When preparing audio and video for your students, here are some things to keep in mind for producing the best possible recordings from home.
TIPS for Video and Audio Recordings
- Prepare: Make sure to prepare what you are going to say beforehand so that you can speak to the camera as much as possible rather than reading.
- Pacing: Take your time. Breathe in between sentences. It is in our nature to rush through when recording. Fight that, and feel free to pause for effect.
- Lighting: Do not have a window or other bright light source behind you. If possible face a window, so that the window is behind the camera, slightly to one side. This will give you the best lighting. If you don’t have a window, just make sure any light source is in front of you, and not directly overhead or behind you.
- Camera: For many of us, the best camera we have is our phone. If you are recording with a phone, turn it sideways. Horizontal video is better than vertical. Also, be careful not to cover the microphone with your hand. A phone stand, which you can buy for around $20 from an online retailer, can really help.
- Location: If it’s not windy or too noisy, outside with a phone is actually a pretty good choice. This ensures that there is plenty of light and no reverb from walls being too close. Just find a shady spot and make sure whatever is behind you isn’t in direct sunlight.
- Sound level: If you’re using an external microphone, place the mic as close to you as possible. All the way up to 6 inches is best. Try to minimize background noise. Be sure to project as if you are talking to someone across the room.
- Plosives: Plosives are the hard P sounds that cause a pop on the recording. You can use a pop filter or windscreen whenever possible, which will reduce plosives into the mic.
- Echo: Bare walls and floors are the enemy. They are large reflectors that bounce sound back to your mic creating that “I’m In a Bathroom” sound. Larger rooms can help in some situations. Rooms with carpet on the floor help. If you are in a small room and you want to cut down the echo, you can hang sheets several inches in front of the walls. This will help deaden the room. If you are recording only audio, you might try recording in a closet full of hanging clothes as it helps to both deaden and soundproof the room.