Audio

Below you’ll find information on the basics of capturing and editing audio, including:

  • Software (and how to use it)
  • Hardware
  • Recording good audio
  • Sound effects & soundscaping
  • Other resources (including troubleshooting bad audio, advancing in your editing and mixing skills, etc.)

Software

Tutorials to get started:

Hardware

Microphones:

If you’ll be recording one voice/one person at a time, a USB mic can do the trick. Blue has a lot of great entry-level microphones, ranging from the $45-50 range (the Snowball iCE) to the $100-125 range (the Yeti). The Samson C01U also comes highly recommended and is in between those two prices, at ~$75.

If you’ll be recording multiple people at a time, in the same location (for example, an actual-play podcast with everyone in the same room), you’ll ideally want to be able to record everyone on their own track. This is important for getting cleaner audio in the editing process – it makes it easier to reduce cross-talk. For this, you’ll need:

Whether you’re recording solo or with multiple people, you’ll also want to get a pop filter for each mic. Pop filters are crucial for reducing noises associated with plosives, which are very difficult to remove after recording. They’re usually cheap on Amazon, but you can also DIY a basic one. Here’s how to set them up.

Recording good audio

Sound effects, soundscaping, etc.

Depending on what kind of show you’re making, you might want to add soundscaping, sound effects, music, or some combination of all three. Sound effects and music probably don’t need a ton of explanation, but you might not be familiar with soundscaping.

Soundscaping is the combination of audio cues (both subtle and obvious) that help contribute to a specific sense of place and mood in a piece of audio. It might be wind in the trees, birdsong, an echo on what the protagonist is saying, etc. For more on soundscaping and getting started with it, head here: The Sound of Adventure: A Guide to Soundscaping.

Finding sound effects and music to use:

In general, you’re looking for things that are creative commons licensed (or you’ll be paying licensing fees). Here’s a quick primer on CC licenses, another primer on how licensing works, and here are some popular resources for finding sound/music:

Other resources & reading

Mixing & editing:

Soundscaping and sound design: