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Making Porn: Okay listen up, we're talking about audio

Here are the 3 Principles of good video: Audio, audio, and audio.

If you watch a lot of Youtube, you will have seen examples of the following:

Great video, with great audio.

Great video, with terrible audio.

Terrible video, with great audio.

Terrible video, with terrible audio.

Whether you yourself paid attention to this or not isn't important. What is important is that the majority of people do. They might not know how to explain the differences between well made or poorly made media, but at large, the majority of people will forgive bad video if the audio is stellar. They will NOT forgive the reverse - if the audio is terrible, people will almost universally agree the video is terrible. This is particularly important in porn.

If you're a model or a producer, and whether you shoot the video yourself or have someone else do it, there are some pretty easy steps you can take to improve how your content sounds. If you shoot with a smart phone or tablet, a video camera or a DSLR, you can invest about $2-300 in a good external video microphone. This alone will take your content to a higher level, without doing one other thing. The recorded audio that gets rendered to the video file will be much better quality. If that's all you do, you're on the way to better content. The types of microphones will look a bit different, cost more or less depending the quality, of course. Google "video mic for smart phone (or whatever your video device)" and you'll see many options and reviews.

After that, you can improve your audio even more in post-production. The 2 main things to consider are backgbround noise and audio levels. If you record video with your smart phone but just use the built in mic, and then compare to shooting with an external video mic, you'll instantly hear several key differences, but mainly, you'll hear the difference in what's called ambient noise. It's that humming, fuzzy, static crackly noise behind the voices. It's also commonly called "room tone". Without an external video mic, you'll hear more of that noise, and it weakeens the integrity of your audio.

Secondly, adjustments can be made to your audio levels. In technical post-production terms, your audio output should register between -12 and -06 db (or decibals). That's a broadcast standard audio level that has been proven over time to be the most effective level of audio for people to listen to. There's a deeper territory to audio post-production that includes compression, adaptive noise reduction and normalization. I'm happy to write some blogs that go deeper into this territory, if readers are interested. You can drop me a line here to let me know if that's of interestest.

For now, I'll leave you with this: Great video and great audio should be your goal. That does NOT mean you have to spend thousands of dollars, but it DOES mean you have to acquire some more skills and plan ahead. Let me know if you want more of this kind of information. I'll happily let the inner-geek, out.

January 10, 2019

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