Resolve common audio issues

Audio is one of hardest aspects of the course to fix after you record, so be sure to spend some time to get it right from the beginning. While your videos don’t have to be produced in a professional studio, students do need to be able to hear you clearly.

Here is a list of common audio issues and ways to resolve them.

Before you begin

Avoid recording audio directly from your camera or computer without an external microphone.

Avoid re-recording by checking your audio early on and frequently. That way you can make sure you have good audio quality throughout your course.

Set up your home studio to avoid echo and background noise

Recording in an empty room with no wall coverings and no carpet is one of the most common ways instructors end up with bad audio. That’s because echoes make the audio sound really far away, like you’re recording in an open space.

To avoid echo, dampen your recording room to help absorb some of that sound. Add soundproofing acoustic panels to your recording room’s walls. This doesn’t have to be high-tech—you can simply use blankets, cushions, and couches to help avoid picking up any echo. For more tips, see Set up your filming studio.

You might not notice background noise while you’re recording, so it’s important to pause and listen to your recordings frequently to make sure you’re not picking up sounds like traffic, air conditioning, phones ringing, or people talking in the background.

Troubleshoot common audio issues

Distortion: You might hear an electrical static sound in your recording. Typically this issue is caused by having the gain turned too high, making the audio extremely distracting.

Background hiss: You might also have a background hiss similar to distortion. This will sound like a raspy noise within your audio track. It generally comes from having a poor quality microphone, like the one built into your camera or computer.

Left speaker: If the audio output setting is set to mono instead of stereo, the audio might come out from the left speaker only.

Low volume: If the volume on your recording is really low, your microphone may be too far away. Make sure to speak loudly and clearly and speak directly into the microphone.

Muffled sound: You can also run into the opposite problem if you are speaking too close to the microphone This will pick up too much information and your audio will sound muffled. We suggest being about 6–12 inches (about 15–30 centimeters) away from the microphone.

Pops: Another common problem is “pops” in your audio. This popping sound is especially common in words with “p”s and “t”s. If you have this issue, there will be unnatural spikes in your audio, which can be distracting for your students. Try moving just a little further from the microphone or drinking water before you talk (this can actually help with clarity). You can also look into buying a pop filter, which is a great way to ensure you don’t have this issue at all.