We’ve all seen footage of recording studios in TV and movies. They usually look like the closest thing to a spaceship besides, well, a spaceship.
It’s true that before recording with computers became the standard, you needed some NASA-level expertise to make recordings.
These days, even if you’re not a sound engineer, things are a lot easier. You can even make pretty good recordings using just your phone.
For a professional-quality podcast, “Voice Memos” won’t quite cut it. But, all you really need to make professional quality voice recordings is a good microphone. In the next article, we’ll cover how to pick the perfect starter microphone and later on, how to record good audio with some helpful microphone tips. But first, we’ll offer tips for recording audio at home, including picking a good room to record in, and how to make a room good for audio recording.
When choosing a room to record a podcast, you want to look for a space that doesn’t create too much reverberation or echo. When recording for podcasts, you want to record vocals that sound “dry,” or don’t have too much echo or background sound. Recording in a space that has too much natural reverberation can lead to recordings that sound like they were made inside an oil drum.
A good rule of thumb here is the harder the surface, the greater the reflectiveness. Tile floors and glass windows will reflect a lot of sound, and create more reverberations. Carpeted rooms with curtains will absorb more sound and create less reverb.
A good way to test a room is to clap loudly and listen to the response. If the clap rings out loudly and has a longer decay (how long the reverberation of a sound lasts) that room might be challenging to record in. If the clap stops short and you don’t hear it ring out continuously through the space, you might be in a good spot.
If you don’t get too claustrophobic, a closet is often a great place to capture clean and reverb-free recordings, as all the fabric and small quarters create a space with limited room for sound waves to run away from you.
Even if you don’t have an acoustically perfect space to record your podcast, there is still a lot you can do to reduce reverb and echo in your space and create cleaner recordings.
Sound absorbing foam is a great way to quickly and easily improve the acoustics of a room. But not all foam will give you good results. Before you go taping your old mattress topper to the wall, consider investing in proper acoustic foam.
Fabric goes a long way when it comes to recording sound. Carpets, curtains, duvets and blankets hung on walls will help to clean up the messiness of sound bouncing around your room. Many recording studios utilize moving blankets to absorb sound. These are an excellent, budget-friendly way to treat your room and make it sound more “dry.”
One more thing to be aware of when considering where to record is ambient and environmental noise. Things like refrigerators, air conditioners can produce low-grade noise that you might not even notice while you’re recording, but will give you trouble when it comes time to edit.
If you live in an urban area, be wary of recording close to windows, and consider investing in heavy curtains to block unwanted outside sound. The last thing you want is a loud dog barking or a siren passing by while your guest is delivering an emotional monologue.
We’re lucky to live in a time when it’s easier than ever before to record pro-quality audio at home. Just keep these tips in mind and you’ll be off to a great start in capturing audio for your podcast.
Check out our entirepodcast Youtube video seriesfor moretips for recording audio at home.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Recording voice for a podcast can be a tricky balancing act. Here's some advice on how to get your vocals just right.
Recording audio for the first time might be intimidating. Don't worry, we're here to help with some tips on recording audio for your podcast.
So, you've finished your podcast. What's next? We cover everything you need to know about distributing your podcast to streaming services.