Newbie looking for advice

My friend and I have been doing a podcast for six weeks now. The most recent episode is here:

We use Windows 10, Audacity and a Yeti USB microphone. We’re siting either side of it with the bidirectional setting on. Recording volume and mic gain control are half way.

We record from a back garden bar/man cave, our production sounds airy, should we ditch our location or should we be able to improve it with EQ - I haven’t yet been able to.

Initially I followed this tutorial re: EQ, compression and normalization but it didn’t make a great difference when I compared.

This is all still quite new to me so hopefully someone can point me in the right direction.



I can’t listen right this second—I will shortly, but you have the exact opposite problem that most people have. Most people set up a Yeti in a bare room or office and then are amazed when their podcast sounds like they recorded it in a bathroom.

Their two rooms have the same problem. Bare, reflective walls and nothing to stop echoes. I used to joke about an office I had that I could clap loudly and come back after lunch and the clap would still be slapping back and forth between the walls. Not a good place to record clear, good quality voice work.

I would kill to be able to record outside, but my neighborhood is too noisy. Woop. There go the fire engines again.

How are you listening? After you finish the performance, how are you listening to the material? Please don’t say the speakers in your laptop or earbuds. If you are that would account for you applying equalization or corrections and not being able to hear it.

If you’re not going to pop for quality speakers or speaker system, then earphones are good. No Hollywood production would think of showing up on set without Sony MDR-7506 headphones. I wouldn’t want to listen to a movie with them, they weren’t intended for that, but they will show you mistakes and problems before anyone else can hear them.

I need to drop for a minute.


How far away from the microphone are you? There is a sweet spot for microphone spacing. Too far away and you sound like you’re recording from across the parking lot. To close and you get a whole pile of problems: P-Popping, breath whishes, ticking (my personal favorite), etc. etc., and the sound of someone trying to talk directly into your ear with their lips touching.

The Figure-Of-Eight thing is perfectly valid. Older RCA microphones (44BX) naturally work like that and there’s no shortage of soap operas produced by preformers clustering around the figure of eight. But that’s the key. Unless you’re unnaturally close to each other, it may sound gutless and wimpy.

Sweet-Spacing is roughly Hawaiian Shaka.

That’s usually too close for people in natural conversation. So if you’re recording from opposing sofas with the mic in the middle, you may want to figure a way to get closer.

Completely off the top of my head, a cafe table with you on both sides leaning in slightly and a heavy towel or blanket under the microphone. That’s important to suppress table vibration and odd reflections. You might want to try that anyway. A shiny table can cause comb filtering and odd wine-glass sounds.

That blue thing is a furniture moving blanket.

That’s the perfect way to mount a microphone like the Yeti. The book and towel provide almost perfect shock isolation from the floor or table. Given, being outside, you probably don’t need that, but do look into the blanket.

I’ll listen when I get back to the studio.

I would not move indoors.


Thanks Koz.

Just to clarify, we are indoors, it’s built like a proper guest house, glass doors shut etc.

We’re sitting on opposing sofa chairs with a metal table between us holding the mic, which is on top of a cardboard box. We’ll try the table and blanket.

I think we’re 9 or 10 inches from the mic. We should be able to move closer although we’re not using a pop filter.

I’m always listening back on a decent pair of headphones, I just may not know exactly what corrections to make. The show I’ve linked to is a raw recording, no adjustments made.

The airyness isn’t as noticeable on laptop speakers but you’ve to turn the volume up to 70-80% to listen our show that way.

Right then. I ran a segment of the show through Chris’s Compressor set for (approximately) US Broadcast compression. It makes your show louder and denser and reduces the volume difference between the two performers. Attached.

These are the settings I used.
Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 18.10.02.png

You could use a pop filter.

Somebody fell in love with the gating effect. I left a little of that__in___at__the__end. That’s super annoying.


One note. Chris hates processing a show that starts with dead zero-flat line. So leave or put Something at the beginning even if you have to go back later and cut it off just to give Chris something to chew on. I usually miss the last edit on purpose and leave some stuff (room tone, traffic noise) hanging off the beginning. Remember to go back and cut it off.


Let us know.


That’s making us a good bit louder alright. 50% volume on the laptop speakers is perfect now, just like professional podcasts I listen to.

There actually was one edit made to that show I linked you - noise reduction. Should I keep doing that before or after applying this compressor?

Also, should I only use this compressor on our recording track and not the 3 or 4 songs and audio drops we often insert into the shows? Or put everything through it?

Can only one pop filter go on a Yeti mic at a time? That would be no use because as I mentioned we are sitting either of the mic, not using the same side.

I’ve felt for a while that the way my friend (the first person speaking) puts his head down at the mic while talking to read stuff from a sheet is causing most of airyness.

We record our next episode tomorrow so we will sit closer and find that sweet spot you suggested. Then apply Chris. Thanks for your help so far.

Here is the new episode where we sat closer, my friend faced the mic a lot more and the mic was on a wooden table, a folded towel and a book.

As for a pop filter, I forgot that you can just put a foam one on, so we might buy that.

I didn’t even use noise reduction this time, a bird chirped outside a few times, that was about it. You said to avoid flat line beginnings but our shows always begin with a drop or song.

When I applied the compressor it was resetting all my envelope fades. So I exported my file as it was, opened Audacity again, imported the mixed file back in and then compressed it.

What do you think?