie file, .mvp. That converts it to a file that is no longer variable. When I open it in Premiere Pro it plays synced all the way through the clip. Thanks so much for helping me spend the time to find the answer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scottwayres Scott Ayres

    I’m a big fan of the Blue Snowball mic. It’s very inexpensive and does great for my podcasts.

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  • http://marismith.com Mari Smith

    Love that Snowball! I have the Yeti, too. You’re right, great for podcasts and Skype interviews, too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CatherineAnneHedden Catherine Hedden

    YAA! So glad you were able to isolate and solve the problem. Way to go!

  • http://www.christiankonline.com Christian Karasiewicz

    The snowball is great. I user the Yeti with a pop filter.

  • Tammy Kevwitch

    My question, just from looking at the picture, there is only one male end on the microphone, but two female ends on the adapter. Just off the top of my head, it seems that there should be two male ends, or you won’t get stereo. Is there any validity to this? How do you know which female end to plug the male end into?

  • Daniel Hall

    Thanks Mari! Excellent tips. Always love your stuff!

  • http://twitter.com/stayingaliveuk Michael de Groot

    Question for David. I’ve got the lavaliere mic and adapter from the USA, I’m in the UK. I can’t get it to work with my iPhone. It keeps picking up my built in mic. I thought it might have been the battery so replaced that and still no luck. There is no light on the black casing to say its working either, so it is hard to tell if the mic is actually working or not. Well I know it is not, because I tap it and no sound gets recorded, just via the iPhone mic. I am using iPhone 4. Any ideas or suggestion, its a bit frustrating and may have to send it back, which is mighty expensive to do. Many thanks, Michael

  • Scott Saunders

    Tammy, these are not stereo mics they are called omni directional.

    I use the Giant Squid lav mic, super sensitive but blocks the background noise and very inexpensive. Super stoked, use it with a Zoom H1 for the best digital audio. http://www.giant-squid-audio-lab.com

  • http://twitter.com/Louise_Myers Louise Myers

    I have this little mic! Good to know about the adapter :)

  • JCFrinak

    I, like Chris Groves below, would like to know more about how you connected up the three (3) mics in your video??? The mics appear to come with a relatively short cable. So, what do they plug into? Are you using wireless transmitters? If so, what is a cost-effective approach? And, how are you mixing and equalizing the three inputs? Thanks for any suggestions.

  • Susan Reynolds

    Thanks for the video. Like the others I am wondering how the microphone attaches to the camera and how long the leads are.

    Is it just me or is that video shaky? There are times that it seems to bobble up and down while Mari and co are talking – it was making me seasick!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tina.taunus Tina Taunus

    Love your new series with those two clever and gorgeous people. Looking forward to the next installment.

  • Jim Smith

    you never answered the quesiton of how to you get a long enough wire to get from the person to the video or – are you using some type of broadcasting and receiving unit ???

  • http://www.facebook.com/cindy.dalecki Cindy Dalecki

    Sorry if this is in the comments already, but can I use this with my Flip video recorder?

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Hi @facebook-603249282:disqus — yes, it has a 3.5 mm mini-plug that connects directly to most cameras. I know smartphones need an adaptor though.

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    The mic comes with a 20 foot cable, that should be plenty long enough.

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    teehee, thanks heaps @facebook-1440635217:disqus !!

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    @susan_reynolds:disqus — per Amazon’s site, this mic comes with a 20 foot cable. Ah yes, much of this video was shot with a handheld, not on a tripod as there was moving around to be done!

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    @2e4a0542f5931bce1ac49316a01d40d9:disqus — I’ll need to ping @facebook-1205792243:disqus to ask David. This video we shot in my home studio was all wired mics.

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Sweet!

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Awesome – thanks for the tip @428ef40d0e72f25995062d27ab2c0119:disqus!!

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    The mic is mono.

  • http://about.me/JakolienSok Jakolien Sok

    Hey Mari, quick question. I want to use the microphone for recording videos and during webinars. Can you plug it in to an Apple macbook? I couldn’t find this anywhere? I am seeing a jack plug so my guess would be yes but before ordering it I thought I’d check to make sure ?

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Aha yes you can as it’s a universal plug.

  • http://twitter.com/mqtodd Michael Q Todd Vine

    Joined

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=699240914 Wayne Marshall

    do you have a recommendation for a cordless mic of same quality and inexpensive. Are doing dance videos where need cordless

  • andy brine

    Hi Michael, I am actually having the same problem. My phone is recording from the phone mic. I am using an android phone, though thought it should still work. Have you managed to get it all working now? Thanks Andy

  • http://www.facebook.com/pcellini Paolo Cellini

    Me too same problem, I’m using voice recorder HD app on my iphone. I’ve noticed there hasn’t been any response to this. Pity after buying the equipment and then it doesn’t work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pcellini Paolo Cellini

    I think I have a solution for this. I’ve ordered a 3.5mm mono plug to 3.5mm stereo jack adapter. The atr3350 mic seems to have a stereo jack even though it is a mono mic. It seems that the sescom cable is only designed to take a mono signal too. I got it to work using a Y-splitter (stereo to mono L and R) cable and noticed that mic would work when plugged into one side but not the other. Hopefully that makes sense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pcellini Paolo Cellini

    Just to confirm 3.5mm mono plug to 3.5mm stereo jack adapter arrived and it works.

  • andeeeuk

    Thanks for your reply Paolo, good to hear you have it working. Just out of interest, with Y-Splitter did you buy? I just want to make sure I have bought the correct one and it works. I think I understand what you have done. Do you still need to attach the adapter?

  • Nick Harris

    Is the mic you are recommending the same mic that you use for your shows? If not what mic’s do you use?
    Thanks

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  • SoundReview
  • Umberto

    Is possible to connect this microphone via USB in a iMac?

  • http://www.offersandauctions.com Edward Farshi

    thank you for this recommendation. can you tell me what device you use to connect 2 or 3 microphones at once just as you’re doing in your video?

  • Anonymous User

    You can get a mic splitter. They are really cheap on ebay or amazon and basically you plug the splitter into the normal mic socket, it then goes wider and has 2 holes to plug mics into, sending the signal into the standard mic jack. Some of these splitters have 3 or 4 holes to plug mics into. If not, you can always have a mic jack with a splitter in, and then another splitter in that one, hence giving you 3 slots. You can expand this theory further.

  • faah

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  • tarav

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  • rahan

    Great post! When doing Facebook marketing, it is almost an essential to keep it jolly, even if it’s not the Holidays

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    Great post, very useful and number 3 is something too many are not
    willing to take, which is a big reason they never quite achieve what
    they started out to do!
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  • David Taylor

    Ideally, use a field mixer. They cost $$$, though.

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  • http://www.blueshadowgroup.com.au Becky Stephenson

    This tips about recording audio and videos awesome. I watched the video many times to get much ideas how to hold a mic, camera and other tools. I will recommend this to some of my friends too. Cheers!

    Cheers!
    Event Theming
    http://www.blueshadowgroup.com.au

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