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How to Record Voices and Sounds
 
Getting Started
 

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Getting Started

 

Always test your equipment before you start your interview. Do a test recording and play it back. Make sure the level of your recording is not too high (it may distort) or too low (it will sound hissy).

If you are using re-chargeable batteries make sure they are fully charged. If you are using normal batteries always start with new ones and take a spare set just in case.

Make sure your mic is properly plugged in at both ends. Try not to get equipment wet!

Stereo or Mono? - Always Mono. Some of your recording devices will allow you to record in either stereo (2 streams recording left and right) or mono (only one stream). Keep it simple, choose mono, we're happy with that!

Location - Move away from noisy backgrounds, (fans, busy streets, loud music/machinery). Remember the mic hears what you can hear so if it sounds noisy to you then it will sound noisy on the recording.

If you are recording inside avoid close proximity to windows, mirrors, heavily tiled rooms e.g. bathrooms. They can create unwanted echoes on your recording and sound horrible.

Interviewing - Hold the mic an equal distance between the person you are talking to and yourself. Tilt the mic back and forth in the direction of the person who is talking, but not too much!

Hold the mic firmly and wrap the cable around your hand to avoid mic crackles and bumps on your recording.

If the mic has a battery, remember to switch it on. Always start recording 10 seconds before you speak and keep recording for 10 seconds after you finish.

Avoid talking over your interviewee's answers. If you think they didn't say something clearly, ask them to repeat it.

Atmos - We like to get a feel for where you are and the key to doing this is to record your background noises separately. So choose a quiet corner of your chosen location to do your interview.

After you have recorded your voices record three minutes of the same atmosphere but without any talking (in the business we call this wild track).

You can ask us a question at outlook@bbc.co.uk
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