When producing a podcast, a video, a song or an interview, the quality of the audio is crucial to keep the user's attention and their desire to continue listening or watching your work.
Years ago it was very difficult to create quality audio without having professional equipment and equipment behind.
However, nowadays, the quality of the devices, a price accessible to everyone and the advantages of new technologies, make recording quality audio a simple and much more economical task.
If you want to make sure that no one takes off your podcast or even that the interview you conduct can be easily transcribed, then these tips to improve audio quality will come in handy.
Let's start with this list of 10 tips to improve your audio quality.
10 ways to improve audio quality
If you follow these tips I guarantee that the improvement in your audio will be very noticeable and people will love to listen to your recording.
1. Choose a quiet place with no echo
Who doesn't like to play with their own echo from time to time? It's entertaining to see how the voice bounces and arrives in batches to your ear.
Unfortunately, an echoed recording can be very annoying, as it can impair the listener's comprehension and above all attention.
That is why it is essential to record in a room that, in addition to being calm and quiet to avoid external noises, does not produce the annoying echo.
Some tips to avoid this are:
- Small rooms are better than large ones.
- Cover the floor with carpets, rugs or even clothing.
- Cover spaces with furniture, even libraries with books, as they absorb noise very well.
- Use acoustic panels if they are within your budget.
- Use fabric curtains
If you comply with most of these points, you will be able to reduce echo and obtain a much better quality audio.
2. A good microphone and recording equipment is very important
The microphone is important...anyone who says otherwise is lying.
Even so, it is not necessary to go for the latest model or the most expensive microphone.
There are many with a quality/price ratio that can perform almost identically to the most expensive microphones on the market.
In the range of 200 dollars you can already get professional microphones, but for much less money you will also achieve recordings that any listener would be delighted to hear.
If your budget is close to zero, microphones built into cell phones and computers have improved tremendously and can be a great place to start.
Things to consider when looking for a microphone:
- What settings on the microphone you can control (e.g., microphone sensitivity).
- How the microphone connects to your recording device (e.g., via USB, whether you need an adapter, etc.)
- Whether the microphone is self-contained or will require additional support
- Whether the microphone comes in a kit with a pop filter or must be purchased separately
3. Recording software is also important
If the sound that was recorded is very poor, there is no software that can take care of it, but if the quality is not that bad, using a sound editing program can make a brutal improvement.
There are many excellent and well-reviewed audio recording and editing programs, so choosing the right one has more to do with your taste, the money you can invest and your requirements.
Some of the programs that will help you improve sound quality and that I recommend are the following:
- Adobe Audition
4. Pay attention to the position of the microphone
Whether you record too far away or too close to your microphone, the audio quality will not be optimal.
This is why you should be close enough so that the audio is crisp and clear, but not so close as to daze or saturate the audio.
The ideal distance is between 4 to 6 inches from it.
5. Invest in a pop filter for smoother recording
The pop filter is a screen that is placed in front of the microphone and prevents that when pronouncing certain letters, the air "collides" against the microphone, causing a distortion that is not pleasant to hear.
This type of filter helps a lot to achieve a more homogeneous audio without so many oscillations in intensity when pronouncing consonants like P, F, S, etc.
The best thing is that for less than $10 you can get it at any audio store or online, and it will help greatly to improve the audio of your podcast or vlog.
6. Record separate tracks (multiple speakers)
If you're recording a podcast or an interview with another interviewee, you'll want to use two microphones so that you can control and edit both audios separately.
When recording using a mixer, you can split the channels and tweak each recording individually.
Imagine that in a podcast, the volume difference between the presenter and the guest are very different. In this case, having multiple speakers independently will allow you to adjust the volume of both and upload the final recording with a similar volume between both communicators.
7. Make some test recordings
Many beginner podcasters or youtubers who are just starting out often record a 10-minute video and when they want to edit it, they realize that the audio is very bad, or even worse, they haven't recorded anything at all.
What a disgrace!
You have to re-record everything, and even coordinate with the interviewee again if necessary.
To prevent this from happening, making test recordings prior to recording will help you detect possible errors and nip the problem in the bud.
Also remember to test all the microphones and equipment you are going to use to capture the audio.
8. Avoid overdoing it on decibels
Surely you were once in front of a console or a stereo that showed you the volume with green, yellow and red lights.
When the sound reached red you could hear it very loud and even saturated.
Possibly the gain was too high and the amount of decibels generated was such that distortion took over your hearing.
To avoid a similar situation where you record a sound that is not very clear, it is a good idea to adjust the gain in the intermediate levels. You will avoid sounding too low and, above all, you will avoid breaking any eardrums.
9. Use editing to further improve the recording
No matter how much effort you put into it, there are bound to be some audio events in a recording that didn't turn out quite right.
There are always things to improve and when it comes to audio, there are always things to edit.
Use editing conscientiously, improve all the imperfections that may exist and if you can't fix everything, then don't give it too much importance and try to avoid those things from happening next time.
Fortunately, thanks to the amount of information available on the internet and audio editing software nowadays, anyone with a minimum of knowledge can make improvements to a lesser or greater extent.
So it only remains to dedicate a few hours to learn how to use the chosen program and improve recording after recording to generate the best possible audio for the user.
10. Know the script and know what you are going to say
I know it's not strictly related to the technical side of audio, but I'm sure your listeners will be more than grateful to hear a script in which you sound confident and know what you're talking about.
This will not only show in the way you carry the conversation, but also in the natural way you deliver your speech.
We all easily notice when a person reads out loud, or when they are not very convinced of what they are saying.
If you know what you are going to talk about, it will surely show in the quality of the audio and the attention that users may or may not pay to your product.
It seems that a long time ago people had to have their own recorder or pay for a recording studio in order to obtain quality audio.
However, only in the last decade, the possibility of recording professional audio without spending your life on it, is that it became available to everyone.
Cell phones, computers, software and the possibility of editing your own audio from home thanks to many people who teach through tutorials on the Internet, make having your own podcast, Youtube channel, or even record music is possible for anyone.
Following these 10 tips you can get a very high quality audio of an MP3 or even improve the audio quality of a Z0om recording from the comfort of your home without having to spend a fortune or long hours of your life.
What did you think of this content? Can you think of another tip to improve the audio quality of a recording?