Audio School: Capturing Cleaner Audio

Tips to Improve Audio (image via Parker Wallbeck) Tips to Improve Audio (image via Parker Wallbeck)

Tips and tricks as useful for those just starting out, as for those who want to improve their process.

Parker Walbeck and his team helpfully demonstrate their tips for capturing cleaner audio, for us to see and more importantly hear, such as mic placement, room treatment, and post-processing:

The goal is often to eliminate as much room or environmental sound as possible. Interestingly, most of these tips are about being careful and resourceful at the recording stage:

  1. Choose your location wisely – if relocating isn’t possible, dampening the environment with anything from foam to bedsheets
  2. Get Mic as Close to Subject as Possible – seems obvious, but the demonstration here really illustrates the difference that distance makes
  3. Lav Mic – importantly, they mention testing for movement noise before recording
  4. Mic Placement – be creative in how you can get the mic as close to the subject as possible, with a particular eye on your edge of frame. Again, the demonstration here is helpfully illustrative
  5. Test Audio Levels Before Recording – ideally, audio levels should sit between -18dB and -12dB
  6. Windscreen, Deadcat, Pop Filter – whether blocking wind or reducing “p” sounds in the voice recording, once again, these demos say it all.
  7. Sync Clap – the clapping-the-number-of-takes is a great idea, particularly for using the sync function in post.
  8. Second Recording – this may seem like overkill, but if one recording distorts or fails, the other suddenly becomes a lifesaver
  9. Post Processing – considering how brief it is, Parker’s demonstration is pretty comprehensive. He covers the most imporant fundamentals – and we get into more below

… but before we do, Brian Miller from Audio for Content Creators also demonstrates his own tips for getting cleaner audio – without post-processing:

While Gerald Undone‘s guide targets YouTube and Twitch creators, these tips and techniques for recording your voice well are universal:

Further Viewing

With your solid voice recordings, you’re ready to mix your dialogue or voice over narration in your video edit. Here are more tutorials on working with voice in your audio mix in Adobe Premiere Pro:

Once you have the basics down, refine your workflow further with these more advanced tips for working with audio in Premiere Pro: