So you did your first recording

Now you are listening through the recording and you are probably hearing a few things you never thought you would hear.

  • POPS
  • Semblances
  • Varying volumes
  • handling the mic – Mic Stand
  • Keep your hands off of the table if possible.
  • clipping
  • Um’s and Ah’s and other verbal crutches
  • and it sounding like you just ran a back to back marathon

How do you fix these common problems? The majority of theses problems can be fixed with a simple item. Well actually two simple items, Item number 1 is a mic stand

That is right. Do not hold your microphone. This is the biggest recording blunder you can do. Holding a mic can be heard no matter how still you try. You microphone will pick up any slight vibration. That is the  microphone’s job, to pick up vibration and pass it to the recording device. So, when you grab the mic your listeners will hear it. If you change your grip your listeners will hear it. The mic will change distance it will affect your volume levels. Holding a microphone is not good unless you are out on location.

Use a Mic stand. You can go cheap and use a desktop version that is OK you will just not want to be putting anything on that table while recording because if you hit, tap, drum, thump, beat, or have your phone vibrate, Guess who will hear it. That is right! good job your listeners, because again those things and anything else that makes a vibration on that table will travel up the stand and to the mic and into your recording.

Red scissor Boom Mic stand helps with your mic techniqueHow do you fix this problem Well that would be a two step solution, one is a scissor boom arm. The other is a shock mount for your microphone. This basically suspends your mic in a rubber web so that it absorbs any vibration that climbs up the boom arm. This two step process is the ideal form for if you are going to be working on your desk while recording.  your keyboard taps and even your cell phone buzzer will have a hard time getting to you.

Now what is good mic technique? In a nut shell this is you talking in to a mic and having the best sound possible shine through. This technique is something you have to play around with a little bit and listen to your recording. but lets address some of the other problems that are created with poor mic techniques.

Plosives- The explosive force of air the is ejected with the ‘P’ and ‘B’ sounds. These can be felt by placing your hand in front of your mouth and saying the words out loud. Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers. You feel that little puff of air? That is the plosive. and it is very noticeable in the finished recording.

Along with the Plosives there is also Semblances. These are the S sounds that make a rush of air that happens you you say Sister and similar sounds. These are common problems that a podcast will come across because there is a technique that when first start recording don’t realize they need.

Now to fix this you want to use your mic technique. This is the positioning of the microphone so that the air from semblances and plosives are sent by the microphone not into it. If yo send the sound past the microphone you will have a better sound with out the abrasive shock that happen with poor mic technique.

Inconstant volume is usually from two items. First is not talking at the mic and  not using proper mic technique. If a person is moving his head or moving around a lot then the sound will vary as your head turns you may be overly loud at one moment and then very quite the next. So keep your mouth in front and you will not have a problem. The other cause if variable sounds volumes is when you have a co-host or someone who you are interviewing. there  are times that the guest or co-host will be softer or even louder than you this can be fixed with normalizing.

Battling the Um’s and Ah’s and other verbal crutches is something that takes practice, and is a continual commitment to listening to the way to talk. Yes the use of the verbal crutch can be annoying when you are listening to it, but do not try to edit all of these noises out this will only succeed in making you sound unnatural.

Finally in your podcast the use of mic techniques will also help with mouth noises and that heavy breather that is stalking your listeners.  Don’t eat your mic. have the mic about 2 to 6 inches from your mouth. The Close you mouth is to the mic remember that the mic will pick up more of the noises emanating from you easier so that heavy mouth breathing will become louder. Along with the smacking sounds that are cause from just opening your mouth.

News

Audacity update 2.0.6

  • New Reverb, called GVerb.
  • New Views: You can now Go to Selection Start and Go to Selection End.
  •  Align End to End command to append selected tracks.
  • WAV files import/export now supports “Album Title”, “Track Number” and “Genre” LIST INFO tags and ID3 tags.
  •  New support for Windows WDM/KS host which can provide very low latencies if you reduce “Audio to Buffer” in Recording Preferences.
  • You can now record computer playback by choosing the new Windows WASAPI host in Device Toolbar , then a “loopback” input.
  • Bugs have been fixed, involving Keyboard Preferences, Equalization curves, and Effect > Change Pitch, and several more.

Google updates its search abilities

HummingBird is an almost complete rewrite of the Google search algorithm. The change is suppose to help with the contextual results. How does this affect you the podcaster? Well if you have been doing good any black hat SEO then you might be in a little trouble but according to most articles read if you are going good SEO then o worries are to be had.

Tip and tool For the Week

Tool

Doodle.com

Great new scheduling tool that would work great for podcasters to schedule interviews.  Links to Google Calendars, iCloud (Premium), Outlook.com, iCal, or an ICS feed(ie, MSN Live Yahoo calendar) If you have a group of people you are trying to get together then you can Poll them to find the best time for everyone. Great for Those live events on Google hangouts

Tip

Besides minding your distance from the mic to keep the heavy breathing and mouth noises toned down you might also employ mild Mic gain adjustment. this is great for keeping your sounds rich but damping some of the noises.

 

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Bryan Goodwin

Podcast Producer at Podcast Dojo
Podcasting is the passion that gets me out of bed in the morning. Helping people to find their passion and cheer the podcasting community on as podcasting grows more and more each day
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