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The Best Environments to Record a Podcast…and Ones to Avoid

When recording your podcast, it’s important to choose a location that will deliver high-quality sound.

And capturing high-quality sound does not require you to be in an actual studio, believe it or not. Having access to a professional recording studio is a great thing if it’s at your disposal. But if not, no big deal. Your sound can still be on point if you record from the right environment.

In addition to your environment, you’ll want to make sure to use a good microphone. You don’t need to break the bank when it comes to purchasing your recording equipment. But, when it comes to your microphone, make sure you are doing research and finding a mic that will produce world class sound. Don’t skimp. Cheap mics will produce fuzzy, unclear, audio that will turn your guests off to your show.

Put yourself in your guest’s shoes. Do you like listening to something with poor audio quality? Probably not. So don’t put your guests through that torture. Get yourself a good mic right from the start.

Now that you have a good mic, be sure that your audio levels are set up properly. There’s nothing worse than having a show’s intro hit you at a reasonable level, and then blow your ears off when the host starts talking. Be sure to do mic checks on all of your equipment before you start recording and make sure everyone sounds clear, and at a reasonable volume for your listeners.

All of that said, recording in an environment not conducive to creating studio-like sound will kill your chances of producing a high-quality podcast, even if you have top-of-the-line equipment.

Without question, you want to find the most quiet room at your disposal to set up your equipment and record.

Your recording environment is one of the most vital aspects of your podcast. So choose wisely. 

Take into account some of the potential background noises and distractions that could come into play while you’re recording:

  • heating and air conditioner units coming on
  • Cars passing by 
  • Trains
  • Fans
  • Computer fans
  • Phones ringing
  • Refrigerators
  • Dog barking, cats meowing
  • Kids interrupting

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If your recording space has any of these potential quality culprits, choose another space.

Remember on Full House when Joey and Uncle Jesse had their recording studio in the basement? When the red light above the stairs was on, it meant they were recording and that no one was to enter the room. You may not have a red light, but you can come up with something such as a sign on the door to inform others that you’re recording.

To produce the best quality sound, choose an environment with natural sound-absorbing materials. Curtains, couches, and carpets all help in this fashion. Hardwood floors, concrete floors, and blank walls could produce an echo in your recordings that will be off-putting to your listeners.

You can choose to pad the walls of your recording space with foam panels to eliminate echo, but if the room you choose has natural sound absorption, take advantage.

You can test your room by clapping your hands and listening for a slap back echo. If you hear that echo, you should choose another room or move some sound absorbing items into that room to make it work.

I’ve done some podcasts from noisy environments in the past and, believe me, not only does this create editing challenges, it will not create the best listener experience on the other end. Your quality will suffer and, subsequently, so will the growth of your podcast.

You can go out today and spend thousands of dollars on equipment. But even the most expensive devices in the world will sound terrible if don’t use them properly or try to use them in an environment that isn’t suitable for your podcast.

Your goal is to deliver the best podcast possible to your audience. Set your standards high and never compromise the quality of your production by recording in an undesirable environment.

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I covered this in Episode 24 of Pod Theory. You can listen below and subscribe to the show wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts!

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