Finding & Creating Recording Environments

Unless your entire cast are working remotely, you’re going to need a place to record your Audio Dramas. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer here, and there are a lot of factors that come into play. You’ll have many things to take into consideration regardless of where you plan to set up your ‘studio’, and that’s the purpose of this episode.

Recording at Home

  • You need to decide if you’re purely focused on recording voices, or if you’re working ‘around the mics’
  • If it’s the former, you’ll want sound dampened conditions. This will benefit your audio quality in post-production.
  • Are you setting up a permanent or semi-permanent studio?
  • External walls can be an issue. Is your neighbour a drummer?
  • Windows – do you have a busy road or environment outside?
  • Does the floor creak when you walk around?
  • Internal noise, are you in cupboard with boiler or gas meter?
  • Other noises around the home, like the fridge. Try Ric Viers car keys tip.
  • Equipment – Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, or for multiple actors, M-Audio M-Track 8, SM58 microphones.

Field/Location Recording

The great outsdoors are free to use. Working on location offers a great natural soundscape built in to your recordings.

  • Choose sites with your ears, not your eyes.
  • Take as many provisional sound samples as you can.
  • Roads – look for natural barriers (trees, conifer hedgerows)
  • Site visits – consider midweek and weekend differences.
  • Weather – how exposed are you?
  • Cheap or affordable gear – Zoom H1, ATR3350 lav mics (upgrade to Zoom H4 or recorder with ¼” inputs for more control)

Hiring a Studio or Rehearsal Space

Costs money, but can give session a sense of professionalism. What should you consider?

  • Does it have a deadroom or sound dampened conditions?
  • Does hire include engineer?
  • Does hire include equipment?
  • Is there a band playing in the room next door?
  • Equipment – vocal condenser mics

Other Options

  • School, college, community centre, church

Also mentioned on this episode.

Alien: Out of the Shadows, We’re Alive: Lockdown, Archive 81, The Longest Podcast In The World.

Get your best Audio Drama tips and advice in to for inclusion in our 100th episode.

1 thought on “Finding & Creating Recording Environments”

  1. I appreciate all your tips about finding the right environment and preparing the cast for this type of thing. Is it problematic to film in the auditorium? This is what I have usually done, but I can certainly try something else if it will make a higher quality video. I usually film my son’s plays and then make dvds to give to the other parents, but lately I’ve been trying to step up the quality a bit.

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