Updated: Jun 10, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic locked many of us in our homes for the majority of 2020. It sucked, I know, but it forced us to make lemonade out of the proverbial lemons we were handed. Creatives got to work, and a surge in new podcasts erupted into the digital media world.
If you're a podcaster, or even a recording artist, here are a few ways to set yourself up for a more crisp and clean recording.
1. Soft Walls, Soft Floors
If you Google search "recording studio", 9 out of 10 pictures will show you a nice, clean, high tech room with foam panel walls. These panels are placed throughout the room strategically to trap sound. The idea here is to keep sound from bouncing off hard surfaces and reflecting back into your microphone. This causes clutter in your recording, making your voice sound far away or buried, depending on the room.
If you're on a budget, and more importantly if your recording room is not exclusively a recording room, you're going to want to be strategic about where you place foam. Check out this article from E-Home Recording Studio for placement tips.
Consequently, these same principles apply to your floor. Carpet flooring or rugs will help reduce sound reflection in the floors, and foam paneling will treat the ceiling similarly to the walls.
This will probably be the most simple concept to grasp. When recording, use headphones. But not just any kind of headphones. You specifically want to use closed-back, over-ear headphones.
Any "out loud" monitoring, whether it be via the speakers on your computer or some other means is going to get into your recording along with your voice. This will cause distortion, muddiness, and unwanted feedback. Definitely don't monitor out loud.
Earbuds and in-ear headphones are ok for starters, but the problem with these is that they are not designed for recording. Sound leaks out through these and can get into your recording as well.
3. Back up. Wait, not that far!
Imagine being on the phone and the person you're talking to has the phone right up on their cheek. Even though their voice may be at an acceptable volume, you can't make out their words because their mouth is just way too close to the phone's microphone. It sounds muffled. Now imagine that person has you on speaker and they're in another part of the room. You can hear them, but it's faint, and the reverb and echo in the room makes their voice sound distant.
Both of these scenarios play out in a recording as well. You don't want to be right up on the mic, because that causes your recording to sound muffled. At moments when you speak louder, you may put too much sound into the mic which causes distortion, also known as clipping. If you're too far away, your mic will not only pick up your vocals, but it'll pick up everything that makes noise between you and the mic itself.
Recommended distance from the mic is about 7 to 10 inches.
4. You knew this was coming.
After you've followed the first three tips, contact EmMeka Music to do all your post production to make sure you sound your best for the show! Click on My Services to learn more!