Do you record videos for YouTube, for Twitch or for home work?
Have you considered using a microphone to improve the quality of your videos?
We’re talking about external microphones, those that you plug into your computer or into your camera usually via a USB cable to record yourself or someone else talking while the video image is simultaneously being captured by the device you plugged the mic into. The big issue is that sometimes built-in microphones of computers or webcams (to name a few) are not the best choice to get good audio quality.
In this post you will discover the benefits of having an external microphone to use in your recordings and how they benefit different types of video creation, such as tutorials, gameplays, video conferences, narration videos (when you talk looking at the camera) and singing videos as well.
Let’s see how your videos can get better with an external microphone.
External microphones deliver much better audio quality
The first benefit of getting an external microphone for your video recordings is to grant them a much higher audio quality. That is the number one reason to have a condenser USB microphone, which is the most common type.
USB microphones are usually condenser microphones a.k.a. capacitor microphones not only deliver excellent recording sensitivity and precision but also reach wider frequencies to record speech, narration and any other type of audio that involves talking (or singing too).
Another great thing about the high audio capture response of an external condenser microphone is that it makes your voice sound clearer and deeper, as if you were talking from a radio station or on live TV as a reporter. That is very important to boost the professional feel of your videos!
Internal microphones record background noise. External microphones don’t
Internal microphones of smartphones, computers and cameras tend to record a lot of background noise, no matter how quiet the room/space you’re recording your videos. This background noise is actually the sound of the air that only condenser microphones can remove from audio recordings.
And the problem is that your voice ends up being recorded with the background noise acting literally as a background sound. That makes it difficult to post-edit the video, requiring too much audio normalization, noise reduction and similar techniques.
External microphones are the solution.
Condenser microphones, for example, capture your voice sound only, and greatly reduce the recording of background noise (humming sounds and hissing sounds) but also highly decrease the capture of interfering sounds such as a dog barking or cars passing near the recording room/space.
This is great because sometimes it is not even necessary to post-edit the audio track of your video, or you get almost no editing at all to do in the post-production, thanks to the recording quality of a condenser microphone.
Of course that a reasonably quiet place is always recommended to get better recording for your videos, but a condenser microphone can remove much of the “natural” noise sounds that built-in microphones end up recording.
An external microphone is great for video tutorials, video conferences and gameplays
Having external microphones grants you much more quality to record video gameplays. With a condenser microphone and an accessory such as a tripod or an arm stand (for the mic) you get to speak a lot closer to it and your voice will be a lot clearer. This can avoid you having to speak too loud while you’re playing, then your videos sound more natural.
The same goes for video tutorials and for any type of screencast (when you record the computer screen) that involves you speaking while you do something on the computer, such as schoolwork that requires passing a slide presentation and explaining theory with narration.
Also, if you attend video conferences very often for work, for school or anything similar, having an external microphone is a great improvement and will grant your conferences a much clearer audio sound when you speak. That is good especially if you attend video conferences at home and there is any type of “natural” noise such as dog barks or cars nearby, those are reduced a lot with a condenser USB microphone, for example.
For music videos, an external microphone is essential
A music video can be a song cover or an instrumental cover too. It can be a video of you or someone else singing but also you or someone else playing a musical instrument. In any of those cases, you need an external microphone.
Music videos are different from other video types because you need to make sure that your microphone can record a wider range of frequencies (from voice or instruments). If that doesn’t happen, your music video loses sound quality.
Especially because human voice ranges vary from person to person, so if you’re recording someone singing with a high voice and the microphone has poor quality, the person’s voice can sound “crashy”. The same goes for lower pitch voices, an internal microphone from a camera or a smartphone can make a lower voice sound too distant and too difficult to hear.
To avoid that, get an external microphone. More specifically, a condenser microphone.
Condenser microphones are the most recommended for music videos because they don’t capture background noise and capture a good range of low and high voice pitches, thei wide range capture is also great to capture a good amount of music instrument notes, making the sound smoother and clearer. Also, a condenser microphone can spare you from a lot of audio editing and audio normalization in the video post-production.
And if you record music videos very often and you like to add special audio filters to your voice or musical instrument (with a hardware audio interface, for example), the audio quality of a condenser microphone will boost your video sound quality a lot and improve the effect of special audio filters.
The cost-benefit of an external microphone is really worth it
When you invest in an external microphone you can be sure that it will last for a long time. Also, that is not an expensive device, you can find professional condenser microphones for $49.00.
Condenser microphones that record a wider range of frequencies, proper for some types of video such as recording music clips, are around $200.00, and the cost benefit is totally worth it.
Also, keep in mind that the price differences don’t mean that a mic has bad quality when compared to another, sometimes you don’t need all the features of a $200.00 condenser mic and the $49.00 mic will cover all your requirements. It really depends on what type of video you usually record.
You can plug an external microphone into your smartphone and into your camera
That’s right! External microphones can be connected directly to your smartphone to make videos, you can record a video capturing the image with your phone camera and record the audio simultaneously with the external microphone, that will get you videos without background noise (that smartphones usually capture) and you end up having a great audio quality.
The same goes for DSLR cameras and mirrorless cameras. You can plug the external microphone to them and capture the video image simultaneously with the camera and the audio with the microphone.
You simply configure your phone/camera to receive the audio directly from the microphone and record the video capturing the audio input from the external mic instead of capturing the audio input from the phone/camera internal microphone. You can search on YouTube for how to connect a specific phone/camera model to an external microphone.
Great! Now you know great reasons to invest in external microphones and get better videos with professional audio!
It can be to record video tutorials, video gameplays, for video conferences or to record music videos. Either way, having an external microphone is a great investment.
So don’t hesitate to choose one for you and record your videos with it!
You can also share your thoughts in the comments below!