• 602-889-0990

Why it’s Important to hire an Audio Engineer for a Video Shoot

June 22, 2015
June 22, 2015 SpectrumVideo

Why it’s Important to hire an Audio Engineer for a Video Shoot

We’ve all seen Singin’ in the Rain. If you haven’t, its an award-winning musical made in 1952 but set in the 1920’s about Hollywood’s reaction to the introduction of audio in the movies. Throughout this comedy, silent film production companies transition to making “talking pictures” which comes with an array of pitfalls and setbacks.


Microphone placement is one of many issues that audio engineers deal with.

In Singin in the Rain, Lina Lamont, played by Jean Hagen, is struggling to make her lines audible. Watch the clip here.

Since sound’s debut, the importance of audio in video has only increased and the problems that occur are still relevant. The droning of nearby highway traffic. Muffled audio of your talent. Digital distortion in post production. Ever experienced these audio obstacles? If so, it’s likely you didn’t have the right audio engineer for the job or you didn’t have one at all. That is why when you make your next digital marketing clip, commercial, or internal corporate video, its crucial to have an expert in process.

A great audio technician is key to the success of your production – whether it is a live event or a video shoot. Here are the reasons why you need an experienced audio engineer.

1. Audio engineers select the right equipment for the job.

Microphone selection varies greatly. Some are designed to pick up only the sounds closest to the capsule (aka mic tip), some are utilized to record all ambient audio within 30 feet, while others are adept at capturing clean audio from several feet away. Having a crew member dedicated to the placement of capsules , assessing ambient noise and managing wireless frequencies is imperative to the successful selection of audio hardware.

2. Audio engineers know to bring an external recorder.

Today, most cameras can embed audio directly onto the digital video files used in post-production editing, which makes for a streamlined process. And yet, there should always be an external recorder for a number of reasons:

  • Redundancy (things break, it’s inevitable- have a backup!!!)
  • Remote cameras or mounted cameras that aren’t getting an audio feed can be synced later (cameras on a drone, Jib, Steadicam, going hand held or on a vehicle)
  • Quality is often better than camera microphones

3. Audio engineers never take the headphones off.

Audio technicians are essentially sound watchdogs. Monitoring seems simple, but in a busy “on-location” environment it often gets overlooked. Audio engineers listen closely for unexpected sounds such as a cough, rustle in clothing, or door closing. If something like this occurs, they will call for a re-shoot.

4. Audio engineers are a must during pre-production.

Pre-production scouting should always include your audio technician. Any new location and every unfamiliar studio have their audio gremlins. Planes, traffic, nearby emergency services, wind (air conditioner vents can make as much noise as outdoor breezes!), neighborhood schools, dogs…they all play an important part in pre-planning. It’s possible to “phase out” unwanted noise. However, you need to know the pitfalls ahead of time to bring the appropriate audio gear.

One of Spectrum's Audio Engineers: Brian Weldin

One of Spectrum’s Audio Engineers: Brian Weldin

Experienced audio techs will ultimately save you money in the long run by avoiding re-writes, re-shoots, and difficulties in the post-production process. When you are planning your next video shoot or live event, be sure to hire the right audio technician for the project. A great engineer will bring the right equipment, take extra audio precautions, pay close attention to detail while monitoring sound, and be present during pre-production.

Be sure to contact Spectrum Video & Film for your next project. We can provide you with an experienced audio engineer as well as anything else you might need for you video.

Article by Ken Liljegren, owner and president of Spectrum Video & Film. Spectrum Video & Film is a professional video production company in Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona specializing in corporate, commercial and online videos, as well as projection, lighting and sound. To find out more about how we can help with your next video or event, visit us at spectrumvideoandfilm.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *