Recording a Narration

Audacity 2.0.3 Windows 7 Service Pack 1- 64 bit HP Lap Top

Hi - I’m brand new at this. I did look in frequently asked questions to no avail.

I’m recording my voice reading a novel. I simply want the best sound I can get with a little bit of intimate sounding reverb. Any thoughts appreciated! Thanks. Aldaar

You need a good microphone, a good interface, good acoustics (a quiet, sound absorbing environment).

The most economical solution would be a “studio style” USB mic condenser mic, something like [u]this[/u] this do the trick. With this type of mic, the soundcard/interface is built-into the mic.

You can add a little reverb artificially in “post production”. Audiacity has a reverb effect, or there are all kinds of reverb plug-ins avalialbe.

Some (dynamic) compression in post-production should help to ke a consstantly-strong sound. (It’s a good idea to normalize the volume after any effects too.)

[u]The Levelator[/u] might be worth a try too.

We can’t emphasize the room enough. You can’t record in your kitchen. We can’t take reverb or echo out.

That will always sound like a kid doing a recording in the bathroom. She’s stuck.

People at work have been known to record in a closet with quilts on the walls to get rid of that effect. I’ve been known to create a recording studio with furniture moving blankets.

I’ve been known to hold a voice recording until I could get the quiet and soundproofed Executive Conference Room at work.

You can get around some of these problems with headset microphones, but those come with their own problems. Doing a good, clear recording at home is harder than you think.


a little bit of intimate sounding reverb.

Reverb takes you further away – like you’re talking down a tunnel. Intimate is no reverb or echo at all and good proximity to the microphone which is hard to do without popping your P sounds.


Thanks you Kozikowski and DVDoug!

I managed to record and save. I’m using the mike in the lap top and recording sitting on my bed. Sure there’s other approaches, USB mikes etc. But I’m

wanting to finish this initial project quickly. THanks for the thought that there are other reverb downloads as this one doesn’t sound too good. THo contrary to what was said - I do think some reverb - the sound of a very small room with feint reverb gives the impression of intimacy. I was really hoping someone would say 'record your voice then compress it and normalize it and send it through such and such a filter…" that’s in the Audacity program.

A remedy for “p” sounds is a pop filter, of course. That’s a screen of metal or fabric between your mouth and the mic that redirects the puff of air but lets speech sounds through.

I’m a narrator too, and rather new on this forum, and I’d like to know if there are others discussing concerns specific to our work.

Perhaps these Google Search results:

I was really hoping someone would say 'record your voice then compress it and normalize it and send it through such and such a filter

Oh, you want the “Professional Audio Filter.”

It’s a popular idea. Fictional, but popular.

Maybe if you pointed to someone you like and posted a segment of your work, we could recommend a way to close the gap.


Here’s a soundshoot I did for one of our producers. It was a double-ender where each side records the speaker in terrifically high quality and then they call each other on the phone. After the interview, one side sends the high quality sound file to the other miles away for marriage into the final show. The Skype or phone voice is never used. It’s just for coordination.

Note this is a dual shoot. The producer wanted to shoot a backup. His mic is on the right with a Zoom H4 as recorder and mine with Audacity is on the left.

The room is soundproofed and that’s a double layer of furniture moving pad on the table to avoid ‘talking into a barrel’ effects. You can just make out we are both using blast filters in front of the microphones. He’s using a gentle cardioid and an echo canceller (that curved thing in the back) and I’m using a stronger cardioid and natural (dead) room acoustics.

That’s what it looked like. What it sounded like was two people in the same room having a nice intimate chat over a cup of tea.


I wish the illustration wasn’t quite so complicated looking. It looks like a cast of thousands, when in reality is was a mic, mixer, two headphones and a Mac. The coffee cups, papers and trash are, of course, endemic to any sound shoot.

We had to get out of the room right after the shoot, so I didn’t have time to clean up for the portrait. We were rolling up cables as I shot that.

“Can you leave that there for a second, I want to get a picture. Thanks.”


Thanks I am developing some online classes and need this info on recording voices for my website.

Start off with a read and workthrough of this tutorial from the manual:


Hey thank you so much man!