The quality of your recorded audio for an at home podcaster is a black art. Audio is a fundamentally analog process and Once upon a time, in the antediluvian ages of podcasting (2005 / 2006), I was a podcaster. And then, a decade later, my friend Nick Janetakis, a producer of online courses also taught me a bunch of things about audio quality.
Here's one thing to know:
You will tell yourself that you can clean up the audio later. This will ALMOST NEVER happen. Getting the audio right at record time is key.
Here are some tips:
- A good mic. I use A Yeti Blue USB for about $149 and that's more than good enough.
- A pop filter. This is a cheap ($10) foam filter that goes in front of your mic and reduces mouth / breath noise.
- Put a towel under your laptop. Laptops have fans and fans are mechanical and vibrate. Also your movement on the keys / mouse will make noise. A towel under the laptop acts as a shock absorber for movement / vibration.
- Put your phone into do not disturb mode. If you are an iPhone user then set it to Do Not Disturb. If you have overrides on this for say calls / texts from family then create a Really Do Not Disturb (or call it Podcasting) setting and do not have overrides.
- Turn off all your phone alarms. Make sure they are off.
- Leave your phone in the other room. This is the easiest one.
- Get rid of your chair with casters / the ability to lean back. Chairs move. A mic will pick this up.
- Experiment with different USB ports for your mic. Different ports may have different isolation levels from the underlying circuitry of the machine. You may have less electrical hum / cross talk when you plug it on the right (or the left).
- Log out of all Instant Messaging tools on your laptop. Again you want to suppress notification noises.
- Don't record in a room with hardwood floors. Audio reverberates far more than you would think.
- Record in the clothes / coat closet. A closet with clothes in it is actually a very silent area and the clothes eliminate audio bouncing back on you from the walls / ceiling / floor.
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