How to record a podcast in front of a large audience

Recently a customer told us that she was going to record an upcoming podcast at a conference in front of an audience and she wanted to know what is the best way to get a decent recording in a large auditorium. There are several different ways to achieve a good recording.

The best way to get good sound is to take it directly from the house sound system — eliminating the acoustic effects of the room. You’ll want to connect your recorder input cables (left and right channel) to the outputs of the sound system. Adjust the record levels so you don’t record too loud and get distortion. Remember that the output from most sound systems is at line level, not microphone level.

If it’s not possible to connect to the house sound system, you can mike the guests with your own gear (or equipment you rent). I suggest you mike each guest separately. You’ll need several microphones, mic stands, pop filters, and a mixer. Place the mike within 24 inches of each guest. Plug each mike into a separate channel on your mixer.

You can buy (or rent) a mixer at most musical instrument stores. For example, a Zoom R16 or R24 Multitrack Recorder might work nicely for your needs. You’ll have a mixer with mike inputs on the back for each guest microphone and a recorder all in one piece of equipment.

When you finish recording your podcast and need a little help cleaning it up (coughs, bloopers, long pauses, etc.) and turning it into a polished podcast, check out our audio editing and enhancing page at https://audiobag.com/audioediting.html. Meanwhile, good luck with your recording.

How to have a cleaner sounding phone interview

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Actual screenshot of the audio samples in this post. Notice how the guest’s volume is much louder (in fact, it’s overmodulated) than the interviewer’s volume.

When recording a phone interview for your podcast, one of the smartest things you can do is to put your microphone source (that’s you) on one track of your recording (track one), and your phone input source (your guest) on another track (for example, track two). Feed track one to the left channel recording input in your recording software program, and feed  track two to the right channel recording input. In other words, you’ll be on the left channel and your guest will be on the right channel of a stereo recording. That way, if your guest makes unwanted noise while you’re speaking, you or your audio engineer can mute your guest’s recorded track in post production (and vice versa in case you make unwanted noise).Let’s listen to a before and after example of what I’m talking about.

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