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Hint: it’s not what you think.

What sets a good-quality video apart from one that screams “amateur”? The answer may surprise you.

An informal (and highly unscientific) survey of amateur videographers suggests that 8 out of 10 rank the quality of the video camera, as measured by its pixel rating, as very important to creating a good video. And at first blush, it makes sense. Good video needs a good video camera. Right?

Well, maybe.

The truth is, it’s the quality of the audio – more than the quality of the video – that gives the overall impression of quality. Whereas it’s possible to shoot clear, sharp video with a medium-grade camera picked up at a big box electronics store, most people walk out of that same store without having purchased a microphone.

A mic makes the difference.

A video camera’s microphone does not have the dynamic range to capture the full color and range of a voice or sound. The resulting audio sounds tinny and one-dimensional. Another major issue is ambient noise. The microphone is picking up any sound nearby – not necessarily the sound you want the audience to hear. The result is muddy and distracting. To take your video up a level, invest in a good microphone and cable. It doesn’t have to be expensive – there are many available for under $100.

Don’t rush the music

Another aspect of audio quality that needs more attention than it typically gets is music selection. Music establishes the video’s emotional tone. It is important in the same way that a film’s score is a critical part of the movie’s overall impact on the viewer.

At CoCreate, we take extra time and care with the music selection for our videos. Rushing to choose the music nearly always results in a uninspiring – or worse, silly – end product. Defining a video’s emotional appeal through music is a key aspect of the video creation process.

CoCreate Studios is a team of creative pros dedicated to helping businesses own their stories.

Check out our money-saving packages, or give us a shout. We’d love to meet you.