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Thread: Ways to improve sound quality on youtube?

  1. #1
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    Default Ways to improve sound quality on youtube?

    I just purchased a Zoom H2N digital recorder to improve the sound quality of my videos. How many use mics, digital recorders, and other methods to improve the sound quality?

    I would like to read what setups you have including type of mics, recorders, mixers, preamps, software, etc. Thanks in advance
    Last edited by Dan Uke; 10-11-2012 at 03:02 PM.

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    I just use the above microphone then I do some tweaking in Garage band then put it back into imovie .
    I wanted simplicity and the ability to travel with my microphone.
    I have a feeling that microphone setups can get pretty technical and really expensive fast.
    But I am also curious about other setups that I could use to also improve my recording ability
    Last edited by ukuloonie; 10-11-2012 at 04:12 PM.

  3. #3
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    I use a Zoom H1 as a USB mic when I record in iMovie. Works great.
    -Ralf Youtz

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    I recently bought a Zoom H4n which seems like an incredible mic. I don't have much experience in this area so I don't know if I can help you out much, but the Zooms have great reviews and seem to top the list of portable, reasonably priced mics. Athens, GA where I live is a huge music town and many sound engineers use them for their live recordings. That said, there are a number of videos on youtube about the mic and how to use and tweak it. My use has been similar to those who use it as an independent mic and then drop the sound track into a video editing program. Make sure you use a loud noise (that's why movie folks use those clap boards) so that the sound is easily synchronized with the video. When that's done you just edit out that portion of the video (duh). cheers, g2

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    Daniel -

    I've got a Zoom H4n also and the onboard mics sound great if you have the recording volume set properly. Just do a test run and make sure that the recording level isn't set too high or that you're sitting to close to the mic - I find it's really easy to record too loud and end up with a track with lots of spikes and distortion.

    I seem to remember you downloading Audacity recently - like loonie says upthread, you can import your recording into Audacity (or GarageBand for mac) and clean it up and tweak it. Follow Gary's advice about syncing it up with the video in your video editing program - just be sure to delete the audio portion from the original video clip after you get it all synced up.

  6. #6
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    I have an Edirol R09 recorder. Very expensive when I bought it, but quality. They are cheaper now but still more expensive than the Zoom recorders which seem to get good write ups. I use Audacity to tweak the recordings.

    The main thing with these digital recorders is to make sure your record level is such that you are not peaking all the time. The Edirol has a peak level LED, I presume the Zoom will too. Make sure that it isn't flashing all the time, preferably not at all. I have found that it does no harm to record at a relatively low level (not too low, but well below peak so there is no peaking at all) and then use the amplification function in Audacity to set the level you desire after you've done "tweaking" the recording.

    Much of the time, I simply use the output from my video camera. I have a Panasonic video camera with built in stereo condenser mics which seem pretty good. Certainly good enough for You Tube videos, so much of the time, I simply use the inbuilt sound on the videos.

    I think it's as well to bear in mind that the You Tube conversion process can degrade your videos, so I generally use medium quality but I do do some basic editing of the videos before uploading them, mainly just cutting out the beginning and end to remove me going to the camera to turn it on and off. I also usually add a fade in and fade out as I think it looks better.

    I'm a Linux user so, apart from Audacity, I probably use a different set of tools from most people.
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    I had a digital recorder , [not a zoom but like it] and wasn't happy with the quality and had a hard time with synching..sold it and bought a Shure vocal mic,and a cheap instrument mic; which I am replacing[it's prone to feedback], with a Shure SM57. these mics are workhorses, even pro's use them. I thought going this route would be more versatile as I can use these with my loudbox amp . I've been posting to the seasons. going right into windows movie maker[too cheap for a MAC] . FOR THIS SET-UP you need a analog to digital pre amp . I use a USB DUAL PRE. 2 CHANNELS and accepts mic or instrument cables. so if your instrument has a pickup you only need one mic. today I plugged into my amp so I could experiment with using the chorus and reverb built into my amp. I usually use no effects, but after seeing some of the things weeginga was doing I thought I'd give it a try. I think this set
    up may be more expensive in the short run, but I think more versitle than a usb mic. and the equipment has a pretty good resale, there are tons of Shure 57&58s on ebay. they ARE PRETTY HARD TO KILL. HERE'S A LiNK TO MY FIRST ATTEMPT at some chorus and reverb , coming out of the line out on my amp, through the usb pre, and into moviemaker. oh, and I just record the video with my web cam, so no synching.
    that being said, I wish I hadn't sold my recorder so I could record outside. I guess I could use my laptop, but it is not as handy as a zoom.hope this helps
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPzfZj8RL7s
    Last edited by strumsilly; 10-12-2012 at 09:55 AM. Reason: added info

  8. #8
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    Those are great advice

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    Just remember to upload your video(with improved audio track) to 720p+, so youtube can encode it to at least 720p. The sound quality of youtube 720p video is way better than 480p or below.

  10. #10
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    I use a Shure 58 microphone when I feel like taking time to set it up. I use a Presonus audiobox USB interface direct to the laptop. The drivers for the audiobox will go wonky at the drop of a hat though (plugging in a usb web cam kills the audio from the presonus even though it's still showing as connected, for example). Once that happens you actually have to reboot to get the audio back. WHich explains why I don't fool with the mic unless I have time to set both the mic and my little Flip camera up.

    The built-in audio in the flip is actually very good but prone to background noise (especially from the AC) because the microphone is so far from the audio source.

    Whatever I use for the initial recording, I then kick the audio over to Audacity for a little cleanup - usually noise removal and sometimes a bit of reverb, then join it back to the video in Corel. Even when I'm not doing anything to the audio and using audio from the camera I find it helps to export it to MP3 and then sync it back in Corel Video Pro as a separate pre-compressed audio track. Otherwise, when Corel outputs the movie it really screws up the audio - adding very noticeable clicks during the compression - extremely annoying in a program I paid good money for!

    Sometimes for something very quick and/or silly I'll just use the web cam but you have to be VERY careful not to overdrive the audio with those. Even with the AGC turned off and the mic volume turned down the Microsuck LifeCam will overdrive the audio very easily.

    Finally, be advised that YouTube recompresses the video when formatting it for their site and sometimes they screw up the audio pretty bad - on some occasions I think they've even converted my stereo audio to mono. If you really want a good clean sound sample, such as for evaluating instruments or comparing A and B the way to go is with an audio sharing site like soundcloud.com where you can upload a good quality MP3 and they don't screw with it.

    In general, I've found that webcam AGC is much poorer than the AGC in even a simple little video camera like the Flip HD. The AGC is too slow to reduce gain, and too fast to restore gain, so anything strummed tends to have horrible distortion at the leading edges of the strum.

    Oh...and finally...lest I forget - I've used the iPad a couple of times. THe audio is pretty good - about on a par with the Flip HD but the iPad has a wider-angle lens so is typically closer to you for less background noise. I just wish that the new iPad had increased the resolution of the front camera as it would be really nice to record in HD and see what you're doing. Unfortunately, only the back camera is HD.

    John
    Last edited by OldePhart; 10-12-2012 at 12:43 PM.
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