When you are happy with the recorded material it is time to prepare the audio for exporting to CD. You have to make sure that your recording will sound good to people listening on a range of cd players in all sorts of environments e.g. from expensive Hi-Fi systems in their living room, to a tiny old cd player in some boomy hall, not forgetting those who prefer listening on headphones.

Some things to keep in mind about the sound quality of the finished recording.

1 EQ (Equalisation)
It is important with speech, that the words are clear and are easy to listen to. Applying Equalisation is just the same in this case, as adjusting the Bass and Treble controls on a home stereo system.
Typical tweeks for speech are;

  • Boost (increase) the high frequencies. This will help with overall clearity and will bring out speech sounds like S's and T's.
  • Cut (Reduce) the low midrange frequencies. This wil reduce the chance of BOOMING especially on bassier sound systems. It is important to consider the reader's voice when applying Equalisation, Ask yourself, what does this voice need, or what has this voice got too much of? This should help in deciding what action, if any, to take.

2 Compression.
Compression, in its purest form, is to lessen the difference between a sound's loudest and quietest level. So to put it another way, compression evens out the volume changes throughout the intire recording. A very widely used side affect of this process is to make the speech sound clearer and more percussive. Applying too much however, will make the speech sound unnatural and will bring up backround noise more. A good place to hear compression used with speech is the radio. They apply compression for a number of reasons, but the result is, that the presentor's voice is very clear and there words cut through on the majority of sound systems.

The one thing to bear in mind when deciding what processing a project needs is, is it really necessary, will the result be any better really? After all the bottom line is, if the listener can make out the words easily, then that's all that matters at the end of the day.

-- Contributed by Joe Kenny+