Guidelines for recording a viewpoint

It’s easy to make crisp, clean audio recordings on your smartphone. Here are a few tips:

Before recording

1. Surround yourself with pillows, rugs, sofas, etc. If you can, make the recording under a duvet! Seriously, it works!

2. Wear natural clothes. Synthetic clothes make sounds that the microphone picks up

3. If you can, use a lapel mic plugged into your smartphone. Attach the mic to your chest, above your heart

4. If you don’t have a lapel mic, hold your smartphone out in front of your chest about 30cm away

5. Practice the beginnings and ends of recordings – aim to eliminate long spaces and extra sounds

During recording

6. (Golden rule!) Begin your viewpoint by describing the place – what it is and what it looks like. It’s really important to do this first.

7. Then you might describe the local area – the street, the neighborhood, any landmarks nearby

8. If it’s a historical viewpoint, you could talk briefly about what it would have been like at that time. What were people wearing, what were they talking about, etc.?

9. Having described the place and its context, move into the main narrative of your viewpoint

10. Speak as though for radio! Assume the listener can’t see an image of the place. This will encourage you to give lots of detail, which brings a viewpoint to life

11. Speak slowly! More slowly than feels natural…

12. Keep it simple. A viewpoint should contain one, single narrative. Don’t try to fit in multiple stories. (Make a new viewpoint for each one!)

13. Express your personality! People don’t want to hear an actor, they want to hear a real human being – you!

14. HAVE FUN 🙂

For technical instructions on using Placecloud to make your recordings, see the FAQs.