10 Easy Tips to Improve Audio Quality
Looking for tips to improve audio quality? Smart move.
How do you accomplish that? How do you Improve Audio Quality? Here are 10 tips that will help you produce the “welcome mat” experience.
1. Value your listeners
Podcasts and blogs are similar.
In the same way, that good website design helps attract and keep blog readers, quality audio attracts and keeps listeners around.
Quality audio isn’t about making you sound good, it’s about engaging your audience — just like good about me pages.
2. Invest in the right microphone
You knew this one was coming.
Microphones are the most important element of quality audio, but podcasters don’t need fancy, expensive ones.
If you record a monologue or interview-style podcast in an office or room in a home, a dynamic microphone is what you need. Other microphones work, but they can require more resources to coax out good sound.
Want some recommendations? My favorites are:
- Audio-Technica 2100: a great USB microphone at an amazing price
- RE20: the most popular microphone for radio for decades
The microphones listed above will produce good sound, but remember that choosing a microphone to improve audio quality is mostly about personality and taste. You need to ask yourself if the microphone is right for you, your voice, and your brand.
One way to answer the “which is best for me” question is to book a session at a professional recording studio and try out a variety of microphones. Take those recordings and get some feedback.
Between the engineer at the studio and your friends and family, you should be able to find a clear winner. Also, keep your target audience in mind. Does the microphone help communicate who you are? Does it match the tone your audience needs to hear?
Here are a couple of guidelines about microphones to avoid:
- The headset microphone that came with your smartphone. While those are great for appearing live on Facebook, they’re not ideal for podcasting.
- A condenser microphone. They’re made for the acoustics in big, fancy, recording studios. Unless you’re planning to build a recording booth in your garage, leave these microphones in the store.
3. Use a microphone stand
Some podcasters like to record with the microphone in their hands. Unless holding the mic is absolutely necessary, avoid that technique.
Another common microphone-stand mistake is connecting it to a surface your hands or feet easily touch. If it’s a desk-mount stand, try connecting it to a nearby piece of furniture that’s not touching the desk. Or, if it’s a floor-mount stand, make sure the feet rest on carpet or padding.
Otherwise, the small movements you make during recording can transfer up the stand and into the microphone, which produces distracting sounds.
4. Find a great place to record
Before you start to figure out how to get the best audio quality from your mic, you need to find a great place to record. This item alone is a quick win for good sound.
Before you record, double-check that your room doesn’t reflect your voice back into the microphone. Carpet, furniture, wall decorations, and non-parallel walls all help calm the reflections. Trying a smaller room, or even a closet, is often easier than acoustically treating your current recording space.
You should also keep outside noises to a minimum. Common offenders are:
- Phones and other electronics
- Open windows
5. Speak near the microphone
Even though you’re looking to Tips to Improve Audio Quality, nearly everyone shies away from the microphone. Don’t.
Even a slight distance from a mic makes you sound like you’re in a cave.
You’ll want to nearly kiss it. Make it your friend, and it will make you friends as you build your audience with audio content marketing.