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Audio and Podcasting Projects

Audio Recording Tips

-Choose a quiet setting: Ideally you want to be in a sound-proof space, but with the right mic and a quiet space, you can still get great audio. Try to find a quiet space with minimal ambient noise. You might consider turning off the air conditioning or heating unit or other appliances that may be producing noise.

-Wear headphones: Headphones help isolate the audio, helping you catch any problems in your narration or audio.

-Place your microphone strategically: Don't be too close or too far away from the microphone. The appropriate distance between your mouth and the microphone is 8 to 12 inches. This prevents "popping" noises and heavy breathing in your recording.

-Check your levels: Your microphone levels should never peak "into the red" while recording. The optimal point for your microphone levels is just below the red.

-Speak clearly and articulate your words: Remember to speak conversationally, as if speaking to a friend. Sit in a chair and sit up straight. Sound confident!

-Listen to the audio playback: Always listen to the audio you recorded to make sure that the audio levels are okay. If you find yourself lowering or raising the volume on your speakers, you will probably need to start over. 

Image of an audio recorder


Home Audio Setup

Speakers on a wooden postBe aware of background noise that will end up in your recording. Background noise you do not want can not be fixed during the editing process. Whether you are recording for a podcast or video, audio quality is far more important than most would think since without good audio it will be difficult to understand your video. Additionally, when editing, adjust audio levels throughout so the volume is consistent. It is important to schedule time before any recording to set up your equipment and to test for function and quality. Taking time to test ensures fewer technical difficulties when you start the live recording. 

In everyday life, we forget how much noise is around us; try and choose a room that will minimize these effects. Some of these unrecognized noises are wind, plumbing, air-conditioning, neighbors, cars, appliances, and birds. In the image to the right, the user's microphone is covered on all sides blocking both external, but bounced sound from your voice or other external sounds in your space. This portable vocal recording booth set up can be purchased online and there are a wide variety of them. But the main focus of them is blocking outside sound while making your voice sound warm and full. 

If you are interested in other alternative setups to your home studio, check out the article from Transom, Voice Recording in the Home Studio.


How to Record and Edit Audio for a Podcast

For an in-depth look at how to record and edit a podcast, watch the video tutorials below. The first video is three minutes long and covers how to record simultaneous tracks into GarageBand using the Scarlett 2i2 interface. The second video is 14 minutes long and covers the basics of audio editing in Garageband.

Gelardin Center has editing and production spaces that you can use to create your podcast or audio project.

Zoom for Podcast Recordings

Zoom is a good tool for doing live and recorded video conferencing. Zoom allows sessions to be recorded in both video and audio formats. However, if one of the speakers on a Zoom call has less than ideal audio quality, how do we fix that? Fortunately, Zoom does have the ability to record each presenter's audio to a separate track. This allows you to take these audio files into editing software like Apple's Garage Band or Audacity and edit each individual's audio. 

It is an option that is not set by default. To record multiple audio files in Zoom: 

  1. Open the Zoom client and click Settings.
  2. Click the Recording tab.
  3. Enable Record a separate audio file for each participant. 
  4. Record and save the meeting to your computer. (Note: this feature will not work when Recording to Zoom's cloud storage. Please make sure you are recording locally on your computer.)
  5. Once the meeting is over and the recording has processed, open the recording folder. 
  6. Within the folder, open Audio Record.
  7. Once in the Audio Record folder, each participant's audio track will be listed as its own file in with the file name ending in the participant's name.

Understanding Mics

mic polar patterns

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