Recording audio has evolved from the traditional tape recorder or camcorder in use even a decade ago. Today, capturing speech word-for-word can be done with digital recorders and even audio recording apps that can get the job done in a much more streamlined way. Saving high-quality audio is something that can apply to any industry in our technologically advanced world, and many use audio recording to:
- Save meetings and interviews
- Capture audio for webinars
- Produce podcasts and e-learning materials
- Practice for a performance or presentation
You don’t need to have an unlimited budget or access to incredibly powerful tools, microphones, and software in order to record better audio; all it takes is a little patience, planning, and practice! Here are some of our best tips for how to record better audio with what you already have.
1. Try a quick demo recording before starting.
Testing, testing. Taking a minute to have a quick test of the audio recorder or app you’re using can mean the difference between a perfectly-recorded audio clip and one that doesn’t even exist. Rather than learning the hard way, it’s always better to have a practice run before recording the real deal.
2. Limit background noises.
Background noises are very common and difficult to edit out in post-production. Before getting started with your audio recording, turn off any fans or humming appliances, close windows, and maybe even consider putting up a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door where you’re recording to eliminate annoying sounds.
3. Set the recorder 6 to 12 inches away.
Placing your audio recorder too close or too far away from the main speaker can take away from a potentially great audio recording. By placing too close, you’ll run the risk of capturing mouth sounds and distortions; by placing too far, you’re more likely to also record ambient noises. The safest bet is in between 6 and 12 inches away.
4. Find a quiet space that’ll stay that way.
If posting up in a conference room at the office isn’t going to be the quietest space available, try getting creative or waiting until you get home to record. One of the most frustrating parts of recording can be the unexpected noise that can happen from people walking by, opening the door, or not being mindful of the recording space.
5.Upgrade your microphone.
Smartphones are great, but real setups are better and becoming more affordable for those interested in giving their audio recording a real boost. Try an external microphone to plug into a tablet or smartphone and you’ll automatically improve your audio quality without extraneous measures, and helps in noisy spaces to reduce background sounds.
6. Try a transcription app to record and convert to text.
Using a mobile transcription app on your smartphone is like a one-stop-shop for recording great audio, and then submitting it to be transcribed into text. Once converted into text, your recorded audio transcript can be used to improve SEO, help accessibility, and make sharing and distribution of your content even easier.
7. Silence any unnecessary distractions.
Pure silence is hard to come by, but there are easy ways to make sure you get things as quiet as possible. Even if you’re not using your smartphone to record audio, you should always set it to Do Not Disturb mode, or silence all incoming notifications altogether, to avoid any unexpected interruptions or disturbances to your recording time.
8. Finish snacks before starting, but keep sipping water.
We’re all for staying well-fed to keep your brain and body at 100%, but being aware of how noisy snacks are can be a lifesaver when your recording audio. Snack wrappers, food, and chewing can be distracting and picked up easily in audio recordings, so be sure to finish snacks before starting and sip water so you don’t get parched.
Ready to start recording better audio?
Download the transcription app today to start recording and transcribing!
This article was originally published on May 8, 2017.