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Tips for recording a quality podcast

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									After editing, mixing and mastering hundreds of podcast, and seeing the same quality
issues pop up again and again, I wrote this short guide to help new podcast producers
produce better sounding podcasts and not make the same mistakes, which, once
recorded, are difficult to fix. These are most essential tips for recording any good
podcast. ?
  Format: Format is one of the most important yet most overlooked aspects of Podcast
recording. I am amazed to receive Podcasts recorded in wav 8 bit, 8000khz, or worse
on 32 KBps mp3! To give you an idea, this is like packing a chocolate pastry in a
matchbox! Nothing much of the original will survive! I always advice recording in
wav format at 44,100, 16 bit. This format renders the best quality for size. But the file
size can be huge (1 min recording =10 mb approx). But once it is recorded, a sound
engineer can mix, master, eq and polish it up and reduce it a small 15 mb file, ready to
upload. This way the saturation and quality of the source is maintained the most and
all other process like noise reduction and Eq yield beautiful results. If you are
recording in mp3, I would suggest a bit rate of 320 kbps, 44,100 at the least. ?
  Placing the microphone Placing the microphone or Miking is an elaborate science in
itself. If the mic is too close to the mouth, it will cause pops, and bass boost, making
the sound muddy or harsh. If it's too far, the voice presence will suffer. It is always a
good idea to record a couple of samples with different placements and see what gives
the best results. Some basic do's and don't- 1. Keep the microphone as far away as
possible from unwanted sound sources like CPU fans, A/c ducts etc. 2. Don't place the
microphone directly behind a wall. This will result is reflections and will make the
voice echo. 3. Place the microphone directly in front of your mouth, around 4-8
inches away. You can also place the microphone a little higher then your mouth and
point it downwards. 4. Always use a pop screen/filter to reduce the explosive breath
sounds. ?
  Levels: As a rule, the recording levels should never cross 0 db. A level higher then
0db causes nasty distortion in your recordings. The best way to avoid it is to do a
sample recording and hear it back. Always monitor the levels on your recording
software. Low levels can ?always be fixed, but distortion is nearly impossible to fix.
My advice; don't record at the maximum levels. Reduce them a little and always
check that your recording has no distortion. Or better, if you can apply a compressor
in the signal chain, it will take care of the peak levels. ?
  Location: An acoustically treated room is the best place for recording. Though ideal,
it might not be available to all podcasters. Never record in rooms which have lot of
metallic furniture/items or a completely empty room. These will reflect the sound
waves and will result in bad recordings. A room with carpet and wooden furniture is a
better choice. Make sure the location you choose has minimum ambient noises. Fans,
exhausts, noisy CPU all contribute to broadband noise. Make sure that there are no
phone ringing, the neighbor's dog or the doorbell! Happy recording!!?
  Visit us for affordable editing, mixing and mastering of Podcasts, Seminar cds,
jingles, podcast music and all kinds of audio work.

								
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