Why Audio is More Powerful than Video – Episode 1

Welcome! As the first episode, I wanted to highlight audio vs video. This is something that I’ve always advocated for even when I worked in radio, but more so now with the increasing usage of video for social media and how we record everything these days with these fancy phones in our hands. Radio or audio always seemed to be the black sheep of the family when it comes to video or TV and movies. It’s the often looked over part of the process.

Everyone is looking to video these days as the next marketing move. But did you know that with bad audio, no one will be watching or listening to your video? They’ll click away. Crappy audio can ruin the best looking videos, so make sure your audio is representative of your brand. There was once a band that put a video up on YouTube of them singing outside around one microphone. The video looked great, but it just sounded OK. You could hear the wind outside and not everyone was huddled around the one mic close enough to hear the song fully. It got a some views, but it’s when they same that same song again and re-did the video with proper audio, where they each had their own mic, the instruments were recorded on separate mics too, everything was almost CD-like quality that it made them look more professional in their videos, even though the video quality itself was the same. That video, with the improved audio, went viral. Listeners were able to capture the entire essence of the band, based on the video, yes, but because of the excellent audio.

People EXPECT great videos to have great audio. Audio is taken for granted; when it’s good, people don’t notice – and that’s a good thing.

Think about when you’re watching a TV show or movie. All the different sound effects, music, speech are all interlayered within each other. You don’t notice the subtleties because they are so well orchestrated together to create that world you are watching.

As an example, on the TV show the Walking Dead, it’s filmed in Georgia, I think outside of Atlanta. From what I understand, as I’ve never been there and I’m in Canada, there are a lot of bugs, especially at night that make a lot of noise. Cicadas? I think? Let me know if I’m wrong. These bugs have a different pitch or sound depending on the time of night. So when you are filming a TV show, it can go all night and these sounds change over time. What they do for the consistency in the sound, is to actually strip away all the bug noises in the background when the actors are talking, and then in the post-production, after all the filming is done, bring back the bugs as a sound effect to create that consistent night time feel in the Walking Dead world. But you wouldn’t have ever known that by watching the show alone. That’s audio magic.

Audio is the theatre of the mind, as long as the speech is balanced. You’re not recording the audio too loudly that it’s crackling… And it’s doesn’t sound like you’re in a big empty room… or the music isn’t too loud.

Research shows that communication is 55% body language, 38% in your tone, and only 7% in the actual words you use. When you’re podcasting in the traditional sense, no one can see you! Your communication will all come down to the tone of your voice. So take a look at how you can create confidence in your voice and what characteristics of your voice can lead and influence your listeners.

Your audio has got to sound professional to represent the professional work that you do. The quality of your audio will allow you to be more visible with your voice. People will not turn you off because it’s straining to hear your show.

On your podcasting journey, listen to your episodes with a critical ear, but only after, not when you are actually recording. Your homework is to listen to your most recent episode. How does the sound of your show make you feel? Is there something that sounds off, not quite right or amateur’ish instead of polished? That could be a sign for improvement. Don’t worry yet about how to fix things. We are only listening, not for content, but how you feel when you listen to your show. Start there. That will be your springboard.

So with that, thank you for listening. These episodes are going to be short and sweet because I know, as a podcaster, we are constantly doing the work to publish episodes. So I want you to take small steps at a time to create your ultimate sounding podcast.

If you love what you’re hearing so far, I’d love for you follow me on Instagram @VisibleVoicePodcast and let me know if you have any episode ideas! I’ve got a big list, but would love to know what you want to hear about first.

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