Audio makes your video look better! – I have always found this to be very true, and for example spent many days creating the audio for the Fujifilm movie Dual Vision. I recently recorded my first “vlog” (I always found that a weird word), a 4 minute movie for Fujifilm in their new Be Creative series, a series about how we as photographers can be creative while having to stay at home during the COVID-19 crisis. Since I was going to be filming and recording myself in a livingroom, and the only audio in the movie would be my own voice I needed something was wireless and really high quality. The timing for this movie could not have been better, because just as I was thinking about how to record this, a collaboration opportunity with the legendary Sennheiser came up. I was able to loan the perfect Sennheiser kit for this video-blog-movie, thank you so much to Sennheiser Danmark!
The Sennheiser setup: XSW-D wireless transmitters and MKE 2 lavalier microphone. The curly cable is simply to connect one transmitter to line-in on my Fujifilm X-T3 camera. Pictured is also the small hotshoe mount.
Using the Sennheiser XSW-D wireless transmitters
The transmitters are so simple to setup even I cannot get it wrong. They have a sticker on them to tell you which transmitter is for the microphone and which goes into your camera/recorder. They charge through USB-C and the transmitters only have one button, to power on and off and to initiate pairing. Super simple to use and setup, I mounted the receiver in the hotshoe on my X-T3 and connected the cable, I attached the MKE 2 lav microphone to the other transmitter, switched it all on and I was up and running in 2 minutes.
The MKE 2 lav microphone connects directly to the small wireless transmitter that is easily kept in a pocket, or in a belt using the little belt holder. It has a nice clip that has a loop (so any pulls on the cable does not transmit directly into the sensitive microphone) and an easy clip, for attaching to your shirt.
The most important part – how does it actually sound? I have done a fair few movies where I had to edit and mix my own voiceover, recently the GFX100 movie, and the raw recording from this Sennheiser setup is by far the best sounding voice recording setup I have had so far. Clean, very little noise, good dynamics, and super pleasant sounding voice. It sounded so good un-treated that I had to do very little to the audio in post. There is a tiny bit of noise reduction, a bit of EQ to remove some of the room reverb spikes (like that 1khz mad reverb) and brighten the audio slightly as most viewers would be on laptops or phones. Finally I added a slight bit of compression. But all of this was applied at about a 20% level of what I normally have done! I love this setup and hope to use it again. Watch and listen to the final movie below.
Editing using the Sennheiser HDR280 pro headphones
I love Sennheiser headphones, I have used a variety over the years and used the legendary HD25 for years for DJing in the 00s. Sennheiser also loaned me a pair of their HD280 Pro headphones to use for editing and mixing the movie. They are perfect for sitting in a living room and editing a movie for hours, they are studio headphones so you get a really detailed and a flat frequenzy response that is good for audio mixing. They also sit comfortably on your head and block almost all external sound. And they are very reasonably priced too, gotta get myself a pair of these to add to my collection of roughly 7 headphones. I can never get enough headphones and you need some for every occasion, wireless, noise cancelling, DJing, walking, bike riding etc. but none of these have anything even remotely close to a neutral flat frequency response, so I need this pair of HD280 for much more accurate editing and mixing.
Watch and listen to the final movie – How to Make A Portfolio
Thank you so much to Sennheiser Danmark for loaning me this great kit!