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A Beginners Guide to Descript



So, if you regularly have to record interviews for your podcasts with guests or remote host, then you will be well aware of the difficulties that recording these can present. in this blog, i will tell you how to make your audio sound like that of a pro, in one easy online app!



For years I have struggled with making calls recorded in Adobe Audition over Skype (remember that!!), FaceTime or Zoom sound studio quality. I mean, they were ok, but I am an audio geek, and I want to deliver the best sound in my podcasts and also make my guest sound at their best too.

The trouble with any VOIP call is that almost certainly the guest will not be on a studio quality condenser mic and probably not in a particularly good environment either. My AudioTechica AT2035 mic with with Rycote pop filter is a high quality microphone with a full dynamic range of over 20,000 Hz. A call over, say Zoom, will typically top-out at around 8000Hz. This causes a huge disparity in the sound of my guest, compared to me.

In days gone by, I’d use all sorts of costly plug-in’s that at times didn’t give that good a result. I spent ages, de-ess’ing, de-reverb’ing, de-noising…you name I did it. Now, to be fair, Audition has added plenty to their arsenal native effects to help, and they do a reasonable job, but what I am about to tell you has changed the game - forever!



Descript


Descript is a free online Artificial Intelligence app. One of it’s primary services & uses is to transcribe audio (which it does brilliantly). But another, less well known service within its suite is the audio clean-up ability it has known as ‘Studio Effect’. It is so simple to use, that I now use it routinely at the end of every interview.

The quality it delivers is stunning. Open up their page at https://www.descript.com and hit the plus sign in the top right corner, and pretty much, you are done! For all those sound engineers that spent years in college & university, studying and learning their craft, I do feel a certain empathy. But the ease with which you can now achieve astounding audio quality, is frankly shocking.

There was one particular, high profile guest I had on one of my shows this summer, that I would really have struggled with. I was worried at the time, but knew I had this one opportunity to record and capture the interview as he was off on tour the day after. The guest was in a room with a TV playing and other people in the room talking, eating and drinking. There was a lot going on. The guest was using a built in mic on a laptop with no headphones. It was my worst nightmare. I thought, “well, lets throw this at Descript and see what it can do.” It was at that very moment, that I was forever sold on using Descript.

If you have not yet tried it, do. Wait no longer. The uses are endless too. Lets say you have old audio footage from a family event - christening, wedding or birthday party…then Descript can come to your rescue and even save the emotional days too.

I actually use it so much now, I have downloaded the app and having it sitting in the dock on my MacBook. Honestly, it is one app I could not do without these days.

And for your interest, I have embedded my recent YouTube video here which is a beginners guide to using descript. Let me know in the comments if you found it useful and what you have used Descript for.




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