How to Record the Best Audio with Your Phone

Great audio can make or break content. Whether its music or voice recordings, clear audio is critical to your audience enjoying your content (and watching through the end!)

But if you are creating content DIY style, how do you ensure you are getting the best audio?

Here are some general Best Practices you can try out if you are recording audio on your own without professional equipment!

You CAN use your phone to record great audio with these tips:

  • Record in a quiet spot. Find a carpeted room, closet, or under a heavy blanket. The goal is to muffle noise, so it wouldn't be a good idea to record outside either.
  • Hold your phone 6 inches away from your mouth, with the microphone facing your mouth at a 45 degree angle.
  • With headphones: hold the microphone steady 3-6 inches away from your mouth
  • Speak 'loud and proud' meaning use enthusiasm and energy when you record. It might feel silly, but it makes a huge impact on the quality in the final result.
  • Leave 5-10 seconds silent before you start speaking
  • Leave 15-30 seconds of silence at the end of your recording before hitting "stop". This helps with post production editing.

Do you have access to a standard USB mic? Here are some Pro Tips from our Audio Specialist, Donn Lawler, to create great results when doing your own recording:

"The goal is a flat recording, meaning there isn't an air conditioner going off, traffic noise is below minimal, no one else is talking in the background. Above all, the room in which one records is dampened. Kitchens have tile floors or stone and countertops that reflect sound waves cause reverb and won't be as good. Some houses have wood floors that do the same thing. The bigger the room, the more available space for sound waves to bounce around so go for the opposite. A packed closet with plenty of clothes hanging just out of the way is a great place to start. The clothes hanging in different lengths will produce the dampening effect pretty well."

Do you have a USB mic? Here are a few tips to use it in your own home (without a booth!)

  • Place the mic on shelf or flat surface. Do not hold the mic, as any movement is generally picked up either as air rushes or just handling noise.
  • Place the mic about 10 cm from your mouth.
  • Create your own Audio Booth by placing three pillows in a pyramid shape around the phone or USB mic to stop the bouncing sound waves. Make sure no fabric is touching the mic.

There will always be outside elements you cannot control, but there are many things you can do with just your own voice to help the recording be its best!

What to avoid? Plosives.

Plosives are hard wind sound that happen when you are too close to the mic and a hard "P" or "B" is spoken. Once it's recorded, its difficult to get out and many times impossible. How to avoid this? Watch any words with "P" "B" or even "T" sounds; you can soften the end of the phrase or slightly back off the mic as the sound is said.

What to avoid? Rushing

Rushing is going to make you sound out of breath, and may even make breath sound louder. So take your time and speak in a natural pace.

What to avoid? One Take

Make sure you do at least 2 takes of your script to provide variety.

Pro Tip: Use a "turn the dial up" rule. If your voice and energy were on a dial, with "1" being quiet and whispering like a mouse and ten being yelling at the top of your lungs, you want to record at a 6/7. Meaning, it should be your everyday voice turned up one or two notches to sound a little more bright and more energetic.

You can record great audio at home using a piece of equipment you already have: your phone! By taking a few steps to ensure sound quality, you can have audio that will sound great on your DIY content (or if you ever need to send audio in to us! You capture, we edit!)

Happy Creating!