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304 – Secrets of recording high quality audio: Tom talks Great Audio Products
From:
Tom Antion -- Internet Marketing Expert Tom Antion -- Internet Marketing Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Virginia Beach , VA
Monday, July 06, 2020

 

Episode 304 – Great Audio Products
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.

[00:00:24] Hey everybody. It's Tom here with episode three hundred and four of Screw the Commute podcast. Today, we're going to talk about how to create great audio products. Audio is not dead. There's it's going crazy, in fact, with podcast and audio products and audible.com and all of these things. So check this episode out. Hope you didn't miss Episode three oh three. That was Raquel Gardner. She's been a working actor for the last 30 years and coaching actors for seven years. The thing is, you won't even believe when you look her up online that she's even 30 years old. So. So check that out if you missed it. How would you like to hear your own voice here on screw the Commute? Well, if the show has helped you out at all in your business or giving you ideas to help you start a business. We want to hear about it. Visit screwthecommute.com and look for a little blue sidebar that says send voicemail. Click on it. Talk into your phone or computer and tell me how the shows helped you. And also put your Web site on there so I can give you a big shout out in your own voice on a future episode of Screw the Commute, where thousands of people will hear about you. Make sure you grab a copy of your automation e-book. This is an e-book. We charge twenty seven bucks for.

[00:01:44] But it's just a powerful, powerful, powerful. How many times I have to say powerful.

[00:01:52] It saved me millions of keystrokes. Helps me steal business off of other people that are too slow to get back to you. All the tips and tricks I use. Grab it at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. But then implement the darn ideas that will save you all kinds of work. Tell you the truth. All right. While you're at it. Grab a copy of our podcast app at screwthecommute.com/app. And you can do all kinds of cool things on your cell phone and tablet and take us with you on the road. Now we're back in more waves of this stupid pandemic. And I'm getting sick of this, not from my behalf. It has changed my life a bit other than I got to take a bandana with me everywhere I go. But other than that, my business is no different. So you can have this and the you know, you didn't listen to me 20 years ago, somebody. Now's the time to learn how to make money from home so you're not stuck in traffic. Remember, screw the commute and learn these skills. Now, I have formalized my training in two ways. A mentor program, which I'll tell you about later, and a school which is the only licensed, dedicated Internet marketing school in the country teaching these hard core skills that you need to have an in demand skill out in the marketplace. I mean, you've got your kids spending fortunes go going to four year college and all they know how to do is protest.

[00:03:28] When they are high, they can't get jobs or they're competing for jobs at Starbucks, while this school teaches the things that are needed by every business on Earth. So you can write your own ticket. You can start your own business. You can work for others or both. There's no reason why you can't. So check that out at IMTCVA.org and then call me. I'll discuss your future, your kids future, your grandchildren's future nephews, nieces and me. It's a great legacy gift you could give them if you have some extra cash rather than a car or some depreciable thing. This is something you can give them a career within a few months, literally.

[00:04:11] All right. Now let's get to the main event, how to create great audio products. I've made a fortune with audio products over many years. And even though we have all these other methods of conveying information, audio still sells today. Well, why? Because it's the only medium where you can learn or be entertained while doing something else. You don't see too many people jogging down the street or working out at the gym trying to watch videos on their iPhone right there listening to stuff.

[00:04:45] Yeah. Many are listening to free podcasts like this one, but many are listening to paid information products. So you do what I tell you in this episode and they could be giving you their money. Now, the first thing I need to emphasize is that you must get it in your head, you're going to produce high quality audio. Now, this doesn't mean you have to spend one hundred dollars an hour to go to a studio like I did for my first product.

[00:05:15] In fact, even though that product is still selling today after 28 years, OK, it's the worst recording I ever did. I was in a tiny sound booth sweating like a pig. Very uncomfortable and and worried every second about making a mistake because the clock was ticking at a hundred bucks an hour. This is 28 years ago. Now, you don't have to suffer any of that nowadays. I'm producing way better quality now on my computer for free than I did for a hundred dollars an hour then.

[00:05:52] And I'm going to tell you how to do that in this episode.

[00:05:56] Again, I want you thinking great quality. See, having poor quality will hurt you in several ways. Audio listeners have a hard enough time listening through earbuds and headphones on, you know, the proverbial trains, planes and automobiles. If your quality starts out poor and gets worse, by the time the listener tries to listen on tiny earbuds, they'll surely not be happy with your product, though. Either ask for a refund or never buy anything from you again. Now there's one hard and fast production rule. I want you to get this in your head. People will put up with poor video, but they will never put up with poor audio. Remember that? Another reason poor quality will hurt you is that the best podcasts and audio products are really well produced and easy to listen to on any kind of device in any noisy setting. Your quality is being compared to known good quality recordings of yours is always poor and others are always good, while you're going to be thought of as poor quality and that's going to translate into people feeling you aren't a quality person to do business with. You don't want that.

[00:07:16] Now, in this episode, I'm going to concentrate just on you sitting down or standing in front of a microphone if that suits you better and recording stuff.

[00:07:29] Yeah, you can do other kinds of audio products with guests and interviews, but I don't want to complicate things here. I know I resisted doing audio for a long time, then sat down and did it. I couldn't believe how easy it was. My first product was 28 years ago. I told you about that. And it's still selling today. Talk about a return on investment. So I want to get you to that point where you can't believe how easy it was to create a piece of intellectual property. And like I just told you, if you have an evergreen topic, which means it doesn't change much over time, you could still be collecting money from it. Twenty eight years from now or even pass it on to your children as an intellectual property asset long when you're gone. OK. I know we don't want to think about that right now, but that's the truth of it.

[00:08:25] So we're just going to talk about you recording yourself and creating a finished product. And frequently in a matter of hours. That's a pretty good deal when you say. All right. Let's get started. Now, the first thing you have to consider is where you will record. You may have multiple places right in your house that you could record in, but which is better. The first thing I'll ask you to consider is what are your floors and wall like? Do you have large areas of bare walls that bounce the sound around like crazy? Do you have hardwood or linoleum or or stone floors that do the same thing? Maybe you have a smaller room with carpeted floors and things hanging all over the walls that will deaden the sound and that would be a better place. Now, I'm not going to ask him to pay expensive acoustic foam and glue it all over your walls. All right. I sure have. But you have to do something so you don't have hard. Well, let me actually say harsh surfaces where sound will be all echoey and bouncing all over the place. Now, four walls, you could put up large decorative wall hangings made of cloth, four floors. You could put down area rugs and find how you're saying. Well, that really make a difference. Yes, it will. It will be totally different sound in the room. One other option would be to set your microphone up in front of a closet full of clothes.

[00:10:06] You speak towards the clothes and that makes a great sound deadenders so that only your voice is going into the microphone. Not 10 versions of your voice bouncing from all over the floor, the walls and floors of your place.

[00:10:22] All right. Now let's consider outside noises. I mean, do you live near an airport or does a train run by your house six times a day? Well, you may need to adjust the time of day that you record to avoid noises from those sources. Maybe in the live next to a busy road. So you set up at the FA this point away from the road you can in your house. Some people even make a studio out of a shed behind their home to get away from noise from kids and dogs and road noises and whatever else might be getting on your record. Now, I've got another do it yourself idea for you to cut out outside noise. Listen to listen to this. Not much money involved in this. Get yourself a cardboard box. Maybe about the size of what a microwave oven would fit in if you don't have one. Go down to your local U-Haul and for a buck and a half. You can get a moving box or Wal-Mart probably has some.

[00:11:25] Cut off the top flaps.

[00:11:29] Then go to Wal-Mart and get yourself some foam bedding. It's the kind that's used from getting bed sores if you're laid up in bed. You know, it's all bumpy. Take a razor blade knife, cut it up and glue it on the inside of this box. So you've got a box now covered inside with foam. Then turn the box upside down so that the open part is sitting on your desk. Take a razor blade knife and cut an upside down U. Shaped hole in the side of the box. So now it looks like a little mini doghouse. Put your microphone in the box and then you talk into the U. Shaped hole. You will be amazed that the beautiful sound quality you'll get and the amount of outside noise that will be cut out from reaching the microphone. And you've got a couple dollars invested in. Also, when you're recording turn off loud air conditioning units, fans. I even had people with fish tanks making gurgling noises and grandfather clocks and whatever else is making noise in the room. See, you got to really think about this because you live there and have become accustomed to these noises and sounds. But anything I just mentioned could ruin your recording.

