How to Record the Best Audio for Your Facebook Live & Podcasts - Jason Miller of Red Barn Studio

Notes from Episode 21 of The Go Rogue Podcast

Featuring Jason Miller @jgmille from Red Barn Studios @red_barn_studio

How to Record the Best Audio for Your Facebook Live & Podcasts - Jason Miller of Red Barn Studio

When recording a Facebook live or podcast of your own, poor quality can detract listeners from the message you are trying to deliver. Therefore, it is important to provide great-sounding audio and by following a few simple steps you will be able to vastly improve your sound quality!

The best way for a business owner or marketer to get their message out there is to create content, so it is important to make sure the quality is there, but you can’t be so obsessed with making sure your quality is perfect that you never put anything out. Content is king, and how to choose to deliver that content is secondary. Just because you have amazing tools, doesn’t mean you are going to put out amazing quality. The gear you use is important, but it is not the end all because you don’t have to have the most expensive setup to record good audio.

So, a few basic tips to produce a good quality video or audio podcasts is to

  1. Think about the space and location that you are going to be recording in. Are there noises that are going to be picked up in the background? Are there flat surfaces that the sound is going to bounce off of? These things are important to consider before you start recording because not all disturbances are easy remove once you are done. The space you record in is just as important as your mic, so ideally you want it to be as dead as it can be. Having things in place, like paneling or placing a blanket over the table or windows, that will help with absorbing extra noise is a simple way to improve sound quality. However, if you are not able to sound treat a room, a snowball mic or a small closet with clothes is a good place to start. 

  2. Experiment with mic placement. Setting the mic in front of you and speaking directly into it will result in the mic picking up extra bursts of air that comes out of your mouth. Therefore, placing the mic a little to the side of you can help tremendously in not picking up those extra noises. If recording on your phone, try not to have the mic right up on your phone. The best way to avoid this is to use a lapel mic, which is a small mic that clips onto the collar of your shirt. It is great for staying hidden and not being in the way, plus, you can find very budget friendly ones! 

  3. Be conservative with your levels. All mics need some kind of amplification or input level on the back end of them to produce sound, and if you amplify it too much while you are recording, you will get some feedback and distortion. The tricky thing about this is that you cannot fix this on the backend once you are done recording. So, we recommend being way under the levels because you can always make things louder later on in your software. Therefore, base your audio off the levels, and not off the volume of what you are hearing. If you are recording directly into a camera, it helps to turn the gain on your camera as far down as you can where it will still accept a signal. This is because you want all the gain coming from the mic since it will get a cleaner signal than that of your camera. 

  4. Being prepared before you start recording. Think about what you are going to say and give yourself a chance to relax so you are not talking really fast and tripping over your words. It is not always best to memorize what you are going to say because if you forget one word, you are done. So, think before you speak, try to just be yourself, slow down and speak clearly. It also helps to be in a distraction free zone. This means don’t record in a room that is next to a loud space like a basketball court or don’t interview someone in front of a large crowd. Think of things that you might not be able to edit out before you go live at a certain location. 

Overall, think about how you want to represent yourself to your audience, and take the time to invest in yourself and learn what you need to do to create better because even if you buy a cheap mic, it shows you’re willing to go the extra mile to provide higher quality content.