Sonix users on recording audio
A few tips for capturing great audio
Record indoors if at all possible
In windy or noisy outdoor environments, you simply want to record most of your audio track indoors or in-studio. If you must record on-location, background noise or wind can be avoided by using a "dead cat," "wind muff," or windshield which are fluffy microphone covers designed to minimize wind noise. It is nearly impossible to edit wind noise out of your audio track.
Set up a sound booth
The best place to record audio is in a small, carpeted room with wall treatments (pictures, curtains, etc) in order to avoid harsh sounds characterized by an echo. Closets full of hanging clothes are great as a make-shift sound booth.
The best way to get clear and high quality audio is by using a standalone microphone instead of a built-in mic. Most built-in microphones are omnidirectional which means they will record unwanted sound from every direction.
Uni-directional microphones are the best. The quality from them is almost guaranteed to be better, and you can move the mic around to find the best spot to pick up sound. Microphones are a lot more sensitive than a lot of people think. Even aiming some microphones in different directions can drastically change the amount of sound you are picking up. Usually having a lavalier microphone clipped to a person's shirt will pick up the most direct and clear sound.
Lean in, get close
The closer the microphone is to the speaker, the better. You'll get better audio quality, less background noise, and better sound fidelity. Also, please enunciate your words as if you were speaking to an audience in a large auditorium.
Speak at a balanced and uniform level
Even with a good microphone, great sound isn’t guaranteed. Microphones can be extremely sensitive to small level changes. While we might not think much of someone getting really loud and then really quiet while talking, that can usually be too much for a microphone to handle. Sudden loud sounds might cause distortion, while some very quiet sounds might not even be picked up.
Check your audio
Use headphones to immediately monitor or check your audio quality to ensure that background noise is not present. Our perception of sound often makes us unaware of background noise. Here's a simple example: Imagine being in a room with the air conditioner on. After a short amount of time, you won't notice it anymore. But all of a sudden, it will turn off. Now the room seems eerily quiet. Our brain and hearing adjusts to our environment pretty quickly, but they will notice sudden changes.
Unfortunately, microphones do not behave in the same way. A microphone will pick up all of the extra noise for the entire recording. When you listen to it again, it will be very obvious. This is why it is always important to check your audio (with headphones) before recording hours of content. You don't want to have to do it again!
Having high quality audio is crucial to having great transcriptions. Background noise, wind, muffled voices, and echos will easily result in a poor audio quality score. At Sonix, our automated transcription algorithms are analyzing your recordings. Thus, we rely heavily on you. Please ensure that your recordings are made in the best possible environment. The number of edits that you'll have to make will be much less.
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