Train the Trainer Part 3: Recording 101
Lapel Mic: These are also called lavalier or lav mics. Lapel mics are designed to clip to the collar of your shirt and have a shorter pickup range than some other styles of mic. If using a lav mic, be sure not to touch it or its cable while recording as "strikes" like this will be picked up and likely overwhelm any other sound. It’s also advisable to avoid clothing movement during recording as this can cause a similar mic strike.
Headset Mic: These are generally easy to set up, easy to position, and easy to find. Generally, the models with good audio quality will cost a bit more than some other varieties of mic as they include headphones as well as a mic. The only other issue with these is that they don’t look great when recording video.
Tabletop/Vocal Mic: These are what most people probably think of when they picture a microphone. If you’re going to use one of these, please make sure that it is on a stand. Holding the microphone can cause it to have inconsistent audio quality and levels.
Shotgun/Boom Mics: While you’re unlikely to be using a boom mic as one would on a film set, you might have a similar style of mic mounted to the top of your camera. Shotgun mics are essentially smaller boom mics which can be mounted to the horseshoe mount on a camera (most commonly DSLRs). These mics are best used to pick up the audio of a room and are less focused than a lapel mic. Camera-mounted models are great if you have access to one and a compatible camera, but typically a separate boom mic isn't necessary for our courses.
Built-in Mics: Almost all cameras, from phones and webcams to DSLRs, have built-in microphones. While these are okay in a pinch, they are low-quality and often do not have a lot of range. These are best avoided unless absolutely necessary. The example below is actually a better-than-average mic to have built into a camera, but would still likely not be good enough for recording a course. The image also shows the horseshoe mount where you could attach a videomic.
The kind of mic that we would recommend you use depends largely on what kind of course you are shooting and what you have available to you.
For webinars and screen capture recordings, your webcam's built-in mic is acceptable, but having a headset or tabletop mic would be ideal.
For courses being recorded on cameras, we recommend using a video mic at minimum, and a lav mic if one is available to you. Ideally, you would have both to capture the audio simultaneously and cover up any issues one mic might have. This does complicate your setup though in ways that we will cover in the next couple of lessons.