One of my students in my course, Learn a Simple Approach to Creating an Online Video Course (in Udemy), asked this question in my Facebook group. I’m sharing it here so that ideas and suggestions about selecting the right microphone can be shared in the comments under the article. I’m hoping that this post will become very useful, not only to my students, but also to anyone who surfs in to read this post.
Question: How do I determine which mic to select as an external mic that will work with my camera for recording of course videos? I’m not seeing a jack on my digital camera for plugging in a mic.
Answer: Jane is using her digital camera to record her course videos. Without knowing what type of camera she is using, I suggest checking the user’s manual for the camera as a starting point. But if the manual isn’t available, or can’t be located online, or if the instructions don’t address attaching an external microphone, then I would go to my favorite search engine and conduct a keyword search.
For the sake of the article, I’m going to consider using my old (2007) Canon PowerShot as my device for recording course videos. It doesn’t have a jack for plugging in an external microphone. I typed these keywords in a Google search: Canon PowerShot; using an external mic.
The first few results showed two YouTube videos that address a similar model camera and use of external mics.
Why a digital camera that records video might not have a jack for an external mic
The first video I’ve linked here explains that the Canon PowerShot G7 X does not have a jack for an external mic in order to keep the size of the camera as small as possible.
Work-around for capturing high quality audio when video recorder doesn’t have a mic jack
This video addresses a work-around for the lack of an external microphone jack on the Canon T1i DSLR camera. The use of a Zoom H1 portable audio recorder in combination with an ATR 35s lavalier mic (plugged into the Zoom) is the suggestion here for capturing the audio in either .wav or .mp3 format. You can then combine your audio with your video in a video editing software such as Camtasia or Screenflow.
Method for syncing your separately-recorded audio with video file
Syncing of your audio with your video in the video editing software can be accomplished by clapping 3 times at the start of your recording. It’s well described in the video linked above. The claps will create audio spikes in both your video file and your audio-only file. You can line up the spikes in your editor to make sure that you are properly syncing your video with your audio.
My video recorder has a jack for an external mic but I’m not sure which mic to use
When you know that your video recording device will support an external mic, but you’re not sure which one to select, I’d head to YouTube for a keyword search. There are many tech geeks and tech companies that post videos about recording devices and techniques.
What was Apple thinking (or not thinking) when it left the jack out of the iPhone 7
My own new frustration about external mics and recording course videos is that Apple has chosen to leave the earphone jack off of the iPhone 7. It’s really aggravating for those of us who rely on the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6+ for recording of course videos with an external lavalier mic (I use the Rode lavalier – Rode smartLav+ Lavalier Microphone for iPhone and Smartphones) plugged in to the earphone jack. I’m going to put off moving to the iPhone 7 since it feels more like a downgrade to me than an upgrade. Here is a pretty funny video rant by Jon Paula about that very subject. https://youtu.be/OZloTDjqufg
Vickie is an elearning strategist, course designer, speaker, musician and farm girl. She consults in the area of online course/program design and development. Vickie earned her MS Ed in learning design and technology from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Purdue University. She is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Her career has spanned over 30 years in positions in corporate America and continuing education in academia.