Thoughts on Production Pt. 1: Audio

A few observations on audio.  For all our shoots thus far (including the commercials in the pilots)  we’ve used the Olympus ME-15 to capture audio and the Zoom H1 digital recorder to record it.  So far we’ve been very happy with both.

Olympus ME-15 mic.jpg

For a $26 mic the Olympus ME-15 has done great, even in noisy settings.  The audio we've gotten is very clean with no popping.  The only downside is that it only records mono (cuz I got the cheaper model), so we have to duplicate the file in Premiere and switch the channels.  Not a big deal, but worth noting.



Likewise the Zoom H1 has worked flawlessly.  For our conversation with Spencer Fox I tried using the “auto level” feature for the first time and wasn’t impressed.  The audio came out usable enough for our purposes, but I won’t be using that setting again.  Setting the levels yourself ahead of time is the way to go.


I also can’t over-emphasize the importance of slating.  Even if you don’t have an actual slate and just clap your hands in front of the camera and yell out the take number.  Syncing your audio and video in post will be miserable if you forget.

Slating during a Das Beer Show shoot at Fullsteam Brewery.

Slating during a Das Beer Show shoot at Fullsteam Brewery.

That’s all I have on audio right now.  Admittedly I’m not a sound guy, so I don’t have a lot of insight here.  I have learned however that in some ways good audio can be more important than good video, so don’t neglect it.

If you have any thoughts on this topic, feel free to leave a comment.  My next post will be about lessons in lighting.  Stay tuned!