In the podcasting world, your voice is deemed one of the key elements of your show. In other words, a clear, crisp, and strong voice recording will not only make editing and mixing straightforward, it can also add two enticing qualities to your recording—professionalism and credibility. A thorough understanding of the need to reduce noise (and when) can help you present a podcast you’d be proud of.
Ideally, it’s always deemed best to keep background noises in your recordings to a minimum. In some cases though, there might be a need to deliberately leave some ambiance so there’s an illusion of space (case in point: people talking in the background on a crowded street when doing a soundseeing tour or screaming fans when doing a show featuring a sports game).
However, even in similar cases, you still need to ensure your voice is not masked by all the background noise. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim for a voice recording that has a dry and crisp sound so editing it and combining it with music and other audio is effortless.
Reduce ambiance and background noises dramatically by keeping the following tips in mind:
This might seem like a given but this is an oversight some people still commit. But yes, if you want to significantly reduce unnecessary noises, start by finding a quiet place to record your show in to begin with. Also, ensure furnaces, fans, air conditioners, and anything else that might create noise in your recording space is turned off.
If you have a computer in the room with you, use a microphone that can reject noise from the rear and make sure it’s faced away from your computer. Also, you can be creative and use a blanket or pillow to minimise noise coming from the fans and hard drives. Of course, you need to ensure you don’t cover all the vents and there’s still good air flow.
You might also want to check DVD and CD drives. When a disc is left spinning, it can also create noise so make sure you check if it’s empty prior to recording.
Some people keep the noise level down by purchasing extension cables or keeping the CPU in another room while leaving the monitor, mouse, and keyboard in their recording space. While the set up is practical, this can be challenging especially when you need to do some microphone level adjustments. Tech savvy podcasters however often invest in quieter components for their computers (cooling systems, power supplies, hard drives, etc.) so noise is reduced without compromising comfort.
Another possible source of noise would be your voice’s reflection bouncing off of hard surfaces like floor, walls, and even the surface of your desk. To remedy this, use curtains and carpets to keep reflections at bay or you can hang blankets where there is unwanted echo.
Others acoustically treat their rooms the professional way using acoustic foam although this is optional especially if you’re a beginner and you’re still not sure if you’ll do podcasting for good. Fortunately, a little furniture rearrangement and a strategically placed mattress can sometimes do the trick so can start from there.
Do you know other tips and tricks that can keep the ambiance and background noises down? Sound off in the comments section below!
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