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Sound advice for creating quality video content on a budget

Updated: Apr 18



Good video is wasted without high-quality audio. Often, video creators realise that while other aspects of their videos may be less than perfect, it’s the poor audio quality that audiences find most unforgivable.


For private wealth professionals, video content marketing is a highly effective tool to reach a broad audience. Yet, many overlook the significance of sound quality.


Increasing evidence suggests that the audio quality of a video plays a more significant role in viewer engagement and watchability than the quality of the picture, highlighting the need to prioritise sound in the video production process.


That said, there’s no need to go out and invest in expensive or complicated sound equipment just yet – everything you need for high-quality audio recording may already be in your pocket.


Unlock professional sound with your smartphone

Just as many creators have mastered filming highly sophisticated video on their phones, achieving the same quality audio with your mobile device is equally achievable. Here’s our guide for getting great audio recording from your phone:



1. Think in distance

Like cameras, the microphones in most quality smartphones are highly sophisticated and getting better year on year. Achieving the best audio quality is often a simple question of positioning. The distance between the speaker (or the audio source) and the microphone is the most important determinant of recorded sound quality.


Getting the phone as close as possible to the speaker is key, however, this can be tricky if the speaker is also on camera and you want to avoid having the mobile phone in shot. For this there are a couple of solutions:


  • If the speaker is wearing a shirt or blouse with a top pocket, the phone can be concealed within that pocket.

  • If the speaker’s hands aren’t in shot, it may be possible for them to hold the phone off camera.

  • Can you place the phone on a table close to the speaker? What about having a third person holding the phone just out of shot? Think creatively about your set-up and consider ways to hide or disguise the phone within your shot or just off camera.

There will, however, be situations when the ‘hidden phone’ approach just won’t work. For example, if you’re filming with the same phone. In this case – and if there’s a second person involved in the shoot – we recommend using two phones: one to film and one for audio.


While most phones come with a built-in sound recording app, there are plenty of alternative options available to download.



2. Wireless clip-on mic or lav



The next step up from using your mobile’s built-in microphone is a wireless clip-on mic. At PCD Media, we like the RØDE Wireless ME, which can integrate directly with your phone so you don’t need to purchase a separate camera to use it. We often choose this option when we’re filming with clients on the go.


An alternative to a clip-on mic is a lavalier (lav) microphone. These are small microphones usually clipped to the speaker's clothes or hidden on the body with cables running through clothes to a wireless transmitter. Lav mics are a great option if you need to isolate the speaker's voice, allowing for a more focused sound. If you’re recording in noisier environments, lav mics will generally provide better voice audio quality.


PCD Media recommends:


3. Straight to phone shotgun



A third option for filming with a mobile would be to use a shotgun microphone. These are designed to capture focused sound at a distance and there are different versions designed to be compatible with the leading mobile phone brands. While the sound quality will be less focused than a lav, they can achieve a more natural quality of audio by virtue of their ability to capture more ambient sounds.


PCD Media recommends:


4. Handheld recorder



If you are ready to start expanding into more hands-on gear, the most accessible option is a handheld recorder. These devices come with built-in mics that will probably be better quality than the mics on your phone, however, the same principles of distance outlined above still apply.


Handheld recorders often come with ‘xlr’ ports that allow you to plug in external microphones that can raise the quality of the sound still further.


PCD Media recommends:


Ready for the next step?

Your mobile phone can be your secret weapon for content creation, offering a cost-effective alternative to expensive filming equipment as you’re getting your video marketing campaign off the ground.


Along with advanced cameras and mics, today's smartphones can come with various accessories like clip-on lenses, stabilisers, and editing tools that can elevate the production value and turnaround time further.


If you’re ready to take your video marketing to the next level, PCD Media provides cost-effective end-to-end video production and distribution services for private wealth professionals. Contact us to find out more.


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