I was listening to Copyblogger’s podcast about headlines recently and I noticed something interesting in their audio quality.
Well, if you’re obsessive compulsive like me you would maybe call it annoying.
This excellent podcast between Brian Clark and Robert Bruce was a perfect way to spend engineer in me took over every time Robert Bruce was talking. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t him. It was his room.
The bane of the home studio, flutter echo was ringing, ever so slightly, every time he finished talking. His room was ringing and his microphone was picking it up.
Granted, I have no idea of knowing if that’s exactly why Robert Bruce’s voice sounded like that, but it’s definitely a problem many podcasts face. It might have been only annoying to me, but just in case you were wondering how to fix it I’ll tell you how.
Small Room = Ringing Reflections
Flutter echo is caused by the parallel walls of your small office. The parallel walls create a natural ping-pong effect for sound waves. A ping-pong effect that ends up sounding like a sharp and short ring. Just clap your hands in a small room with bare walls and listen to the walls go “PING!”
That’s flutter echo. That’s bad. And to an audio engineer’s with OCD it’s awful to listen to.
Luckily, it’s easy to fix.
Absorb the Echo with Easy Absorption
Not every blogger, copywriter or aspiring podcaster in the world has the option to redecorate their place of business with acoustic treatment. There’s really no point in creating a home studio environment out of an office that isn’t planning on being a home recording studio.
However, by placing absorption in strategic places in your room, or even just around your microphone, you can make your voice recordings sound much better.
Blankets or thick material on the walls directly to your left and right as well as behind you can greatly diminish the amount of ringing your microphone receives. Imagine the walls as a mirror that are ultimately going to reflect the sound your voice makes back into the microphone.
By eliminating that mirror effect you can be sure that your microphone only hears what’s coming from your voice, and not what’s also being reflected back off the walls.
You could even go so far as to put absorption around your microphone, similar to what Joe did at HomeStudioCorner Additionally, you can take a look at some Recording Tips for a Successful Voice Over Session for some more tips.
Take your Podcasts to the Next Level
If you were having difficulty with your vocals before be sure to try this tip to eliminate that ever annoying flutter echo. It might not take that all the roomy sound out of your podcast, but it’ll certainly make it sound better.
For practical and easy-to-use recording tips for any instrument, check out Recording Strategies.
Image by: Tim Wilson