On a scale of 1 to 10, how important do you think is sound for your videos?

Somewhere in the middle?

How about this definition?

“Sound is just a vibration going through matter.”

Or this headline from WIRED Magazine?

“The best sound for Video Ads on Facebook is silence.

What do you think?

I think ‘sound is a vibration going through matter’ is a really cool definition. (It’s straight physics. In case you’re interested, here is a link to the article.)

Let’s look at it this way:

When we speak to another person, we send out vibes.

That’s why sound really matters.

Good sound is THE most important part of an effective video because it is the vibe that carries the message.

That is also why people won’t tolerate bad audio in a video while they will still put up with pretty poor image quality.

Two Types of Sound

In our videos, there are two types of sound:

The first one is the sound that carries the message: the voice (which is you).

This is the focus of our video. Don’t take away from the focus. Enhance it as much as possible.

The second type of sound is the background.

It can either support your message, which it really should do, or distract from it. The latter is background noise.

Eliminate it! Keep your video free of distractions.

Let me give you the two most important tips to get your sound right:

  • Speak clearly,

and

  • Get your sound right at the recording stage.

The rest is merely commentary on:

How To Do It.

For your voice, use an external microphone, for instance, like one or a lapel mic.

Don’t rely on the built-in microphones in your camera, laptop or smartphone. The sound is generally awful.

Monitor your sound while recording. This will help you get it right and detect background and wind noise that would distract from your message.

Finally, a word about soundtracks.

Choose wisely. The soundtrack sets the mood of your video, so let it support you.

And don’t drown your voice in the music. Make sure to edit your audio levels just as you edit your images.

So, where to you rate sound now?

Do you have any further questions, technical ones included? My aim is to empower by helping you to get it right: create, present and distribute effective videos that help you get your message right and get it out there with the most powerful online tools available; that help you come across as a Trusted Advisor on your website and on your social media properties. You can see all of my the A-Z of Video for Professional Services on my blog.

This article was first published on the VideoMagnets.co.uk blog.