Podcast Recording Techniques

In this video, I'll show you a few recording setups and demonstrate the importance of having a "healthy distance" from your microphone.



Today I'm going to be taking you through a couple of recording techniques. This is purely to demonstrate the importance of having a good healthy distance from your microphone. To give you an idea of what's going on. The Shure SM58 is being recorded in Ableton Live, I've got a webcam recording that is being captured through the webcam software and I'm recording the local laptop microphone through Audacity and Zoom. My computer fan is playing a factor here so I'm expecting the laptop microphone to be picking up quite a lot of the fan noise. I'll also be doing a recording on my cell phone, one with the local microphone and one with the headset microphone.


Just to explain my recording environment at home, I've got a really hard wall next to me and behind me, as well as windows right across from me. No sound treatment whatsoever. Definitely not a sound friendly room. But this will definitely show you that if you have the right distance from your microphone, it can play a very important role in getting a decent sounding recording.


Everything I record here will go through an Ableton template that I made for my Shure SM58. Very basic, I do 10 dBs of noise reduction, a little bit of a filter on the EQ, a high shelf boost, a tiny bit of attenuation in the 200 to 1k region and some general compression to get things to a nice even level. Everything will be mixed and mastered to -14LUFS.

Let's switch over to the webcam and hear what that sounds like. Okay, this is the webcam audio going through the same template as the Shure SM58. I think that'll give us a pretty good idea of what that sounds like.


Let's switch to the laptop microphone recording through Audacity. So, this is what the laptop microphone sounds like through Audacity. Audacity captures audio at a bit depth of 16. I think that'll give us a pretty good idea of what the mic sounds like in Audacity.

Let's switch over to Zoom and see what that sounds like. The sound quality we get from this will be dependent on the stability of the internet connection. So, this is the Zoom recording. I think my internet connection is not bad. We recently got upgraded to like 50 down and 30 up or something like that. We'll see how the internet plays a role in the sound of that recording. 

Let's switch over to the iPhone. I think I've mentioned this before, you don't really want to be too close to your mic. That will put strain on the diaphragm and cause plosives and stuff like that. It's difficult to repair and makes your recording sound unnatural. If you're talking into your phone, you want to be speaking over it. Let's have a listen to the iPhone recording. I believe I've had fairly decent results with this. I'm sure it is still picking up some of the fan noise. Again, I'll be doing the same amount of noise reduction on everything. I think that'll be good for the iPhone recording. 

Let's switch over to the iPhone's headset mic. This should also be sounding pretty good. I've also got pretty good results out of this before. I'm expecting this to sound a lot better than the laptop mic and definitely the webcam. Alright, I think that's us.


I'm going to switch back to the Shure SM58. I believe that is all I have for you today. Again, just really demonstrating the importance of having a good ratio between dry to wet signals. Dry being the original sound from your voice going into the microphone and wet being any external factors. Reflections coming off the walls, noise from outside, trucks driving by, birds etc. Having a healthy distance from your microphone will help push all of that stuff into the background of your recordings and help it not be so noticeable. I believe that makes sense and I think that's all I've got for you today. Thank you very much and I'll chat to you later.

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Johannesburg, South Africa

Copyright © Richard James Newton