These days, more and more people need to record their voices for some purpose. For online lectures, podcasts, or a radio advertisement. Bad sound quality has the power to ruin your effort. So now I will give you some easy and free tips on how to make your recording better by a little awareness about your surroundings and how you speak. Even if you are using a phone as a mic.

The most basic setup for a recording includes a phone as a mic. Hopefully, the mic of your phone has a sufficient quality. If it is too noisy or distorted, you better buy at least a clip-on mic for the recording purpose. Now, let’s take a phone as a mic and focus on what to take care of regarding the surroundings.

  1. Eliminate all sources of noise.
    1. Choose the most silent time of the day to record. (You can check the noises with the Spektroid Android app for example.)
    2. Put your phone into airplane mode and offline so that you don’t get any call and message during the recordin process.
    3. Be alone in the room. If you are not alone, ask your freinds not to move and stay silent.
    4. Put away anything that you could hit, scratch, kick, etc.
    5. Don’t wear clothes and jewelry that make sound when you move.
    6. Check your table and chair for noises. If they make sound when moving while sitting on them, repare them.
    7. Don’t be hungry and blow your nose before recording if needed.
    8. Turn off all the unnecessary electric and electronic devices around the mic. And go far away from those that you cannot switchoff like the fridge. Even turn off your laptop if you are recording with your phone or with an external recorder. You can read from a paper or a tablet.
    9. Pray so that the neighbours don’t start to vacuum-clean. 🙂
    10. If you read from a paper, attach it to a harder board or something, so that it does not make noise when recording. If it makes noise, repeat that part being read meanwhile. When turning page, don’t speak.
    11. Try to be further from mirroring surfaces like windows, tiles, and mirrors, or cover them with a soft textile. The thicker the better. (Don’t record in the bathroom! :D) This helps to reduce the echoes thus makes the sound clearer and better to understand or edit later.
    12. Have a cup of water besides you and drink water frequently before and during recording to make your lips wet and avoid yumm-yumm sounds being recorded. 🙂 (If you have a lot of equipments around, the best choice for their security is kind of a coffee cup that has only a small hole to drink.)
  2. Recording Software.
    1. Use the default recording app on your phone. (search apps for mic, microphone, audio or recording) or some other recording app that you like.
    2. Check out the settings of that application and set it up to record in lossless format (most common is WAV format). If it cannot record in lossless, set the bitrate (kbps) to as high as possible.
    3. If you are recording with a laptop (nd an external mic) you can use Audacity, which is a free audio recording software.
  3. Physical setup:
    1. Know where your phone’s mics are located, keep them clean and free of cover and make test recordings before the real one.
    2. Try to record a text including more p, f, k, t, s and sh sounds and check that the recording does not pop and distort with those sounds. If it is, that means you create too much wind while speaking. Try to speak further from the mic, and try not to speak directly into it, but more form a perpendicular direction.
    3. Try different distances from the mic. Listen to the recordings and choose the distance that provides the loudest recording without any distortion. This helps you to have the best signal-noise ratio meaning the least noise in the end.
    4. Measure and remember the distance between your mic and your mouth and try to keep it constant. Try to speak at the same volume.

I hope these tips help you in your next recording. If you have any questions or anything to add, please send me a message. 🙂

With Love,
Mesmes

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay