Bad sound can ruin your videos.  Most people will watch a video with bad visuals, but great audio.  But the reverse is seldom true.  In this quick episode, I share how I’ve used sound dampening material in my recording studio to remove the “echo” from my online videos.

Eliminating Hollow Sound:

The first YouTube video I recorded in my home studio sounded a little “off.”  I couldn’t quite figure out what was wrong, but my wife said I sounded like I was inside a fish bowl.  I realize that the sound was bouncing off the floor and walls and back into the microphone.  A little DIY sound proofing greatly improved my audio.  You can see more about how I set up my home studio.

DIY Soundproofing:

If you want to have a more professional looking studio, there are a lot of options for Professional Soundproofing Foam Tiles.  But I’ve had good luck with thick blankets, bath towels, carpet remnants and foam that I found.

Echo is all about the speed of sound

The speed of sound is pretty fast – but it’s slow enough to mess up your audio recording.  Sound from your voice reaches the microphone directly (probably over a one or two foot distance) and then indirectly after bouncing off walls, floors and ceiling (probably over a five to ten foot distance.)  That distance is enough for the sound to become out of sync and record a bit of an echo.

A good microphone

A good microphone can minimize echo – but it’s always a good idea to use sound dampening.  I noticed that the sound from my DSLR (cheap microphone) sounded awful, while the sound from my shotgun microphone wasn’t nearly as bad.  The sound in the above video is from my shotgun microphone and the sound in this video is from my DSLR.

Other ways to improve audio:

Improving sound is a multi-step process and I’ll cover those in future videos.  A few other issues include background noise, cheap/wrong microphone and background music.