Podcasts are fun to listen to–pretty much everyone has their favorite podcast show. That being said, if you’re starting out with your podcast show or just looking for ways to improve it, here are 16 tips that can help make recording sessions sound more professional.
The last thing people want to hear in a podcast episode are audio issues. From making your voice crisp to avoiding weird background noises, this article explains it all. So, keep reading ahead to find out!
Use the Correct Equipment
Your laptop’s microphone isn’t really recommended for recording podcast episodes. If you haven’t purchased any equipment yet, then take this as a sign to do so. You don’t need to buy every single piece of equipment, but starting off with the basics can greatly improve the quality of the audio when recording.
Warm Up Beforehand
Obviously, recording a podcast episode will involve a lot of talking. It’s best to practice your script beforehand in order to warm up your vocal cords. Doing so is a form of practice to enhance your diction and prevent you from getting tongue-tied. And, being able to deliver your lines flawlessly on the get-go saves time and space (since the files can easily add up).
Record in a Quiet Environment
This is yet another obvious tip, but many hosts still often forget about this one. Recording in a quiet and small room can decrease noise and echo. Close your doors and windows, switch off loud machines or devices and place your pets in a room where their noise won’t be easily heard. Adding pillows, carpets, and other soft items can help absorb sound or muffle uncontrolled noises.
Create a Quick Noise Profile
Take a brief pause for about four to five seconds at the start of the recording to create a noise profile. Remain silent and get rid of every environmental noise.
Follow Proper Mic Techniques
There are different microphone strategies that help to improve the overall sound quality. Prop your microphone at the same level as your mouth. Sit a couple of inches back and insert the pop filter between the microphone and your mouth. Concentrate on the distance between your mouth and the setup and adjust your body to obtain the preferred volume level.
The volume of your voice will increase the closer you are to the microphone. Even though you can edit the volume of your voice during post-production, you can lessen your editing time by maintaining the same distance between your mouth and the microphone during the recording session.
Take Note of Your Volume Levels
While you’re keeping your microphone distance at a consistent rate, you can also monitor the volume levels during recording. Pretty much the majority of the recording software indicate the volume levels with an easy-to-understand scale. Green means it’s good; yellow is still okay, but it’s important to stay cautious about it. Avoid red at all costs, otherwise, the sound will get distorted.
Avoid Moving Too Much
When you move your body a lot while recording, it creates a lot of background noise. You’ll spend more time in post-production when it could’ve been easily avoided while recording. Earbuds headphones are usually the main culprits for this issue. This is because the wire is close to your chest, causing the microphone to rub against your clothing. Besides moving your body too much, try to refrain from moving things on your table as well.
Fix Any Sound Issues ASAP
Do a test recording before you actually do the episode. See if there’s any problem coming from your guest’s microphone or if you can hear any background noise. Identify and fix audio issues from the beginning or even wait before recording. Nothing is more frustrating than recording the entire episode and finding out that there’s a major issue that can’t be fixed through post-production.
Wear Headphones While Recording
While recording a podcast episode without headphones is possible, you may also attract a lot of audio feedback. Make everyone wear headphones so that you don’t need to spend a long time editing, or cleaning the recording up.
Keep Quiet While the Guest is Speaking
When we’re having regular conversations, it can be tempting to add in phrases such as “right”, “yes”, or “okay” while the guest is talking. This is because it lets the other party know that we’re listening to them. However, in podcast episodes, it can be distracting for the listeners. While you can remove them during post-production, it can get tedious and add up to the total time editing. It’s much easier to train yourself to remain silent as the other person finishes their sentence.
Leave Audio Cues for Mistakes
It’s normal to make mistakes. However, you can get rid of them since you aren’t performing in front of an audience in real time. Removing mistakes is pretty common when it comes to podcast editing. However, you have to have a cue to spot them easily in the track.
For example, if you said something you want to remove in the final output, You can verbally say in the mic, “remove this part in postproduction,” pause for a couple of seconds, and then keep going.
While editing, locate those pauses and slice off the mistakes. There are other ideas for using audio cues in podcast recordings, this is one primary example.
Mute When it’s Not Your Turn
Spare yourself some post-production work by muting yourself while the other party is talking. It’s one less noise to remove during editing, saving you some time.
Refrain From Using Too Much Production Elements
Having sound effects can make the podcast more entertaining and unique. However, adding too much can be distracting and make your show sound cheap. Utilize sound effects only when needed, and it matches with your brand.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
This sounds like a simple tip, but it’s often overlooked by hosts. Keeping yourself hydrated is already important enough, and with a podcast episode where you’ll be talking a lot, you’re going to be parched for sure. Recording a podcast episode dehydrated is going to increase the number of mouth clicks since these noises will be more prevalent when our mouths are dry.
Have Separate Channels For Each Speaker
If your podcast show involves a lot of people speaking, it’s best to record each speaker in their own channel. This gives you control over the individual volumes and noise profiles during post-production.
Take Breaks When Needed
If you can’t do the recording in one sitting, then try to break the podcast episode into sections with appropriate times to take a break. This can also be the perfect opportunity to recheck the audio for any issues, drink more water, and stretch to stay comfortable during the remainder of the recording session.
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