Recording an interview off-site

I have recently made a whole season of interviews. I recorded some interviews remotely over Zencastr which was fine. But in a few cases, I actually took my equipment and went to the interviewee’s premises to record the interview. And in that case, the audio quality was not particularly great. I used one mic (AT2020) which I usually placed on a small tripod stand between myself and the people I was interviewing. So every time they touched the table, it was a booming sound or similar. The sounds, which were barely noticeable during the interview became more prominent even when you do Noise Reduction (I use AUdacity for post-production). So I wonder if anyone has tips or suggestions for how to improve the audio quality if recording outside the home. I don’t mind the ambience of the off-site interviews but I want to improve the overall quality.

Adobe Enhance AI noise-removal (currently free) could salvage something borderline,
(but the results are are somewhat artificial … )

There’s no controls on Adobe Enhance, but it would be possible to mix enhanced audio with the original audio in Audacity, then you could have a wet-dry adjustment.

(No I don’t have shares in the company)

Booming and banging sounds don’t noise reduce. Classic Noise Reduction is limited to noises over time such as hummm or buzzzz.

You can solve your one specific problem with the book and towel technique. That will isolate booming and thumping table noises.

That big blue thing on the table is a furniture moving pad. That will help with room echoes and even more table noises.

The AT 2020 is a terrific microphone, but it only records sound arriving from the front. That would be the side grill right above the company name. That means you can’t put it in the middle between two people and get good voice quality for both people.

I don’t think there is any simple or cheap way to do an interview like that.

This is a shotgun microphone in interview configuration. That can produce very good results, but he’s holding about $1000 not counting the sound mixer and recorder.

This is a lavalier microphone. The shortcoming there is the need to be able to record two microphones at the same time, unless you’re really good at interview timing (don’t talk at the same time as the performer and record your side at home).

Field interviews aren’t easy. I know someone doing plane spotting podcasts outside in the cold because that was easier than doing on-the-fly news interviews.


You can do a backup or protection recording with your phone. Put the phone in airplane mode so it doesn’t make any noise. Set the internal sound recorder working and put the phone flat on the table with its bottom (where the microphone is) pointed to the performer. This is Pressure Zone technique. Don’t try to tip the phone up or elevate it.

Yes, this is going to pick up table noises, but it may actually sound better than your 2020. Pick the best sound.