Choose a quiet place


This video about Corn and Bean salad was recorded partly in the classroom, for the live action scenes, and partly in the teacher’s lounge, for the quiet we needed for narrating the story and for making up songs. There was a very noisy vending machine in the lounge that we unplugged, so the room would be quiet enough. Quiet is important when doing narration and songs!

QUIET!  No extra talking:  When you’re recording a person explaining something, choose a quiet place, with no loud talking from other people.  Voices sound better if they’re easy to hear, and you can’t take extra noises out of a recording later.  Naturally, if you’re at a party, or doing an activity, you want to include the sounds of that live event.  So we have special tips for recording at a live event.  But voices sound best in quiet.  So . . . . shhhhh!!!! Find Quiet!  When you need quiet, recording in the classroom is not a great place, because then you might be distracting other people, or you might have talking happening while you’re talking.  Here are some quieter places that can work.  But — BE SURE TO ASK PERMISSION BEFORE YOU GO TO THESE

  • Teacher’s Lounge (if you have permission)
  • Library study room
  • Empty classroom or empty room in the main office
  • School Stage (back behind the curtains, so it won’t be echoey)
  • Outside

QUIET – No Noisy Machines or Noisy Wind  Remember, if you record while a loud noise is happening , you can’t take that noise out later.  You’re stuck with it!  So before you start recording, listen to your recording place with your microphone on and your headphones on.  Listen to how the sound works for the recording and find a QUIET place. Here are some examples of noisy things that you should try to stay away from while you’re recording.  If you MUST record near them, try to get at least a little bit away from them.  Or, try some of these ideas.

  1. Noisy vending machine – ask permission to unplug it while you’re recording
  2. Noisy computers and printers.  ask permission to turn them off for a little while.
  3. Heating vent or cooling fan.  Get permission to turn it off for a little while
  4. Outdoor Wind of Traffic or Running Water.  Find a sheltered spot away from it

QUIET – Record the Room Sound WITHOUT Voices!  No matter how quiet or noisy the place is that you find, ALWAYS take 1 minute to simply record the room itself WITHOUT any voices.  That’s because, each room has its own distinct sound that counts as its voice.  If you must do any retakes later, or add more narration or other things, you’ll need that room sound to blend the pieces together.  When you record the room, or the plalyground, or the street, or the stream, have everyone be quiet, and listen.  You’ll find that you notice the voice of rooms and places more, if you practice this way of listening to places when you’re quiet.