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THE EFFECT SOUND RECORDING HAS ON VIEWERS - WHAT TO LISTEN OUT FOR

Video sound recording
No, we're not referring to mood-enhancing background music. Here, we're stripping away any music tracks and examining the issues surrounding recorded sound during the production process (filming and voice over).

The importance of recorded sound is much underrated but it can have a huge impact on any film/video production. Whilst viewers may praise visual quality and are unlikely to comment on audio quality, studies have shown that when the audio quality is poor it gives a subconscious, negative impression upon the entire production.

Sound is one of the most difficult things to get right, even professionals sometimes struggle with it. There are three common problem areas.

Interruptions
There's no excuse for carelessness but it's very common and a dead giveaway to the calibre of the producer.

It never ceases to amaze us just how oblivious some producers are to unwanted noises such as tapping pens or dangling bracelets on desks, talking in adjacent corridors, shoes walking on hard floor surfaces, opening and closing doors, passing vehicles and overhead planes, etc. All it takes is set of good quality earphones to focus attention on the sound. What's heard is exactly what the viewer will hear. As frustrating as it may be, patience and attention to detail are essential.

Equipment
We're often asked how we overcome noises such as 'hiss' and 'clicks'.

Even professional cameras, on the whole, are not good sound recording devices. The internal microphones and amplifiers are usually low grade. For hiss, the answer is to connect to a high quality external microphone; and that's not a £50 mic from your local a/v store. Our microphones cost between £200 and £600 each. Clicks are usually caused through radio frequencies picking up electrical impulses from nearby appliances. Eliminating them is a bit of a black art. Voice 'popping' can be due either to the wrong type of microphone, bad positioning or, as with wind, it may also require a microphone accessory.

Background Drone (not the flying type)
This is one that only an experienced pro' will be able to handle.

It's often not noticeable until postproduction but the professional producer will be aware of it during recording. The most obvious that you'll recognise are the sounds from air conditioning units and refrigerators. Not so obvious is the drone from factory machinery or that caused through engine and tyre noises on busy roads and motorways. These need to be filtered out using special postproduction techniques.

Recorded in a rural setting, this sound comparison demo is a before and after example of what we mean. The M5 was approximately 2 miles away but could still be heard in the distant background. Notice that to add a pleasing countryside feel, we also dubbed some birdsong. Nice touch, eh?

Conclusions
1. To the uninitiated, it's often difficult to put a finger on exactly what makes a professional production stand out for its professionalism. They simply know that it does. Of the many contributing elements, sound is one that is rarely given due credit for but plays an enormous part.

2. A competent, professional Production Company won't just cover over the flaws with overpowering music. Achieving good quality sound recording also retains more flexibility for greater creativity, leading to stronger impact.

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If you're planning a production that requires good quality sound and the flexibility that brings with it, why not give CorpFilms [UK] a call?
"It's what we're known for. It's what we do well"

CorpFilms [UK] specialises in 'high-end' corporate film production. * Company Promotions * Web and Point of Sale adverts * Training, Employee Inductions and e-Learning * Product 'How to' User Guides & Demonstrations * Live Events and Award Ceremonies * Interactive Interviews
Call or email for an informal chat.

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