Are you moving into video work? Maybe you want to start recording podcasts or even scripts for video projects but aren’t sure how to record your voiceovers with no money for fancy recording equipment. Yes, audio is a tricky endeavor (which is why audio engineers exist) but there are ways to work with it even without having to get an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. I’m going to show you 3 easy tricks to get stellar audio on a budget, assuming you have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription and can use Adobe Audition. If you don’t have an Adobe subscription, it’s just $19.99 a month on a Single-App plan.On a budget but still want to record great audio? Check out these tricks! Click To Tweet
The Free Solution: Blanket Fort
Remember building those blanket forts or couch cushion forts when you were a kid? Do you miss it? Little did you know that those very forts make a great audio recording atmosphere! This method works so well that I used it here at Red Branch Media to record the voiceover for the Triage video, “5 Signs You Were Meant To Be A Traveling Pro.”
Let’s get you set up (yes, that’s me under the blanket in the picture):
- You’ll need your laptop or desktop computer. If you’re working on a laptop or mobile device like me, find a flat surface (an end table works great) to set your device on.
- Get a comfy chair, because you’ll want to record plenty of takes.
- Get your blanket (I used a tie blanket) and make sure it drapes over the back of your chair to over your end table so your entire body and device is enclosed.
- Open up QuickTime Player (mac) or your default sound recording software (PC) and take a few deep breaths. Here, you’ll want to record your audio at least 3 times, pausing for a good 10-20 seconds between takes to recuperate and try again (because a good recording never comes on the first shot).
- Save your file and use Adobe Audition to clean it up!
The $79-149 Solution: Blanket Fort + Microphone Combo
So you have a little money and want to buy a good long lasting but cheap microphone. Okay, let’s do this. If you hop onto Amazon and load up the studio recording equipment section, you’ll want to open up the microphone drop-down menu on the left side and want to browse in Condenser and Dynamic microphones. The reason for choosing one of these two types of microphones is because according to Ryan Matthew Pierson on the readwrite blog, “A dynamic microphone doesn’t require external power, and it does a good job of picking up a limited range of audio through a compact design. Condenser microphones usually need power from an external source, but they provide richer fuller tones.”
In my opinion, I’d go with a condenser microphone since these usually will just require power through a USB (which you can just plug into your laptop or computer when recording). Depending on how much you want to spend, at least having an external microphone will aid in better audio quality. My suggestion would be to spend the top dollar amount and get the Yeti microphone which ranges from $109-$149 on Amazon. It’s a great microphone and is even recommended. Once you’ve purchased your microphone, get your blanket fort set up and place your microphone on a flat surface close to your face and record!
The $120-235 Solution: Isolation Shield/Voice Booth + Microphone + Blanket (optional) Combo
Maybe you’ve got a little more money to spend and you want to go all out in the cheapest way possible. Well, this method is your claim to fame. In addition to purchasing a great microphone, you can also purchase what’s called an “isolation shield” or “voice booth” to place your microphone in, to even further better the quality of your audio. Depending on what you purchase, you might not have to use the blanket fort.
If you choose to spend the money and purchase the isolation shield, I recommend using it with the blanket fort. I used this very isolation shield in the photo from the beginning of the article here with a laptop microphone. The reason is that since it’s not a total 360° enclosure, some sound will escape, therefore, you’ll need the blanket fort. If you choose to purchase the voice booth, you can record without a blanket fort since it’s almost entirely enclosed.
The Audio Clean Up
Cleaning up audio is like opening up a can of worms… it’s very subjective as to what you want to achieve. What I can do for you is give you some basic tips I use when I clean up audio. When you open up Adobe Audition, you’ll want to make sure to use the Effects Rack and Razor Tool to clean your audio. Here are 2 general tips to follow:
- Cut out any coughs, long pauses or repeated phrases that may occur in the original recording with the Razor Tool. Taking these out will make your recording sound more professional.
- Use some basic effects to enhance your audio with the Effects Rack — you’ll want to play with the different effects and listen to what each does. Here’s a great article to get you started in understanding how some of these effects work!
Recording stellar audio can be cheap, or even free if you’d like. Following these tips and picking a solution that’s right for you will most definitely get you going in the right direction! Don’t have any money at all? Do what I did, and use the blanket fort method to record audio that has great quality like I did for the Triage video, “5 Signs You Were Meant To Be A Traveling Pro.” Go from recording newbie to semi-pro recordings in minutes, so get out there and record better audio!