Legal Marketing: How An Air Conditioner Destroyed My Video

Sign at the Dead Sea, Israel. Pay attention to #2. No jumping.

I had an hour to myself last Friday and decided I would shoot some educational video in my office. I set up my equipment and changed into a blue button-down shirt with a dark tie. I set my white balance on my camera, checked the frame to make sure I was in good position. I checked lighting and of course I checked audio.

This all took place within a span of 15 minutes. Of course certain adjustments need to be made like repositioning the lights, closing shades and moving the camera angle so you did not see reflection in my eyeglasses.

I then proceeded to press record and start talking. After I was done with my first video, I played it back and everything sounded wonderful through the tiny little speaker that is on my camera. I then shot another video clip, then another and another. I wound up with about five or six video clips during the 50 minutes I was shooting video.

Over the weekend, I decided to start editing those videos and as soon as I uploaded them to my computer and put them into my video editing software, I knew I had wasted my time. From the moment I pressed play I knew I’d made a huge mistake and didn’t even realize it until that moment.

This was very frustrating especially since everything else was just perfect. The lighting conditions were great, the weather was perfect, my office was beautifully clean and immaculate. My content was right on target and my delivery was pretty good considering there have been days I could barely cobble two sentences together (bloopers) and other days when things come out beautifully.

What was the problem?

The air conditioner. More specifically, the hum the air conditioner created.

You see, in my office building the air conditioners are still running. You and I tune out every-day sounds around us, otherwise we would never be able to get any work done. It is insignificant, or so I thought. However, my wireless microphone didn’t. My microphone was so sensitive that it picked up the low frequencies of the air conditioner and you can clearly hear it on the soundtrack throughout each of my video clips.

In an effort to try and clean up the audio I needed to play around with the audio filters in my editing software. The only problem is that there are 40 different sound filters available including a “hum filter,”  “a low-frequency pass filter,” “a high shelf filter,” and tons of equalizers and enough audio gobbledygook to envelop you in techno geek hell.

I spent just under an hour shooting my video, and will tell you that I spent two hours cleaning up just the audio. This was an incredibly frustrating day. Although I was able to tweak the audio to the point where it was acceptable, it clearly was not one of my better videos. Will anyone notice? Someone with a good ear definitely will.

Next time I’m going to make sure the air conditioner is OFF!









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2 Responses to Legal Marketing: How An Air Conditioner Destroyed My Video

  • alan says:

    It would be easy to fix that. Just run the audio through some audio software and put a gate on it – that stops you hearing any audio that is below a certain volume. Assuming your talking was louder than your air conditioning unit then you will be fine. Just export the new audio and import it back into your video editor sequence.

  • Great suggestion. Problem is that most people don’t know how to do that. Your solution will work…as long as you learn how to do it.

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Well, we recently got two really good cases. We tracked where they came from, the client said they had watched our YouTube videos and they were calling us because of it. The crazy thing is I’m a non-believer. I’m always trying to break out of the box I’ve put myself in and it is amazing. People will call you because of the videos you post.

Greg Stokes
Stokes & Kopitsky, P.A.