[00:12:54] Ok, now you got a great place to record. What's next? Well, all great recordings start with a good microphone.

[00:13:04] And yes, just a good microphone can produce a great recording, but it doesn't have to cost a lot of money. I mean, microphones sometimes are three thousand dollars. But literally, you're looking at.

[00:13:18] 60 to 100 bucks. All right. You can do this now.

[00:13:23] Do not be tempted to use a cheap noise cancelling headset with its pitiful little microphone at the end of a pitiful little boom. I mean, do it right and get a good mark for a highway. I mean, to keep it simple, get a USB microphone that will plug right into your computer. Put it on a mike stand. A scissors boom. That's one that you can move around if you've ever seen pictures of, still shots of me doing the podcast. I have a scissors boom. Or a desk stand. A little short one.

[00:13:59] And some of them come with their own destiny, stand like the very versatile blue Yeti microphone. And I've seen these on buying apps like Facebook Marketplace and offer up and let go for as little as 60 bucks and never pay more than a hundred dollars or so for it. Brand new. They're always on sale somewhere. And please don't use a little lavalier or clip on microphone. We want great sound right now, I'm not talking about when you're doing your in-house videos that we teach you that's different. We're talking about doing audio only high, high quality. See that little Cavaliers are not going to give you that deep, rich sound that we want. That shows great quality. And so don't super cheap out on this when you can get great quality for cheap. And get in touch with me for recommendations or visit your local music store. Tell him your budget and what you're doing and some of them or even let you try the mike out to see how it sounds. Now, you'll also want a pop screen. This is a clip on accessory that costs about 15 bucks and helps keep your breath from making weird noise when you say certain sounds like B and P. Now I'm simulate this for you. So you hear P. Now, you probably could hear that. That's going to make a nasty sound on my recording. I mean, go ahead and hold your hand in front of your mouth and say the letter P, you will feel your breath hit your hand. Well, that's like a sledgehammer hitting your microphone. Okay. And a nasty sound that makes it's very difficult or impossible to edit out. I even talk at an angle across my microphone so that my breath doesn't hit it.

[00:15:51] All right.

[00:15:51] Next is recording and editing software. If you have a Mac, you already have garage band that's free. It's free and it comes on your computer. If you have a P.C., there's a free program called Audacity. I happened to use it Adobe Audition, which I paid 20 bucks a month for it. Now I like it because it works like a charm and it has a feature that I just love, and that's called noise reduction. Maybe other programs have it, too. I don't know. I just know how to use it in Adobe. So what is noise reduction?

[00:16:32] Well, just because of the electronics of what you're doing, there's inherent noise in your recording. It comes from the microphone, the cables, electricity in your wall and maybe from your air conditioning and fans and whatever else is running constantly and making noise.

[00:16:50] So what I do is I start the recorder, but I don't say anything. I'm basically recording all this noise. Then Addo in Adobe, I highlight the section of that noise. It's called wave editing. You can see what your voice looks like on the screen.

[00:17:08] So you highlight just the blank place where you're not talking. And then I copy it. It's called taking a noise print.

[00:17:17] Then I tell Adobe, go through the entire file and remove that noise.

[00:17:22] The whole place. And then in a few seconds, all that noise is wiped clean. And I got a really clean recording. I really love that. It's just beautiful. And you can learn how to do it. And maybe three minutes. Now, there's one other program that's a paid program that I like, a light called Sound Forge. I actually used it for about 20 years. But anyway, I would just pick a program where someone willing to help you learn uses the same thing. But all of them have hundreds of tutorial videos on YouTube.

[00:17:56] All right.

[00:17:57] So now you've got a USB microphone plugged into your computer, recording into recording software. Pretty simple.

