Clear and balanced audio is hugely important for your video. It is sometimes overlooked as it lacks the immediate visibility of video but audio can make or break a video project. It has been found that people will suffer through lower quality video more so than low quality audio. Bad audio will turn your viewers away immediately. Luckily there are some simple solutions to the problems that arise when recording audio and they don't always have to cost a huge amount of money.
Some things we consider when making a video are - Microphone selection: There are numerous microphone types out there that do very different things. A 'shot gun' or directional microphone is a good option for recording dialogue or interviews as it will only pick up audio directly in its range and cut down on some background noise. It has a nice, natural sound when used for voices but things like wind and road noise can be an issue and this mic needs to held by a boom operator or rigged onto a stand which cuts down mobility. A lapel microphone is a great and versatile option, it picks up clear and bright audio of your talent or interviewee, is wireless so they are totally mobile and will cut down on a lot of environmental sound making post production a bit easier. There are many different mics that achieve different things, so the choice of mic is your first and most important step to good audio.
A quiet environment to record in is also very important. A very large room with hard walls and cement floors will have a lot of reverberation or being next to a busy road will have a lot of traffic noise. Things like fridges and air conditioning may also give a distracting low hum to your audio. When we scout a location, we look for a suitable quiet area. Somewhere that has relatively low echo and we will always try to turn off air conditioning and fridges (and remember to turn them back on).
That leaves Post Production. With the right software a lot of issues can be fixed in editing. This is not a magic wand though. Some issues on the day of recording cannot be fixed so the first two steps are important! In post production the aim is to even out the loudness of the sources of sound so it all sounds uniform and nothing is really loud or too quiet. We can EQ the sounds to make them sound suitable for the video, we can mix in other sounds to help tell the story, like sound effects or background noice etc. The list is endless.
Ultimately the goal is to walk away from a shoot with good quality clean recordings then manage it through post production, adding or taking away the elements to make sure the video reaches its full potential.