Having a good microphone is nearly worthless if you don't put it in the right position. The closer you can get the mic to the source of the audio the stronger the signal. Skimp on taking the time to position and test your mics and you run the risk of noise and hollow sounding audio.
Here are a few guiding principles when it comes to microphone placement:
- Too far away. Extend your thumb and pinky finger in opposite directions. This is a good target distance for the microphone to be from the mouth of your subject. You can't get this close all the time, but do your best.
- Getting too close. While proximity is important, you can get too close. If a microphone is too close to the audio source, the signal can become overloaded and distorted.
- Microphone rub. Be careful where you attach a microphone (especially if using a lavaliere mic). Try to avoid having the microphone rub against clothing.
- Consider the pickup pattern of the mic. Different microphones have different purposes. Make sure if you’re using an omnidirectional microphone, to place it so it can best capture the “whole” scene. Likewise, if using a shotgun microphone, angle it to capture the directional audio it’s capable of recording.
For more on DSLR video, check out From Still to Motion.