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Capture Natural Sound with Video Clips

Water flowing out of a pipe
Image Credit: Art Ruiloba

Why is sound important for a video?

“Sound is what truly convinces the mind [it] is in a place; in other words, ‘Hearing is Believing'.” — Jesse Schell, video game designer and CEO of Schell Games.

Hearing is believing – so be cognizant of the type of audio that is recorded with video clips. Great sound will complement the visuals in a scene, and it will aid in conveying those details to the viewer.

Most of us have five senses – sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste – with which to discover the world around around us. Sight and sound can be emphasized in a video production.

Natural sound may originate from different sources when recording a scene for a video project. Untainted, natural sound from a scene can be a powerful tool for storytelling. For example, cows mooing in a dairy; the sounds of milk machines; cows eating; tractors moving in the pens; the sound of workers doing their jobs; or even conversations between workers, talking about their daily tasks. All of these are considered natural sound and would help tell a story about life on a dairy.

Clean, natural sound and visuals are essential to the video project. So, make the effort to capture captivating sound with the video clips being recorded. This extra effort will make a difference in the overall video.

Remember, natural sound can:

  • stimulate the auditory senses and keep the viewer attentive.

  • reinforce what the viewer sees on the screen.

  • give content and information to the viewer and help them understand the visual environment.

  • help the viewer understand the whole message of the video.

  • create a sense of mood and bring emotions to the viewer's mind.

  • elevate the production value of the video.

Keep the natural sound authentic: do not corrupt it!

Do not taint that natural sound during the video recording process with your presence at the scene.

A videographer can negatively impact natural sound during the recording process by:

  • sneezing

  • coughing

  • talking on the phone

  • having a person-to-person conversation with a co-worker

  • moving a vehicle

  • having the car engine running

  • slamming car doors

  • playing the radio

  • moving around the recording device while recording

  • bumping into the video camera or tripod while the camera is recording

These unwanted sounds are now considered noises!

A great opportunity has been missed if a great visual has been captured but the natural sound has been spoiled.

All these type of actions will make it difficult for the video editor to have valuable, natural sound to utilize in the video project.

Written by: Art Ruiloba, NMSU-ACES Video Producer,


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