AUDIO

Unfortunately, audio tends to let a lot of people's self tapes down. Other than using the inbuilt microphones that come with your phone or camera, there are some other options to help improve the quality of your audio, which are listed below. 

Lavalier lapel microphone - £26.99

Image credit -

BLIXXO

Easy to set up and get going from the off! Just plug in this mic to your phone or DSLR and you're good to go. With a 2 meter cord it should be long enough for most tapes, but do remember that if you're using a smartphone, you may need to buy an official 35mm jack adaptor that can then plug into your phone. I found that this only really worked with official adaptors, rather than a 3rd party connector. 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B014ZYH6J4/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_xP0EEbYY0J745

PROS

  • Very easy to set up out of the box

  • Portable and light

  • Comes with everything you need, including clips and foam shield

  • Can connect to a range of devices

  • Audio is always captured, no matter which way you're facing

CONS

  • Two meter cable might not always be long enough

  • It's wired, not wireless

  • Has a tendency for the audio to clip if shouting or screaming in your self tape

  • Might need an adaptor for certain devices like iPhones with Lightning connectors

  • Lav mics can cause rustling from clothes when moving about a lot

RODE Video Mic Pro - £132.99

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RODE

Probably one of the best microphones you can buy to help improve the quality of your self tapes. Rode make some exceptional mics and the great thing about the Video Mic Pro is that it's relatively affordable and gives a clear crisp sound with low self-noise and limited 'hiss'.   As a directional mic, it'll be mainly picking up the actor's voice, while limiting how loud the reader's voice is off-camera. This mic can easily be attached to the top of any DSLR and plugged straight into the camera so that the audio is automatically synced with the video.  

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00YAZHRZM/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_ZIiFEb69213M7

There is also a 'Plus' model of this microphone with more advanced features, such as longer battery life and duel-recordings so that there is an alternative track in case of spiking or audio clipping.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07PCP5MC3/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_M3iFEbTWPPJXV

PROS

  • Great audio quality

  • Plugs in to most DSLR cameras via 35mm jack

  • Directional - picking up sound directly in front of the mic

  • Low self-noise and hiss

  • Setting for reducing background noise built into the mic

CONS

  • More expensive

  • Best sound when the subject is directly in front of the mic