6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

How To Video: Record better sound with your smartphone

About Video Transcript

How To Video: Record better sound with your smartphone

4:24 /

In this episode of CNET Australia's Pocket Filmmaker, Jason Van Genderen shows off his favorite devices that will vastly improve the sound quality of iPhone videos.

-Hi and welcome back to Pocket Filmmaker. This week, we're looking at how to record good-quality sound with our smartphone films. Now, it's not quite as hot as what you may think, but there are a few challenges you need to keep in mind. Now, smartphones remain fantastic. They're really, really portable. We've looked at a couple of different ways that we can get great-quality pictures out of these so far. However, why do they let us down when it comes to sound? The reason is simple. It's the on-board microphone. Now, even if we're filming these webisodes, I'm recording a sound that's going to this particular clip right now from a lapel microphone that's pinned to the top of my shirt. Now, I'm gonna get to turn our camera around just to unplug the microphone input, and you'll see what this sounds like now when I'm recording the sound direct from the camera microphone, okay? Now, this camera's about a meter and a half away from me and you'll be able to hear a lot of distraction on the sound. You can hear room echo. You can hear the air conditioning on the background, all because the microphone is that much further away from me. When he plugs it back in however, nice good crisp quality sound because the microphone is right near the sound source. Okay, now one way to get quality sound with your film is to actually put a sound recording device very close to the action. That means taking the sound away from the camera. Now, a device like this is called a zoom digital audio recorder. It's fantastic. Okay, now these come in a number of different models, but see now for a couple of hundred dollars, you can have a pro-quality audio recorder. However, that's only good if you're gonna edit your film because you're gonna need to find a way to marry the pictures from your smartphone to the sound from this device to be frame accurate. If you're after a really inexpensive way to get better-quality sound from a smartphone, have a little one of these. I found this on eBay, fantastic little microphone, just plugs into a standard 3-1/2-millimeter mini jack. It is gonna improve the audio over and above the onboard microphone on most smartphones, and the great thing is you can angle it and do a number of different directions to your sound source. That's gonna make it nice and clear. Would you believe you can actually get better-quality audio from your pocket camera by adding a lens attachment to it? I'm gonna show you how. You may recall on webisode 1 where we looked at lens attachments for smartphones, and I showed this little one which was a wide-angle lens attachment. It's optical. It's glass. It's metal. It's very good quality. Now, my iPhone here, if I just snap this onto the front of my iPhone, what it does is it opens up the angle of view, so even now on this picture here, you can see without the lens how far away I have to hold the camera to get myself in the shot there. Whereas if I put this lens on the front there, I can drag it a lot closer to me and still get the same sort of framing. Now, what that means is I'm close to my microphone, so I'm doubling my audio quality. Here's a little example at my field to show you how that works. Okay, quick experiment on my outside, I'm standing against a brick wall. The camera's held out from my arm. He stands probably about half a meter right from my face. If you hear my voice okay, you can also hear a fair bit of background stuff coming in too. Now, if I put this lens attachment onto the iPhone, I'll be able to bring the microphone and the camera a bit closer to me, so here we go, probably about 20 centimeters away from me now, and whilst you can still hear some reflected noise in the background, my voice should be a lot sharper and a lot clearer, so there you go, shows you how a lens can help you get better-quality audio too. If you want my absolute must-have audio accessory for pocket cameras, it's gotta be one of these. Bell can produce these; it's a mini-boom microphone. Now, these things are fantastic because it's got 2 sound loads on it. It's got switchable fields from narrow to wide which opens up a whole scope of audio recording possibilities. Again, it just plugs into the stereo headphone jack there straightaway, professional-quality sound. It doesn't get any easier than that, absolutely perfect and crisp. Our other film you've got to check out this week is called Space Balloon. You will not believe that [unk] family over in America decided as an experiment to send their iPhone up into space via helium balloon. It recorded pictures and came back to earth. It's absolutely amazing, gotta check it out. All right, that's about it from me. Next time we catch up, we're gonna look at moving pictures. I'm gonna show you all sorts of crazy things like table dollies, steadicam devices for pocket cameras. You won't believe what you see. See you then, bye.

New releases

Apple's official "Spring Forward" event happens March 9th.
5:48 27 February 2015
Look for the Apple Watch and more to be featured at Apple's latest event. Emoji's finally bring racial diversity and will the Apple...
Play video
Zyro, a drone you can play tennis with, Ep. 193
4:49 27 February 2015
This week on Crave we explore the short history of Nintendo Toasters or Nintoasters, discover a mumified munk inside an ancient statue,...
Play video
Net neutrality battle gears up for Round 2
4:26 27 February 2015
The Federal Communications Commission has voted in favor of enforcing Net neutrality rules to regulate Internet providers. But the...
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 136: Bionic reconstruction, a real armored Batsuit and more
26:40 27 February 2015
On today's show, we talk about three Austrian men who volunteered to have their hands amputated for science, a Philadelphia student's...
Play video
Apple's event could be time for more than a Watch
3:00 27 February 2015
The "Spring Forward" March 9 Apple event could hold some surprises in store, the FCC votes in favor of Net neutrality rules, and ToeJam...
Play video
What's new on Netflix and Amazon for March 2015
1:51 27 February 2015
March was made for marathoning. Find out what's going online and offline right here.
Play video
Prevent your Mac password from being bypassed
1:57 27 February 2015
CNET's Dan Graziano shows you how to keep your iMac or MacBook secure from thieves.
Play video
Easily bypass and reset the password on any Mac
1:09 27 February 2015
Forgot your computer password? CNET's Dan Graziano shows you how to easily reset it.
Play video