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When it comes to podcasting, you might think all it takes is waving a microphone in front of your face and working some magic. If only. Actually, there’s much more skill involved when it comes to producing a professional podcast with quality sound.
With that in mind, here are 3 tips for using a microphone while podcasting.
1. Get to know your kit
Understand the polar pattern of your microphone so that you can position your mic correctly.
But hang on. What’s the polar pattern?
The polar pattern is basically how sensitive your mic is to incoming soundwaves from different angles. Here are some of the most common polar patterns:
These are most sensitive from the front. They pick up less from the sides and back of the microphone.
These capture sound equally from every direction.
These are equally sensitive to sound in front of and behind the mic, and capture very little sound from the sides.
So, if you’ve got a cardioid microphone and you’re speaking into it from the side instead of from the front, you won’t get the best sound possible from your microphone. Understand the polar pattern and you’ll know how to position your mic.
This is why it’s super important that you take the time to research your equipment and fully understand what type of microphone you are getting before purchasing. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for failure as you are decreasing your chances of actually using your kit effectively.
You also need to think about what you’re typically going to be using the microphone for. If you’re a solo presenter, speaking into a cardioid microphone will work very well. However, if there’s a group of you presenting, you’re unlikely to pick up everyone’s sound properly if you’re all huddled around one cardioid mic – you’d need a different one with a wider scope, or you could get an individual mic for each guest.
2. Stop the popping
You may hear ‘popping’ in your recordings when you pronounce plosives – letters such as ‘p’, ‘b’, ‘t’ and ‘k’ in particular. These are difficult to get rid of in the edit, so eliminate them when recording by using a pop filter with your mic.
Get yourself a pop filter to use with your microphone.
3. Position correctly
There’s not a lot of point in having a fancy microphone if you aren’t going to use it properly, and this includes how you position it. Talk directly into your microphone and keep it a few inches away from your mouth. If you position it too far away you’ll sound off-mic (muffled and faint).
TOP TIP: Do a test. Record yourself (or someone else) talking for a small amount of time and listen back to the recording, ensuring all of your settings are correct. If everyone is happy with how it sounds, you can then crack on with recording your podcast.
We talked more about the importance of using equipment properly in our recent blog post: 6 HUGE podcasting mistakes to avoid. Take a look if you’d like to know more.
Now that you know our 3 top tips for recording with a microphone, it’s time to put your findings to the test. If you take our advice on board, you will see a huge difference in your sound, and the overall quality of your podcast. Let us know how you get on!