How important is correctly capturing audio at the time of recording?
Extremely important! It accounts for most of your overall quality. As sound engineers we can do a lot to make your audio sound better, but nothing will compete with a correctly captured recording and proper editing and mixing.
How do I ensure I am correctly capturing my audio?
I have a full page devoted to this but, the quick version is:
1. Record in the quietest room in the house. (Often times a small, carpeted, filled in closet)
2. Buy quality microphones, headphones, a pop filter/windscreen, and a microphone stand.
3. Space your microphone around 6 inches from your mouth (off axis if you don't have a pop filter/windscreen) and set your gain to a reasonable level. (We don't want clipping or unnecessary background noise!)
4. Always have separate audio tracks for multiple hosts or guests!
5. Always record a sample! (You can catch a lot of unintentional background noise or improper setups by doing this!)
What about Zoom calls?
I do edit tracks recorded over Zoom! I do recommend that each person records themselves locally using a different program. If you must record with Zoom, make sure you select "Record a separate audio file of each participant" in recording settings! Also, make sure everyone in the call is joining from a computer.
My audio is very damaged, what can you do?
It depends on the overall severity. Each case is different. I recommend sending me a message and a sample first so we can discuss what I can do for your audio specifically.
What editing do you offer?
As a general overview here’s what I offer to all projects (unless specified not to):
Editing and mixing of your intro, outro, and advertisements.
Reduction of uhs, ums, breathing, silence, mistakes, mouth noises/clicks, and filler words.
Noise/background sound reduction while still maintaining a natural sound.
Audio mixing, balancing each tracks' volume, and adding equalization and compression to enrich sound.
Mastering to ensure it sounds pristine on every speaker.
Output to any file format you request.
Revisions, just in case!
If you'd like more elaborate and detailed edits or would like me to fulfill a production role please send me a message so we can discuss your vision!
What's an overview of the whole process?
From initial contact to fully edited podcast it goes like this:
1. Introduction and getting on the same page about your podcast and preferred/desired editing style.
2. You send an audio sample of your podcast and I send back a free edited sample (Typically through Google Drive, but I am open to other file sharing services!). This allows me to gauge the level of editing needed. I can give you feedback on your recording setup, and you will be able to hear exactly what my editing can do for your podcast.
3. As long as you are happy with everything, we set up a shared folder and discuss package plans and payment options (I accept most forms of payment but prefer to use PayPal or Venmo).
4. From there, all you have to do is submit your podcast for editing, and in 3 days I'll notify you via e-mail or text (whichever you prefer) that the episode is fully edited and uploaded to our shared folder! I like to do a write-up on each episode to let you know exactly how the editing process went and if there are any areas we could improve quality.
5. If you need or want revisions, those are included in the initial quote! I always want to make absolutely sure you are 100% happy with the finished product.
How do you decide on pricing?
Pricing is based on overall level/detail of editing, raw audio time, amount of tracks (or how many people are on the recording), and whether you buy monthly packages or not.
What equipment do you recommend?
Note: I am not sponsored, nor do I receive any money from these recommendations.
Headphones: Sennheiser HD 280 Pros are great, as are any other pair of headphones that offer a relatively neutral frequency response.
Interface: Focusrite's Scarlett series are great interfaces! (Make sure you buy a model with enough inputs for your podcast!)
Microphone: Dynamic microphones in general are typically a better fit for most people. Rode PodMic is a great starter, but be sure to get the Rode WS2 windscreen for it too! Overall, a Shure SM7B is the professional standard in podcasting, but it is pricey. I actively recommend AGAINST buying any Blue microphone products, they are too sensitive and require a lot of setup to sound okay.
Microphone stand: Most should be fine and totally compatible with your microphone. They are important for helping absorb shock/movement and help produce an overall cleaner recording.
Pop filter: Stedman pop filters are by far the best at actually catching plosives (heavy airflow from speech, like on "p" sounds) before they hit the microphone.