“Streetfilms University” Tip: Recording Voiceovers using your iPhone

Christa Orth records voice overs with me!

It might sound a little unbelievable, but you can get pretty good quality voiceovers for your projects using a simple smart phone. For our latest series Streetfacts we decided to go a little bit more low-tech: rather than using a microphone to record directly into the computer or renting out a studio and spending a ton of money, well, we just used our iPhones!

In actuality it started out as a test to do some rough drafts with some early-version scripts. But when I married the images to the recordings and played it with the soundtrack I realized they sounded pretty good. Now I'm not suggesting these videos feature award-winning, movie quality sound, but the ability to be able to record at a moment's notice ended up letting us do many revisions without worry.  Simple process: record in a voice notes program, email it to yourself, and then simply drag and drop onto your desktop and into your edit timeline.

I'd suggest a few things if you go this route.  1) Make sure you are in a quiet area (and as a bonus make sure the room isn't too "echo-y". 2) You'll need to get the smart phone fairly close to your subject. 3) Make sure your talent doesn't hold the paper as they read it (it makes noise).  And most important, 4) I'd only recommend this if you plan on having background music in your piece.

Here's our Streetfacts #4 which I think shows off the quality.  For those of you making your own transportation videos, you might want to try it out. And in the future look for more Streetfilms University tips!