I bought a cheap handycam some time back, one from Sony, for about $410 to record videos to put on YouTube. The recording picks up a lot of audio static even if I have the fan switched off.

I want to do videos without any static. Like this one, for example:

I understand I'll require a mic that connects directly to the video camera to eliminate static. I know nothing. Do I need a lapel mic? Do I need a different camera? What sort of camera? What sort of an investment am I looking at?

Is there a cheaper option to do videos without any static? Can you remove noise (audio) from a video? Is it a painful & lengthy process, like a linear thing where you have to watch and listen to the entire tape and keep chopping?


3 Answers 3


You have several options.

1. Remove the noise using an audio editor This can sometimes be effective but it depends on the type of noise. If you mainly interested in improving videos that you make in the future, it is better to solve the problem during recording.

2. Get a different camera This would (probably) solve the problem, but it is an expensive solution. If you are happy with the video quality you are getting now, then you probably want to look at ...

3. Buy an external mic (recommended) Search Amazon or an audio/video supply store for a lavalier mic. First make sure that you camera has a jack to plug an external mic into. Most do. You can then use a wired lavalier mic for about $25 and up. Wireless mics are much more expensive, but it seems like you don't need that. Buy the best one you can afford, because it will make a difference in the quality, but even the entry-level mics will be much better than using the built-in camera mic.

4. Use an external audio recorder This is a variation on #3. If it's not practical to run the mic cable back to your camera, you can use an external audio recorder like the Zoom H4n or H1 to record the audio separately from the video. You will then need to sync the audio and video in your video editor.

  • Awesome. Thank you. If I take options 2 & 3 out of your options, what sort of a camera should I buy? As far as I recall, when I was buying my handycam, I checked out all the upscale ones too and neither of them had a jack for attaching a microphone, or I'd have bought that one. I decided on the cheap one because it had all the features I cared about and did the job. Upscale handycams just have better resolution/pixellation (HD). What sort of a camera should I buy and what is it called?
    – Sathyaish
    Jul 9, 2011 at 21:58
  • Its hard to say which is the best. I would recommend you check out B&H video, and their HD camcorder section (Here: bit.ly/pCVZSc). The 2nd and 3rd, I both know have really good sound.
    – Colum
    Jul 9, 2011 at 23:43
  • The first thing you're looking for is a trim adjustment for input levels on the camera or recorder. The second thing is an XLR mic and connection, which will solve almost all 1/8" connection problems, and interference problems.
    – Clint Torres
    Jul 11, 2011 at 17:15
  • Make sure to capture a "noise profile". This is 10-30 seconds of just room noise which can be used by capable audio editors to help reduce noise. Also note that some cameras auto-level the audio and will increase gain during quiet periods. Make sure to turn this off and deal with the gain manually. Try to not mess with it to much during actual recording.
    – LordNeckbeard
    Dec 7, 2012 at 18:53

Agree with the points mentioned above. I find that applying a High Pass Filter (Effects -> High Pass Filter) to the recording takes away a lot of static and noise when "Remove Noise & hiss " just does not seem to clean it up enough.

  • Upvote for a positive contribution to AVP. Dec 9, 2012 at 1:47

Invest in a mosquito mic, the one you attach on the subject's shirt (or tie as on the picture).

If you are gonna achieve good quality recording always get the most out of the source of the sound - in this case that means get as close as you can so ambient noise is put more in the background then when recorded from a distance (built-in mic).

This will take care of camera noise, room reverb and so forth. Now it is also easier to master the sound.

Post-processing noise will never sound good - you will get a "squicky" result, and you will still have problem with room reverb, ambient noise etc.

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