Audio Blog QnA #1 – Recording and Reading

Intro

Update 9 Sept 2022: I’ve backdated this post to when it was originally written. I forgot I had it sitting around as a draft. While I’m pausing any audio blogging for now to focus just on traditional blogging (mostly due to time factors!), I’m publishing this in case it has useful or interesting info to readers.


Hellooo everyone, and welcome to Jess’s audio blog. The original blog posts with images and videos can be found on my website at jesschua.com

I usually do casual book or film reviews. On this episode, I thought: why not switch things up a little bit? So today’s show will feature some R&R in the sense of a “Recording and Reading” Q&A with me.

There are tons of things to talk about regarding podcasts and books, so I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know a little bit more about my setup and preferences.

This is episode 5 titled: “Audio Blog QnA #1 – Recording and Reading.”

R&R (Recording and Reading)

Recording

1. What’s your tech setup?

I use:

  • a Blue Yeti microphone (it was a superb gift from my mum before I started going on job interviews last year…but I only set it up this year!)
  • Garageband (it took me about 1-2 hours to find my way around the settings as a newbie)
  • Audacity if I don’t have access to Garageband

2. Where do you record?

I’m usually on a carpeted bedroom floor with my equipment on a low TV cabinet.

My Blue Yeti mic on TV cabinet

I’ve tried standing in the living room, which was comfortable, but that recording had a low hum in the background. I might try this area again and adjust the noise gate feature beforehand to cut down on background noise.

I also recorded once in my closet. It was nice but got warm very quickly, and it’s right beside the outdoor AC unit (so probably not the best place to record when the AC is going on and off).

3. How many times do you record?

My first episode was the best — I did it in one take, which took about 10 minutes and 5 minutes to edit. I left it a bit unpolished with a couple of word trips.

My second episode took two recordings and the third episode took multiple tries because of interruptions and getting out of breath. I was sitting in a crunched fashion and that affects your breathing quickly after a while.

I need to just go for it and get it right the first time like with Episode 1!!!

4. Do you have a preferred time to make the recording?

If I’m not too tired, I like recording at night as I’m more relaxed then. The cooler temperature is nice, too.

5. Do you have podcasting tips or resources to share?

I’ve found the podcasting subreddit to be helpful.

P.S. Reddit is a huge time suck if I’m not disciplined about it…and watch out for the echo chamber effect!

General speaking tips include:

  • speak slowly and clearly (this depends on your natural talking speed)
  • have good posture and body language to carry your voice through
  • find a comfortable position to record
  • lower your jaw to better pronounce certain words (this is a leftover problem I have from my Invisalign rubber band, jaw-constriction days)
  • talk more openly towards the end of sentences instead of trailing off

As for recording tips…prepare your noise gate or noise reduction settings BEFORE recording. This is a lot better than trying to salvage a compromised track with unoptimized settings.

I also found these two YouTube videos helpful:

a) How to Improve Your Podcast Voice – by Life of Freedom
b) Three tips for training your voice – by NPR Training

Reading

1. What are you currently reading?

My copy of “The Dirt” beside my reading buddy

I’m currently reading The Dirt, which is a collaborative autobiography of Mötley Crüe. I watched the biopic on Netflix first, and I got to that from Pam & Tommy on Hulu.

2. Do you prefer reviewing fiction or non-fiction?

Both are fun — I find reviewing non-fiction a bit easier. It’s because with fiction, I have to go back and hunt for all the standout and memorable quotes.

3. What’s the first book you ever read?

Tim Turns Green (Puddle Lane reading programme)…I definitely had this book on the shelf at one time

I believe it was a book from the Puddle Lane series.

4. How is a good book different from TV?

It’s a more active experience as you have to use your comprehension and imaginative skills to get the most out of it. Take for example the book High-Rise by J.G. Ballard.

Good lord, I was so disappointed in the movie (despite some big names being in it) and the book version offers a COMPLETELY different experience with all the social and internal nuances — some of which just can’t cross over onto a screen.

5. How do you make time for reading?

This is important especially if you’re a slow reader like me.

Some of the things I do include:

  • make it a daily habit
  • make reading the first or last thing you do for the day
  • spend time doing what you love, and prioritize accordingly
  • have a reading list to keep track of what books you’re on
  • cut down on activities that you can do without (I cut down my social media usage to spend more time on books)

And that’s it for this first QnA episode. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to listen to my audio blog!

For links to media that was mentioned in this episode, check the show notes for a direct link to my blog post. I also threw in a photo of my Blue Yeti mic.

I’m probably doing a non-fiction book review next on time management. Because as the old saying goes, “time is of the essence…” It’s a slim but good book by world-renowned motivational speaker, Brian Tracy.

Have a great rest of your day, and I’ll see you next time with short and actionable tips to be more efficient at what you do.

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