[00:18:07] Now, I want to teach you a technique that I used for over 20 years to have a finished recording with little or no editing as soon as I was done talking and we're not talking about editing much in this particular thing.

[00:18:20] We just want you to produce great quality sound.

[00:18:24] All right. So here's what I would do. I would talk into the microphone, and if I would flub something up, I would just back up to the beginning of the flubbed up sentence and start recording over the thing that I flubbed up. OK, so now everything's trucking right along and there's no mistakes. Now, if I flub up again, I'd back up and record that sentence over the flubbed up sentence and so forth until I finished the recording. So by the time I got to the end, I had a finished recording that didn't require any any editing other than if I was going to put music at the beginning and the end. This technique of fixing mistakes as you go can save you tons of time and editing.

[00:19:12] Now, when you're recording, you want to record at the highest quality possible and then you distribute your recording as an MP three file, which is much smaller in file size, so you can't record at low quality and then make a high quality file. You recorded high quality and then you can always reduce the quality to make it easier for people to download.

[00:19:38] Seem to be much smaller now on a P.C., the highest quality is a .wav or a wave file. On a Mac. It's called a .aiff file. But anyway, those are the highest qualities on a Mac and a P.C. Now one thing to know about MP three files is that you can vary the quality of them. So let's say you start out with an hour long audio in wav format and it's mono as opposed to stereo. So you don't need stereo for the spoken voice product because unless you plan on having an orchestra and a horn section in your lawn and you know the string section in your bathroom, it is ridiculous. So if you use stereo, you're only doubling the file size and it's not going to sound any better. So you record and Mondo.

[00:20:34] And there's just settings on all year programs to say stereo or mono easy. So let's say that mono recording of one hour is three hundred and twenty five megabytes as a wav file. That is enormous. Nobody would want to download that to their iPhone on Wi-Fi or even hard wired. So you decide you better make the file smaller by converting it in. Your software will do this for you. Any other ones I said will do this for you to Empey three. Well, what most people don't know is that MP3 files can be made in various qualities. You can have CD quality all the way down to one step above static. It's so bad. It sounds terrible, but the file size is really tiny. So here's an example. One hour of wave. Recording in mono is three hundred twenty five megabytes. When you convert it to CD quality MP3. Remember, you're going to keep the high quality version always forever, but then you're going to convert and make a separate version, an MP three. So if you make it CD quality MP3, it's only 32 megabytes. It's ten times smaller. And when I'm just creating training for my membership sites, in other words, I'm not selling a standalone product. I take it down even further to about 10 megabytes for an hour. That's 30 times smaller than the wave form. It's still easy to listen to, but it's nowhere near the really rich quality of the CD quality.

[00:22:22] And by the way, most people couldn't tell the difference in sound between the full quality and the seed equality. So for our purposes of creating great products, see the equality which is 10 times smaller, is just fine. All right. Now, here's one more piece of hardware you can get. Or if you figure out how you do it, you can use software to achieve the same results. The hardware that I have is called a compressor limiter. OK. So what does this do for you? Well, you got to consider how people are listening to your information. They could be jogging outside. They could be on a treadmill riding a train or a bus or plane or automobile. They're probably listening on tiny earbuds as opposed to big high quality headphones in a quiet environment at their home. In other words, the listening environment is noisy and far from ideal. Well, guess what? That's the way the world is in the world's not going to change for you. You got to adapt and make your recording the best it can be. Knowing there will be other noises going on when people are listening. That's where a compressor comes in, and I know audio experts are going to throw up with my simple explanation. But like I said before, I want to keep this simple. So you actually do what I'm telling you. All right. Here's what I want you to picture in your mind. We're talking about compressor's here. Hold your right hand palm up.

[00:24:01] Not if you're driving. All right, hold your right hand out in front of a palm up now, in your left hand is an air filled balloon. You're going to take your left hand palm down and place the balloon on top of your right hand, which is palm up. So you're basically holding a balloon between your hands. One palm up, one on down.

