There is nothing more disappointing to me than listening to someone’s audio or video production and finding they could have done better, “IF…

“IF what”, you say?

Well, yeah, “IF”… If they would have just paid closer attention to some small details that could have made their production much better. I have to say, there’s several things that really bother me when people don’t pay close attention to those little details, but I’ll try to be brief. Today, I’ll just list three… Next week we’ll start taking them one at a time and discuss them more fully, (and add some others as we progress over the weeks ahead.)

  • Production is of too low a quality:

There is nothing more disappointing to me that to try and listen to a podcast, a downloadable mp3 or some other type of audio file and find that it sounds like someone tried to bounce it off of Jupiter. A friend of mine described poor quality mp3’s as sounding like someone threw a bunch of marbles in a metal bowl and rolled them around while they were recording. I have to agree; In this day and age, if you can’t make your files big enough to allow the end result to be clear and pleasing to your listener, please; don’t bother even making it!

  • Poor or no edits — Abrupt ins and outs

I know it is hard to believe for many of you, but, I have come across productions more than once that whomever the person was that posted it didn’t even take the time to clean it up a little. Their ins and outs throughout the recording are abrupt and some don’t even take the time to edit out the noise at the beginning while they were waiting for someone to start talking. I’m sorry to be so harsh, but honestly, that stinks. Taking the time to properly edit the production isn’t only necessary, but it is a must. No one I know wants to listen to something that sounds like it was done on a little recorder with the ‘vox’ feature turned on. The quality may be there but it sounds choppy. Editing the beginning and the end and adding a fade in or out makes a world of difference to you listener. Once again I offer my opinion… If you don’t have the time and/or the ability to do the even the slightest bit of editing of your production to make it more listenable, maybe you should let someone else do it for you. (Or, maybe you should think about finding something else to do…)

  • Your production sounds like you’re in a large echo-chamber

(This is one of my pet peeves and it can often drive people away from your production even if it is worth listening to.) Now, understand, I’m not talking about doing a live recording out in some room like the capitol building in Washington DC. I am talking about making your recording in your temporary (or maybe even permanent) studio area and it sounds like your making it in a public bathroom. There are several ways to control that ambient (echo-chamber like) sound and some are expensive while others aren’t. One of the simplest little things to do is find a room that doesn’t have such hard walls and floors. Carpeted floors are better than hard tile or linoleum and can help reduce the ambient sound problems. I know many of the rooms in a house are either dry wall or paneling, but, there are little ways to manage them, too. Oh, by the way, if you are making your production in your bathroom, maybe you should think about moving to another room (unless you just like hearing yourself over and over again.)

To be honest, the time has come for all who are involved or want to be involved in podcasting or making audio or video productions of all types to start thinking about paying attention to some small details that will make a big difference in the end results of their productions. The days of over-all sloppiness are gone and people expect good quality productions and downloadable files. That doesn’t mean everything has to be perfect but it does mean every effort should be made to strive for excellence.

The era of just throwing something together without concern for quality and consideration for those that will be listening or watching is over. Software and hardware have become much to sophisticated and affordable to not make the best productions you can with what you have to work with. (Imagine… all this and ease of use, too.)

Don’t forget, you can still turn out very good stuff without having to spend a fortune and by paying attention to some little things that can make your productions “as good as any and better than many…”

See ya next time… Rusty

All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer

© June 10, 2010 – all rights reserved

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Rusty Norman

I've been doing live sound, recording, editing for over thirty-five years and also I am a songwriter and author/writer. My first book, "Living Life Notes" by Rusty Norman is available on Kindle and at (Follow this Link >>>Living Life Notes by Rusty Norman