Tips on Audio Production

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Image by curtis.kennington on flickr (CC BY)

Teaching an online course or flipping your classroom? Whether you plan on recording a lecture or some other type of project, poor audio quality can negatively impact your final product, taking away from the main focus of the recording.

Not everyone has access to a professional sound booth, and while some sound editing programs have excellent post-production capabilities, it is best to start with the cleanest recording possible.

Here are three audio tips to keep in mind when recording sessions!

1. Choose a Good Microphone

If you are recording audio directly to your computer, you can use the built-in microphone but that typically will not yield more than an adequate recording. There are different types of microphones for different purposes. Let us know what type of recording you are looking into doing, and we’d be happy to provide advice on what you may need.

For example, an excellent brand to consider is Blue Microphones. There are also quality USB microphones that you could purchase. We recommend checking with your department to see if there are available microphones to borrow or funds to purchase the equipment you need. The Media Resources Center in the Undergraduate Library may also have some microphones that could work for you.

2. Consider Microphone Placement

Place the microphone as close as possible to the audio source. This will allow that source to be the most prominent sound that the microphone will detect.

3. Choose a Quiet Location

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Image by jcmurty on flickr (CC BY)

Microphone quality and placement can only do so much if you have chosen a location that has too much extraneous noise. For example, some people will do their recording at a kitchen table, not realizing that a refrigerator makes a lot of noise. Try to stay away from any constant sound source, such as an air conditioner or computer fan. Listen to your space before you record.

The best alternative to a sound booth is finding a quiet room with limited fan or air conditioning/heating noise. Carpeting is a plus. You can try a closet with both clothing and carpeting as these are good sound dampeners and will reduce room echo. You can also get extra creative and hang blankets on the walls of your space for a similar effect!

If you follow these tips, you should be off to a great start with your recording. Don’t let all that time and effort spent on recording go to waste with poor audio quality!