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10 top tips to record great quality sound

microphone sound

Businesses are doing what they can to stay active, and almost all marketing and networking has gone online.

I have had a few projects to edit recently consisting of mobile phone footage, and while most people have got the hang of shooting great quality footage, for some the sound is letting them down.

These tips will work for any vocal recording but are particularly focused on recording sound on mobile phones, and some of them are applicable to Zoom.

The idea is to record the highest and cleanest vocal level, without the sound distorting or breaking up.

Ten Top Tips for Vocal Clarity on Mobiles and Zoom

  1. Speak up. Project your voice a little louder than you normally would.
  2. Speak clearly. Enunciate in a bright tone.
  3. Speak a bit slower than normal. Take it easy! Don’t rush through, but not too slow – we have all watched Youtube videos on double speed because they are so slow.
  4. Rehearse. Prepare and rehearse – maybe even do a test recording.
  5. Give it at least a couple of takes. It is very hard to get unfamiliar tasks right the first time – give yourself some slack and give it a couple of attempts.
  6. Avoid rooms with an echo. It sounds indistinct, and a little unprofessional, as if you are doing this on the fly. Try to room with less echo, rooms with carpets, soft furnishings, and more furniture.
  7. Check for room sounds. It can be hard to tune into room sounds, but listen for computer and electronic hums, air conditioning units, dishwashers in the kitchen, music upstairs, and turn these off.
  8. Listen for exterior sounds like noisy traffic, aircraft, police helicopters, strimmers and lawnmowers. Shut doors, windows and even curtains to dampen the sound.  
  9. Use a microphone if you can. Mobile phones are designed for you to be close to them when you speak. When you are filming you will need to be further away, and plug-in microphone helps bridge this gap. I have a Boya mic I have been using for years, and it only cost £16. Purchase it here.
  10. Place the microphone as close to the person as you can. You will record more vocal sound and less background noise. For the Zen and the Art of microphone placement watch this video a great insight into the sound recordists craft!

Check and listen after you have finished your shot. If it is not right, give it another go.

I hope these tips will help you record clear and audible sound.

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