What is step #1 to create a low-noise ASMR recording?

ASMR Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response UniversityYep, reduce external noise.

Notice two things.  The post title said “low-noise” not “noise-free”.

Totally noise-free recordings are like unicorns, dream about them all you want but they still will never exist.

So don’t expect noise-free, just do your best to minimize the noise.

The other important part of the post title?  “Step #1”.  This means there are many other things to consider to minimize noise input.  I will chat about them in future posts if you want but they include:

  • hoping listeners use cheap headphones (seriously, they will hear a lot less noise that way),
  • using noise-removal software,
  • using low-noise recorders,
  • using low-noise pre-amps,
  • using low-noise cables
  • using low-noise microphones
  • being distant from electromagnetic interference (the invisible recording killer)
  • and lastly, reducing internal room noise.

How does that last one “reduce internal room noise” differ from “reduce external noise”?  The internal room noise is the noise that you create (like foot shuffling and computer fan noise) coupled with the acoustics of the room.  Again, worthy of a separate post.

Here I want to chat about reducing external noise with strategy and tactics.  For example a barking dog.

No, not by violent or malicious strategy and tactics.

But by “good citizen” strategy and tactics.

Strategy #1 is general location.  Your end product (the ASMR recording being high quality) should be so important to you that before you even begin to think about recording you think about location.

Is my neighborhood or are my neighbors too noisy?  If so, consider another location.  A friend’s place, a family member’s place, or perhaps even out in the woods.

It is much better to have birds in the background of your recordings than sirens and keg parties.

Strategy #2 is specific location.  So you live in a quiet neighborhood and you plan to plop down in your bedroom and record.  Many microphones are very sensitive and may still pick up the occasional car that drives by your window.

Do you have a room without windows?  A basement?  A room in the basement that has concrete walls with dirt on the other side?  That could be your best space to record.  Less worries now about stray sounds creeping in.

I’ll save the tactics for another post.  But as an FYI, the tactics will be about soundproofing your space to further minimize stray sounds from getting into your recordings.

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This post brought to you by the ASMR University.  A site with the mission of increasing the awareness, understanding, and research of the Art and Science of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.

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