Did you know that editing the audio of a video makes it a lot better and keeps the audience more focused?
A video with medium image quality can hold the viewer’s attention for much more time. The audio corresponds to 50% of the audience’s attention to a video, no matter what’s the theme or idea being communicated. So, it’s really important to pay attention to audio quality when you’re producing or editing videos. Any error that may exist in the audio of a video must be corrected.
If your video only has a soundtrack with no speech, no narration and no human voice, it’s still essential to work on usual issues such as echo, noise, hissing and other issues that exist on the audio of most video clips.
Even audio recorded with condenser microphones can contain a little reverb, echo or hissing that reduce the quality of a video and distract the audience. Sometimes audio is even more important than video footage depending on what message you want to communicate through the video.
In this post you will discover how to improve the audio quality of a video through many editing techniques. You will see how to improve the audio of your videos in many ways both for music and voice-over/narration audio.
Let’s get started!
1. Apply audio normalization to your video’s audio
Audio normalization is a technique to control the amount of gain of an audio file by bringing its amplitude to a target level. That may seem too technical, but in short it means that you organize the volume peaks of an audio file to make it sound stable all the time.
Maybe you never stopped to think about it, but in movies a whisper sound has the same volume of normal speech. That happens because of the audio normalization technique that is applied to the movie audio during post-production.
An audio that is not normalized can distract your audience and reduce the quality of your videos as viewers will have to pay a lot of attention to the different audio volume levels of each part of the video.
When an Internet video has a normal volume that suddenly gets low, the first thing most people do is turn up the volume of their computer/smartphone. However, if the audio returns to the high volume level in the next scene of the video, that will produce a sound crash (a sudden loud sound), which can negatively surprise the video viewers.
To avoid this issue, you can use your video editing software itself to apply audio normalization to your videos. Look for the volume controls and for the audio normalization tool in your Video Editing Software, usually called Normalizer. You can also search on the Internet and on YouTube for tutorials of how to apply audio normalization with the specific video editing software that you use.
2. Apply audio equalization to your video’s audio
The audio equalization techniques alter the frequency response of an audio track by using linear filters. Equalizer plug-ins that you install in your video editing software or equalizer features within your editing software will adjust the amplitude of audio signals at specific frequencies.
An audio equalizer tool or plug-in can remove noise gates (hissing sounds in the background of audio files) to improve the quality of your videos. So, another thing you can do is equalize the audio of your video (keep its frequencies balanced) through an equalizer plug-in or some tool of your own video editing software that offers equalization features.
3. Use audio plug-ins
An audio plug-in is a software that enhances the audio functionalities of a software. Audio plug-ins can improve the audio mixing features of the video editing software you use because they work as programs that are installed in the video editing software and become a part of it as extras tools.
For example, Vegas Edit, VEGAS Pro and VEGAS Post are video editing programs that offer many audio plug-ins that not only improve the audio quality of any video, they also add effects to audio, such as reverb, chorus and vibrato, just to name a few.
4. Add sound effects and background music to your videos
One simple thing that you can do add Copyright Free Sound Effects to your videos as an extra audio track. Sound effects are great to illustrate movements in a video and make it more realistic. Another possibility is to download Copyright Free Music to use as a background audio track of your video. You can even add more than one background music track to your video. Those will increase the professionalism of your videos. Just remember to level the volume of those audio tracks correctly as you do with the main audio track of your video.
5. Tips to improve voice-over and narration audio
For videos with voice-over or narration, in which one or more person speaks, usually there’s some issue to be fixed as the voice needs to be understood clearly and even condenser microphones can end up recording noise or echo. That’s pretty much natural because unless the room where the voice-over/narration is recorded has sound isolation, there will be something to correct in post-production.
So, you can increase the audio track’s low pitches, decrease its mid-range and increase its high pitches a little bit, which creates a dynamic range and makes it better to be heard by the viewers of your video.
Don’t forget to level the voice-over/narration audio track volume to be louder than every track of background music or sound effect that you use in your video (if any) to avoid confusing your audience with a music/sound effect that surpasses the volume of the voice/narration, making it impossible to be understood.
6. A technique to help with audio and video syncing when you record them with different devices
If you are recording the image of your videos with one device and the audio with another device (1 camera + 1 external microphone, for example) and you need to synchronize the video with the audio in the post-production, there is one simple thing that you can do: you can clap your hands right after you start recording both the image with a camera and the audio with an external microphone, that will create an audio wave “bump” in both audio tracks: one in the camera audio track (assuming that the camera is capturing audio too) and one in the external microphone audio track.
Then, when you’re editing both tracks (video track and audio track) in the video editing software timeline, don’t forget to import the video recorded by the camera into the timeline including the audio track (the audio from your camera) to help you sync the image with the external microphone audio track. Then, simply search for the audio wave “bump” in both tracks that was created by your hands clapping and sync them one above the other in the timeline. After that, you can delete the audio track from the camera and use the audio track from the microphone as it will be synced with the image.
7. Use a Digital Audio Workstations (DAW)
If you want to work on the audio of your videos with more details, you can edit them separately in a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) and render the finished audio to import as a media file in your video editing software. A DAW is a software program to edit, mix, compose, produce and record audio.
Some video editing programs come with a DAW included, which is the case of two software programs that we reviewed in the following posts:
• VEGAS Pro for Video Editing: The Complete Advantages Guide (includes SOUND FORGE)
• VEGAS Post for Full Stack Production: The Complete Advantages Guide (includes SOUND FORGE)
You can also check our complete review of every version of SOUND FORGE, a DAW for multiple types of audio editing:
• SOUND FORGE for Audio Editing: The Complete Advantages Guide
Great! Now you know 7 different methods to improve the audio quality of your videos in post-production! You also know what are our recommended software programs for editing the audio of your videos with advanced features. So don’t hesitate to put what you’ve learned into practice and check out the reviews of the programs we recommend!
You can also share your thoughts in the comments below!