If you’ve ever wondered if there was a quick fix for a less-then-perfect picture, this may actually be your answer.

It’s your audio. No fooling.

You can do this easily and quite inexpensively if you also decide to do it authentically.

But what does that mean?

Watch and listen for the 4 markers of audio quality that have the biggest effect on your picture.

And even though the word “science” is in the title, know that It’s really not hard at all! 🙂

There’s also a fresh new version of the Video Blogging Toolkit waiting for you if you click on the link in the video.


    12 replies to "The Simple Science of Authentic Audio"

    • Nancy Dadami

      Steven your videos are educational and inspirational. I always feel like “I can do this” when I watch you. I am heading to the toolkit to find out about microphones. Thank You

      • Steven Washer

        You’re quite welcome, Nancy. Send us a link!

    • Michelle Nightengale

      Love your videos Steve! And I’m totally jealous of your audio here. What environment are you shooting in?

      I took your Audience Builder’s Blueprint back in 2015 and was trying to get good green screen with just the Logitech C920 webcam. Didn’t happen. (Naturally!)

      I went through my third hip dislocation and surgery in 2016 and everything got put on hold for two years. (Bones take FOREVER to heal!)

      I’m finally feeling more or less back to normal and am attacking video again. I’ve just spent a good deal on some new video equipment, including the Canon EOS T7i DSLR camera. (I bought that over the Vixia you recommend because the Canon EOS Utility software allows me to tether and shoot remotely — a HUGE help when you’re shooting yourself with no one to help! The Vixia has no such software to tether and shoot remotely.)

      So now I’ve been fussing with the audio. I’m working from home with a less-than-stellar audio/acoustical environment.

      I really wanted a lav mic so it’s out of my way. (Desktop mics get in my way.) So I got the Audio-Technica AT899 condenser lav mic (an XLR mic). It’s nice, but picks up everything. My A/C is relatively loud, plus I can’t quite get the hiss out of the audio. (I’m using a Saramonic audio adapter.)

      So I bought a mic processor, the DBX 286s. That helped A LOT. I was able to boost the gain significantly while lowering the background noise a lot. Yay! I still need to edit in post, but now the audio is good enough that I can edit out the little background noise without distorting my voice (which was a problem before).

      It’s new equipment so I’m still testing it, but I’m encouraged by the results so far.

      What lav mic are you using in this video?


      • Steven Washer

        Thanks for sharing your journey, Michelle. You’ve clearly gone right down the rabbit hole! Keep up the good work.
        I’m using mostly the Sony ECM series wireless in this video.

    • Shelly Godby

      Your videos are informative while enjoyable to watch. What microphone do you recommend for my Cannon Vixia HF R50? One of the several LAV mics I’ve tried created an electrical interference that produced static when I had a tool plugged in to use during my video.

      • Steven Washer

        Yep. You’ve just given everyone a lesson in the difference between a balanced and unbalanced connector; between a high and low-impedance microphone. You need an audio adapter, a low-impedance mic with a balanced connector and an adapter cable to connect from your audio adapter back to your camera. Then the hum and static will go away.

        But it does cost a bit more, so the other thing you can do is record directly into an audio recorder, hope the tool doesn’t interfere with that, and edit “double-system”. But that is far less certain an outcome than what I outlined in the first paragraph.

        You can use any of the mics recommended in the Home Studio Video Resource List available here:

        Hope that helps!

        • Michelle Nightengale


          Will that work for my camera as well?

          I bought a power adapter for my Canon T7i — two of them in fact. The first created a horrible electrical buzz in my audio. So I bought a second, thinking the first was defective. I spoke with another audio/video expert who informed me that power adapters will do that with my setup and it’s best to just use a battery.

          So I bought a second battery so I could quickly swap it out when the one I’m using dies.

          At the time, I was using the Audio-Technica AT899 lav mic plugged into the Saramonic SR-PAX2 audio adapter plugged into the T7i. Now I’m just plugging the lav mic into the DBX 286s mic processor which goes to the Saramonic audio adapter which goes to the Canon T7i. Quite the daisy chain!

          I was hoping to use that camera for webinars and lives, but apparently, the camera only shoots for 29 continuous minutes, then shuts off. So I guess it doesn’t really matter….


          • Steven Washer

            Yes, that will work for your camera as well, and reduce the plumbing factor quite a bit. Remember, in our system, simplicity is a pillar concept, too! 🙂

        • Shelly Godby

          Thank you. Looks like I need the adapter when using the tool.

          It’s rare that I use the tool that caused the interference. What microphone do you recommend for the majority of the time for my Canon Vixia HF R50?

          I’ve been using a VidPro but honestly, don’t hear much difference from my internal microphone.

          • Steven Washer

            If you download the Video Blogging Toolkit, there are options in there that will work!

    • Neal

      My last few videos I had been disappointed with my Audio, and what I was able to do in post processing wasn’t really helping. I was using a low cost Lav mic (Because I’m so tight I squeak) and wasn’t sure if this whole video thing was a path I was going to pursue.

      Well, it is starting to be a hit with my current clients and I’m getting better (at least I think) with some aspects, but the audio was lacking.

      I decided to invest in this process. I picked up a zoom H6 and an Audio Technica AT-875R shotgun Mic. A stand with a boom. The difference is NIGHT and DAY. Granted this amounted to $500, but if you’re gonna do it, do it right. And, as you say, make it sound authentic.

      I’m not a pro audio guy, but the difference in the zoom and a decent quality Mic is absolutely amazing.

      Thanks for all of the content you create. I learn a lot.

      • Steven Washer

        Ah yes, it’s almost spooky how much decent audio can affect the quality of what you create, isn’t it? Good on you, Neal!

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