Get Started with the Right Equipment

To enhance the production value of your videos, consider investing in reliable audio and video equipment. While equipment doesn’t have to be expensive, using the right tools can significantly improve the overall quality of your video projects.

Get Started with the Right Equipment

Some schools may offer equipment resources, so it’s worth exploring those options. Here are some recommended audio/video equipment choices that you can purchase on a budget:

  • Rode Lavalier Microphone – $80: Getting good audio is crucial for video quality. Attach a lav microphone to your subject’s collar to capture clear and direct. You can record directly to the audio port on your camera or using your phone.
Lavalier microphones are great for reducing unwanted background noise. (Stephan Ridgeway/CC BY 2.0)
  • On-Board Rode Microphone – $50: Avoid using the built-in microphone that comes with your camera at all costs. Instead, opt for an on-board microphone like the Rode to pick up room tone and ambient sounds, ensuring better audio quality.

  • Travel Tripod – $75: Enhance the professional look of your videos by avoiding handheld videography and using a tripod. A stable camera position creates a more visually pleasing and steady shot.

  • Tripod Mount for Phone – $15: Many smartphones offer excellent video quality. Mounting your phone on a tripod will provide stability and improve the overall visual presentation.

  • Ring Light – $80: Having at least one production light, such as a ring light, can significantly enhance the look of your interviews. Proper lighting can elevate the visual appeal and professionalism of your videos.

Final Tips:

  • Wear Headphones: When recording, wear headphones to monitor the sound being captured precisely as intended. Avoid the frustration of discovering audio issues during the editing process.
Over-the-ear headphones help to isolate the sounds you are recording. (Rawad Ramadan/CC BY-SA 4.0)
  • Check Audio Levels: If your camera has the feature, adjust the microphone input levels to achieve a balanced mix with the natural sound and other ambient noises. Maintain optimal audio levels by keeping your audio hitting in the yellow range at around -6 decibels (dB), avoiding peaks in the red zone of 0 dB to ensure clear and distortion-free sound in your videos.

  • Music Considerations: When incorporating music into your videos, remember to lower the volume during interviews. This adjustment can be made during the editing process. For royalty-free music options, consider websites like and (remember to credit the song title and creator in your video credits).