Recording Tips

Interested in sending a story pitch or an Unsung Hero suggestion to Hidden Brain? Here are instructions for how to record a voice memo with your idea: 

  1. Find a quiet space to record. Generally, softer surfaces like carpet make for better recording than hard surfaces like hardwood floors. You could record in a small quiet room, a closet, or even build yourself a pillow fort! 
  2. Open up a recording app. If you have an iPhone, all you need is the Voice Memos app that automatically comes with every phone. If you have an Android, Smart Voice Recorder is a good option. 
  3. Hold the phone up to your face as you would for a normal phone call. Or place the recording phone on a stack of books or paper towel roll about 6 inches away from your face (usually a little over a fist’s length away).
  4. Hit the record button. Often it’s a big red circle.
  5. Record a message about your Unsung Hero! Please speak in full sentences. For example, if you’re answering prompt #5 above, you could say “If [Unsung Hero] was standing in front of me right now, I’d tell them…”
  6.  When you’re done and still recording, sit quietly for about 30 seconds. This will allow us to collect room tone, which will be helpful in our editing. Then hit the stop button.
  7. Save the recording. Some apps allow you to do it immediately, but others require you to do it yourself.
  8. Send the audio file to ideas@hiddenbrain.org with the subject line “Unsung Hero.” For the Voice Memos app, go to the ellipses (three dots) on the bottom left of the file and then click share. 

If you own your own mic and want to get fancy about recording, you can check out a guide from NPR here.