Capturing sound is one of the most important aspects when creating the perfect story.
Whether you’re creating a video or writing an article, having clear sound and accurate information is always necessary. Fred Pierce, Director of Public Relations at SUNY Cortland, who also taught at the Syracuse University Newhouse School of Communications, recommended I get a sound recorder for future interviews, and it has been better ever since. So my next visit out to SUNY Cortland to cover the grounds preparation for Jets training camp, I had my new sound recorder with me.
Tip #1: Get yourself a sound recorder for quotes. This way you have back up sound in case your microphone captures too much background noise. It also becomes helpful so that you can focus on what the person is saying rather than trying to write it all down and missing important information and quotes, plus you won’t feel so pressured to make sure your writing is perfect, but that you’re writing aweha moments down, especially when you have the Jets intern talking to you outside in an open football field and the Jets Grounds Manager talking on the mower at the same time.
You know how your teacher always tells you to get permission from a person to be a reference on your resume, well same idea here. Tip #2: Always, always, always ask the person you’re interviewing or talking with if you may turn the sound recorder on when you talk, and possibly use some of their quotes in your video. If you don’t get permission it is just not the right thing to do, and you may not be able to use any of it. I am so glad that I got permission to use the sound recorder because I got one of my best quotes from Matt Henn, Manager of Grounds, for the New York Jets football team. Matt said “You’ve got millions of dollars of guys out here playing, and one guy gets hurt, blows a knee out, it is a big loss for the team. That is quite a lot of pressure for us; the condition of the fields is just as important as the players.”
The weather also has a major effect on the sound quality when shooting outside. Wind is one of the hardest background noises from the weather to remove in Adobe Soundbooth. You may not even know that there is wind noise when you are in the mist of the interview, out in an open 360ft football field, until you get back to the computer for editing. That is when your stomach drops because you can’t even hear what the person is saying because there is so much crackling and popping from the wind, and the water wheel sprinkler.
Tip #3: Leave your sound recorder on the whole time. This can work as a backup to your camera microphone and you won’t have to worry as much about background noise, like the wind. The SONY sound recorder I have has a button right on the side labeled noise cut to eliminate some of the background noise and it really works! On my latest Jets blog, I had to use 3/4th of sound from the sound recorder to replace the noise from the camera because the wind was blowing like crazy out on the Jets training camp field.
Just by packing a sound recorder for that extra backup noise can help make the difference between a good story and a great one.
Jordan Rice is a Senior in High School in upstate New York. She is a member of the National Honor Society, a member of Cortland County Youth Leadership, Co-Captain of the Varsity Cheerleading Squad, part of the Rotary Youth Leadership, a member of drama club where she acts in school plays, and treasurer of French club.
She is Editor of her school’s district newspaper The Lion's Roar sent to 1,900 readers. Jordan has been published in 2011 and 2012 in the Syracuse Post Standard for Student Voices. Some School Video News blogs include stories with the New York Giants, Orange County Choppers, Ironman 70.3, and Courtside to Get the Shot at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. Jordan hopes to attend college to pursue a career in sports journalism.