One of the most recent occurrences in the drone industry today is the number of content creators who are adding sounds to their drone footage. This simple hack almost makes it feel like your drone has a microphone, only you choose what the viewer will hear.
Drones typically do not record audio. If they do, the sound is mediocre because the sound of the props take over the natural ambience. Some drones give you the option to record audio through the remote, but that doesn’t always give you what you are looking for. Sometimes it’s nice to hear the ocean as we fly over it or the birds or swooshes if you pass by something. But how is any of this possible if drones don’t have mics?
How to add sounds to your drone footage
One solution would be to add music to your video. Music usually fills that silence and can even give you a beat so you can cut to different clips. If you are doing work commercially, you want to make sure you have permission to use the music. It’s best to search online for royalty-free tracks or look at websites like Epidemic Sound or Artlist for music that you can pay to license.
Adding different music can change the mood of the video or portray different messages to the viewer. There are so many options out there to choose from. However, one thing a drone lacks over a ground camera is a microphone, so there is no way to add the ambience of the location.
Drone pilot: Alex Jordan from Peacemaker Filmworks. Sounds from Simply Sounds, Genesis SoundPak
The second solution would be to add sounds to your video. Sounds can be anything from natural ambience like transportation, nature, and city to sound effects like swooshes, bass notes, and horns. These sound effects add a different vibe from the music.
In a way, adding sound can really make your drone footage feel more natural. It may take some time to edit it into the clips, but from my experience, I can assure you it makes a great difference. In the clip above, you will see a drone video play without sound, and then you will see the same video play again with sound. See if you can feel the difference yourself (skip to 0:50 for sound).
As a video creator, I love that I see more people learning about this. I think it helps drone pilots get more creative and replicate the vision they have in their minds. For sounds, you can search online and find whatever you need, but you aren’t always guaranteed the same quality. Simply Sounds and Epidemic Sound are great places to go. One is a simple SoundPak with a few categories to select sounds from, and the other is a music and sound library with thousands of options from which to choose.
3. Best of both worlds
After all that talk of how music or audio could help your drone footage feel more natural, combining the two can sometimes be the best of both worlds. It may feel like you are editing a movie or commercial, but it’s your own personal content. Adding sounds to your drone footage can be both fun and rewarding. Click here for tips on shooting with your drone that may help you find some new places to shoot.
With drones on the rise and more people looking to get into videography and FPV, sounds and music can really help your footage stand out. It can be fun to find new ways to improve your drone videos so you can always be on the leading edge.
I hope this article helped raise some awareness about sound for your drone footage. Feel free to leave any comments below for more options/resources to sounds for all the drone pilots in this community!
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