If you’re an expert in any field and love talking about different topics with other people, then you can start a podcast. Even with a small budget for starting the podcast one of the most important things in podcasting is audio quality. It’s probably the biggest one thing that you can’t ignore or skimp on.
Improving the sound quality of your podcast isn’t that difficult. In fact, you can do it without buying anything new. Here are some steps that you can take to make your podcast’s audio quality better than ever before.
1. Use A Spacious, Empty Room
Whenever you start recording your podcast, you should keep in mind the things in your surroundings that might make a noise. If you think carefully, you can actually find a lot of things that make a noise while you’re busy recording.
You should use headphones to record the podcast and monitor it at the same time. You must turn up the microphone to listen to what the mic is listening before starting the recording. If there is any extra noise bothering you, try to remove it as much as possible. If you make a cleaner recording, it will be easier to handle and edit later on.
You should also think about the acoustics before setting up the microphone. You should avoid placing it near hard walls or other surfaces as sound is reflected from these surfaces. You can make your microphone setup on a smooth surface to record your voice in the best way possible. So, minimize these problems before stating the actual recording to avoid facing any issues with the audio quality later on.
2. Try Indirect Mic Placement
Plosives are like huge blows of air to your microphone. You can avoid the plosives by using a pop filter on top of the microphone. You can also tilt your mic a bit to avoid blowing air directly onto the mic. However, be careful with placement as you can face additional problems with directional microphones if you set them at an extreme angle.
After the mic is set as described in this step, you should test it to see if it’s recording well or not. You can find a perfect spot by doing this for some time.
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3. Try Standing
Many broadcasters and artists try standing up to record their show because they get more support this way. You can also avoid early reflections that can bounce off the desk.
4. Use The Levels Carefully
You can set your mic’s input level with most of the audio recorders before recording. Since we use high quality digital recordings these days, there isn’t any valid reason to set the level too high when recording. The recorded audio can always be edited later on if you ever want to increase the level.
For good settings try speaking normally and loudly, and make this level around -20 dB. You can also set all of the meters halfway up (or at least most of them). You can then try laughing into the mic and see if the level ever crosses 0 dBFS to go up into the red mark. If it does, you can set the meters a little lower in order to keep it around 0.
5. Make A High-Quality Recording
Compression issues can become with advent over time. So, you can try making your first recording in a high-quality WAV or AIFF file. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t increase the quality above 24 bit, 48 kHz.
The benefit of recording a high quality file is that it will remain in good quality even after passing through compressions. You won’t have any issues when decreasing the quality of the audio.
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6. Record A Test Audio File
After setting everything and doing the setting part, you should try to record a test audio file before actually recording a podcast. You can also compare the quality of your recorded audio file with your favorite podcasts.
Now, get into your potential listeners’ shoes and listen to the test in real world scenarios like a podcast listener. As you keep testing in different environments and with different devices, take notes of what you want to improve in the actual podcast before publishing it.
You can forward this test recording to your friends and colleagues to get feedback and suggestions. You can also try and send it to one of your favorite talk show hosts to get some feedback.
7. Perfect Your Script
No matter how much you invest on a microphone and other stuff, you can’t substitute a perfectly written script and a confident read. Keep in mind that editing and amending your script is way easier as compared to editing the audio later on. You can also use the written scripts as blog posts and other things like books as well.
In interviews, you won’t have control on lots of things. However, you can prepare for the interview in a good way and stay strong throughout the interview to make it look great. It will also show your guests that you prepared well for the interview.
So, try having a strong and polished script, or at least a strong outline, ready for you in every podcast. Soon you’ll see a huge difference in the quality of your podcasts.
8. Record Your Co-Hosts And Remote Guests Separately
If you have co-hosts and remote guests who aren’t present in your studio, you can use VoIP services like Wirecast’s Rendezvous, ZOOM, Squadcast, Google hangouts, Skype or telephone. While you might have to compromise on the audio quality, you’ll be able to easily record them. You can record them separately and merge the audios together later.
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