Issue 3. Microphone Etiquette. No Peeing!

Jun 5, 2021

Have you ever been relaxing to your favourite podcast when suddenly out of the blue a loud ‘P’ or a giant laugh scares the life out of you and all the wildlife within a 5 mile radius??

It’s happened to me and it can really put you off a podcast and if it happens a lot folks might unsubscribe.

True story. I once watched a journalist picking at some fluff stuck in the windshield of the microphone whilst interviewing someone!

I tweeted about microphone etiquette ages ago (see tweet below) and I wanted to quickly cover what I think are the important bits.

Don’t blow into the microphone!

Your microphone is not a Dandelion… don’t blow on it!

It goes without saying you shouldn’t be blowing into the mic. If you need to blow for some reason, maybe as a bit of a sound effect type thing then angle yourself across the face of the mic and then blow.

But please don’t blow!

Keep your distance!

Position your mic, chair and yourself and then take the mic levels.

Then don’t move anything, you’re set to go.

This will help keep things consistent and means that you’re not peaking or popping when you record.

Two palms of the hand is perfect distance from a mic.

Lean back!

If you need to laugh, exclaim or make loud noise then lean back from the mic when you do this. The last thing you want is a giant peak in the recording.

Folks will know you’re laughing or exclaiming from the way you sound so it doesn’t need to be loud.

Learn to speak proper!

This can take time but if you can do it right its a great presentation skill to have.

You can train yourself to very slightly soften P’s and ‘Esses’ so that your voice sounds lovely and smooth.

A lot of professional presenters do this instinctively and you never hear the pop when they get loud.

Don’t fiddle with the mic

Don’t touch it when recording. Leave it alone!

I get caught out on this one every now and then. I’ll be in-the-zone chatting away with a guest and then for absolutely no reason at all reach out and adjust the pop shield!

If you’re a fiddler then hold a pen or stick your hands in your pockets.

Most microphone etiquette is just common sense but listening back to yourself will give you clues on when you sound loud or pop or your ‘Ps’ and ‘Esses’ sound a bit harsh.

Once you understand your own voice you’ll be able to correct things much easier and make your podcast sound great.

What I’m listening To

I really enjoy The Tip Off and have been listening to it for ages. I’ve also been through all the archives.

Maeve McClenaghan talks to investigative journalists about the scoops, successes and dangers of ‘proper’ journalism which believe it or not still exists!

The episodes are nice and short and give you insight on how investigations take place.

Give it a listen.

The Tip Off

Welcome to The Tip Off- the podcast where we take you behind the scenes of some of the best investigative journalism from recent years.