Tips to improve the audio of your podcast
1. Get close to the microphone
If you do not have a well conditioned and acoustically prepared room for this purpose, being far away from the microphone does not help the final sound of the recording. One solution is to speak closer to the microphone, it helps to reduce the noise and reverberation that can be picked up by the microphone.
It is recommended to be about 7cm or a hand span away from the mic. But the best thing to do is to do your tests and choose the distance that works best for you.
Keep in mind that if you get closer to the microphone you will have to lower the gain of the card or the mixer.
2. Don't get too close
But be aware of the problems that can arise if you get too close to the microphone.
Getting too close to the microphone is likely to pick up breaths, mouth noises and pops of letters such as P and T, and make the speech seem unnatural.
3. Rotate the microphone
To avoid all the disadvantages that I have mentioned in the previous point. We can do a number of things to avoid it.
First, it would be to speak transversely to the microphone. This reduces the sibilance and popping that is generated by speaking directly into the microphone.
Secondly, you would place the microphone at a 45º angle upwards, downwards, or to one side with respect to the speaker's lips, depending on the pickup pattern of the microphone.
Putting up a windscreen or buying a mic with an internal pop filter would also be a good idea.
Another option is to use some kind of cloth or foam to cover the microphone.
The cheapest way is to do a test by covering the microphone with a cloth, turn down the gain and get close to the microphone. The idea is to reduce plosive sounds and reverberations.
5. Do not touch the microphone
Do not touch the microphone once it is on the tripod or stand.
Touching it will generate vibrations and the microphone will pick them up. You don't want to hear tapping in the recording.
6. Avoid any noise around the microphone
What is around the mic is as important as what you do in front of it. Try to avoid noisy chairs, doors between open, people talking around it, the sound of any electronic devices that may creep in the background, move it away from the fan, don't use noisy mechanical keyboards, etc.
7. Choose the best place to record
Even if you use the same microphone, the sound picked up can vary quite a bit from room to room.
Avoid recording in such places:
- With a lot of glass (windows, mirrors, pictures, glass tables,...) where the sound bounces and can cause a lot of reverberations.
- Very empty rooms. With hardly any furniture. Where there is a lot of echo.
- With windows facing the street or noisy places.
Try to record in:
- crowded places (lots of furniture, books, curtains). Where sound cannot easily bounce off.
- Places with carpeting, large rugs or thick curtains. They prevent sound from bouncing back.
- in a closet. Yes, you read that right. You can have your mini podcasting studio inside a closet. You can put some foam inside and then lock yourself in and record with your microphone. Basically any small place where you can control the ambient sound and reverb really well.
- Under the sheets and cushions. In the summer you can get hot, but recording wrapped in fabric and foam muffles the sound a lot and makes you sound much better.
8. Reduce vibrations
Do not place the mic parallel or perpendicular to the table surface. This will cause the microphone to pick up the waves bouncing off the surface it is resting on.
It is best to place the mic at a certain angle to the table or reflective surface to reduce these indirect sounds.
Another option is to buy a spider to place the microphone inside and reduce vibrations.
Or buy an arm so that the microphone is not directly supported on the table, which prevents the vibrations of the table reach the microphone.
9. Edit the audio
This is not really a tip, since surely as a podcaster you are already editing the audios.
Ideally, the audio should always be as clean and of the best quality as possible, since we save a lot of editing. But in most cases this is not always the case.
I only comment this so that you know that if you have a lot of white noise in the background, then you can edit the audio automatically to try to reduce that effect. There are paid and free programs, such as Audacity, that allow you to "clean up" your voice and make it sound better.
10. The correct volume
It's pretty obvious, but your voice has to be heard well. Neither loud nor soft.
It is quite annoying for the user that every time he listens to your podcast he has to turn the volume up or down.
With audio editing programs you can lower or increase the audio.
This also applies to interview podcasts, where the different speakers are heard at different volumes. Very annoying when one seems to be shouting and the other is not heard.
11. Avoid echoes by opening windows and doors.
This can be a problem if you have a lot of noise outside.
But if your main problem is reverberation or "echo", then a possible solution is to open doors and windows nearby.
This way you prevent the sound from bouncing off the windows or doors, and being "absorbed" by the hallway or outside.
The same is for closets and furniture. It is better to open doors and drawers so that the sound of reverberations is absorbed and the "echo" is reduced.
As a final tip, I will tell you to try making recordings with everything I have told you in this article, record yourself and see how you do better depending on the microphone you have and depending on the room where you are making the recording.
Each microphone, place, voice and podcast are a diferent worlds. The best thing to do is to try and find what works best for you.