Who Likes Noisy Videos?

by Mona H Posted on March 16, 2010

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Have you ever made a seemingly great video, only to later be disappointed by all the noise in the background? There’s always noise around us that we don’t usually think about because it surrounds us constantly.


(Image by Laurie-B)

That noise might come from an airplane flying above you, a loud air conditioner, passing cars, or even your computer. It’s easy not to notice this noise when you do your day-to-day activities, but it sure does stand out loud and clear when you watch your videos later on!


(Image by Elliot G)

You can’t always do much about this noise when you’re outdoors or at a restaurant, but here are some basic tips on how to manage the noise around you when shooting video:

  1. Turn off loud air conditioners, heaters, or fans: Since air rushing through vents can be surprisingly loud on video, try to temporarily turn these things off when recording.
  2. Shut down your computer: This obviously won’t be possible if you’re using a webcam, but computers do tend to make a lot of noise at times! It would be best to shut them down if possible.
  3. Use a microphone: If you’re trying to hear a specific person talk on camera, it’s best to have a microphone placed close to them. This will ensure that the sound you actually *want* to hear isn’t overwhelmed by background muffle.
  4. Shield the camera’s mic from wind: Don’t forget that your camcorder or video camera can pick up even the most gentle breeze as a loud roar that takes over your video. Try to position your hand to block wind from blowing directly against it.
  5. Turn cell phones on “Silent”: You know how annoying it is to be in a movie theater with cell phones going off. It’s even more annoying to have cell phones going off *in* your movie!

Some of these tips might seem silly or obvious, but I encourage you to try them out. They’re almost guaranteed to make a difference in the sound quality of your video, and hey, that’s one step closer to shooting better video!

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  1. AnnAbbott Says:

    Great tips Mona! I am going to try to remember these tips while I am trying not to shake the camera so much! Still a novice on the video camera…..

  2. TonetteB Says:

    These tips are so helpful! Everyone of us who has used a video camera in their life has been caught up in the moment & didn’t think about the air conditioner, the fan, or heaters! Now with this tip the next time I think about whipping out a video camera I will be more aware of these noises! There isn’t anything more disappointing than a priceless moment caught on video only to be drowned out by the fan or other noise! Thanks so much Mona for the helpful tips! :)

  3. Joey Says:

    These tips are really helpful. I knew my camera had the ability to take videos but I just never did…until a few weeks ago. My 3 year old niece loves to sing I Told You So by Carrie Underwood. She belts it out whenever and wherever. We were at my parents one weekend and Madeline starts singing so I started video taping her. Well, i found it very difficult with all the background noise of people talking and even when they would just whisper, I could hear it. So i asked Madeline to go back in the bedroom and I got it, nice and quiet and all we could hear was her sweet voice singing with power and passion, well maybe a bit pitchy but oh so darling.
    Thanks again for tips!

  4. VickieP1 Says:

    These are great tips to keep in mind when shooting a video. After having the telephone ring halfway into a good video, I’ve learned to just take it off the hook beforehand. I had not thought of the noise coming from the computer but you are right about that! It has a constant hum that is very distracting! Great advice!

more about Mona H

My name is Mona. I studied Art and Technology at Stevens Institute of Technology, where I learned about video, 3D animation, and graphic design. I've always loved video. I'm constantly capturing memories on video - whether it's on my cell phone, with my digital camera, or with my HD camcorder. I'd love to help you make the most of your personal video, so please comment on any of my posts if you have a specific question!

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