*All products mentioned in this post are not paying us to give them an endorsement. We just like using them. We have experimented with many microphones and are giving our honest opinion on our favourites. Enjoy*
This post will explain which three microphones are the best at capturing professional-grade audio in your next corporate video.
There are way too many microphone brands out there. Sennheiser, Shure, Audio Technica, Olympus...
So where do you start when looking to record audio for corporate video?
For us, the answer was easy, go local - so we went with RØDE.
Don't be fooled by the Scandinavian 'O' - these guys are 100% Australian, and happen to be a world leader in manufacturing audio hardware.
Here are three RØDE microphones that will cover every base you have for recording quality audio for interviewing subjects and broadcasting.
1. RØDE VideoMic Pro
We use DSLR cameras when we shoot video - so image quality is rarely a problem under the right conditions. DSLR's in-built microphones are insufficient however, to capture clear high-fidelity audio.
RØDE sells a great shotgun (unidirectional) microphone that attaches to the top of the camera with an included hot-shoe mount.
The purpose of the shotgun microphone is to capture the sound from where the camera is pointing, and reject sound from the sides and behind.
Thus, pointing the camera at a talking subject, for example, with the VideoMic Pro on top of your camera at close range (1-3m) provides clear vocal fidelity.
Be warned though, if you are outside or in a busy indoor environment, the microphone will also pick up any sound in front or behind the main audio sauce.
Think of it picking up a 'V' shape, so it might get muddy with unwanted noise around.
Overall though, this is a great microphone to have with your DSLR - especially in quiet environments, like offices!
2. RØDE VideoMic Me
This one is brand new in our arsenal, and we are loving it so far. It's a shotgun mic similar to the VideoMic Pro in terms of what it picks up, but it is designed specifically for smartphones.
Smartphone video quality continues to improve, with the latest models able to shoot in 4K without breaking a sweat. And while most of them have passable audio quality, nothing beats having an attachment to make the audio top-quality.
These microphones are great for 'vlog' style videos on your phone.
If you can't be bothered to learn about DSLRs, use your iPhone/Android, a JOBY Griptight on a Tripod or selfie stick and you're good to go.
These are especially good for live streaming on Periscope, Facebook Live etc - but sometimes can get radio frequency interference. If yours gets it as well, RØDE will look after you and replace the capsule for free, so no more static.
3. RØDE SmartLav+
This thing is the creme-de-la-creme, especially for its price.
For those who are unaware, those little microphones you see people wear on their lapels are also known as 'lavalieres'. RØDE makes one that sells for about $60 and plugs straight into your iPhone/Android device.
The best thing is, it's broadcast quality - so actually records to the same standard you would hear in a 60 Minutes interview.
An issue you might run into is it will use the smartphone you had planned to film the audio with. So you might either need an extension cord, or another smart phone altogether to film, and then sync the audio and video in post-production later. Easy peezy.
Now, RØDE recommends you also download their RecApp to record audio, adjust gain, input settings etc. But I would not do that. I found the app to be buggy and clunky. Instead use 'VoiceRecord Pro' which will cost you about $5 and give you much better results in post production.
Good practice is to use a SmartLav+ and a VideoMic Pro (DSLR) together, so you can synchronise and mix the audio during the edit easily.
So there we have it. RØDE is our favourite microphone brand for recording live action - both for DSLR and smartphone work. They have a wide variety of microphones, but these are sufficient to capture simple, live action video.
Until next time,
PS - if can't be bothered learning about microphones, don't worry - we have already and we'll even film your next corporate video. Get in touch below to find out more