If you don't want to spend hours on post-production, think beforehand about adjusting your podcast sound and recording your podcast to sound better. Because if the sound quality is low, post-production and editing will take all your time without guaranteeing that the sound will eventually be fixed.
In this post, we’ll cover some podcast audio tips to help your voice sound better in your show.
How to record a podcast properly & make audio sound better
Without further ado, let’s get straight to our advice. We've compiled these nine tips that will help you make sure your voice sounds flawless in the podcast.
#1. Keep in mind your podcast recording environment: Studio vs. Remote recording
The place where you're recording your podcast influences the sound. Interviewing your guests, making a solo show in a well-furnished room or professional studio, or recording a remote interview affects the choice of the podcast equipment, including the podcast recording software, if you want to achieve a paramount sound quality of your podcast.
Let’s briefly tell how you can improve recording in a home studio and when recording a podcast with guests remotely. We won't mention recording of a podcast in a professional studio, as they're typically well-equipped to achieve high-quality sound.
🔴 Home podcast recording
To provide the best possible podcast sound when recording it in the comfort of your home, create a place that would act like your studio: buy an acoustic treatment to minimise the infiltration of ambient noise and put your other podcast setup pieces there. Alternatively, you can use blankets, clothes, rugs, and towels as acoustic treatments and place those on flat surfaces. This will provide the best podcast sound quality in your bedroom production studio.
💡Tip: All jokes aside, but you might even have to record under your blanket or in a closet. Yes, you may feel hot at some point, but it’ll spare you hours and undamaged nerves during editing, trust us.
Here are some more tips to pay attention to if you’re recording not in a professional studio:
- Close all doors and windows to reduce or eliminate the environmental noise.
- The only device that is running is your podcasting equipment.
- No one is talking and no pets make any noises.
- There are plenty of soft materials like carpets, blankets, couches, and rugs, to reduce reverb.
💡 We’ve covered options for different budgets in our ultimate guide on podcast equipment.
🔴 Remote podcast recording, solo or with guests
If you want to record a podcast remotely and wonder how to capture your voice, let alone your guests' voices, without losing quality, your biggest bet should be on the right podcast recording software, in addition to a mic, acoustic treatments, and other stuff. With the right software, you'll spend less to no time on daunting post-production, for achieving top-notch sound quality will be easier.
💡Important: your podcast recording software of choice should have a local recording feature, meaning that it records your and your guests' voices without depending on the Internet connection but locally on the devices. So if your Internet drops, the voice will be captured in a high quality regardless. Such apps record locally not only you but your guests as well.
🎙Waveroom is an example of such software. With this virtual podcast recording studio, you can locally record yourself and your guest without quality loss. To do so, just sign up to the online studio, create a Room to make a podcast and invite guests if you need. The service will record yours and your guests' parts individually (audio-only or video) and let you save them with clean uncompressed audio to later distribute the show on Spotify or other hosting platforms.
Another thing to consider when choosing a podcast recording software is live monitoring: the ability to make adjustments and enhance the podcast sound right during the recording. With this feature, you can basically hear how you sound when recording, which allows you to make adjustments to your mic position, volume, etc.
Don’t forget to check the audio format of the recorded files and if they are uncompressed, as uncompressed audio files mean a better podcast sound quality.
#2. Choose the right equipment for podcast recording
Of course, you can record a podcast with your phone or laptop microphone, but the sound quality will possibly leave much to be desired. Here’s the initial podcast setup you might need at the start. Don’t worry; there are very low-budget options.
- Podcast recording software
- Audio editing software
What you undoubtedly need to invest in is the mic since that’ll be your long-term asset on your podcast creation journey and will directly influence the content quality, which is of great importance in this competitive market.
#3. Warm up before recording
To save yourself from cutting out coughs and other sounds you might make when clearing your throat, warm up your larynx and voice beforehand. If you know you’re about to speak non-stop for an hour or so, do some exercises like tongue twisters, face stretching or even singing. With these little actions, you’ll avoid mispronouncing words and repeating them.
