You are all set to go. You slide the mic in front of you. You cut the greatest content with the words you expressed. Everything is great …
… except one thing when you listen to the audio: You sound too distant like you are far away from the mic. Or – you may sound like you’ve swallowed the mic whole because of being too close.
So what is the proper length of space between where the mic stands and your mouth? When I was talking with a fellow podcaster, one who has had a ton of experience in speaking on mics – along with his father being an on-air personality himself – he said, “Take your fist, and place it between the mic head and your mouth. That is the distance you should be in accordance with your mic when you speak.”
The distance from one side of a fist to another varies. However, it should be between 1 – 2″ (one to two inches) from the mic.
Why that distance? It captures many things the right way without the need of a ton of mixing:
- all whispers can be easily heard without elevating the vocal in post-production
- all screams can be picked up without having to purposely ease back and distort the mix
- all normal speaking (as is the case with most podcasters) will have the power necessary
Plus – it saves on overusing your voice.
Now – you do have to set your mic at the right levels before speaking, and that is determined by you. The goal is to not sound like your vocal is stuck in the mud (too much bass) or speaking into a tin can (too much treble). You want your vocal (no matter your voice range) to be consistent throughout the recording. The name of the game is to combine having power with clarity in the final mix. How your raw vocal is recorded goes a very long way in determining how powerful and clear your vocal will ultimately sound.
You don’t want to be on top of the mic (unless you have mic voice training – that is for another time). Otherwise, you will be distorted no matter how good an engineer can mix down your vocal. You don’t want to stand too far away from the mic, either. You don’t want to compete with echo, distance and white noise.
Remember: You voice is the star, and you should protect it at all costs. Let the mic do all the heavy lifting and take care of making you sound good. All you need to do is sit/stand 1 – 2″ (one to two inches) away from the mic, and let everything else take care of itself.
If you are in need of having someone take care of your vocals to make sure it sounds professional and pristine – then please fill out the …