One of the more difficult audio problems to deal when we edit and enhance podcast is “that hollow sound” as customers refer to it. They’re talking about the sound of their voice bouncing off of nearby walls, floors and ceilings.
Unless you deal with the problem, the hollow sound is going to remain in your podcasts and you’re going to sound like you’re doing your show in an empty room. We recently had the problem ourselves in a new studio we put together. We didn’t put any acoustical tiles on the walls because the studio is a temporary one. We found an easy solution to dampening the reverberation of our voices, though.
We ordered a couple of blanket moving pads on Amazon from Northern Tool and Equipment,. We hung the blankets around a 6-foot tall by 2-foot wide audio booth we made of PVC pipe we bought at Home Depot. We put a moving blanket we had already on the top as the roof and another blanket on the wood floor for carpeting. This did the trick! We cut out about 99% of the reverb. The total cost was $55 for the PVC, and $53 for the blanket moving pads (including shipping). You can do this much cheaper if you use fairly heavy blankets instead of moving pads and if you have your local hardware store cut the PVC pipe for you. We used pre-cut PVC pipe which is a bit more expensive.
So with a little effort and money, we knocked out the hollow sound and gave our temporary studio a professional sound. Oh, one more thing. If you’ve already got the dreaded “hollow” sound in your recording, we can reduce the reverberation with a technique called de-reverbing. You can learn more about our audio editing and enhancing service at Audiobag.
I’m somewhat (or “kumquat” as I tell my wife — she rolls her eyes) an expert at editing unwanted noise out of audio recordings and video and the number one sound I remove or reduce is room noise — mainly hiss caused from not having the record volume turned up enough. Dang! That was a long sentence and probably should be edited. But let me continue with my thought.
It’s always a good idea before recording to check your microphone level, making sure it’s hitting into the yellow but not the red on your level meter. If it’s in the red, you’re going to have distortion. The good news is that if you’ve already recorded some audio in the red that resulted in distortion, we can reduce it at Audiobag (yes, a little plug for our editing and enhancing business). In fact, I just worked on a recording yesterday that was so distorted, you could see it on a spectral display from outer space.
The simple point here is it doesn’t take a lot of extra time to set recording levels. Maybe a minute of your time. You’ll get a much cleaner sound recording.
If you’d like to learn more about our audio editing and enhancing service, visit our audio editing and enhancing page at Audiobag.
I was listening to a podcast the other day on one of my late afternoon walks (yes, we can take walks in the middle of winter here in Central Texas), and I was amazed that the podcast had an annoying spike noise throughout the show. I contacted the podcaster and offered up some quick advice on how to easily remove the noise. I thought I’d pass it along here as well.
The goal of a post-production podcast engineer is to make a podcast sound the very best it can. It’s a time-consuming job, often taking days. Some podcasters try to justify leaving noise and verbal flubs in a podcast by saying it makes it sound more authentic. Frankly, that’s an excuse for being lazy and not caring about your listener to give them your very best. Would you like watching a movie if the director decided to leave in mistakes? I doubt it. Podcast listeners want quality audio, too. But how do you achieve that?