💧Tip: Drink a glass (or a couple) of warm water before recording. Staying hydrated helps you focus and avoid popping sounds, which usually happen when the mouth is dry.
#4. Mute those who aren’t speaking
If you don’t want to cut out not only your coughs but someone else’s as well, mute those who aren’t to speak at any given moment. If your podcast recording software doesn’t allow you to mute guests, ask them to mute themselves while they aren’t speaking. Thus you won’t need to edit the recording to get rid of their voice, setup adjustment or other background noises.
In fact, this applies to you as well. When you aren’t speaking, mute your microphone too.
#5. Mute your devices & all notifications
This basically goes without saying, but this tip is super important: little noises such as a phone pushup notification, a fridge that turns on, or someone else speaking in your house can and should be eliminated. So before starting to record, make sure your mic captures only your voice.
Don’t forget to mute your phone’s and other devices’ notifications and ask anyone in your house not to speak loudly while you’re recording.
#6. Don't record the whole podcast in one sitting
One shot might be too difficult to manage, and that’s okay. Taking breaks during the recording is an actionable way out if you want to drink or eat something, stretch your legs, think through your next talking points, adjust your audio setup, or use a loo if you’ve followed our water-drinking advice.
You can use these breaks to listen to what you’ve already recorded, and if there’s anything you don’t like about the sound, make the necessary changes we’ve noted above.
#7. Use your microphone properly
The model and type of the microphone alone won’t change much if you don’t get the most out of your voice-capturing device. If you exploit it properly, you will spare yourself tons of post-production time.
Follow these tips to get the most out of your mic:
- Sit back a few inches from the microphone. Don't place your mouth too close to it.
- Place the mic even with your mouth.
- Keep a pop filter between your mouth and the mic.
- Don’t change the distance between yourself and the mic when recording. When you move closer to it, the sound becomes louder. And if you move away, your voice sounds quieter, which you’ll need to level during the post-production to make it sound consistent throughout the show.
- Try to inhale quietly.
- Don’t move things on your desk. Some mics can be too sensitive and capture such sounds as well.
#8. Wear headphones during the recording
Have you ever wondered why people usually don’t like to hear the sound of their recorded voice and why it doesn’t sound right? The thing is that when you speak, you don’t actually hear your voice; rather, you hear a version of it inside your head.
When you wear headphones during the recording, they help you hear your actual voice (kind of). This will allow you to control your voice when speaking, make it sound as you want it to sound and how you want other people to hear it. This will also help you avoid popping sounds, control gulping and reduce other stuff you’d have to eliminate during editing.
#9. Control the volume of your voice
When you record a podcast, control the volume level. Some of your podcast setup pieces display the volume — yellow, green, or red. Try to keep it green the whole time. If you want to emphasise things, make it yellow for a short time, but never reach the red line.
How to make your podcast recording sound better: FAQ
Can an audio format & file size influence the podcast sound quality?
They can, but we doubt the difference will be audible enough for people’s hearing. What you’d better pay attention to is the bit rate. The lower the bit rate is, the poorer the sound quality of your podcast.
Why does my podcast sound bad?
One of the most common mistakes that aspiring podcasters make is neglecting the proper usage of their mic. We’ve given the tips above. Beyond that, when the recording space isn’t set up with acoustic treatments, this affects the podcast sound as well.
How do I make my recorded sound clear?
You can reduce or remove background noise from your podcast recording to make it sound clear. With LALAL.AI Voice Cleaner, for example, all you need to do is upload your file on the website and press one button to have the background noise removed.
How to make my podcast louder
When it comes to podcasting, there's a thing called Loudness. Loudness is measured in LUFS. The standard loudness you can seek is -19 LUFS for mono audio and -16 LUFS for stereo. There are loudness meters you can use to measure it in your recordings, such as Youlean or Auphonic. Such tools also allow you to level the loudness and adjust it.
Any other tips you know that help you improve your podcast recording? Share with us on our Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit and follow us to always be in the loop with all our updates! We'll talk about how you can enhance the recording during post-production in our upcoming articles.