Have you seen those iPhone commercials that are totally cool and the only message is shot with an iPhone? Here’s the thing,Today’s Smart phones may actually create a look and sound like the pro’s, but yours may not come out that way, you probably don’t even expect it to. You may get that one in a million photo and having a camera phone is an invaluable tool to do this.
Getting great great audio and video is a different story and more challenging. My best suggestion is that you should create a simple studio environment to record your program . MIne is in my dining room. A great microphone package or USB set up and head phones are pretty much all you need, as well software to record on to. I do not recommend a microphone headphone (headset) combo.
Wear head phones while recording. even ear buds! Even for video! It will help you become aware of the sound of the recording and your surroundings, Maybe you are popping your P’s, Do you want to wait until you all done to find out?
Are there are shiny surfaces? Your kitchen and bath are not the right place. Yeah, it’s happened. “I thought it would make my voice sound better.”
Check the settings for your software. For instance, Pamela software defaults to the lowest possible rate and needs to be set, Recording video for audio isn’t awful but it makes giant files at less than ideal rates. The best way to record is directly from your mic to audacity or garage band, then export to Mp3’s at least 128kbps a 44100 hertz.
It might be time for a better mic or computer, do what you can Take your time on buying decisions. ask questions, you might get confusing answers.
Know how to do basic clean up edits with something like audacity it’s free.
Be physically ready to record: Make sure you are properly hydrated with a clean mouth, sit up straight, smile! It makes a difference even if it’s just audio. Talk from your chest not your throat.
Back up from the mic just a tiny bit,
try not to put a hard enunciation on your P’s D B’s and Essses. Practice recording the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain until it smooths out, and you learn not to pop.
Move your head around
Buy a pop shield. I use the foam type. You can even make the screen type with panty house and some coated wire. Spray it black, you’ll look cool.
I had a person ask me about the removing the sounds of jets taking off and landing at Heathrow. I said, it’s just too poor a recording, I can’t fix it. What I wanted to say was Why didn’t you just stop talking and wait for the noise to stop? It’s a recording! Redo’s are a fact of life, accept it.
Some one asked about using a phone and the lapel microphone for a two person interview. You could, but I don’t recommend it, it’s really the wrong mic for the job. Here’s the problem, If one person is louder than the other it’s going to sound bad. That mic is very sensitive and doesn’t want to move around much. Since you can’t wear head phones and use an external mic at the same time with your smart phone how do you know if you got it right? Recording anything without head phones gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Occasionally I am able to make audio “better”, but never great or what most people would call professional quality. It becomes a case of take away one ugly thing, make a new one! As with everything in life, time is money and money is better spent on initial set-up rather that after the fact corrections. People have given me audio where they just keep talking while the phone rings!If you bought something you’ve outgrown, sell it on eBay and buy something better. It happens, I’ve done it, it’s a real good sign!
…...I didn’t want to say anything to my guest about the quality of the recording, what should I do? I can’t get him again.
Regardless of who you are interviewing, it’s your show, take ownership of it and direct your guests. If they keep talking while doors slam and dogs bark they probably will like it if you say “can we do that again? At some point you might have to say, “Im sorry, the quality on your end just isn’t gonna work for me, can we reschedule, try again in a quieter place?” If they refuse, you don’t want to work with them, they are a liability (and probably to themselves) anyway.
The quality of your final product is 1000 percent dependent on getting a good recording in the first place. If you use the right tool for the job, and get advice when problems arise, you will have a much more satisfying results that will encourage you to stick with.your project.
I love gadgets, I’m not the kind of chick who gets a thrill from a new pair of shoes, but a new hard drive, wow! That’s the stuff! Recently I upgraded my 2008 Mac book with a new Solid state drive, doubled the memory and gave it a fresh battery. The difference is night and day, my lap top runs WAY faster with no spinney wheels. As an added bonus, the computer runs much cooler, which no doubt will enhance the life span of the machine. This is impressive for an older lap top I paid $500 for on craigslist. The cost of the upgrade including the mag safe power cable I bought last year: $234. My Mac book is great for doing work outside the house, for surfing the news or playing cards in bed. Part of the appeal of this mac was that it came with Adobe CCS 6, and I can do the appley stuff I canr do on my PC. I’m not sure I could find anything PC from 2008 still performing this well, or at all.
My “ham n egger” is editing audio and video. I do some graphic design, can write code and use the Adobe Creative cloud. I wouldn’t want to work without a least two monitors, I have expanded USB ports and an M box for my microphone. I could use a better graphics card. I’ve also upgraded the HP machine to a solid state drive and it came with 16 gigs of ram and six core processor.
I’m looking at the apple website and see a new mac book pro desk top Is running $3K to $4K, pimped up with a wireless key board and mouse, terabyte solid state and faster memory and graphics than I’m running now and I’m out the door at $5500. Increased memory to 64 gigs (which is over kill) brings it up to almost $7000. Bring the processor up to I2 cores and sticker shock kicks in at $9700! I think even Apple thinks this is a bit much, the website keeps tossing me back to a new mac book. If I bought one comparable to my PC desk top I’d need to spend around $3000. No DVD/CD. No upgrading the drive or replacing the battery.
Cost of my PC (bought in 2012) without figuring on the stuff I have attached to it was around $1300 with the new Solid state drive. The rest of my stuff (monitors, wireless keyboard and mouse etc) adds another $500. That’s just what makes sense to me.
I’ve had friends and associates (mostly in the “film” world) who’ve dissed me for even thinking of using a PC. I know many people who swoon at the idea of ever touching a MAC. I personally don’t ever want own anything that starts with an I. But I don’t judge people who do. And frankly, I have trouble feeling insulted by a “Professional” who edits video on a Macbook with iMovie. I’ve seen some of the PC’s people are forced to work on in the corporate environment that makes my skin crawl.
Owning a new mac book it kind of like buying a new car and getting AAA. Sure it costs money to get something you don’t have to lift the hood on. It seems GOOD. I LIKE fixing my computer, Many of you might rather have a root canal.~bb
Brooke Bradford is a veteran radio producer who lives in Santa Cruz California. She is a freelance voice over announcer, a broadcast consultant and audio and video producer. She has produced hundreds of podcasts and edits audio for Audvisor.com