[00:24:25] Then you're going to slowly pressure hands towards each other. I had no press so hard that you burst the balloon. OK. So what happens to the balloon? It starts to get squished in between your hands, all the air is still in the balloon. But the top of the balloon is pushed down and the bottom of the balloon is pushed up.

[00:24:49] That's compression.

[00:24:51] See, compression in audio is taking the high frequencies and the low frequencies, which are both harder for the human ear to hear, and it's squishes them into the middle where they are much easier to hear. And this process and again, I know the audio experts are currently throwing up, is what makes your audio easy to listen to in noisy environments on little earbuds. And remember, you're being compared to other professional recordings. If they have trouble hearing yours and they don't have trouble hearing other people's recordings, you're going to lose. A listener may be permanent.

[00:25:34] All right. So that's a compressor. So what's a limiter?

[00:25:40] Well, it limits really loud sounds, so they don't distort.

[00:25:46] So something happens, let's say you burst into loud laughter, which would have distorted your recording. Well, the limiter cuts it off before the sound gets really bad. Again, it's a very simple explanation, but you do not want distortion because I don't think it can ever be fixed perfectly. And even if it was fixed, you'd need some really talented and experienced audio editing expert and it would cost you money.

[00:26:15] So avoid distortion. So that's what a limiter does.

[00:26:21] And one other thing that my compressor limiter has is called a noise gate. This can be said so that any noises below a certain volume are cut out. And so if anything does sneak in, that's not supposed to be there, that's very low level, it cuts it out of the recording for you. So this makes even the noise reduction process I discussed earlier, even cleaner. Now, one other thing you're going to do is called normalise. And what that's going to do is it's going to take your audio and raise it up electronically to just the point before distortion so that you have the strongest signal. So that's called normalization. And every program does that to very easy to learn how to do.

[00:27:09] I mean, it's nothing more than highlight the file and click a button. Done. All right.

[00:27:15] Now, let's talk about music to make your production more professional. First of all, never, ever, ever use copyrighted music. You're asking for a federal lawsuit with staggering amounts of money. If you get caught by the copyright police. Now you can get copyright free music from my friend Mike Stewart at the Internetaudioguy.com. Or another source would be musicBakery.com. I would go with Mike. So if you get stuck using the music, you've got someone to call. This guy's got a gold record and been doing audio engineering for ever, ever. Pretty much. Now, I don't put music throughout my entire production. Only on the front and back. And the professional way to put music is to what they call mix it. In other words, in the beginning of your recording, the music fades down as your voice comes in. They overlap Kaieda, and in the end of your production, the music fades in as you finish your recording. Now, don't let this worry you. Also, you can learn how to do this in about 15 minutes of training. No problem. Music adds a real polished recording. But don't hold up if you don't have music and you can always added in later, just do the recording.

[00:28:36] Now, a couple other issues I want to address before I turn you loose on the audio world. One is script or bullet points. I have done both successfully. Now, if you know your material bullet points may be enough for you to get a darn good recording.

[00:28:55] You're just talking your way through it. I've got tons of them like this.

[00:28:59] But what you will find is that it's easier to knock out the recording, but you may spend more time on editing. Again, we're not covering anything on this episode. Now, if you want to make sure you get every detail into the recording, I suggest writing a script. I resisted this for a long time when I first started, I thought to myself, I don't. I wrote a book, but I don't know how to write a script is different. Well, after I buckled down and did it, of course, it was way easier than I thought. Now, for pretty much all of these podcast on Mondays, when it's just me doing a training session, I pretty much write out a script. I seriously doubt if anyone listening to this feels like I'm reading. But guess what? Here's the big secret. I've read every word of this so far except a couple ad libs through. Here's the key. Write out everything you want to say word for word, then read it out loud and change the script to reflect how you would really say something when you were talking.

[00:30:08] That's all there is to it. And then practice. If you're talking to somebody, pause. See, I just passed it.

[00:30:19] I didn't write that in there. I just threw that at the last second. But pause belt dad stuff. You're excited about.

[00:30:26] Hit quiet when it's really serious stuff. See? So all of it's written out in a script.

