How to Record a Podcast and Use a Mic

How to record a podcast and use a mic

You need to hone your skills as a podcaster by learning how to record a podcast correctly. Providing a smooth and pleasant listening experience is critical to the success of your podcast. The voice of any podcaster needs to be rich, clear, and without distraction. Achieving this hangs on the mastery of your microphone technique.  

Even if you’ve snapped up the best microphone, computers, and DAW, a poor microphone technique will leave you sounding terrible. Not to exaggerate, the mic technique is often overlooked by podcasters. 

It’s not enough to invest in an excellent microphone; making the most of it matters. Imagine somewhere with a high accident record buying a fancy car; that does not mean you’ll be a better driver.  

Mastering mic techniques isn’t complicated; it is only a matter of following best practices. We want you to make the most of your microphone and produce clean audio; that’s the intent of this guide.  

There are the wrong ways to use a mic; that’s not what we’ll discuss, but the right way to use a mic. To this end, do these things, and you’ll be surprised at how amazing you sound;  

1. Invest in the Right Podcast Equipment 

Every other thing we say will amount to nothing without the combination of the right equipment. Think of shooting a movie without seeing a camera; it won’t work.  

You need a microphone, headphones, and a mic stand to start. There is no need to buy a $10,000 microphone or headphones; even a $100 version can do a good job; so far, it meets all of the podcasting requirements.  

Don’t forget that podcasting is an audible medium; do everything you can to choose the right equipment.  

2. Being at The Right Distance 

Distance has what is called a proximity effect on your podcast recording. In simple terms, the closer you are to the mic, the more low-frequency sound it picks up.  

You cannot be too far away or too close. The rule of thumb is three fingers or a fist away from the mic. Remember, this is just a rule of thumb; the best way to arrive at the perfect distance for you is to test as much as you can.  

We all speak with different power and volume; testing is the secret to knowing the proper distance.  

3. Maintaining The Perfect Volume 

Every microphone you hold is built for normal volume levels. You can’t be overly loud or quiet; be right. There’s no need to whisper into the mic, but you can’t scream either.  

Aim to speak in your normal indoor voice, like you are conversing with your significant partner. You are likely to overshoot this volume threshold when discussing something that fires you up.  

While being passionate might work in real life, you’ll end up screaming into the eardrums of your listeners in the end. Maintain a consistent volume level throughout your recordings; you’ll save yourself a lot of post-production headaches. 

4. Try Angling Your Mic 

You need to try the pro techniques by placing your mic at an angle. Not up or down, but sideways. In contrast, the mic will receive volume but not the full impact of the harsh sounds of your “p” and “t” consonants.  

While using a POP filter to reduce your plosives is OK, mastering a mic from an angle is a measure of your podcasting skills. Let your mic be 45 degrees away from your face. Rather than blow air into the mic, it goes past it at an angled position.  

5. Minimize Ambient Sounds 

As much as possible, ensure that your voice is the only sound the mic picks. If any other sound finds its way into your recording, it could distract your listeners.  

Scan your environment for any other sound in your recording environment. These sounds you are already used to hearing may not sound strange to you but will to your listeners. These include your laptop fan, pet noise, running water, cell phone notifications, wind against your window, etc.  

To know these sounds, plug in your microphone without speaking, and listen patiently through your headphone.  

6. The headphone is a MUST

Never record a podcast episode without a headphone. The problem is that we don’t hear ourselves enough due to the distance of our ears from the mouth. Through the headphones, you can listen to what others are hearing you say.  

Headphones hand over to you control over the volume and tone of your voice. With you hearing yourself, your brain will adjust how you speak; you’ll send the proper audio into the microphone.  

This also applies to your guests. With headphones, you won’t need to tell them to lower or increase their voice.  

7. Utilize a POP Filter 

Regardless of your skill as a podcaster, you will likely blurt air into the microphone more often than you’ll realize. These happen more with plosives, the T, K, and F sounds.  

While controlling yourself with the plosives is difficult, you can manage its impact on your recording. This is done by using POP filters installed on your microphones. The POP filters control the burst of air from your mouth without distorting the sounds.  

You can include this in the podcast equipment you will be procuring.  

8. Use A Compressor To Control The Dynamic Range.

Dynamic range is a crucial aspect of recording a podcast. A compressor controls it by evening out audio levels. This makes your podcast sound more polished. When learning how to record a podcast, pay attention to the audio levels of guests or co-hosts. A compressor can help achieve a consistent sound.

To effectively use a compressor, experiment with settings. Then find the right balance for your recording situation. Once you have the hang of it, you’ll know how to record a podcast, knowing your audio levels are controlled.

Investing in a compressor is essential for any podcaster looking to improve sound quality. Using a compressor is vital in knowing how to record a podcast.

9. Utilize Equalization To Adjust The Tonal Balance

Once your microphone is set up, adjusting the tonal balance is essential. This ensures your podcast sounds professional. One way to do this is through equalization or EQ. EQ allows you to adjust the levels of different frequencies in your recording.

When learning how to record a podcast, EQ is a crucial step. You can create a clear and polished final product by fine-tuning the tonal balance. Remember, a little EQ can go a long way in knowing how to record a podcast and make it stand out.

10. Utilize A Noise Gate To Eliminate Background Noise

Do you want to know how to record a podcast professionally? One of the most important things you can do is use a noise gate. A noise gate is a tool that helps to reduce unwanted background noise in your recordings. It works by setting a threshold for when the mic should be on and when it should be off.

The mic will automatically turn off when you’re not speaking, eliminating background noise. Using a noise gate lets you know how to record a podcast without distracting background noise.

Wrap Up 

Once you grasp these techniques, you’ll notice a lot of difference in your podcast recording. It’s all about recording audio that is devoid of distractions. Own your podcast equipment and carry out tests as much as you can. In the end, you’ll be proud of the crystal-clear audio.  

Next: How to Write a Podcast Script