Many people think podcasts that sound beautiful are the result of expensive equipment, fancy studios, and an on-site professional production team. However, most of the podcasters we know have larger idea lists than equipment inventories. Here’s the good news: you don’t need to break the bank to make great-sounding podcasts! You just need to know a couple of hacks about where you should record your podcast.
The challenge with sound waves
When you open your mouth to speak, the sound of your voice leaves your lips and travels in waves all around you. Those waves will continue to travel until they collide with a reflective surface, such as walls, ceiling, floor, computer screen, tabletop, or windows. The ‘collision’ will be picked up by the mic as reverberation or an echo.
You want to reduce the amount of reverb or echo as much as possible by recording while surrounded by soft surfaces. Soft surfaces will absorb the ‘collision’ sounds and create a crisp, clear, and more natural recording of your voice. Even better, record in a smaller room with soft surfaces. If your mind is jumping to the closet, you would be right!
Record your podcast in the closet
Closets are perfect for recording – they’re small spaces, carpeted, no windows, and filled with soft clothes. Sound waves will be naturally absorbed instead of showing up in your recording as reverb. As a bonus, you won’t need to buy additional costly acoustic treatments (foam padding) because the closet already has soft surfaces.
If you’re not able to use a closet, or if you record in-person guests who will be turned off by that claustrophobic idea, you can look for another small space with similar qualities. The idea is small and soft – so look for a smaller room with carpeting, drapes, couches, bookshelves, etc. Glassed-conference rooms or dining rooms with high ceilings and hardwood floors should be last on your list. If that’s all you’ve got, use blankets, pillows, and even books to reduce the bounce in your room.
Recording a guest remotely
We like how Saron Yitbarek prepares a podcast guest for a remote interview. The guest will make their own decisions on where they record, but you can still maintain some control over audio quality.
Yitbarek suggests that you ship them your preferred microphone ahead of time and instruct them to make a ‘pillow fort’ for the mic. Construct the pillow fort with two regular-sized pillows propped up length-wise to form a V-shape (the pillows will be holding themselves up with their weight). Then, put down a soft towel or blanket on the tabletop between the two pillows. Lastly, place the mic at the point of the V so that it is touching the pillows. It’s a simple set up most guests can do on their own that reduces reverb while they’re talking during your interview.
Want your podcast to sound even better than being recorded in a closet? Why not jump on a complimentary discovery call with us to chat about how we guide our clients to recording crystal-clear audio? We would love to deliver the high-quality podcast audio that you and your audience deserve!