I’m really looking forward to our interview. The tips below will help us prepare to have the best quality audio when we record our discussion.
1. Optimize your environment
ENSURE THAT YOU ARE IN A QUIET PLACE THAT WILL HAVE MINIMAL INTERRUPTIONS
It’s absolutely essential that we minimize any noise to ensure that people aren’t distracted when they are listening to your stories. But it goes beyond just finding a quiet room. We’ll also want to minimize noise from the computer and, if possible, even use an external microphone to get the best recording possible.
It is much easier to record in a quiet setting than it is to edit out background noise.
TURN OFF YOUR MOBILE PHONE
Believe it or not, even if your phone is set to “silent,” receiving a call or notification can cause electromagnetic interference with your computer. I recommend turning it completely off or moving it at least 10 feet (3 meters) of any equipment involved in the recording, including power cables, network equipment, or your computer.
Unless of course, we’re talking to each other ON your mobile device, which is a different story.
HAVE YOUR REFERENCE MATERIALS HANDY
Feel free to bring your notes to the interview. While I often keep my notes as Google Documents or on my Kindle tablet or smartphone, the important thing is just to have them handy. If you will reference data, quotes, or any information necessary to properly cite or refer to, please try having them handy.
2. Optimize your computer/tablet
RESTART YOUR COMPUTER if necessary
Before we start recording, let’s get both of our computers as close to a clean slate as possible. Restarting will clear programs out of memory and allow your computer to allocate more resources to our recording, and as a result, also help make your computer operate more quietly and avoid distracting noises (like internal fans).
OPEN AS FEW PROGRAMS AS POSSIBLE
In a similar vein, we don’t want to overload the computer. Only open programs that are absolutely essential. And, if you must have an internet browser open, keep the number of tabs or windows to the absolute minimum.
USE A WIRED NETWORK, IF POSSIBLE
It’s all about bandwidth and, believe it or not, we really can hear the difference in audio quality between wired and wireless connections.
3. Optimize your settings
- Turn off all audio notifications
- Turn off all of your computer’s audio notifications
4. Optimize the audio
- Plug in your external mic (if you have one)
- Plug in your headphones (if you have some — this will help prevent me from coming through on your speakers and then back into my computer, causing me to be echoed)
- Make sure if you’re using AirPods, that your system is not connecting to the mic in one of your Airpods over Bluetooth if you are using a professional mic. As conveneient as Airpods are, the inner mic is usually terrible quality for podcasting.
5. Some more tips to remember
- Smile. People can hear it in your voice.
- Breathe. Don’t stress. This is about connecting with our audience and showcasing God in and through your stories.
- Pace Yourself. You don’t need to speak slowly but don’t try to rush it either. I find that focusing on enunciation helps me to speak at an appropriate pace.
- Enjoy! Let’s have some fun. These interviews are edited (slightly) before publication so we can always fix something here and there.
- Act like it’s live. Even though I just said the recording will be edited, let’s try to keep the amount of editing needed to a minimum and pretend like it’s live. This makes it much easier for me to edit and get it published faster.