The Sound Paradox

We are living in a time where 2 controversial yet excepted truths exist:

Truth 1 – Sound is 90% of Video

No matter how well the visuals look, if it is accompanied by bad sound the ‘production value’ of your video decreases sometimes to the point where it is unbearable to watch. Recently we experienced a bad storm in Ireland and I went to visit my mother. She was watching television and the video was cutting to black every few seconds but no one seemed to care. However, as the storm worsened the sound started to drop in and out and within a few minutes the TV was off and the deck of cards were out. My point is that sound is king and you need to put as much if not more effort into getting this right as you do into getting your set, lighting and even your content correct.

Truth 2 – No One is Listening

According to DIGIDAY UK, as much as 85% of video views happen with the sound off! So we go to the trouble of recording good sound and  now no one is listening to it. IT’S A TRAVESTY! However we filmmakers and content creators embrace change… it’s why we do what we do. So wipe the tears away and check out this example from BuzzFeed Video of how you can tell your story with just music or without any sound at all:


… 3 ways to overcome The Sound Paradox

1. Plan it

The time spent planning should be double the time you spend filming and editing or at least on par. To begin, ask yourself  ‘where is the video going to end up?’ and ‘who is going to be watching it?’ If it going on YouTube and on your website then capturing dialogue and sound is important. If it going on your Facebook or Instagram feed then having text is important. The safest option would be to plan for both sound, text and music so that whichever way your audience is watching it they will be able to easily understand.

2. Capture Great Sound Anyway

The microphones on our phones are designed to transmit clear sound so they are incredibly powerful. The problem is that if we are using our phone to record a nice picture, inevitable we have to move a couple of meters away from the person, place or thing that we are filming. This gap is what is killing your audio, and so to bridge that gap a reasonably priced lavaliere microphone will do the trick. I have been using the Rode SmartLav+ (click on the image below to view it on and it has been really effective. My one issue is that the cable isn’t that long so it is worth buying an extension cable with it.

Rode Smartlav+ Lavalier Microphone for SmartphoneRode Smart Lav

3. Create Awesome Text

Apps are outdoing themselves these days and here are a few that I would recommend downloading today and trying them out for yourself:

a. Legend – Right now the app is strictly iPhone and it will only produce animated text for square video. Besides that this app is revolutionary. Graphics that could take hours to produce on desktop software now literally takes seconds on iPhone. Try it out for FREE!

Legend GIf

b. Vont – Choose from more than 400 fonts and make custom edits to text size, color, angle, spacing, and more for FREE!

c. Subtitles – If your video contains speech, your best bet is to use Facebook’s automated captions tool. The tool will generate a set of caption that appears overlaid on your video. You can preview the captions to ensure they’re correct, and make any necessary edits before the captions go live.

Happy Videoing!

The Vidacademy Team

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