[00:30:33] See, the more you can do things upfront correctly, the less editing you'll have to do or have to pay somebody to do. So try it both ways.

[00:30:41] And we're just bullet points one time and a full script another and see which one you like the best with.

[00:30:47] How how good it goes for you. OK. Let's talk briefly about delivering your product.

[00:30:53] Well, you know, for me this I've got tons of other Monday sessions on this on how to sell stuff and all that. But you're going to deliver your product. You sell it off your website with a with a sales letter Kickstart card. The shopping cart system delivers it after they pay automatically. There you go. You're done.

[00:31:12] But some people will want to take it to another level. And one place that will possibly help you with this is called audible.com.

[00:31:23] And I've got a link to their submission page. If you think you want to go big time now, keep in mind it has to be unique material. You can't sell it anywhere else if you use audible, but they'll make a deal with you. So I'm going to read you just the first three paragraphs from their submission guidelines, word for word here. All right, here we go. Here at Audible, we're in search of the next generation of great audio storytellers, which is why we're introducing a thing called pitch at Audible. We're looking for original, unpublished English as English language works of fiction and nonfiction that are crafted for the listening experience. We encourage outstanding storytellers across mediums, from novelists to journalists, podcasters to filmmakers, to submit their best audio ideas to be considered as an audible original pitch at Audible. We'll consider completed scripts, manuscripts and audio, as well as proposals with sample writing and or audio. Audible Originals publishes both short form 5000 to 15000 words, which is about 30 to 90 minutes and long form over 15000 words. It's over 90 minutes. Accepted submissions will receive an exclusive development deal with audible originals, which includes best in class editorial production and marketing support. And then they give way more details below that.

[00:32:52] So have the link there if you want to go big time for there. All right. So if you want help doing everything I covered today, check out my mentor program where myself and my entire staff are going to tutor you not only on this topic, but all the other topics to be successful and have a successful business online. GreatInternetmarketingtraining.com is the longest running, most successful ever and most unique mentor program in the field of Internet marketing. You spend a immersion weekend at the retreat center here in Virginia Beach. Of course not until a pandemic thing's gone. But we don't even let people come here for at least four months after they join so that they're not deer in the headlights the whole time around here. And then the other thing that's unique is that I don't do any group stuff other than the retreat, which is maybe five people here. All of your training is one on one tutoring directly by me or people that I have trained in the shortest time. People have been here in six years. That's the shortest time an employee. We have summer 12 years. One's 18 years. So these people know their stuff and they were trained by me.

[00:34:04] So it's one on one because I don't like group in that. If I'm talking to a beginner, the advanced people are bored. If I'm talking to the advanced people, the beginners are lost. No good. You can't make progress that way. So and I have a unique system of how you pay for this. And my success is tied to your success.

[00:34:25] People love this. When I turned the Guru world on its head 20 years ago and just charged a relatively small entry fee and then a percentage of profits, that's capped.

[00:34:36] So you're not stuck with me forever. And it's basically it's a fifty thousand dollar commission. But for me to get my fifty thousand, you have to make two hundred thousand and then you don't owe another nickel and I don't get any of it unless you make money. All right. So you can be sure I will disappear on you like a lot of those other people would if you gave them fifty thousand dollars.

[00:34:57] So so I know it's the most successful, longest running, most unique, which teaches video, everything you can imagine on Internet marketing so that you can have a successful online business and you won't worry about pandemics. There you go.

[00:35:13] All right. So that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Go out, make some great audio if you want my help. Get in touch. GreatInternetmarketingtraining.com. Also, consider the school for yourself or young people in your life because you couldn't do anything better for them than to give them a highly in demand career skill. And if you're in my mentor program, you get a scholarship to the school, which you can gift to them. So no place on Earth. I'll put this program up against anybody you can come up with on this earth. I don't care how big a name they are. Because a super big names never gonna talk to you ever. All right. You talk to me one on one. And I teach this stuff. Nobody will do that. Nobody even talk to you, let alone ash. It teaches nothing. So. So check it out at Greatinternetmarketingtraining.com and IMTCVA.org. And I will catch you on the next episode. See ya later.

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