DSLR Camera Tip: How to record better sound without professional equipment

We had to quickly do a video for a client. The client had to say a few lines about the company while we had to cut between the shots of him and his workshop. Simple! but there was a problem … too much background noise.

We did not have enough time to plan. Hence, we did not have any dedicated recording equipment like the Rode VideoMic or Zoom H1. I started improvising a way out of this mess and realised I already had a pretty decent recording device in my pocket. Yup, my iPhone 4!

I have always been surprised at the very good sound recording quality of the iPhone’s internal mic. It was time it was put to good use. I placed the iPhone in client’s breast pocket such that the iPhone mic was facing upwards. Once the interview was shot, I retrived the recording from the iPhone and matched it up with the footage in Adobe Premiere. That’s it!

iphone-dslr-tip

For comparison, listen to the audio below from the camera mic:

Below is the audio from the iPhone mic:

Now, I would be lying if I said the audio from the iPhone was perfect. But it was tons better than what I got from the camera. To improve the quality of the audio further, I used a product called Izotope RX.

Below is a screenshot of the audio waveform before it was cleaned up in RX.

audio-noisy

Now look at the cleaned up waveform.

audio-clean

Here is the cleaned up audio:

The RX interface can be a bit intimidating if you have no previous experience with any audio app before so I recommend you checkout a few tutorials first on Youtube.

Here is the fully edited video with music and everything: