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Research Guides@Tufts

MyTERN Podcast Project

General Settings

If possible, select WAV as this is an uncompressed file format. If you do not have this option know that the higher your bitrate setting, the bigger the file and the higher the quality of your audio recording. Ensure every time you record that your settings are the same.

Set your recording quality to "high" and change your settings to record in 4800Hz, 24-bit. Your application may only offer 4100Hz or only 16-bit or another distinct combination of settings. Choose the highest quality of these settings. Ensure every time you record that your settings are the same.

Some applications may allow you to select Stereo or Mono for recording channels. Set your settings to record Mono if only recording one voice.  If you are recording two voices, ideally each individual would be mic'ed and have their own dedicated mono channel.

If you are using an application that captures high quality audio, make sure you have enough space available for your recordings. If not, either clear space or record to a new location. 

When recording with a smartphone, turn on Airplane Mode to avoid audio interruptions like texts and notifications if recording on a phone.

Recording Techniques

Levels. More than likely you'll be able to monitor the levels (input audio volume) prior to recording in the software you are using to record.  If the visual display of the recorded waveform is flat on the top, this means your recording is too loud. Audio that is lower than the recommendations above may be too soft to hear. That said, if you are recording ambience in a quiet space, having lower levels makes sense. Context matters. 

  • Color coded meters. Most audio meters are color coded, some are labeled in decibels. The ideal level for a voice recording on a color coded meter would be at the higher end of the green meter with occasional spikes in the yellow.
  • Numerical meters. If measuring levels numerically, aim for the sound to be between -6db and -12db.
  • Waveforms. If your application does not include a live audio meter you can do test recordings and monitor the waveforms. Waveforms that are strong and pronounced without going flat on the top usually indicate good levels. 

Know where your mic is. Test where the microphone is located by speaking into the microphone and watching the levels. Make sure the microphone is pointing at your subject.  When you see your levels get stronger, this means you are near the microphone. Make sure your hands are not covering the microphone. To prevent handling noise and rustling sounds, place your mic down on a stable surface while trying to avoid laying your phone on a flat surface, e.g. use a mini tripod or make a makeshift support for your phone from paperclips or books. 

Prior to recording listen to the space. Is the heat on? Are you near a window with heavy traffic? Find a space with minimal background noise to minimize undesired background noise.  If you are having a hard time finding a quiet space to record, try recording under a blanket or in a closet.  You may also want to book time in our recording room.  While not sound proof it is does have sound treatment and is relatively quite compared to most other spaces.

At the beginning of every recording, state what you are recording, e.g., Intro Narration take 3, slower pace. Having this at the beginning of each audio file will help with organizing your files later. 

Test test test. After you record a track, play it back and listen through headphones for any interference and check your levels. 

Recording Checklist

  • Connect microphones
  • Adjust settings to 48kHz, 24-bit WAV
  • Check levels are in the "green"
  • If using multiple discreet devices remember to clap to help with sync the files during editing
  • Listen for any distracting sounds, e.g. fans, hums, swooshy jackets
  • Record 30 seconds of room tone
  • Call the take, e.g. Take 1.  Discussing our group's theme.

Recording with the USB mics

Images Instructions

Launch Audacity and save your project to a location you will remember.

Under Audio Setup select Playback Device > choose your computer speakers
Under Audio Setup select Recording Device > choose RODE NT-USB
Under Audio Setup select Audio Settings and adjust your project settings to 4800 kHz.

Right click on the Record Level meter and select Enable Silent Monitoring.  

With headphones on, check that your levels are roughly at -12db.  If they aren't use the slider to raise the input volume.

Press the red record button to start recording.  

Recording with the lavalier microphones


Image Instructions
Microphones connecting into Rode adapter

Connect microphones

Utilize the Rode adapter to plug the lavalier (lav) microphones into your smartphone. 

Clip the microphone near your sternum. 

You may need to play with the placement of the microphone depending on environmental factors

Quality tab in RodeReporter smartphone application

Check settings

In the RodeReporter application click the settings button and change the "Quality" settings

to "Standard 48kHz 24-bit WAVE".  Configure the microphones as "Separate channels".

Microphone input volume adjustment feature in RodeReporter application

Check levels

If the levels are too low or too high, use the input adjustment slider to raise and lower the volume. 

You can also adjust the proximity of the microphone to the speaker. 

Icon of headphones

Listen through headphones for distracting sounds in the background, e.g. fans, swooshy coats, projector hums. 

If it's possible to turn these sounds off or move to a different location, do so.

Record button in RodeReporter App


To record press the red record button. 

To end the recording, press the End button on the top right of the application. 

To listen back, switch into the Library tab, select the recording and press play. 

Using the Recording Room


The Digital Design Studio (DDS) Recording Room is located on the 3rd floor of Tisch Library inside room 303. It is designed as an educational space for students interested in engaging with media. While the service is available to all members of the Tufts community, it is oriented towards academic courses and extracurricular activities for students. Priority will be given to course-related project work.

Reserving the Recording Room

Use our DDS Recording Room Booking Form to reserve the space. Upon your arrival, Studio Assistants are happy to help with general setup questions and support. Review our DDS Recording Room Policies prior to making a reservation.

Support for the Recording Room

Upon your arrival, Studio Assistants are happy to help with general setup questions and support. If you would like to setup a meeting or training, you can schedule an appointment with the Digital Media Specialist.

Accessibility in the Recording Room

The DDS is located on the third floor of Tisch Library (see Tisch Library floor map) which is accessible via stairs and elevator.  There is water fountain located on the same floor as the studio.  Gendered restrooms with accessible stalls are located on this floor. All gender, single stall restrooms are located on the second floor. The recording room is 12 feet by 16 feet. Two of the four microphones in the same are height adjustable. If you need additional accommodations to work in this space, don't hesitate to reach out to and we're happy to make adjustments, if possible.

In Action: Practice Recording and Listening

Goal: The goal of this exercise to familiarize yourself with recording process in a low-stakes environment.  

Materials: Microphone, laptop and your script.

Instruction: In pairs or groups, take turns recording each other.  Use the recording checklist and device guide to make sure you setup properly. Listen to the recordings to ensure the quality of the recording.  Designate a time keeper.  If 3 minutes is up, stop recording and think about what might need to get cut from your story.  

Debrief: If finished before time, discuss where more technical support might be needed to clarify questions and give feedback to your groupmates regarding their story.  What is one strength of the story and one area for improvement?