Starting your podcast journey can be overwhelming. There are so many ins and outs in the planning phase alone that by the time you get around to sitting down to record your first episode, it would be totally understandable if you forgot to silence your phone or turn off your slack notifications. With practice and knowledge comes great quality though, so we are here to provide you with recording tips that we urge you to keep top of mind at the beginning of your journey because soon enough, they will become a habit and you will be a total pro.
Here is a quick overview of basic recording tips to keep in mind before you press record:
Keep Your Surroundings Quiet
Record in the quietest space that you can. Eliminating background noises such as refrigerators, air conditioning units, fans, pets and more from the beginning will make editing easier (and will improve the quality of your audio!).
Turn on Airplane Mode
Remember to turn off your phone or put it on airplane mode before you hit record. You don’t want it going off in the middle of recording—even if it is on vibrate! This goes back to eliminating any background noises, including potential ones.
Prepare Your Recording Space
In order to minimize echo, it’s best to be in a room with materials that will help to absorb sound. Curtains, rugs, carpets, and clothes will all help. Bare walls and hard floors will cause you to echo and can distort the final audio quality. You will also want to avoid wind or air sources if possible. For example, recording outside is usually not a good idea because even a little wind can be picked up by a mic. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to selecting the perfect recording space. Many new podcasters will literally record in their closet, and it turns out amazing! It may feel silly, but you will be grateful when the editing process begins and there isn’t a lot of background noise to work around.
Don’t Forget to Warm-Up
Warming up your voice is especially important if you are recording first thing in the morning, but we recommend it at any time of day! You can do this by practicing the first few sentences of your intro, asking your interview questions out loud beforehand, or doing some simple vocal exercises.
Utilize Notes While Recording
Review any notes that you have made for your episode before you start recording! This will help you feel more prepared and benefits your overall delivery and flow. It’s easy to think that going with the natural flow of conversation will lead to a great product but this isn’t always the case, especially for beginners. Have additional notes prepared in case you feel the conversation is drifting too far from where you thought the interview would end up.
Consider Using Pop Filters
Using a pop filter when recording will help eliminate any puffs of air that naturally come out of your mouth while talking—words starting with P’s, B’s, and T’s are notorious for creating additional sound. This is another instance of taking care of your audio upfront to improve your post-production experience.
Close All Tabs & Programs
When you go to record, make sure to close all other programs, browsers, and tabs that you have open. When there are multiple things open, the processor can get overloaded and will create a clicking sound in the audio.
Control Microphone Distance
Make a fist and extend your thumb and pinky (like a hang ten sign!) This is a good standard for how far away from your mic you should be. If you get close and then further away or turn your head, the sound will get softer or louder, so you should try to maintain the same distance at all times. Get comfortable before recording and set up your equipment appropriately close to you.
Don’t Worry About Mistakes
If you flub on a sentence or word, you can pause and start the word, thought, or sentence over. It is easier to take a sentence out in post-production than to try to patch it together. Once again, your editor (even if that’s you!) will thank you!
These recording tips may not sound like much individually, but they really will improve the quality of your audio. Download this list here, and keep it handy in your recording space as a reminder of each tip!
If you record your podcast in an at-home studio, check out our post titled How to Improve Podcast Audio Quality From Your At-Home Studio which includes even more recording tips specific to at-home recording.