If you frequent the web, particularly sites such as Twitch, or use online services such Xbox Live, then you more than likely own a microphone.
Microphones are the best way to express yourself online! They allow you to have real, fluid conversations with others over the web, and record videos that utilise your voice, instead of a text-to-speech program or a simple blog post.
But are they necessary to make a successful Youtube video, or even to maintain a successful channel?
It is not absolutely necessary to have an external dedicated microphone to make a successful YouTube video. But by not using one, you’re closing off a lot of pathways that would otherwise present new and exciting ways of evolving your content and making the quality of your videos much better.
When Do I Need A Microphone For YouTube?
If you have a YouTube Channel that delivers content in the commentary or essay style, then getting a good microphone will be a good investment for your YouTube channel.
One of the most popular, and fastest growing genres on Youtube in the past 4 or 5 years has been the commentary genre.
As the name suggests, these channels comment on and discuss a wide range of topics, from politics to films, and from social media to music. They’ve become very much ingrained in the popular culture on the internet, and have an incredibly large social media presence and following on Youtube.
With a lot of these channels it’s the viewpoints and opinions of that specific Youtuber that make them interesting to watch. And of course, the most effective way for these channels to get their point across is to use a microphone.
This is just one case where using a microphone can offer up a new direction for your channel to head in, and grow as a result.
However, it’s not like you’re completely limiting your own channels’ possible growth and popularity by not using a microphone. There are plenty of successful Youtube channels out there that don’t utilise a microphone. It all really comes down to the content and style of the videos that you’re making.
Video styles such as video essays, commentaries, reaction videos, reviews, etc., do require microphones to be successful; but there are hundreds of other styles of Youtube video out there that don’t.
Do I Need A Microphone For Video-Game Walkthrough Videos?
A lot of creators seem to think that video-game walkthroughs (which is another extremely popular genre on Youtube) require constant commentary over the top of the gameplay. But I believe that this simply isn’t true.
A large proportion of the audience for this genre are merely interested in the content of the video game itself; that’s why they’re watching a run-through of it in the first place. A lot of people also go to video game walkthroughs when they’re stuck on a particular section of the game in question – they don’t want to hear someone chattering away while they’re trying to focus on solving the issue they’re having with the game.
There is a vast amount of channels out there who consistently rake in a lot of viewers simply but playing a game in silence. And you could be one of them (if that’s your subject of expertise). No need for a microphone!
If you do want to add some video gamed music if the silence is too intense, check out this free music which is safe to use as background music on your YouTube channel from this music website.
Do I Need A Microphone For A DIY / Process Style Video On YouTube?
A process style video may not need a microphone, but again it depends on how much commentary you will be adding to your content.
The DIY/Process style video genre sounds pretty odd and broad, but that’s because these sorts of videos can encompass a large variety of topics.
This genre includes cooking videos, baking videos, home construction/makeover videos, furniture/gadget making videos; essentially any video where a process is taken and something has been made by the end.
If using commentary/voiceover then using a microphone is necessary, however for a lot of viewers simply watching the process being carried out is intriguing enough to hold their attention.
Thus a lot of channels that focus around these process videos have become very successful without using voiceover and a microphone. Although, a little bit of text displayed on the screen might be helpful to explain the process of your video a little more.
Don’t forget that you can use free background music to create emotion and help to tell your story.
How To Setup & Use A Microphone For YouTube Videos?
If you do decide to use a microphone in your Youtube videos, which microphone should you use? How do you set one up? And how do you mix the audio with the visuals of your video?
I have covered the essential features of microphones, from which ones to pick to where they should be placed in much greater depth in these articles:
- Best Budget Microphone For Streaming For Under $100
- What are the three most popular types of microphone?
- How to pick the right microphone?
- Recording Professional Quality Voice Overs at Home
- Where Should I Place The Microphone For Speech Recording?
Picking a Microphone
The first thing you need to do once you’ve made the decision to use a microphone in your videos, is to decide which exact model of mic you plan on using.
A lot of people make the rookie mistake of simply using the one that comes built-into their computer. But this microphone may not have a good quality sound, and might actually drive away potential viewers.
External microphones (mics that are separate from the computer itself) are certainly your best bet. How you pick the right microphone is lengthy topic that is covered in greater depth here:
Typically, setup is easy with microphones. Simply plug it in, and you’re good to go!
Depending on the software you’re using to record the microphone audio, you may need to adjust some additional parameters before you hit “record”; but that’s on a microphone-to-microphone basis.
Once the audio has been recorded, it’s time to layer it over your video’s visuals. For this, the same process can be applied no matter the video editing software you’re using.
- Simply import the audio into your software of choice.
- Drag it onto the timeline, either above or below the timeline for the visuals; then neaten up the edit to ensure any cuts are synchronized too.