SPONSORED: Looking to become the next star on YouTube or Twitch, but not sure where to begin?
You’re not alone as the world of influencers is a tricky one to break into, and it can be extremely daunting to navigate for even the bravest of budding streamers or presenters.
But, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Here to help you on your journey to YouTube stardom, we’ve interviewed rock star videographer Alper Cagatay to get his three top tips to help you get started with proper audio.
Alper has helped launch the presenting careers of some of the UK’s best channels and presenters. Highlights include working with Top Gear alumni Rory Reid, resident Techspurt and YouTube star Chris Barraclough and founding Recombu’s video channel – so he knows what he’s talking about.
Don’t try and be the next Scorsese: it’s audio that you can’t scrimp on
A lot of the YouTubers and streamers think getting a super expensive DSLR should be their top priority starting out but for most people, the best camera to kick things off is the one in your pocket. These days most flagship phones – and even some mid-range options – provide excellent picture quality so the barrier for entry is easy to overcome. If you want to go further, there are a wealth of great dedicated streaming cameras on the market that are quick and easy to set up and provide a good starting point to build off. They also tend to have decent auto focus modes, which let you create decent looking effects, like a bokeh around you, without having to manually adjust things like the camera’s aperture.
If you’re just starting out and don’t want to splash out on lighting, use well lit rooms, make sure you have no windows behind you. Otherwise lights that can be affixed atop the hot shoe will work all for vlogs. The main thing you need early on is passion and to get your voice heard, not cinema level image quality. Which brings us to our next and most important tip.
Blue Yeti Nano – Under £100
Whether you want to live stream on Twitch or Facebook Gaming, launch a YouTube channel, or record a podcast, Blue has everything you need to bring your ideas to life.
While you can get away with not spending oodles on a top end camera, from the get-go you need to ensure you’re offering viewers good sound quality. Audio is often overlooked, which is a huge mistake. People will forgive lower image quality, but you’ll lose them if they can’t hear you clearly. If you make one investment early on it should be in a good microphone. Trust us, the improvement you get even using affordable mics, like the £100 Blue Yeti Nano, will more than justify the expense and make your work noticeably more professional to any listener.
Think about where you’re recording
When thinking about audio you also need to consider where you’re recording. A good mic is a great start, but if you’re recording in a tiled room, your voice is going to sound echoey.
Thankfully there are plenty of ways around this. If you don’t want to spend loads of time preparing a bespoke area you should also consider getting an audio shield. These are clip-on attachments that can help filter background noise levels and reduce sound wave reflections, delivering a more balanced, isolated recording of your vocals. If you want to save money a lot of the better mics are also backed up by top end software, like the Yeti, that can help clean up the audio in post production.
Picking a good place to record is important as you don’t want to have to strain your voice by competing with background distractions – at all times remember your voice is an important calling card for your channel, using good quality audio equipment allows you to speak more naturally without having to overproject or strain your voice. It adds authenticity and sincerity to your content, distinguishing you from the more generic and shouty “YouTube” presenting style which, in my experience, viewers find off-putting.
On top of that, in many situations your content might be left to play in the background – people might listen to your content as opposed to just viewing it so clear audio is pivotal, even if you’re doing a piece to camera.
If you want to take things to the next level, you can also look at investing in foam cladding. This can be placed around the mic to create a neutral recording area.
Don’t give up if it doesn’t come out right on the first try
On top of all of that, if your audio still comes out a little echoey or isn’t quite right, don’t despair. Even the most dedicated, seasoned professional will occasionally have a bad day, where the audio doesn’t quite come out right. But when that happens you need to resist the urge to throw in the towel.
Working as an influencer or filmmaker will take you to places you don’t expect, areas that oftentime have optimal conditions for filming. We can’t tell you the number of times we’ve been on site at launch events and shows, including CES, MWC and E3 or taken part in recorded panel discussions and, despite doing everything we could, ended up with noise from the floor creeping in.
It’s in situations like these that audio filtering software can work wonders, letting you save recordings and videos that otherwise would be unwatchable. On more than one occasion we’ve managed to save a live recording using things like Blue Voice. The lesson here is always make sure to save your recordings and try fixing them, before giving up and starting again.