This is part two of our first day doing recordings for our podcast. You can read the first half on background noise here
This is a list of things I’ll touch on in this entry:
-Ridding plosives from a recording
The Frog Queen from Saturn is a podcast that has a linear story with multiple characters. We picked just one character with only a few lines for our first recording session. After isolating all their lines, we began recording. We already knew what we wanted them to sound like, so we thought it was a good choice. The challenging thing about this character is that they have a severe coughing fit. There was a high risk that we would run into a problem with plosives. We did. But plosives were popping up everywhere, not just when he coughed. (Plosives occur when a puff of air hits the microphone and distorts the sound)
I tried looking up some ways to get rid of plosives. Everyone told me the best way to get rid of them is to prevent them from happening. I watched this video:
This video talks about different pop filters and techniques to minimize air hitting the microphone. The only pop filter I own is a cheap vinyl one so I tried looking for other methods to reduce plosives. One method that was recommended was putting the mic at an angle from the mouth. The idea is that since your mouth isn’t facing the mic the air shouldn’t hit it. Unfortunately, this didn’t work.
What did end up working was just speaking farther away from the mic! I’m not sure if my pop filter is just useless or it’s the nature of my mic that’s causing the problem, but this worked. We ended up speaking about 12 inches away from the filter, which was placed about two-three inches from the mic. I wish I thought to look up the proper distance for recording earlier.
Now, I only found this out after doing all the recordings. So, we need to retake all of what we did that day. Later, I tried looking up ways to remove plosives from recordings but only found a video using an earlier version of Audition where the controls weren’t the same. Or maybe they were but they didn’t look the same, so I couldn’t follow. I’ll try to return to this topic when I learn more. This was the video I was looking at, it may be of use to you!
During my search about plosives, I ran across the word, sibilance. While plosives usually pop up when someone is pronouncing b’s and p’s because of the blow of air coming from the mouth, sibilance is about hissing sounds coming from s’s and t’s, I believe. I’m not exactly sure how to identify this sound within my own recordings yet. Pop filters don’t protect against sibilance, distance and diction do. I hope to learn more and share what I find later down the line!
Overall the session was a success. All the problems I ran into were able to be solved, hallelujah. It was an enjoyable process too, despite the heat. We were working in an upstairs room with the windows and doors closed. No ac and no fans in a poorly insulated house! A little uncomfortable but still fun. My next entry will be about what all those settings mean when making a new Audition file. To be honest, I wish I went over it sooner because it’s truly the first step after setting up! Also, I will be talking about the settings on my audio interface as well. Until next time.