To kick things off, I bring you the Top 10 Ways to Minimize Audio Interruptions
- Let's start with the obvious: Close the doors and windows in the room that you're recording in. Eric O from Venture Week (and Feedburner) will tell you that garbage trucks driving by during recording can really mess up a show
- Turn off everything that may ding, click, or ring during recording. I've had my cell phone interrupt more than one recording session. Take the time to rifle through your pockets and put every gadget you own on vibe or silent
- Give the dogs a chewy treat and relegate them to another space while you're recording. If you have a particularly needy puppy like I do, then you're not going to get away with kicking them out of the room, so ensure you give her a soft chewy toy and take off her dog tags!
Put a note on the door asking people not to ring the doorbell or knock. Say you have a baby sleeping or something. This will stop the Fed Ex guy from ruining your show. You may also miss your package, though.
Determine the best time to record. I have a school across the street and I know that recess and lunch hour isn't the best time to try to record a show. 400 kids pouring into the schoolyard across the street can create all sorts of noise. Likewise, recording when I know the mailman is coming around is counter-productive (remember my dogs?)
Close the curtains in your recording studio. The softer you can make the room you're in, the less your voice will tend to echo.
- Use the right microphone for the job. I prefer a headset because it keeps the microphone at a consistent distance and in a consistent position. Invest in a little foamy thing (called a windscreen by our professional radio friends) to put on the end of the mic. That will help reduce pops and esses.
- Always test your audio for a few seconds before getting into the show proper. Most of us use our computers for other things than just podcasting and it's easy to forget that you turned the input down while talking to your friends on Skype last night
- Listen to your show after you've encoded it. You don't necessarily have to listen to the whole thing, but if you (or someone else) has mucked around with your encoding settings since last week, your final product may not sound like it should
- Whenever you are bringing in external audio clips, use the most uncompressed format available. Introducing a crunched MP3 into a show that's going to be crunched yet again can make that segment sound bad. Use WAV if possible, or at the very least a compressed file that was encoded at a very high sample and bit rate.