Saw an interesting article in one of our trade magazines this month, AVinteractive, about the importance of sound with vision. We’ve noticed one of the key things that differentiates a quality video production these days is often the sound quality. Assuming a level playing field with the basics of good visuals, appropriate lighting and framing; and not looking at fancy and sometimes expensive video effects or graphics, the next basic element is the sound – afterall without sound we have a silent movie and although The Artist did quite well in the Awards rounds, generally for business marketing we’ve moved into the era of Talkies!
When we’re training up new editing assistants we find a really useful tip is to get them to cut the programme, and then listen back with their eyes closed to the soundtrack; often without the support of the visual image, which is of course very strong, the sound on its own doesn’t sit well. It is a concern that often new recruits don’t really ‘hear’ what’s wrong till they get their ears in training with us. This may be partly because they tell us that learning sound techniques is a separate course in many Media Degree courses, or only lightly touched on; whereas in the reality of the business video marketing production industry it’s an equal if not sometimes more important element. This is simply because the brain will often forgive poor framing or slightly off key lighting, whereas it doesn’t forgive poor, unbalanced or difficult to hear sound.
I’ve just watched a web video from a marketing consultant who wants to sell his services as an expert marketeer for small businesses; the picture quality was good, and to be fair you can get some stunning visual quality out of not too expensive cameras these days, but we could hardly hear his words for the background and wind noises, most domestic cameras just don’t have the facility for professional sound integration – afraid we won’t be using his services.
Using well crafted video production to help with SEO ratings is a must for any business these days, but it’s also important to remember that once the business has been found, the impression the potential customer gets needs to match the brand and quality of the businesses marketing strategy – that means excellent visuals but it also means good quality audio!