3 tricks to increase the sound quality on your smartphone

Any smartphone video needs good sound quality. But how does that work?

Is the internal microphone sufficient? Which sources of error can be avoided? What is important?

Learn more about audio and video recordings from experienced TV journalist Sibylle Trost in the Smartphone Video Workshop, Individual Coaching or Virtual Classroom.

Before shooting a professional social media video with android smartphone or iPhone, there is a check-up:

  • Which camera app is used?
  • Is there enough light?
  • How should the sound be recorded?

Point 1: Internal or external microphone?

The main question is: How noisy is the environment? Anyone filming at a festival or a party should prepare the volume level before recording.

If the sound recording is only used as a “carpet of sound”, the smartphone’s internal microphone is completely sufficient. But beware: don’t rub your fingers or jackets on the smartphone, it will make interference noises. Are you planning to film an interview or a statement in a noisy environment? In this case a clip-on microphone is needed. Lavalier clip-on microphones are recommended. They are attached a hand’s width under the mouth with a clip, but they can also be held closer to the mouth.

TIP: Take a test recording and listen to it, so the correct distance to the mouth and the appropriate volume can be checked before filming.


Point 2: Record a long clip or many short clips?

Caution: source of error. How long is the video take? If you record an interview in a single long clip for 20 minutes,  it can happen that a small pitch offset of several fields up to one or two seconds occurs. It becomes asynchronous, which means that mouth movement and audio sound do not match exactly. We have noticed this in some audio recordings of interviews. This source of error is easy to avoid. You should record your content, interview or statement, in smaller clips up to 5 minutes length.

TIP: Record short takes of about 5 minutes and cut them together afterwards.


Point 3: Does the smartphone record the sound sources of two microphones at the same time?

Does the smartphone record the sound source of the Lavalier clip-on microphone on the interviewee and my interview questions simultaneously with the mobile phone? This question is often asked in our smartphone video courses and individual coaching. The answer is simple and sobering: No. The smartphone only records one audio track at a time. Either the plugged in external microphone or the internal microphone. With some Android smartphones, the external microphone must be selected in the settings before it can be recognized by the device. Caution: Check that no microphone cable is connected when the internal microphone is on.

Our TIP: Avoid cable clutter with clip-on microphone and headphones. First check, then record.

Learn more about audio and video recordings from the experienced TV journalist Sibylle Trost in our Smartphone Video Workshops in Berlin. Info: Insights Media Tours

Learn more about audio and video filming in our Smartphone Video Workshops by media professionals right here: Insights Media Tours