Ultimate Podcast Editing Guide | Part 7: How to Improve Audio Quality Before Recording

If you want to elevate your podcast's audio quality, the recording process is just as crucial as the editing process. By taking steps to improve your audio before recording, you'll save time and effort during post-production. In this installment of our Ultimate Podcast Editing Guide, we'll discuss five tips to enhance your podcast's sound quality before hitting the record button.

1. Wear Headphones When Recording Remotely

When you're conducting remote interviews or having conversations with co-hosts, wearing headphones is essential. Using headphones allows you to disable echo cancellation, a feature commonly used in remote communication software. Although echo cancellation can be helpful for business meetings, it can also cause audio artifacts and degrade the overall sound quality of your podcast. By wearing headphones, you'll ensure that your audio is as crisp and clear as possible. You can read more tips on improving your remote interviews in this article.

2. Address the Acoustics in Your Recording Space

The acoustics in your recording space play a vital role in capturing high-quality audio. Consider the following steps to improve the acoustics in your room:

  • Choose a small, carpeted room with minimal echo, walk-in closets are great for this.
  • Use soft furnishings like curtains and cushions to absorb sound reflections.
  • Set up a makeshift vocal booth using moving blankets to create a more controlled recording environment. You can drape the moving blankets over wardrobe racks or room dividers for an easy to set up solution.
  • Foam panels can help, but make sure they are at least 2 inches thick. Thinner panels won't make much difference. One mistake that podcasters often make is to line their entire room with foam panels. This can cause problems because it doesn't absorb frequencies evenly. You'll end up with recordings that have more prominent bass and low mid frequencies and be light on the mids and highs.

2. Use a Dynamic Microphone

Dynamic microphones are a popular choice for podcasters due to their durability and they're less sensitive to background noise compared to condenser microphones. This makes them an excellent option for podcasters who don't have an acoustically-treated space to record in. When selecting a dynamic mic, consider models that have both XLR and USB connectors as this will provide the most flexibility.

3. Proper Mic Positioning

The way you position your microphone can significantly impact your podcast's sound quality. To capture your voice clearly and reduce the risk of picking up unwanted background noises, follow these tips or read this article about mic positioning:

  • Position the mic about 2-3 inches away from your mouth.
  • Angle the mic slightly to the side of you angled about 45 degrees towards your mouth. You should be talking past the mic, not directly into it.
  • If you have to have the mic directly in front of you, use a pop filter to reduce plosive sounds like "p" and "b."
  • Adjust the mic's gain to ensure a proper recording level without distortion.

5. Choose a Podcast Recording Platform Over Zoom

While Zoom is a popular choice for remote meetings, it's not the best option for recording high-quality podcast audio. Instead, opt for a podcast recording platform like Riverside, Zencastr, StreamYard, or SquadCast. These platforms prioritize audio quality and record each participant's audio locally, eliminating issues related to internet connection dropouts. Additionally, they are easy to use and don't require any downloads, making them an ideal choice for podcasters.

By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to improving the sound quality of your podcast before you even hit the record button. Keep in mind that the steps you take during the recording process can make a significant difference in your final audio quality, so don't underestimate their importance.

Checkout the other parts to this series:

Part 1: Ultimate Podcast Editing Guide: Essential Tools and Techniques for Professional Podcast Production - Introduction

Part 2: Clean-Up Tools

Part 3: Mixing Tools for Podcasters

Part 4: Mastering the Mix Bus

Part 5: Choosing the Best Podcast Editing Software

Part 6: Mastering for Podcasters


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