Whether it’s during a lockdown or not, it’s worth knowing some tips on how to record from home with the means at hand.
Some people are already used to recording from home, but others (we’re thinking in particular of professionals) may be used to a studio and to being accompanied by a producer. No problem, you will still be able to produce a high-quality podcast, just follow this complete guide!
Step 1: Choose the right room
First of all, choose the room where you are going to record. If you live with several people, you may want to avoid rooms where your children / spouse / roommates may pass by (and thus make noise even if you make an effort), so say good bye the living room, the kitchen, the children’s playroom…
Test the echo in your potential rooms: walk in, close the room, clap your hands 👏. The object of the game is to find the room where it echoes the least. Hint: it’s often the smallest ones, the ones with the most objects (so the sound bounces less off smooth walls) and it’s rarely the bathroom. So we often end up in a bedroom, a dressing room (if we’re lucky enough to have one), an office, a catch-all room…
Step 2: Your Recording Studio
(or your “Setup” as the cool kids say)
In this picture, we have represented our recommended setup (then obviously the helmet of cosmonaut is for the fun hehe it is definitely not advisable 😂). First of all, you need to sit comfortably with your stomach and rib cage clear, facing the podcast microphone. It is the microphone that must be put at the height of your mouth, and not you contorting yourself to reach the microphone.
Behind you, set up a duvet/quilt or any type of thick fabric that is as smooth as possible. Hold it up with a clothes rack, a microphone stand, hang it on what you can. Why? Because the sound of your voice will travel through the mic, reverberate on whatever you have in front of you (computer, wall) and bounce back twoards you. If you are standing in front of a smooth wall, the sound will ricochet back to the microphone (creating a micro-shift that degrades the sound quality) but the fabric will “absorb” the sound.
Finally, speak 6-12cm away from your microphone (depending on your type of microphone – we talk about this in another Ausha academy article). If you speak too close you risk saturating the sound and increasing imperfections such as mouth noises with “p” and “b” sounds. For the latter, it is crucial that you use a Pop Filter. No need to break your piggy bank, you can even easily make one with a sticky tape and some elbow grease. Many tutorials exist on the internet!
Finally, against certain mouth noises that are colloquially called “noms”, you should simply have water available.
Step 3: Getting ready to record
Once you’ve opened your recording software, don’t start right away – let the butterflies settle! Your first few minutes of recording are dedicated to setting up your sound track.
Test your voice and make sure it is between -12 dbs and -16 dbs (usually displayed in all recording software). Then, start by recording 30s of empty space to capture the ambient noise. This sample will be used by your software to recognize the background noise it will later remove.
There you go, you’re ready to hit the 🔴 “Record” button!
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