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 aren’t complicated, 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 Into 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’s not going to work.
You need a microphone, headphones, and even a mic stand for a start. 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 within your means to choose the right podcasting 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, and the secret to knowing the right distance is testing.
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. No need to whisper into the mic, but you cant scream either.
Aim to speak in your normal indoor voice, like you are having a conversation with your significant partner. You are likely to overshoot this volume threshold when you are 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
Yes, you need to try out 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 it’s OK to use a POP filter to reduce your plosives, mastering the use of 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 being picked by the mic. If any other sound finds its way into your recording, this could be distracting to your listeners.
Scan your environment for any other sound in your recording environment. These are the sounds you are already used to hearing; they 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 clear enough due to the distance of our ears from the mouth. Through the headphone, you can hear 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 the way you speak; you’ll end up sending the proper audio into the microphone.
This also applies to your guests. With a headphone, you won’t need to tell them to lower or increase their voice.
7. Utilize a POP Filter
Regardless of how skilled you are as a podcaster, you will likely blurt out air into the microphone more often than you’ll realize. These happen more with plosives, the T, K, and F sounds.
While it’s difficult to control yourself with the plosives, 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.
Once you grasp these techniques, you’ll notice a lot of difference in your podcast recording. It’s all about being able to record 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.