A lot of would be podcasters get caught up in the complexity of gear selection. From an audio quality perspective the less a file is edited post recording the better the audio quality will and can be. With that said, the recording environment accounts for 70% percent of the overall audio quality leaving just 30% to play with which is attributed to the actual gear selection. So when we are looking for bang for buck we need to first focus on the environment. And don't stress, as Dave or one of our audio engineers will be physically with you for your first recording. You also have the option to borrow our complimentary recording packs or you can invest in your own.
For interview based podcasts there is basically two ways to capture the recording. Face to face or online via a video conference. From an audio quality and interview engagement perspective we prefer to record face to face at our own location, secondly at the interviewee's location and thirdly for video conference as a final preference. The recording location or whether it is online or face to face may be determined in part by the individuals you are interviewing and you may need to exercise some flexibility to get the individuals you want onto your mini series.
WHAT IS THE BEST RECORDING ENVIRONMENT
Andy G shut himself in his closet at home, sitting between some handing coats and the rest of the clothes in his New York apartment recording audio segments for Australian radio for many years. So if you take this example, what he is attempting to do is mitigate the two types of sounds that make for a bad recording. Ambient and reflected sounds. Once these sounds are recorded as part of your source audio, they are difficult to impossible to remove during the editing process. So take the time to reduce them as much as possible before you hit record.
REDUCING AMBIENT SOUND
Ambient sound is natural sound from the environment that gets captured by your microphone. It could be a phone ringing, a squeaky chair, a car driving down the street, your air-conditioner, or even the fan inside the computer on you desk.
The obvious way to reduce ambient sound is to create an isolated space to do your recording. Find a low-traffic, interior room where you’re not going to be bothered by other people or street noise. If you’re in an office building, try to find a room with structural walls that go all the way up to the true ceiling, as opposed to dividing walls that only reach up to the drop ceiling.
REDUCING REFLECTED SOUND
A square office with concrete walls and tile flooring is just about the worst recording environment you could pick (Think of the echo when talking in a bathroom). Why? Sound travels as waves and, as a result, bounces off of everything it hits. The result is called reflected sound, and avoiding it requires some forethought. Here are some basic things to consider when choosing a recording environment, with respect to limiting reflected sound:
- Do not record in a room with bare flooring. A carpeted room is the best.
- Walls lined with anything from curtains to bookshelves will help absorb sound.
- Bare windows are highly reflective of sound, but heavy drapes or curtains help dampen the reflection.
So if we go back to our Andy G scenario. The closet example works well as its full of soft material to absorb an echo and its safe from external noise. The closer you can get to mitigating the two unwanted types of noise the better the audio quiality will be and you can simply focus on an engaging conversation with your guest.
For our podcast mini series hosts in Melbourne we are able to lend you the full recording kit. For those of you that want to invest in your own recording kit we recommend our tried and tested setup which costs around $800 USD. You can find full details of our recommended gear here and links to procure yourself. If you'd like us to procure the gear on your behalf let us know via email and we'll get it organised.
For video conference you can set up a paid zoom account. Follow link here to Zoom.us (You'd need a paid account to ensure no recording restrictions). However given its only really up to 6 sessions via video conference we can also provide you with Zoom conference room facilities to record your podcast for each recording from our own facility.
Cross off the following and email it through to email@example.com. (Again, don't worry it doesn't need to be final. Just have a go)
- Decide your preferred location to record your podcasts - If you need assistance with a physical location let us know (We have facilities and are very well networked)
- Decide how you will do the six recordings (face to face/ online?)
- Decide if you will borrow or buy your gear (Gear can take 2 weeks + from US. If you do decide to purchase decide if you will procure yourself or get us to procure on your behalf)
Over the 10 days you will receive an email each day taking you through a specific area of focus. The first five days is designed to give you a general body of knowledge. You will hear from Podcasting, Speaking and Marketing experts in the context of creating your very own successful Podcast show.
Each daily email will provide instructions about what the outcome, purpose and action steps are for that day. The program is delivered through a mix of Video, Audio and practical exercises and on average will take 30 minutes to complete
If you have any questions email Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org
The 1st five days is purely educational and exploratory.