Once you have your big Audio Video concept, it’s time to ask yourself this: what are the costs of audio-visual solutions for your sales website?
Video Recording Equipment
How much you’ll need to spend on video recording equipment depends on what you need to record. If your page concept requires nothing more demanding than a few video testimonials from satisfied customers or a sales pitch from a company insider, you can probably get away with a high-end USB webcam and some careful attention paid to lighting and sound. If you want to film some footage of your product being tested or used in the field, you’ll want to invest some more money in a more elaborate and powerful camera, something that gives you more interesting lighting options, or that allows you to save video information in a variety of formats.
Audio Recording Equipment
Any good camera probably comes with a microphone. Whether that microphone is something you want to use or not is another question. Most on-board camera microphones don’t provide you with ideal sound recording conditions, and they make it more difficult for you to polish your final product. The camera microphone is usually too close to the moving parts of the camera to get a clear, uninterrupted signal, which leads to distracting audio hum and an overall aura of amateurism. So going for the cheap solution in terms of audio recording isn’t a good idea.
On the other hand, there’s no real need to go for the most expensive solution in terms of audio recording. There are plenty of microphones out there designed for professional film work and for professional audio recording. These microphones are designed to eliminate all background noise, to capture audio signals in full fidelity, and for generally providing the viewer with a beautiful and captivating audio experience. However, here’s the difference: movies and musical recordings are themselves the products they’re trying to sell.
If you buy a CD by your favorite band and the recording sounds terrible, you’re going to feel that you’ve gotten an inferior product. If you watch a Flash presentation for a computer operating system with iffy audio recording, you can’t really draw any conclusions about the product–what matters isn’t audio clarity but how well the product works on your computer.
So the key is to get audio recording equipment that provides you with enough fidelity so that you can hear all of your dialogue or music clearly, but that doesn’t break your bank by giving you lots of useless flourish and “icing.” A good directional microphone can usually do the trick and won’t cost you more than about twenty to forty dollars, depending on how complicated it is to connect your microphone to your computer, camera, or other recording device.
With some careful attention paid to good sound recording practices (as we’ll cover in a later chapter), you shouldn’t need more than this unless your product really focuses on audio as a key component, or, unless you’re doing something very elaborate with your sales presentation (something which you can probably scale down without any problem.)
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to spend as much money as your budget allows when it comes to any recording equipment. After all, it’s not likely that your first audio-visual enhanced web page will be your last. You’ll have more ideas for products, and you’ll need to build more web pages to promote and sell them.