Content creation can be a fun job. Coming up with your ideas and executing them, being your own boss, can be fulfilling. The process of recording content for a podcast can be a fun experience. However, with all that fun, a bunch of trouble can come, such as the audio not being picked up by a Tascam or the microphone has fallen. So what do you do when the audio doesn’t work, or the camera’s fail? How do you fix it? These are the questions that run through many people's minds. The podcaster that’s been around for a long time knows how to deal with all the media mishaps.
In contrast, the beginner will sit and curse. Panicking at what to do. Learning how to fix these things takes time and knowledge. But that doesn’t mean we can’t speed up the process.
Today I will explain the basic technology mishaps that happen during podcast creation and explain an easy fix so you aren’t panicking when the lights go down and the audio is crackling.
Audio is the bread and butter of a podcast. Don’t get me wrong, there are a bunch of podcasts out there that provide video, but the audio is always supreme! So when it goes wrong, we all sit there crying because our recording has officially messed up!
One of the most common audio issues podcasters report on is something called distortion (aka Clipping.) Which is when the audio signals gets too loud. The distortion will show on the recording equipment as the wavelength goes to the top of the recording bar. It can happen at any point of recording, and it can make the audio go from clear and crisp to static and distressed.
The best way to fix distortion is to check if your equipment has peak lights and if it does, make sure that it doesn’t go into the red as red is terrible. If you haven’t got a peak light, check the recording equipment levels and ensure it doesn’t go red. Or hear how it sounds. Most times, you will want to turn down the setting in your equipment.
I always recommend you double-check this with a tough test before every recording, so you eliminate this issue before a proper recording. Yes, you can use de-clipping software to help it doesn’t do the job well. I don’t recommend using de-clipping technology.
Another big issue many podcasters face is something called delay. This is where you use multiple USB microphones in the same room, and it picks up the numerous audio recordings and doesn’t sync up to the primary recording. This is a common problem when people attempt to use USB Microphones in the same room.
USB microphones aren’t meant to be used in this way.
How to fix it
There is only one way to fix this podcast problem. Don’t use multiple USB microphones in the same room. Instead, opt to get an audio mixer and interface or use a different recording system such as a Tascam.
Which I know can be expensive but worth investing in, especially if this podcast is long term and not a fixed series.
Now, if you can be in the same room for your recordings, you don’t have to worry about this tip. However, if you plan to interview guests through Zoom, you will always worry about the connection dropping.
Connection drops can lead to very dodgy audio, such as sentences not being finished.
There isn’t much you can do to fix a connection drop but always double-check your Wi-Fi and Zoom settings before recording and adjusting them. If needed, move the computer to somewhere in the room where the connection is stronger whilst recording.
Another thing you can do is if the problems aren’t too severe is stitch the audio clips together. Be warned that an editor might ask for extra to stitch the audio together.
Otherwise, be prepared to eliminate whole audio sections if the connection drops are terrible and can’t be fixed by stitching audio together.
We all have annoying things in the background of audio recordings. I have to deal with a cat that miaows loudly when I record audio. However, this white noise can be ambulances driving past and loud neighbours. It can make audio distorted, and it can drown out your voice.
Whilst you can’t control the outside environment, you can manage your own. Beforehand speak to guests and ask them to turn off the notifications on their phone and keep pets out of the room. And try to record in a room that doesn’t pick up noisy traffic so often.
You can also edit the audio to erase the background noise if it doesn’t affect how the audience will hear your speech.
Those were some common audio problems that arise when recording that hopefully won’t make you panic when it happens, and you’ll be able to fix them more calmly.
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