best practices for recording audio in typical conference room

Using a Blue Yeti microphone, Audacity software and vocal talent (coworker).

Did some practice reording over the weekend on the Yeti, through Storyline.

Recorded my coworker in a typical small conference room today.

I'm really surpirsed that what I recorded at home sounds so much better. Not vocally. Here at work, it sounds like we're in a huge, empty room with metal walls. There's no echo... echo... echo... but, it sounds pretty awful.

What can I do to increase the quality of my audio? (An "oops, bad connection" kind of quality is just not going to cut it.

Help!

6 Replies
Kelly Kremin

I'm aware of that product and offered it up as a suggestion at the time we bought the Yeti. (We work with an agency on other initiatives and someone there said no, we wouldn't need that if just got ourselves into a quiet room.) I'm willing to bet that that person either records in a professional setting or at home. (I just listened once more to what I recorded from home and it was great (particularly in comparison).

Thank you.

Off to look for boxes and blankets/towels...

Melanie Sobie

Hi Kelly,

We just purchased the Porta-Booth. However, prior to that I was using a no-cost approach that worked very well.  I used two laptop cases to surround the microphone, in effect making my own homemade porta-booth. When we record in a conference room, no matter how small the room we always have noise from the overhead vent system and this pretty much eliminated that issue.  I know it looks silly!  But it worked! 

Rich Johnstun

Anything you can put around the mic to cut the echo will improve the quality. One of the cheapest tricks is to line a cardboard box with egg crate style foam and set the mic in there when recording. Costs a few dollars and makes a huge difference. Also, getting the talent as close the mic as possible will allow you to drop the recording levels (you may want to incorporate a pop filter if you go this route). This means you'll pick up more of the direct sound and less of the room sound.

Bruce Graham

Hi Kelly,

You may find this useful  - 101 eLearning Voiceover Recordings.

Please ignore (somewhat ironically....) the ups and downs in volume

Melanie's suggestion is spot-on!

Also - if you record with e.g. Audacity, you should be able to use Noise-Filter and various other techniques to make the sound better, not sure what tho' as do not have files......

Bruce

Rich Johnstun

Good point Bruce. If you play with the noise filter on Audacity it can really do well at cleaning things up. You have to use caution as to not "over filter" your audio or you'll start clipping frequencies you want to keep.

Here is a 2 minute tutorial on how to use the noise filter in the older version of Audacity. The filter looks different in the lastest version, but the concept is still the same.

Applying a noise filter in Audacity