Video Audition Recording Tips

We are looking for good-quality sound in your videos. Record your video in a space that has some, but not too much reverberation. A small recital hall or large living room with high ceilings and hard-surfaced floors is 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 into smartphones are typically mono with small frequency ranges, and your recordings will suffer if you don’t use separate microphones. Luckily, you can obtain good quality digital recording devices for a reasonable price such as digital recording equipment from the Zoom company (the audio device manufacturer, not the online meeting 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 plug-in microphones, you might also try 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’s Q2n stand-alone video recorder is a relatively affordable option designed for musicians. Note that you also need to purchase a Micro-SD memory card to store your videos.

Before recording your audition, 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 your recording level 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 halfway mark. If the dial goes from 1-10, start with 5.