Today I'd like us to share some tips for getting a clean podcast recording. Here are some of my own tips. I'm looking for you to add yours in the comments.
When you record, try to record in the smallest possible room you can. This will reduce echo and outside noise, making podcast cleanup even easier.
This actually contradicts previous practices that were thought to be best. In the past it was thought that you needed a big room to get the best sound. This is why studios were made from converted churches. Larger was thought to be better.
Multi-tracking has changed everything. It removed the room from the equation entirely. Today, most of us can get away with a laptop and a closet to do our recording.
Think ahead. Before you even record one word, look at the room you are about to record in. As stated, the smaller the room the better because it will make podcast cleanup that much easier. You will want to remove any possibility of an echo by adding some blankets in front of walls and on solid floors.
This is why most closets are perfect for recording. They are filled with clothing (which dampens the sound) and they have carpeting on the floor.
Make sure to run a test recording to check for reverb. Reverb is an echo-like sound, which is similar to – but not as extreme as – the sound you might get if you were to record in your bathroom or an empty room. In these environments, where the sound bounces off bare walls and floors, rather than being absorbed, your recording will sound ‘tinny’ at best or echoey at worst. You are aiming for the nice, rich, full sound you hear on professional podcasts.
If the room you record in has lots of bare walls or floors without carpet, consider lining some of the walls and floors with blankets or towels to stop reverb. It also can help if you put pillows behind your microphone.
Here’s a little trick I use when I’m recording short snippets (like intros and outros) and don’t want to go to the hassle of lining my walls and floors: I place a blanket over my head, laptop and microphone and record like this. The blanket absorbs the sound, preventing any echo. You could also set up a ‘cubby’ with chairs and a blanket over the top which you sit under if you wanted to be more comfortable or were recording for longer periods. This will do the same job.
Do your best to keep your mouth the same distance to the microphone throughout the recording. The closer you get to the microphone, the louder your voice and vice versa.
Microphone technique, in general, is an important skill for any podcaster to learn. By having better microphone technique you make podcast cleanup much easier.
Be sure to use a pop filter to avoid plosives. Use a set of headphones so you can hear how you sound as you record.
When you start recording your episode, include 2 to 3 seconds of silence at the beginning. This will record any ambient noise from the room where you are recording. This will enable you to use noise reduction filters post-production to remove the unwanted noises. If there is any humming or background buzzing, you can use the noise profile in post-editing to edit out background sounds.
I'm excited to see what tips you all will share!