Do you record your podcasts at home but want to improve your podcast room?
We have all the answers you need in this article.
We want you to make your podcast sound the best it can and the first place to start is the location where you are recording.
We will cover all the main basis of recording in your home. You may find in your current audio recordings that there is something called 'Reverb' happening. The larger the room the louder the 'Echo' style effect. Basically recording in an empty church or hall could be one of the worse things for your recordings if you are looking for a nice clean sound.
What is reverb?
In any given space, audio either gets absorbed, diffused or reflected. Depending on what the characteristics of each object are they will always have at least one of these three effects on sound. When recording for voiceovers or podcasts we want to have the least amount of reflections recorded so we can have a dry signal. Our aim is to create a recording space that either absorbs or diffuses as much of the sound as possible.
The 2 main ways to stop any reverb from ruining your recordings are through acoustic diffusion and acoustic absorption.
What is acoustic absorption?
Commonly mistaken for a soundproofed room, acoustic absorption is where sound waves hit an object which absorbs the sound energy. There are plenty of items around the house that can help with this practice without breaking the bank on industry-standard sound absorbers.
Some great examples are carpet on the ground instead of hardwood or tiled floor, sofas in
the room, cushions, mattresses, and plenty more soft materials. If you are still finding a hard time with the room acoustics you can start to look at acoustic panels. Nowadays there is wide access to stylish panels from companies such as Vicoustics, Gik acoustics, UA audio and many more.
What is acoustic diffusion?
This is the dispersion of audio frequencies in a room or environment. Not as necessary as absorption but is always great to help the acoustic balance of a room. A well-diffused space is one where the reverberation time is even throughout the room meaning it sounds the same no matter where you stand. In the majority of spaces that have not been professionally treated, they will have a considerable resonance (also known as room modes) which is where
a bunch of sound frequencies bunches up in one place.
To avoid room modes you should avoid recording in a square space with no furniture and objects. You can treat your room with acoustic sound diffusers from websites such as Gik Acoustics.
Another thing to think about is how well soundproofed your room is. Recording in a room with multiple external walls, large windows next to busy roads, and other outdoor sounds can be detrimental to the quality of your recorded audio. As an audio editor, there have been countless times when I have had to perform specialist audio cleaning techniques to
remove unwanted sounds from the background, and unfortunately, it will never be perfect. It's best to think in advance if there are going to be interferences and try to avoid
them altogether. If you have limited space but a slightly higher budget there are ways to soundproof your room. The best results will come with layering the internal walls with a well-insulated stud frame and specialised soundproofing drywall board on a resilient channel. Check out this fantastic walkthrough from Family Handy Man.
After you have found and tweaked your podcasting space, the next step is to sort out what hardware you are going to need. You can find our dedicated article for the all necessary gear right here.