Mobile Audio & Video Production Essentials


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Planning to use your mobile phone (or other mobile device) for producing real-time or near-real time podcasts or video shows? These hints and links will help you get started.

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Mobile Audio & Video Production Essentials

  1. 1. Essentials for Mobile Audio & Video Production Presented by Jude Mathurine Head of Rhodes University’s New Media Lab @ Media140, Sydney Future of Journalism in Social Media age
  2. 2. Platforms for live audio blogging <ul><li>Audioboo (Iphone only/4-5mins/promote content using social networks) </li></ul><ul><li>Blogtalkradio (Use phone to create a live podcast or live multi-person show) </li></ul><ul><li>Foneshow (US based service allows users to access and control podcasts via phone) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Tips for mobile audio recording <ul><li>On professional audio recordings you would monitor sound quality through input levels and headphones </li></ul><ul><li>No such luck on mobile. Pre-record a few seconds and playback to test audio levels </li></ul><ul><li>Countdown and pre-roll </li></ul><ul><li>Tip for live audio and video recording: </li></ul><ul><li>Tell your subject to repeat question as part of their answer </li></ul>
  4. 4. Tips for Online audio recording <ul><li>When recording place the mobile with the built-in microphone facing the subject </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that the microphone is at the BOTTOM of the phone </li></ul><ul><li>Hold slightly to side of speaker’s mouth to avoid them speaking directly into mic and causing popping sound </li></ul>
  5. 5. Tips for audio recording <ul><li>Consider the size and type of recording space (big empty room, conference venue etc) and consider audio bounce </li></ul><ul><li>Beware of live recording in spaces with dead background audio or too much background noise. Mobile mics telescope to loudest noise. </li></ul><ul><li>Compact cars provide great audio insulation for a makeshift sound booth </li></ul>
  6. 6. Free audio editing software <ul><li>Audacity (Open Source multi-track audio editor for Windows, Linux and MacOS) </li></ul><ul><li>Aviary’s Myna (beta cloudware multi-track audio editor) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Capture audio interviews <ul><li>Skype Audio capture software </li></ul><ul><li>Skype recorder (USD15) </li></ul><ul><li>Audio Hijack Pro for Mac (USD15) </li></ul><ul><li>OR rig up your audio editing software (like Audacity) to record your conversation </li></ul><ul><li>How to capture Skype audio using audio editor (PDF guide here ) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Royalty free sound and CC stuff <ul><li>Free sound, creative commons sound for background music, stings </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  9. 9. Video Streaming tools <ul><li>These services stream content from your mobile video camera or webcam onto one or more Internet channels like your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace </li></ul><ul><li>Qik </li></ul><ul><li>Flixwagon </li></ul><ul><li>12 Seconds </li></ul><ul><li>Kyte </li></ul><ul><li>Ustream </li></ul><ul><li>Bambuser </li></ul><ul><li>Twitvid (login with your Twitter details) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Tips for mobile video <ul><li>Where will your user will watch the video – HDTV? Iphone? MP4 player? Other mobile? </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the users’ viewing platform when choosing the frame and duration of your production (user attention spans and viewing habits vary by platform) </li></ul><ul><li>Viewing devices and online video websites have changed from 4:3 (square) to 16:9 (widescreen) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Orientation <ul><li>So fill your screen with interesting visuals and shoot WIDE </li></ul>
  12. 12. Framing <ul><li>Tight shots (Medium Close up/Close up/Extreme Close up) are better. It's hard to see detail on a mobile 320X240 screen unless an object is shot in relative close-up. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Join the action <ul><li>Even if you have an HD or 5MP mobile video phone, optical zoom is generally poor </li></ul><ul><li>GET CLOSE TO YOUR SUBJECT </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid excessive zooming. Zooming increases problems with resolution and amplifies shakes. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to shoot against backgrounds with depth and that contain visual interest </li></ul>
  14. 14. Light <ul><li>Light your subjects well, and keep them separated from the background </li></ul><ul><li>The colors between background and subject should not be too similar or they will seem to merge </li></ul><ul><li>Never shoot into a light source. Lights should always be behind you. </li></ul><ul><li>Beware of shadows </li></ul>
  15. 15. Light <ul><li>Don’t shoot dark skinned people against black backgrounds (or bright white backgrounds) or fair skinned people against dark backgrounds </li></ul><ul><li>Manual contrast and white balance capacity is limited on most mobiles </li></ul>
  16. 16. Mobile Sound <ul><li>Built-in mobile mics are lousy for quality audio recording. Don’t make it worse. </li></ul><ul><li>Shoot away from background noise and buzz </li></ul><ul><li>Get close to your interviewee or audio source </li></ul><ul><li>Beware that your clothes, jewellery and movement on the mobile make noise that can be picked up by built-in mic </li></ul><ul><li>Investigate external options for mobile mic kits (e.g Nokia 95 ) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Support and grip <ul><li>Shoot at your subject’s eye level, not your own </li></ul><ul><li>Grip technique - use both hands </li></ul><ul><li>Grip technique – hold the phone in your right (or dominant) hand; support your elbow or wrist with the other hand </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Avoid excessive movement on live shots (steady panning acceptable) </li></ul><ul><li>If you are vodcasting, invest in tripod gear or position the mobile on a shelf </li></ul>Gear
  19. 19. Video editing tools <ul><li>MS Moviemaker (free Windows based video capture and editing application) </li></ul><ul><li>Jaycut (timeline based multi-track cloudware video editing application) </li></ul>
  20. 20. Tips <ul><li>Do you have any more tips for live (or near live) mobile video and audio shooting and recording? </li></ul><ul><li>Pass them along to @ newmediajude </li></ul><ul><li>Jude Mathurine Head: Rhodes University New Media Lab [email_address] </li></ul>