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The Sound of Cooking

Professional videos should look good. That is obviously the conventional wisdom. And there is nothing particularly wrong with that either.

But there is something we tend to miss often.

Professional videos should have even better sound.

Of course, one can excuse him/herself by stating that their videos are not meant to be of a great quality.
But here's the problem.

If you are shooting and sharing with friends and family, that is one thing. But if you wish to create a channel and you actually CAN do your stuff properly - you should take care about the metadata. YouTube channel owners should ideally consider their work as semi professional - especially if they ask for subscribers and likes in the video.

Let's assume we (the audience) know that you know about your thing. Say you are a cook, as in the video below. The cooking skills are good, the location is nice, the camera angles are standard, the animations are good and video quality crisp. But what really lets the video down is the audio. The wind truly messes up the session in the end. The unfortunate part is that I guess a decent quality microphone was already used for the session.

Herein mic placement comes in handy. This actually gives us all a very important lesson (which applies to me too). Perfection can't be done away with when dealing with video pre and post production. With free tools like Audacity - noise ratios can be brought down, there are tricks on YouTube itself to record quality audio even with a phone.

For instance, for this video above, the context is extremely important. This is not a technical video. The video quality could have been compromised to get (perhaps) a Lavalier mic and placed appropriately. If the audio results were not good enough (which they are not), it should have been re-shot or edited with filters in some Audio Processing tool. One of my favorite young movie makers DSLR Guide makes this very clear in a short video here.

That said, there were other issues with the design on the content. For instance, since this was the first video of the channel - it should have catered to a particular and narrow niche. I made the same mistake and have been suffering since then. But targeting a smaller audience helps a lot - when you are just starting out.

There were a few grammatical errors (I know from personal experience she sounds much sweeter in Bengali) which perhaps crept in because of a lack of a script (again I am assuming).

The channel is also not categorized properly in the YouTube dashboard. The video type is shown as 'People and Blogs'. The tags are not present either. This reduces visibility significantly.

That said, she cooks well and garnishes better. If the sound is taken care of, the videos themselves will 'appear' way more polished and the dependence on custom animations on the side will automatically be much reduced (reducing production overhead). I wish her the best.


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