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How to improve the sound of your home audio recordings

If you regularly record from home, or you are locked-down and wondering how to record that podcast, voice session, livestream or even improve the audio of your Zoom calls (& other video-conference brands!) then this Creative Fix handy guide is for you!

Microphones

Always use a dedicated microphone. The one built into your laptop just won’t cut it. There are quite a options out there, ranging from relatively inexpensive options like the BlueYeti, or our favourite, the versatile iRig Mic HD 2 (which you can use with your smartphone too so twice as useful!) This category of mics have built-in USB interfaces rather than direct audio output so plug directly into a USB port of a computer.

No computer? No problem!

If you don’t have access to a computer, an iPhone or iPad will do. Either the inexpensive Shure mic or again our fave, iRig Mic HD 2 plugs into your phone, used in tandem with an app—making it easy to share the files when you’re done. If you don’t have a mic, a modern phone or tablet will be better than a computer’s built-in mic. 

Software

Download the top free recording programs, like GarageBand for Mac, or Audacity for Mac/Windows. On phones or pads, we recommend the Rode Reporter app.

Give yourself space

Record in a small space to avoid echo. Here are some mini tips on mini spaces:

  • Avoid rooms with lots of hard surfaces.
  • Walk-in cupboards make great recording environments.
  • When recording on the road, many voice actors build pillow forts to avoid room sound/echo in the recording. The more sound absorption you can use, the better.
  • Things like duvets hung across two doors or a door and a clothes airer are ideal for deadening audio reflections, which ruin our recording – the only thing you want to arrive at the mic is your voice, not a load of echo and reverb. If you need to, surround your recording space with sofa cushions to deaden the space a bit. Another great example of using a small space and treating it with household items for recordings here.

Don’t be so thirsty

Stay hydrated before recording. This helps avoid any natural mouth noises in your recording. Pro tip: green apples also alleviate pesky mouth noises.

Be conscious of the outdoors

Even though you’re inside, outdoor noises can infiltrate your recording. So find some distance from lawnmowers, helicopters, heavy traffic, etc. Drawing the curtains can help to some degree.

Rehearsal is key

Before recording, read your script aloud a few times. If you’re not reading from a script, give yourself bullets and rehearse your tone. It’s all about feeling comfortable when you press record.

Options aren’t optional

Record a few takes of the copy so the person who creates the final product will have enough to work with and options.

Posture makes perfect

Have good posture as you’re speaking. Standing or sitting with good posture can help project your voice and expression.

Whilst a proper recording studio will always be the best way to record, our tips will help you get the best possible results working from home.

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