Audio tours have skyrocketed in popularity, and it is not hard to understand why: they are easy to use and encourage you to learn new things while taking in beautiful sights, all at your own pace. Whether you are looking to explore Toronto, San Francisco or Paris, you will find an audio tour suited to your needs. As more and more people are turning to audio tours for everything from exploring museums and sightseeing in new towns and cities to viewing new homes for sale, more companies and individuals are looking to create their own audio tours to complement their products and services.
When you listen to the highest-ranked podcasts on Google Play or iTunes, they all seemingly have one thing in common: excellent sound quality. Scripts are carefully written and the narrative is almost flawless and devoid of any background noise. Music and sound effects are carefully selected and added in the appropriate places. Good-quality audio recording takes a bit of time to master, but by following a few basic guidelines listed here or enlisting the help of a professional service provider, you will be able to execute recordings like a pro in no time.
Start With a Good Microphone
A good-quality microphone is essential in rendering a recorded more professional sound. Your options range from cost-effective plug-and-play USB mics to professional-quality condenser mics. While the lower-end models will suffice as far as standard audio recording is concerned, the condenser mic will be what you are aiming for if you are looking to render a warm, quality sound. High-end condenser mics rely on external power sources and high calibre audio interfaces to work, both of which are worthy investments if you are serious about obtaining recordings of only the highest quality.
When recording you will be looking to avoid plosive and sibilance, the hissing, popping sound sometimes heard during recordings, especially in words that have ‘s’ in them, or those starting with ‘P.’ It’s a good idea to invest in a pop filter that will act as a barrier between the narrator and the mic, eliminating these unpleasantries.
Add Some Carefully-picked Music
Music, if chosen with care, can transform an audio tour from drab to fab. Music can capture the essence of a mood and elicit emotions and memorable experiences. However, it’s essential not to get too carried away as far as the inclusion of music is concerned. Consider your topic matter as well as your narrative style and then pick your music accordingly. Once you have chosen your music, you can add it to your pre-recorded audio clips by making use of one of many free recording software applications or paid ones like Adobe Audition.
Set the Stage with Ambient Sounds
Ambient sounds can add a whole new dimension to your audio tour. The sounds of a town or city lend colour to any recording, captivating the imaginations of the listener even more than any visuals could. Laughing children, heavy traffic, barking dogs and whistling kettles all make for highly-effective and realistic additions to an audio tour. Once you have picked the sounds you would like to include, you can layer them into your existing recording using your audio editor. The trick is to combine your narrative, music and ambient effects into a single seamless element that will take the listener on an almost-tangible and unforgettable journey.
A lot of hard work goes into creating a near-perfect audio tour and as overwhelming as the process may seem, it is entirely achievable. One of the greatest teachers regarding DIY audio recordings is trial and error. Embrace the opportunity to learn and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Since you are creating an audio experience, you can always edit, delete and try again. By following the above guidelines and experimenting with different techniques, you will be able to create audio tours with both great appeal and tangible results.