Sound quality is something that sets the amateurs apart from the pros. While the obvious solution is to buy a better microphone, that’s not always feasible. Given that many people have financial limitations, you should already be saving for a better recording device. In the meantime, here are some easy ways to maximize what you’ve already got.
1. No distractions!
When you’re recording audio, check that you have no unnecessary noise in the background. Make sure that you have the room to yourself (or that the people in the vicinity know to keep it down). Put your phone on silent. Don’t have a slice of bread sitting in the toaster. Ask someone to look after your dog for the afternoon. Whatever you do, prevent background sounds to the best of your ability.
2. Watch where you put your microphone.
If the recording device is placed on a surface that vibrates with every noise, your listeners will notice the buzzing sounds. Test out different microphone placements to minimize buzzing and vibrating sounds. Ideally, pick a surface that isn’t connected to the instrument (for example putting a mic on a piano is rarely ideal).
3. Look for optimal acoustics.
Check out all the rooms that are available to you and compare them. Some YouTube musicians even record in their bathrooms! Pick a room with a lot of furniture to absorb the sound so the sound waves don’t bounce around the room and create unnecessary noise. If that’s still not up to par, pad the walls and create your own little studio.
While we’d all love to have our own personal studio in our homes, this isn’t always possible. While you’re saving up for a microphone that costs an arm and a leg, use these tricks to make you sound as professional as possible!
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Vivien Bui is a musician and writer. She enjoys going to concerts, writing at night, and sitting in a coffee shop with a good book.