A Costly Mistake for Videographers
By Tyler Ellison
All videographers should be familiar with the headaches that go with recording audio. The list of possible disasters seems to get longer each time I conduct an interview, record an event or performance, or mix vocal recordings with music.
It is essential, therefore, to use headphones on the job while recording audio in any form. In December of 2005 I conducted an outdoor interview but I forgot to include my headphones in my audio case. The site was secluded so I took the chance that the recordings would come out even though I couldn't hear what was actually being recorded.
Imagine my frustration as I listened to the playback. Vehicles on the highway were all over the soundtrack. While the voice was still clear, it was cut by loud diesel engines and a struggling sedan that couldn't have been worth more than $500 in spare parts.
Lesson: Never record on-site audio without headphones.
Not even the advanced audio filters included in Final Cut Pro 4 could save me from this one. I cut one frequency after another but the vocals seemed too closely aligned with the background noise. There was simply no way of saving the track as it stood.
Fortunately, my clients were forgiving and I was able to transcribe the spoken section of the original recording. Recording under tightly controlled circumstances, the new sound track was laid down beautifully. Since the words were not each equal and the speaking speed was different, I included several photographs as a montage to cover the areas where the new sound and the original video could not match.
There is a wide variety of headsets to choose from. On the surface it would not seem to make a difference which type of headset you use but on the job it makes a huge difference. I would never take a pair of those cheap iPod type earphones on the job for one thing. Those types don't shield any background noise which makes it difficult to hear subtle differences during recording. The ideal set of headphones for recording live events needs to have sound-proofing elements in place. You know that fuzzy stuff on the head set? It is not just there to be soft on your ears. The primary function is to filter out the nearby noise and allow you to better hear what is coming through the cords.
The only brand I actually recommend is unquestionably the best. A real professional videographer will have a pair of Bose earphones, the new QuietComfort 3 set is the most incredible pair I have ever worn. Bose products are worth every penny you spend on them, or better yet, invested. Consider purchasing Bose headphones an investment. Even the really dumb clients will recognize the quality of the brand name since it commands respect everywhere. If you show up with a weeny little pair of no name brand headphones, your clients will not feel inspired to trust you as a professional. When you strap on a pair of Bose QuietComfort 3 head phones, your clients will instantly respect you as a professional. You can get them from the Bose website and I promise you that it will be a decision you will never regret.
About the Author
Tyler Ellison is among utah wedding videographers as part of Ellison Video Productions. ( http://www.ellisonvideo.com )
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