Web video for beginners

Choosing the Right Camcorder Microphone

Mics for the Best Quality Video Sound

Using an external camcorder microphone is the only way to get great sounding audio on your video, but you will of course, require a microphone jack on your camcorder to connect the microphone to in the first place.

You will need a camcorder with a mic port to produce great sounding audio for your video.

Unfortunately, most low-budget (sub $500) consumer camcorders do not have this essential socket, as they are designed for your average 'shoot and go' user who just wants ease and convenience, and isn't too bothered by high quality audio.

But if you are producing videos and DVDs for your business website, then great sounding audio is absolutely essential and must not be ignored.

If you want to portray a professional image to your visitors and customers, then you must invest in a camera that has a camcorder microphone port. Discover how to choose the right camcorder by clicking here.

The Canon HV30 is my number one recommended camcorder.

When you have a camcorder that has a microphone jack, the next step is to get a camcorder microphone that fits into it. I told you this video stuff is simple ;-)

Here comes the science bit.

Camcorder microphones basically come in two forms; Omnidirectional and Unidirectional (or Cardioid).

Ominidirectional picks up sound from all around, so if you were shooting a video outside with an omnidirectional microphone, you would not only pick up what the presenter was saying, you would also pick up traffic noise, birds singing, dogs barking, the neighbour mowing his lawn etc..

Unidirectional, on the other hand, only pick ups up sound that is in line with the microphone, so on the same outdoor shoot, it would only pick up your voice (If it's pointing at you of course).

You now have a couple of choices when it comes to the type of camcorder microphones available and all of them have their advantages and disadvantages. All of them provide great sounding audio, but you will have to decide what best fits your videoing needs and style.

A wired lavalier microphone is the cheapest option. The camcorder microphone option that will give you the best audio quality is a wired lavalier microphone. Also known as a 'tie-clip' or 'lapel' microphone (Because that is where they are normally attached to the presenter), they are physically connected by a cable that fits into the microphone jack on your camcorder.

The advantage of this type of camcorder microphone is they offer high quality audio recording and don't cost a lot of money. You can buy a good quality Sony wired lavalier microphone at Amazon for around $25-$30 - Click on the Amazon link below to purchase this microphone.

The disadvantages are you are restricted by the length of the cable and the fact you are physically connected to the camcorder can limit your movements when shooting the video. They are best suited for static videos.

A wireless lavalier mic offers more flexibility.

The second type of camcorder microphone is the 'wireless' lavalier (tie-clip or lapel) microphone. Exactly the same as the wired version, but without the wire.

This type of microphone works by having a small lapel microphone and transmitter on the presenter, which sends the audio via radio waves, to the receiver, which is connected to the camcorder.

This allows you a lot more freedom to move around in your video, but you can get interference issues and decent wireless microphones that creates good audio will cost you around $150-$200. I recommend and use the Azden WMS-Pro wireless microphone - Click on the Amazon link below to purchase this microphone.

The shotgun mic offers freedom of movement whilst filming at a reasonable price.

The third type of microphone to consider is the 'Shotgun' (unidirectional) mic that fits onto your camcorder and only records exactly what it is pointing at and ignores everything else.

The advantages are no wires to trip up on or radio packs to carry around, so offers more freedom than both the wired and wireless lavalier mics. This is the type of mic I personally use and recommend the Rode VideoMic, which costs around $150, but you must have a 'shoe' or attachment on your camera to attach it - Click on the Amazon link below to purchase this microphone.

Plantronic headsets produce great audio for narration.

You can of course add narration to your video during the editing stage if you are not having an on-screen presenter talking to camera.

For this, you will need to get a good microphone to attach to your computer. I recommend you get a USB microphone for this job, as they offer better audio quality than the mics with phono leads.

'Plantronics' manufacture USB headset microphones which create great sounding audio for around $35, which I personally use and highly recommend. It's great for making videos using screen capture programs or just making calls on Skype. - Click on the Amazon link below to purchase this microphone (NOT for camcorder use).

If you have any video related questions, please click HERE to ask Mr Video!

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