Podcast Voiceovers—Mic Recording Tips
Updated: Apr 23, 2021
Podcasts are live/recorded audio discussions that are broadcasted and distributed digitally. They can be downloaded and streamed online by the audience anywhere at anytime. A podcast is an effective way to connect with the listener, promote and share our ideas and expertise.
When recording a voiceover for a podcast, we should aim to capture the best voice recording possible. This can be achieved by taking some technical aspects into consideration, so let's dive into it.
The first thing we should do is finding a quiet place to record our voiceover—free from external and mechanical noise.
Independently of the microphone in use, when recording our speech, we should keep our mouth at the right distance from the microphone—not too close and not too far. When speaking into the mic, we should position ourselves at the right angle and distance—where our voice meets our tonal expectations. By using a pop shield and positioning ourselves at the right distance, we avoid the pops or plosives (caused by words beginning with the letter "P" or "B"), and the heavy breathing sound that can be produced when uttering words.
As we locate ourselves further from the mic, the ambience of our surroundings will be more pronounced in the sound of the recorded voice. If we are in a small room, a hall or any other reverberated and echoing enclosure, we should try to locate ourselves in a spot away from corners and walls (or DIY our vocal recording booth with a few blankets if possible).
An important aspect to consider is that as the source gets closer to the microphone, the amplitude of the low frequencies of our voice will increase—this means the sound of our voice will feature a more bass (lower) tone. This effect is called the proximity effect, and being aware of it will save you time and help you to capture a balanced tone on your recording.
Most microphones (except the mobile-phone ones) have a polar pattern specification—check your device's manual. The polar pattern represents the mic's directionality and frequency response according to the angle the source has been positioned in relation to the microphone.
Paying attention to these basic principles and doing a few recording tests—whilst experimenting with angle, distance, and the volume of our voice—we can manage to capture a decent voiceover (even when using a mobile-phone microphone).
By applying these fundamentals, we make the editing/mixing process more efficient (especially if we hire an audio editor), and the final result will be a well produced audio to be enjoyed by the listener.
For beginners, the easiest way is to use a mobile phone's built-in microphone. Nevertheless, if we are looking for a professional sound, then we should use a dynamic or a condenser microphone that suits our podcasting needs.
*I will share my recommendations about what types of microphones to use for podcasting on a future post.
If you would like to have your voiceover recorded, edited, its noise removed or quality improved, click on the CONTACT's tab and get in touch.