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Hunting For Sound | Student Podcast Challenge Guide To Sound | NPR

February 14, 2020


Hi, I’m Jeff Pierre from the Student Podcast Challenge and this is a microphone And This is a microphone. It seems pretty easy to use right wrong Alright, so what could be so hard about using this thing right here for that? Let me introduce you to my friend Elizabeth Acle. She’s an amazing sound engineer and an expert hunter for sound Yeah, it’s – I spend my days fishing and hunting for sound my job is to capture sound as it occurs so I can accurately Paint a picture of the environment So if my interview takes place in the forest I’ll use those sounds to create a natural sound bed But how do I capture those sounds how does it behave? Let’s examine this through the art of interpretive dance Imagine sound moving in waves Every surface effects sound differently a soft material like a pillow absorbs sound waves while a hard surface like metal or a polished wood floor reflects sound creating an echo a Microphone is designed to capture sound in specific ways at NPR we use two main types cardioid also known as a directional mic which captures sound in one direction and Omnidirectional like your cell phone’s mic which like its name implies capture sound all around it So it is important to know where your sounds are coming from and Also, what’s happening in the space? How is sound bouncing around? What other sounds are competing with it? What can you do to reduce competing noise getting into your microphone Thanks Elizabeth alright So now that we have a better understanding Of how sound works and how to better capture it here are three simple tips for getting good sound Tip 1 set your levels and then do a test run you want to know your tool before you actually have to use it So make sure your levels are set in an audible range Make sure your Louds aren’t too loud because that’s when distortion can happen Also watch out for sounds that are too quiet because you’ll get a lot of interference and background sounds that your mic will pick up Tip to get close to your source the farther away You are the more other sounds can penetrate your microphone angle your mic slightly to lessen P pops and s’s Those are just some annoying things that our mouths do that can blow out the mics balance tip 3 Remember your mic can actually hear you So stay as quiet as you can When you’re talking to a subject listen with both ears through your headphones and wait until your subject is Completely done talking before you respond Okay, don’t forget to submit your podcast to the Student Podcast Challenge. Submissions are open in January and close in March. You can read the rules and find more information at NPR.org/studentpodcastchallenge. Good luck.

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