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DML Documentation

Documentation for the Digital Media Lab in Ellis Library

Choosing a Microphone

Recording Options

Why record in the Digitial Media and Innovation Lab? 
The DMIL has a recording setup for 1 to 2 people, has a soundboard, has access to professional software including Adobe Audition for complex projects and equipment not available to you at home.

This is the recording booth set up with iMac, small soundboard, microphone, pop filter, and headphones.

To schedule an appointment to use the DMIL Recording Booth, email about your project needs.

The DMIL has all the equipment you'll need. Just bring a flash drive or SD card to save your file or otherwise plan on how to save your file.

Find out more about the DMIL's Recording Booth.

Why record with an external microphone?

Recording with an external microphone will give you the best sound quality. Most external microphones with USB connections are easy to set up, and there are many low cost options.

Tips for choosing an external microphone

  • Choose a cardioid microphone. This type of microphone records in one direction and reduces problems with other sound in the room.
  • You can add a pop filter to your microphone to reduce plosive (P and B sounds that can get distorted when recording).

Tips especially for external microphones

  • Double check that you are recording from the external microphone instead of a built in (default) microphone.
  • Check your user manual for suggested distance from your external microphone. Typically, being closer to the microphone will give you a clear result.

Why record with a phone? 

Recording audio with a cell phone can be quick, easy, and provide a quality recording anywhere you go. 

App Recommendation

 WavePad Music and Audio Editor

WavePad allows you to create and edit voice, music, and other sound recordings. It has similar functionality as Audacity.

Download for iOS or  Android by clicking the appropriate link.

Some phones have a built in app like Voice Recorder and will work well for simple recordings or if you plan to edit on a different device.

Tips especially for phones

  • Prop up your phone with the microphone (bottom of the phone) facing you for best quality.
  • If it is windy and you are recording outside, block the wind with your body to avoid a rumble.

 Want more tips? Watch this video starting at 3:26

Why record with a headset or ear buds with microphone?

You can keep the microphone close to your mouth, many people already own them, and they don't take up space on your desk area when you're using them. They can be used with a laptop or desktop computer, and unlike external microphones will be farther away from the laptop/computer fan, keyboard, and mouse. They're better at cutting out background noise than other microphone choices.

Tips specific to recording with a headset or ear buds with microphone

  • Check that you are recording through the headset instead of a built in microphone.
  • Make sure your hair, pets, etc. don't brush up against the microphone while you're recording.
  • Some headsets sound better than others, so test your headset microphone to see if it will work for your needs. USB microphones typically sound better than Bluetooth connected microphones.

Windows 10 Troubleshooting for Headsets

Home Recording Tips

Create the best setting to ensure that you have a smooth editing process.

Write out a script: Preparation will give you more confidence with speaking.

Choose a room: Choose a small room with no or few windows.

Choose a time: Noisy neighbors? Construction outside? If possible, avoid recording at times when there is loud background noise.

Limit background noise: Turn off televisions, music, etc. If you notice you are picking up noises from fans, air conditioning, and other noises you can't turn off, consider surrounding your recording area with something soft to avoid noises like pillows or couch cushions.

Project your voice: Have confidence, speak loudly and clearly. If you mess up a line, take a breath and start the entire sentence over. In the audio recording you will see the break that will help you identify what spots to cut out.

Be still: Squeaking chairs, turning the page of your script and using your mouse could be picked up by your microphone. Make sure that you take a pause in speaking if you need to do any of these activities.