Ridding Yourself of the Rumble: Podcasting Audio Tips

Guest post by Kris Keppeler

That low rumble keeps appearing in your audio. It’s maddening, and the cause stumps you. It shows up and disappears in no pattern, like uninvited magic.

Identifying the Rumble

I had this rumble for more than a year. Then I moved my studio set up away from the window and into an alcove. It materialized less often, and I discovered the cause: float planes. There is something about that flat pitched grind the mic adores.

The birds chirp right next to the window, and the mic ignores them. A float plane droning its way around the lake never failed to show up on my recording.

Simple Solutions for Improved Sound

Tired of stopping my narration for this noise, I bought sound proof curtains for the alcove. Part of my business is audiobook narration and other voice over work, so my career benefitted from this upgrade.

Recesses in your home and walk in closets work best if you desire clean recordings with little cash outlay. My acoustic foam panels come from a dismantled studio who just wanted them gone quickly. Old moving blankets muffle sound wonderfully, too.

Microphones and an “In the Box” Solution

I recently upgraded to a condenser mic from a USB mic. My USB mic performed just fine in its box. An audio engineer once remarked it had the best sound he’d ever heard out of a USB mic.

The cardboard or cloth box, approximately 16 inches by 16 inches square allows enough room. Line the box with acoustic foam.

studio-box

Sit your USB mic in it, and find a cubby hole in your home, near a power outlet.

studio-set-up

Many of your sound issues disappear with this setup, and you spent only a few dimes. If you require more fidelity in your sound, upgrade to a quiet condenser mic for as little as another $200. These mics require springing for an interface to your computer.

Beyond the Mic: Extras to Improve Podcast Audio

Don’t forget a pop screen in front of your mic. Turning your mic into a Petri dish is just gross. Angle your mouth slightly to the side of the mic for improved sound quality and fewer pops.

Choose software for recording and editing which is uncomplicated. Most DAW’s (digital audio workstations) allow you to download and test. Find the program which works for you. I use software no one else had heard of but performs beautifully for me.

Touching up your show’s sound need not be expensive or time-consuming. With just a few tweaks you’ll notice a difference, and so will your listeners.

Kris Keppeler is a narrator, actor, writer, voice actor, and funny story junkie.  Her podcast, Does This Happen to You? was an official selection of the 2016 HEAR Now Festival.

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