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What do you need to know about recording microphones and video blogs?

Nowadays, we can let ourselves be heard around the world in an instant, and with ridiculous ease. Whether we are sending a simple email or beaming a live address from the boardroom to each and every one of our firm's employees, the only limit is our imagination when it comes to getting a message across.

One of the most popular way of expressing ourselves in the digital world is through video​ blogging, and the attractiveness of this medium can be mainly attributed to one website: YouTube.  Indeed, according to web analytics company Alexa, YouTube is now the third-most popular website in existence, behind only the behemoths of Google and Facebook (Google itself acquired YouTube for an eye-watering US$1.65 billion in 2006).

'Good evening, YouTubers...'

So, what's behind the rise and rise of YouTube? Well, there are a great raft of reasons that propel this phenomenon, but one of them must surely be the sheer ease of making and uploading videos to the platform. It means that anyone can be a director, filmmaker or amateur singing sensation, just as anyone can be a writer with the advent of blogging - now they can be seen and heard, too.

Video​ blogging can go hand-in-hand with its written sibling - a video camera, microphone and computer are all that's needed to put something together. Of course, the power of modern technology means that most smartphones of today feature a camera and microphone, so anyone can create a video. However, to create one of optimum quality, the correct tools are required. This is where RØDE comes in - we have a broad range of recording microphones and other equipment to help create the very best video blogs possible.

In the area

As when recording any form of audio, the area in which the video blog is shot is of paramount importance. By their very nature, video blogs can be filmed just about anywhere, but it's still vital that we try and choose a location that will give the best possible chance of a good capture. Therefore, try to stay away from places that are prone to loud, ambient noises, such as the low frequency hum of traffic on the streets below or the murmur of people in an office environment. Additionally, try to keep sound from reverberating around the room by conditioning the walls, as we discussed in a previous article. 

To create a video blog of optimum quality, the correct tools are required.

What kind of microphone should you use?

RØDE has a range of recording microphones designed for many different purposes, so you'll need to select one that's best suited to video​ blogging. There are three types of microphone to consider - the lavalier and shotgun, as well as RØDE's selection of on-camera microphones.

Riding shotgun 

The shotgun microphone is an excellent choice as it can be completely hidden from the camera's lens, so that the sense of reality is never broken. Additionally, they operate a tight polar pattern, so voices can be picked up with perfect clarity and at a decent audial level. However, the shotgun microphone is also capable of capturing a certain amount of ambient sounds, which can add a sprinkling of atmosphere to your recording.

Lavalier cheers

The lavalier microphone is designed for subtlety. It's tiny, and is created to clip onto the shirt or tie, mere centimetres from the mouth. This brings with it the advantage of manoeuvrability - wearers can move around as much as they like, and, because the mic travels with them, the recording quality will be fairly consistent.

For even greater freedom, take a look at the RØDELink wireless system. This innovation allows the video blogger to maintain the strongest signal at a distance of up to 100 metres, meaning that your recordings will remain crystal-clear no matter where you move, and it's simple to use, too.