Podcasting Basic: How to Get Exceptional Room Acoustics

Podcasting Basic: How to Get Exceptional Room Acoustics

If you’re a podcasting newbie looking to record at home, you’d be delighted to know there’s no shortage of ways to get superb room acoustics. In a nutshell, room acoustics refers to the way sound behaves in a space that’s enclosed.

When you’re recording, your primary goal in terms of room acoustics is to ensure sound is absorbed and deflected so it does not make its way back to the microphone and generate an echo your listeners would surely find annoying.

How to Eliminate Room Echo

In essence, echo is created when sound repeatedly bounce off surfaces. Fortunately, you have two foolproof options to keep it from happening:

  • Ensure there’s a porous surface that can trap sound rather than reflect it
  • See to it that the shape of the room is designed to prevent sound waves from bouncing off

If you check a professional sound studio, you can see acoustic foam placed on the walls. The rationale behind it is acoustic foams will soak up the sound waves that way much of the sound will not reflect off the surface.

In addition, acoustic foam does a good job of breaking up the surface of the wall. Contrary to popular belief, acoustic foams are not flat. Rather, they have protruding geometric shapes that deflects sound so it does not end up bouncing from one wall to another.

The only downsides? It comes with an exorbitant price tag and it’s not exactly easy on the eyes.

What You Can Do

If you record in a big and open room with nothing on the walls, there is plenty of space for sound to bounce around. Fortunately you can easily diffuse it when you set up an uneven surface behind you. Bookshelves would be a great way to start.

Other quick and cost-effective options you can look into include:

  • Getting a high-quality directional podcasting microphone. Regardless if you’re recording in an auditorium or in a very tiny room, audio would sound superb as the mic is directional so it does not pick echoes around the room.
  • Another trick you can employ to ensure your recording does not pick up unwanted sounds is to put clothes everywhere. If anything, your closet is effective at masking unwanted sounds and echoes.
  • If you’re looking for another inexpensive trick, consider getting a small piece of foam and curving it around the front of your mic. The foam will block the echo and can have dramatic effects even if you’ll forego fixing the entire room for the time being.
  • You can also significantly prevent the absorption of unwanted sounds by doing something which won’t cost you anything. All you need to do is arrange your home furniture differently. Rather than putting them against the wall, put some in corners so sound waves will bounce around the rooms.
  • If you have money to spare, you can also invest in some Blackout Curtains as they are known to absorb as much as 60 percent of the sound. They are also good at blocking sound coming from outside of the house.

What tricks have you tried so far? We’d love to know the tricks you’ve tried!

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