Camcorder videos intended for social media generally offer acceptable sound quality. While contemporary hand held cameras typically contain adequate microphones for recording conversations, musicians present a different challenge. What’s more, a good video with poor sound can be hard to watch. But a bad visual with respectable audio can still be enjoyed, another reason to consider an external microphone for video blogging.
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Microphones found on everyday camcorders are fine for recording people talking in casual situations but music is another issue. Stringed instruments like a guitar, compared to the human voice, are not the same due to differing commonly heard frequencies and using an external microphone can deliver better sound reproduction. Some camcorders, including JVC’s Everio line, do a decent job of recording acoustic guitarists up close. However, with solo electric pickers and bands in live settings outside the studio, or just kicking around the livingroom recording ideas, capturing the sound with an ordinary camcorder can be difficult.
If your camcorder has an external mic input, using a microphone will let the music bloom with definition over any camcorder tininess. Even an inexpensive external mic will bump up the sound quality a notch. Lavaliere mics, which clip onto a shirt lapel, such as the Shure CVL-TQG and the Line 6 LMaz4-T, retail between $40 and $50. If you want to aim for something better, I used the Zoom H1 set on a small tripod. Improvement on acoustic recordings using a National Tricone was quite noticeable; the difference with an electric guitar also was clear. In addition, Zoom manufactures a series of camcorders with a stereo microphone already built in.
Using an external mic requires tweaking the volume control on the camcorder, an easy task but a key factor in going with a microphone. Soon you’ll discover the proof is in the pudding after hearing the difference. Better sound brings a degree of finish to the visual imagery, which applies to music, interviews and just about anything else to be recorded. Hopefully, your camcorder has an external mic input.