Capturing high-quality audio for visual content is challenging; especially for those just entering the market. The most basic tenant of capturing audio is to place the microphone as close as possible to your talent. However, what’s possible may not always be best for your image so, how do you solve this conundrum? Filmmaker Griffin Hammond shares a cool tip on how to get the mic close without ruining your image, with masking


Masking is a technique that allows you combine elements of two or more images.

Any photographer that has spent time learning Photoshop or Lightroom is familiar with the concept of masking. It is one of those useful techniques photographers/neophyte filmmakers can transfer into mastering their new skill. In this video, Mr. Hammond uses Final Cut Pro X from Apple, but you accomplish the same effect in Adobe Premiere if that’s your editor of choice

How do you do it? (In FCP X)

Step 1 – Duplicate Your Clip

Duplicate your clip and find one frame of your shot that doesn’t have the microphone in it and you that as a mask to cover the microphone when it is in the shot.

FCP X Short Cut: Option + Drag – Duplicates your clip

Step 2 – Trim Your Clip

FCP X Short Cut: ‘T’ = Trim Tool – Allows you select the In/Out point (First Frame/Last Frame)  of your clip; which helps you find your desired frame quickly.

Step 3 – Mask Your Clip

In Effects > Masks > Drag “Draw Mask” onto the duplicated clip and use it cover up your mic or whatever unwanted element you wish to hide.

Note of Caution:

This is only helpful if nothing in your video moves into it the masked area. If someone of something does, the illusion is dispelled.

This tip can prove useful for more than hiding a microphone so, its a technique that you’ll need to keep handy as errors in video content are often more difficult to hide than in stills photography.