It's always a great idea to get that extra crisp sound in your content, be it for webinars, live sessions, or courses. And it necessarily doesn't need to break the bank. In fact, there are several hacks available that would allow you to record high-quality sound for videos, online sessions, and more. And so with that in mind, we decided to create this post for creators to learn how to get the best sound for every budget and create content that learners would appreciate.
Great equipment, budgets, setup, studio, costs
Let's first begin with some of the basic mistakes that are done by creators when recording and how to avoid them.
1. EchoThis is one of the most common errors seen while recording audio-rich content. Echo commonly happens when the content is being recorded within a large or empty room. This leads to the sound bouncing off from flat hard surfaces, therefore, creating an echo.
A great way to work around this situation is by recording in a room that has a lot of soft surfaces such as carpets, pillows, or other such dampeners. The soft fabric from the carpets and the closely-knit furniture in the room will help in absorbing noise. Putting some bedsheets, or blankets over hard surfaces can also help to cut down on the echo.
2. Blocking ambient noise
Everyday sounds can also spoil the quality of the final content. The constant buzz from a fan, people moving around, things falling, a buzz in the mic, squeaking chair, etc.
Some of the steps to reduce ambient noise can be:
Switching from a fan to a quiet air conditioner
Using the ‘reduce background noise’ feature during post-processing
Setup your audio recording space free from distractions
Adding soundproofing panels on the walls to absorb additional noise
3. Minimizing background noise
Hearing unpleasant noises is something that can take quite a toll on the sound quality. The environmental noises like traffic honks, people creating a ruckus, celebratory music being played are some, dogs barking, construction work, etc. that can lead to issues in sound quality. Some steps to reduce this can be:
- Making your family aware of your recording schedules
- Closing all the windows before recording
- Recording in a room that is far away from a road
- Setup soundproofing in the room
- Put your cell phone on silent.
4. Choose a unidirectional Microphone
Using a unidirectional microphone can be a great way to reduce both the background and ambient noise. Since the transducer is exposed only from a single side the microphone will only be open from the side from where the creator is speaking, thereby reducing a lot of noise. Purchasing a unidirectional mic will benefit you to record great sound when creating content for your online course.
5. Deciding on a microphone
Before buying a recording microphone it is very important to decide upon how you wish to record and what are your budgetary limitations.
External microphones help but you should also know that most cameras have decent inbuilt mics. And many phone headsets now come with ambient noise cancellation at the mic level. So focus a bit on that aspect too while purchasing a camera or headset as that might just save you from buying an external microphone.
To help you decide we have classified the recording equipment into 3 main categories:
- Zero Cost Tools:
Download Krisp.AI on your laptop and use Zoom or Google Meets you can record the audio or even the entire video.
The AI-enabled freemium tool offers up to 240 free mins per week and reduces background noise levels to Zero in most cases. Just use your existing headphones, enable Krisp.AI as the speaker and mic in the audio settings.
Combine this with the inbuilt mic and camera on your laptop for videos and enjoy the bliss. iPhone memos are another great alternative to record quality content at no extra cost for an iPhone user.
- Value for money - If the need is for better audio quality, you could always look towards collar microphones as well. Also known as lapel mics, these mics begin from as low as $20 and provide a fantastic bang for the buck. One such great example is the Boya BYM1 Omnidirectional Lavalier Condenser Microphone with 20ft Audio Cable (Black)
Image Source: Boya
- Studio Quality Audio - This is for someone who wishes to get that ultimate studio-quality sound and has been facing issues when quality is concerned. There are several companies that make some really amazing headsets and microphones. Bose headsets are always great when it comes to ambient noise cancellation but when it comes to external mics, companies like Rode provides a quality experience to record great sound when creating content for your online course. The Rode NT-USB USB Condenser Microphone and the Blue Yeti USB Mic are both great mics.
Image Source: Rode
Mistakes people make even with great microphones
You have now purchased the microphone according to your budget and needs. Let's look at some of the mistakes made by the creator while recording quality audio.
- Being extremely close to the microphone is not recommended to record great sound when creating content for your online course. This will lead to exaggerated words and at times might even pick up your breathing.
- Not using a pop filter can lead to your consonant sounds getting picked up by the mic a lot more than it needs. As you speak and release air with the consonant sounds, the pop filter helps to block those specific sounds and helps to record clear and crisp audio.
- One myth we have seen around is that after purchasing an external microphone the gain of the mic is increased. It's always a good idea to test your audio before the actual recording and ensure the right tweaks to the settings.
Importance of post-processing
Buying a great microphone? Done! Not making any mistakes while recording? Done!
That’s it! No, that’s not it. And the next bit is what a lot of creators miss.
People tend to forget the importance of post-processing when recording great sound when creating content for your online course. You can follow all the tips, you can try and reduce the noise to a great extent but some issues are disturbance is bound to crop up in the audio you recorded. And those issues can only be straightened out with post-processing.
You can use music in the background as a way to get over that small buzzing sound. Using copyright-free music can be a fantastic way to record great sound when creating content for your online course when your equipment is not the greatest.
- Help from software
Using some fantastic software during post-processing can be a great way to reduce noise. Softwares like Audacity and Adobe Audition are some great ones to be looked at. With Audacity being a free software beginning on it and gradually moving towards paid ones like Adobe Audition or Premiere PRO is recommended.
Tips and tricks that should be applied
This is one trick that professionals who work on creating sounds and music swear by. Showing aggressiveness on crucial and stressing topics, being funny and cheerful on easy terms that have to be put across the learner can bring in a great response. With this, they will be able to relate to your subject in a better way. Leading to greater engagement.
Posture while recording sound for the online course
Your voice sounds clear and crisp when you are sitting upright. Good thought should be given on the sitting posture, a great supportive chair and a comfortable desk to put and interact with the equipment is important.
Importance of a quiet place to create content
If you do not have a comfortable and sound-absorbing quiet place to work you can look for alternatives. Searching for an Airbnb or even renting a room for the day when you need to record audio can provide you with a suitable environment to work. This will be a little resource-draining but can be quite beneficial for someone who wants a bit more quietness and privacy.
Using all of these while recording great sound for the online course can bring in great results with better reviews, praises for content creation and much more from your learners. This can not only add benefit to the learning environment but will be an add-on benefit for your product offering of the online course itself.
Use great equipment and software while focusing on inculcating the tips into the content you create.