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Video Audition Recording Tips and Techniques

We are looking for good quality sound in your videos. Record your video in a space that has some, but not too much reverb. A small recital hall or large living room with high ceilings and hard surfaced floors are best. Avoid an extremely large hall such as a church and please don't record in a small practice room. If recording in a home, you may want to temporarily shut off appliances or computers that are nearby to avoid extra background noise.

It's essential that you use quality audio recording equipment. The microphones built-in to smartphones are typically mono with small frequency ranges and your recordings will suffer if you don't use separate micrphones. Luckily you can obtain good quality digital recordings for a reasonable price. I have had very good success with digital recording equipment from the Zoom company.

If you don't currently have good quality video/audio equipment and your budget doesn't allow purchasing at this time, check with your local library, high school or university music departments. Many schools now have this type of equipment available for students to check out for free.

If you already own an Apple iphone or ipad, you can purchase the zoom iQ5 or iQ7 for less than $100. One important note with these recorders is to set your phone to 'airplane mode' while recording or you will get static if you receive a text or call during the recording session. If you do go with one of these iphone plug-in micrphones, I also suggest you buy this tripod adapter which holds your phone securely in a camera tripod.

There doesn't seem to be a similar plug-in device for android devices. However, Zoom has just released their Q2n stand-alone video recorder designed for musicians. This device costs under $200. Note that you also need to purchase a micro-sd memory card to store your videos.

When first starting out recording, do some test recordings to make sure you have your levels set properly. Most good recording equipment will have a dial to set the recording level. You want to make absolutely sure the loudest sound you make isn't too loud for the level you have your recording equipment set to or 'clipping' will occur. Clipping is a very noisy distortion caused by overloading the levels of the microphone. As a rule of thumb, start at about the half-way mark- if the dial goes from 1-10, start with 5

- John Wunderlin 1/3/2017

Spotlight on Alumni:

John Wunderlin

Owner, All-Pro Software

Principal Horn, Beloit-Janesville Symphony

KBHC Operations Director

KBHC Alum: 1999-2001, 2003,
2005-2013