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Picture this! You’re a film student who wants to create a short film. You don’t have a ton of equipment; you are only equipped with a rode mic, a Canon Rebel T3i and your creative mind. With that being said, you go out with your friends, you film everything for the short film in a couple of hours and you wrap up your film by piecing the footage together. Sounds like everything came into fruition right? Well, there’s a slight hiccup…actually, a major hiccup. Your footage looks beautiful, but none of the audio actually got recorded. At this point, you are probably very upset and dumbfounded as to why none of the audio got recorded.

Thankfully, this mistake can be easily fixed! You won’t be able to obtain the audio you would’ve had in the previous recordings, but you are most definitely going to stop this mistake from happening in the future. It all comes down to the camera’s menu settings.

Back of Canon Rebel T3i Camera

First of all, you need to locate the menu button. In the case of the Canon Rebel T3i, you’ll find that the menu button is located next to the info button on the upper left corner on the back of the camera. Once you click it, you should get a screen that looks like this:

Screen Display of Canon Rebel T3i Menu

Once you have opened the menu screen, you need to scroll through the various settings, or the icons at the top of the menu. Each one has a different set of settings. One may have the option of changing the image quality to be either raw or a different setting while another may have settings regarding the white balance on a camera.

You’ll need to find the sound recording settings, which should be located with the other setting options of:

  • Movie Rec. Size
  • Metering Timer
  • Grid Display
  • and Video Snapshot

Once you click the sound recording option, you’ll find some more options. There will be sound rec., wind filter and a little dB display that shows if the camera is picking up any audio. Now, going back to the scenario I created for you, you probably didn’t even know this was here. If you had your rode mic attached and plugged into the camera, you probably assumed that it would start recording audio right?

Unless your sound recording is set to “auto” or even “manual,” there will absolutely be no audio recorded for the camera footage. So, with that said, set your sound rec. to auto. Once you have done that, you should be able to record audio through your plugged in rode mic. Even if your mic isn’t plugged in, you’ll still be able to record sound through the camera’s built-in mic.

Audio is important when it comes to video. That’s why it’s ideal to make sure that your camera is set to the proper audio settings in order to gain sound. Also, it’s ideal to do that because if you don’t set the audio up properly through the camera, you might repeat the same mistakes from the scenario we worked with.