Drones may not have the means of recording audio now. The main reason is that even if drones did have a microphone, you’re more than likely going to hear the sound of the props. But… what if that could change?
With drones becoming more of a mainstream tool for videography, will they ever sport a microphone to capture audio of the places they fly? Unfortunately, drones probably won’t record good audio or any audio at all for next 5-10 years until it is figured out. With that being the case, it is hard to believe that some of the content we see online, isn’t captured from the drone itself.
Audio helps create an illusion
In a way, when we see an amazing visual or something new/unique, we are drawn to it. Our attention to the visual with the audio just feels natural. This is almost like when you watch a movie and your attention is on the story or what is about to happen. Something captures your interest to keep you watching.
The point being, when you are watching these new, interesting things, you don’t always assume the audio effects are added in post-production. Normally the video would be silent or you would be hearing the sound of the props. In the video below, you can see a version with sound. You can then swipe and see that same video without sound. This footage represents the transformation of raw footage to the final shot with color and audio.
Where can I find an audio solution?
In a weird way, watching a silent video may not capture everyone’s attention. But where can you find reliable sounds to add to your drone footage? Luckily there are a bunch of sources (mentioned below) that can help drone pilots at any level. Sound is simply an extra layer of creativity that anyone can add to their video.
This article has nothing to do with music. I am more focused on sound effects and natural ambiance. There are many places to find this but it can become time-consuming at times and audio quality can vary. The sources I list in this article are resources I have used in some of my work that I find very helpful to use in post-production.
For natural ambiance, Simply Sounds, Artlist SFX, Freesound, and Epidemic SFX are a few to check out. These sources can provide you with ambiance as well as audio effects like whooshes, bass, and more. All these options are packaged in different ways for the consumer.
What’s best for you?
What do you want your footage to look like? To sound like? As pilots, we usually focus on capturing the beautiful shots we set out to achieve. Sometimes we don’t even consider the audio at a location. Even if we do, how many drone pilots are carrying a microphone on them to record those sounds?
Sometimes it is easier to find resources that fit your workflow. There are plenty of websites that offer an abundance of sound and audio effects. Some sources give you so much freedom that you can spend hours searching for an audio track that has the perfect fit for your clip. Others bundle sounds into a Sound Pak that is organized into simple categories for easy, general use.
A few of these websites are free, some charge monthly subscriptions and others are just a flat cost. Some require internet download tracks while others you can load right into your hard drive.
These things are certainly something to consider because the key here is to find what works best for you. If you see a benefit in making the footage feel more natural and realistic with audio, this is something that you can take the time to play around with and learn.
Browse some of the sites, check out their user interface, pricing, and sound quality. By doing this, you are going to find what works best for you versus me telling you what’s best for you ;)
Over the past few years, we have seen many videos go from silence to sound. A lot of content creators are becoming aware of this trend and beginning to use sound effects more. This article is intended to provide resources that can help your workflow when it comes to adding audio and sound effects to your drone videos.
DISCLOSURE: I am a co-creator of Simply Sounds. I did not write this article to push my company over the others. In fact, I use the other brands’ music and audio effects in my own work and love having multiple resources at hand.