A journalist’s guide to recording audio

Jan. 28, 2019

Want to record clear and high-quality audio before your next interview? We’ve come up with some top tips on using microphones and recording audio taken from our WITNESS video courses on Advocacy Assembly.

Microphone tips:

Tip 1: A shotgun microphone is essential for all handheld close quarter filming.
Tip 2: An inexpensive lapel microphone is perfect for recording interviews.
Tip 3: Wireless microphones are used to record audio long distances from the smartphone.
Tip 4: If you buy a radio microphone spend a bit more because it’s a tool you will keep for a while.

Recording tips

Tip 5: For an interview, record within a meter of the subject, use a windsock outdoors (comes with microphone).
Tip 6: Sit your subject back to the wind to the shield the lapel microphone that’s attached about 20 cm below the subject’s mouth.
Tip 7: Monitor the sound with a good pair of headphones to make sure you’re capturing it all.
Tip 8: Background noises are distracting in a video. Turn off fans and refrigerators or any other sound. If there's a window open, close it to shut out the traffic noises. If your piece needs background sound, be sure to record it separately from the interview.

Interested in improving your video skills? Sign up for WITNESS’s free courses on Advocacy Assembly