There's no reason to let a stray noise spoil your daughter's next solo. Choosing the right microphone and being conscious of background noises will go a long way toward getting a top-quality recording. Editing software is always an option but use it as a last resort.
Use a Good Microphone
A quality microphone helps ensure you will get a good sound recording, particularly when you are recording outdoors where you can't control background noise. The first thing to look for is a windscreen. This thin piece of foam is wrapped around the microphone and keeps the wind from blowing directly through the microphone's grill. The other feature to look for is a zoom mode. Instead of capturing all the noise around you, a zoom microphone limits sound to one direction.
Adjust Your Background
Just as a photographer adjusts the lighting and background before taking shots, listen to the background noises before pressing the audio recording button. The ear quickly grows accustomed to background noises like TVs and music, traffic or even chirping birds. Close the doors and windows if you're indoors to reduce street sounds or move to another room. Avoid empty rooms or those with nothing but hard surfaces or your microphone could pick up echoes.
Listen in While You Record
Some microphones come with a headphone jack. If you slip on your headphones when you start recording, you can listen to exactly what the microphone is picking up. If someone starts singing in the background, you can decide immediately if it's loud enough to be a problem or if you might be able to edit it out later.
Using Audio-Leveling Software
If you have already finished your recording, a good audio- or video-editing program should be able to reduce excess noise. With this software, you can cut loud bursts of noise from the track. For constant background noise, use a program that comes with an equalizer. A constant high-pitched noise caused by a faulty microphone, for example, can be minimized without affecting people's voices.
Photo Credits: Jessica Isaac/Demand Media
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