Common Problems When Recording Audio

Whatever the purpose of your audio recordings, there are plenty of things that can go wrong. Unfortunately, producing high-quality recordings requires more than grabbing your equipment and hitting “record” (although, if you have professional equipment, it might not require too much more than that).

Here’s an overview of some of the most common audio recording problems and suggestions to fix them:

  • There’s too much background noise: Background noise (also referred to as ambient noise) can distract from what the speakers are saying. If you plan to use your recordings for professional production purposes, background noise needs to be reduced or otherwise edited out. The easiest way to do this is by moving the microphone closer to the speaker. If that doesn’t work, consider your microphone. Single-direction microphones are less likely to pick up background noise.
  • Your recordings are distorted: If the recordings sound distorted, it might be a problem with your settings. (Pro tip: Not everything should be set at the maximum level, including the audio gain.) You might also be able to solve the problem by positioning the microphone further away from the person speaking.
  • There are pops and hisses: The sounds you make when creating “p,” “b” and “s” words can become even more noticeable on a recording. These are called plosives and sibilance. To reduce popping plosives, get a pop filter. These are mesh screens that attach to your microphone, just like you’d see in 1950s TV, radio and other recording setups. For sibilance, you can edit this out in post-production, or you can try angling your microphone down about 10 degrees.
  • Outdoor recordings pick up wind: The solution to outdoor wind noise is called a dead cat, but rest assured that no felines will be harmed in your quest for quality audio. This is a fluffy microphone cover that shields the mic from picking up wind sounds.
  • You can hear breathing: Heavy breathing should be reserved for post-workout recovery not your recording. This can be solved by editing out breathing noises after the recording has been taken. There are software plug-ins and applications that will do the work for you if a similar feature isn’t included in your existing editing software.
  • There’s too much bass: If the high-bass effect comes from voice recordings, just move your mic further away from the person talking. If the bass rumbles come from vibrations, consider getting a shock mount. These will reduce if not completely eliminate your bass problems.

Even quality equipment can produce audio recordings with these common problems. Use these tips to troubleshoot your recording.

If the solutions above don’t work, reach out to your audio equipment vendor for help. For example, the team at Efficiency, Inc. is happy to answer questions about your digital voice recorders and other audio equipment. We even provide on-site and remote training, so everyone in your office is prepared to get great results.

For high-quality audio equipment and support, reach out to the team at Efficiency, Inc. today.

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