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How to record high-quality audio at home

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Drawing of podcast microphone

Stay away from the toilet…

You don’t need to hire a professional studio or set up an expensive voice-over booth to record high-quality audio at home.

In fact, sometimes all you need to do is draw the curtains…

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Make your space recording-friendly

If you want to record high-quality audio one of the most important things to think about is where you record.

Reflective surfaces are the enemy of good audio so you want to avoid rooms with tiles, windows or high ceilings.

Recording in an echoey space not only makes you sound further away from your audience (and intimacy is important in podcasting) it also makes your show harder to edit.  Especially if there’s more than one person talking.

When you’re recording around tiles or glass, sound bounces off those reflective surfaces so you end up with an audio “tail” at the end of everything you say.

This can make editing a nightmare because you can’t get a clean cut.

Ideally, you want to record somewhere where sound will be absorbed into the surroundings rather than reflected.

How to record a podcast

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Setting up your space doesn’t have to be difficult

In my old office, I had the trifecta of audio grief – high ceilings, floor to ceiling windows and a hardwood floor.

To combat this I build my own mini-voice over booth because my mic had to be hidden in a tiny cushiony cave to make it sound like I wasn’t recording on the toilet.

I built a (very unattractive) voice-over booth out of a cardboard box, some mattress underlay and just about every towel I could find in my house…

How to make a voice over booth at home

I’ve since moved to a new place that’s much more audio-friendly.  It has curtains, carpet and softer furnishings so my microphone doesn’t need the industrial strength protection it did before.

These days I can get away with using three large couch cushions that I arrange around my microphone – two on the sides in a triangle and one on top.  This gives me an enclosed space that absorbs the sound so you’d never know I was recording in my bedroom.

How to build a voice over booth at home for under $30

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Don’t let your space stop you from getting started

When you’re starting out it’s easy to think you won’t be able to record high-quality audio at home but you absolutely can.

A lot of podcasters record in their closet, surrounded by clothes so it doesn’t have to be glamorous to get the job done.  You just need somewhere with soft furnishings rather than hard surfaces to make sure the audio you’re recording sounds as good as it possibly can.

The great thing about podcasting is no one can see how you make the show.  So, as long as it sounds good, that’s all that matters.

Case in point…

How to make a voice over booth at home

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

2 Comments
  1. Donnaerobics says:

    Thank you for the podcast 411.

  2. Benson Ekpo says:

    I’ve struggled so much for days now on how to fix the annoying echoes when I record. I’ve actually been considering buying an audio booth… They don’t come cheap. Thank you so much for this tip, it was very timely.

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GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

SEND IT TO ME!