While podcasting is accessible to virtually anyone, we may not all have a professional studio to record in. This can mean our audio suffers from issues such as background noise or echo. Both come with their own challenges, although it may be a little easier to find a quiet room to record in, preventing an echo can involve a lot more work.
To achieve great quality audio, it’s important to do as much as possible before recording to ensure great sound. Recording in a noisy, echoey environment and hoping to clean it up after the fact will never sound as good as recording in a natural quiet and echo-free environment!
In the event that it’s not possible to record in a perfect environment, or you’ve already recorded and are trying to salvage it, there are things we can do to help. One of the most common ways to combat reverb is with a “deverb” plugin such as Digital Deverberate by Acon Digital or iZotope Deverberate. These plugins perform some voodoo to magically remove/reduce echo from audio recordings.
Of course, mileage may vary. Depending on the severity of the echo, the plugins may not help at all. At the very least you’ll likely be trying to achieve a balance between reduced echo but still maintaining perfect audio quality. Using the deverb too heavily can start to degrade the audio quality, introducing a new set of problems while trying to fix another. It’s like audio whack-a-mole!
The “reduce ambience” setting on Acon’s DeVerb plugin works great to remove slight room ambience from very live spaces, with little artifacting. The “reduce room reverb” is more intense, useful on heavier reverb but begins to introduce additional artifacts. How well it works and how the audio quality is affected really depends on the audio. Sometimes deverb is gret, sometimes it won’t do anything.
You can achieve even better results by using additional tools in combination with the deverb, such as an EQ to reduce the frequency area where you’re getting a lot of the reverb energy, and even a light noise gate. If your podcast recording involves multiple microphones in a single room, noise gating will become even more helpful, although if you really want to get fancy, mute or delete tracks completely when they’re not being spoken on.
One thing to note is that a deverb plugin is not something you’ll usually find included by default with audio software such as Audition or Audacity, meaning you’re going to spend extra to purchase one of these plugins.
East Coast Studio offers a full range of affordable podcast editing services. If you’d like some help with your podcast, simply get in touch!