How to Mic an Interview: Tips and Techniques for Clear Audio Recording

When it comes to recording interviews, having good audio quality is essential. Poor audio can ruin an otherwise great interview, making it difficult for listeners to understand what is being said. Proper microphone placement is one of the most important factors in achieving good audio.

Several different microphone options can be used for interviews, including handheld microphones, lavalier (lapel) microphones, and shotgun microphones. Each type has advantages and disadvantages; the choice will depend on the specific situation and desired sound.

There are a few key things to keep in mind regarding microphone placement. The microphone should be positioned close to the speaker’s mouth but not so close that it picks up unwanted sounds, such as breathing or mouth noises. It’s also important to consider the background noise in the recording environment and try to minimize it as much as possible. With the right microphone and proper placement, capturing clear, high-quality audio for interviews is possible.

Table of Contents

How to Mic an Interview: Tips and Techniques for Clear Audio Recording

Preparing for the Interview

When it comes to conducting a successful interview, preparation is key. This section will cover two important aspects of interview preparation: Location and Scheduling.


Choosing the right location for an interview is crucial. A quiet, distraction-free environment is ideal for conducting an interview. The interviewer should consider the following factors when selecting a location:

  • Noise level: The location should be free from loud noises or distractions that could interfere with the interview.
  • Lighting: The lighting should be adequate, allowing the interviewer and interviewee to see each other.
  • Privacy: The location should be private to ensure confidentiality.
  • Accessibility: The location should be easily accessible for the interviewer and interviewee.


Scheduling an interview can be challenging, especially if the interviewer and interviewee have busy schedules. The interviewer should consider the following when scheduling an interview:

  • Time: The interview should be scheduled conveniently for both parties.
  • Duration: The interviewer should allow enough time for the interview. Typically, interviews last between 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Confirmation: The interviewer should confirm the interview time and location with the interviewee a few days before.

By preparing for an interview, the interviewer can ensure that the interview runs smoothly and that they can gather the necessary information from the interviewee.

Choosing the Right Microphone

When it comes to mic’ing an interview, choosing the right microphone is crucial. Various types of microphones are available in the market, and each has unique features and benefits. This section will discuss the three main types of microphones you can use for an interview: Lavalier, Shotgun Mic, and Handheld Microphone.


Lavalier microphones are small, discreet microphones that clip onto the speaker’s clothing. They are ideal for interviews where you want to capture the subject’s voice without distracting them with a visible microphone. Lavalier mics are omnidirectional, which means they pick up sound from all directions. They are perfect for capturing natural-sounding dialogue and are commonly used in TV and film production.

Shotgun Mic

Shotgun microphones are directional microphones that capture sound from a specific direction. They are commonly used in film production and are mounted on a boom pole to capture audio from a specific angle. Shotgun mics are ideal for capturing audio in noisy environments as they can be pointed directly at the subject, reducing background noise. They are also useful when you need to capture audio from a distance.

Handheld Microphone

Handheld microphones are the most common type of microphone used for interviews. They are easy to use and offer excellent sound quality. Handheld microphones are directional, which means they capture sound from a specific direction. They are ideal for situations where you want to capture the subject’s voice clearly and without any background noise. Handheld microphones are also great for capturing audio from multiple speakers.

When choosing a microphone, there are a few factors to consider. The microphone’s design is essential as it can affect the sound quality. For example, a Lavalier microphone may not capture audio in a noisy environment as it may pick up too much background noise. Similarly, a shotgun mic may not be ideal for capturing audio from multiple speakers.

Sound quality is another crucial factor to consider when choosing a microphone. A high-quality microphone will produce clear, crisp sound, while a low-quality microphone will produce muffled or distorted sound. Investing in a microphone that will produce clear, high-quality sound is essential when choosing a microphone.

In conclusion, choosing the right microphone is crucial when mic’ing an interview. Lavalier, shotgun, and handheld microphones are the most common for interviews. When choosing a microphone, it is essential to consider the design and sound quality to ensure that you capture high-quality audio.

Setting up the Microphone

When it comes to mic’ing an interview, setting up the microphone is a crucial step. This section will discuss the different aspects of setting up the microphone, including collaboration, media, and software.


Before setting up the microphone, it’s important to collaborate with the interviewee to ensure they are comfortable with the microphone placement. This will help to avoid any potential issues during the interview, such as the microphone being too close or too far away from the interviewee.

Collaboration can also help ensure that the microphone is placed in the best possible position to capture clear audio. This may involve testing different microphone placements and angles to find the optimal position for the interviewee.


The type of media being used to record the interview can also impact the microphone setup. For example, if the interview is being recorded for a podcast, a different microphone setup may be required compared to an interview being recorded for television.

In addition, the type of microphone being used can also impact the media. For example, a Lavalier microphone may be more suitable for a television interview, while a shotgun microphone may be more appropriate for a podcast.


Finally, the software recording the interview can also impact the microphone setup. It’s important to ensure that the microphone is properly configured in the recording software to ensure that the audio is captured at the correct level.

In addition, the recording software may also have features that can help to improve the audio quality, such as noise reduction or equalization. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these features and use them appropriately to ensure the audio quality is as high as possible.

Overall, setting up the microphone is important in ensuring an interview is recorded with clear and high-quality audio. By collaborating with the interviewee, considering the media being used, and configuring the recording software appropriately, you can help ensure the audio quality is as high as possible.

Recording the Interview

When recording an interview, remember a few key things to ensure the audio quality is clear and concise. Whether it’s a journalistic interview, job interview, or research interview, the following tips will help you get the most out of your recording.

Choosing the Right Microphone

The first step in recording an interview is choosing the right microphone. There are a few different types of microphones to choose from, including:

  • Lavalier Microphones: These small, clip-on microphones are great for interviews where the subject is moving around or if you need to record audio from a distance.
  • Shotgun Microphones: These directional microphones are ideal for interviews where the subject is stationary, and the interviewer is nearby.
  • Handheld Microphones: These microphones are great for interviews where the interviewer and subject are both stationary and can hold the microphone close to their mouths.

Positioning the Microphone

Once you’ve chosen the right microphone, it’s important to position it correctly to get the best audio quality. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Lavalier Microphones: Clip the microphone to the subject’s clothing, ensuring it’s close to their mouth but not rubbing against anything.
  • Shotgun Microphones: Position the microphone out of frame, pointing at the subject’s mouth.
  • Handheld Microphones: Hold the microphone close to the subject’s mouth, but not so close that it picks up unwanted noise.

Recording the Interview

When it’s time to start recording, ensure you’re in a quiet environment with minimal background noise. Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Check Levels: Before recording, ensure the levels are set correctly on your recording device. You want to ensure the audio isn’t too loud or too quiet.
  • Record Room Tone: Before you start the interview, record a few seconds of room tone. This will give you a baseline for the ambient noise in the environment.
  • Monitor the Audio: While recording, keep an eye on the audio levels to ensure everything sounds good. If you notice any issues, make adjustments as needed.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your interview recordings are clear and professional. Whether conducting a research interview or recording a job interview, these tips will help you get the most out of your audio.

Transcribing the Interview

Transcribing an interview is an essential part of the interview process. It involves converting the recorded audio into text format, making it easier to analyze and reference the interview. Here are some tips on how to transcribe an interview:

Sound Quality

The quality of the audio recording is crucial when transcribing an interview. Poor sound quality can make it challenging to understand what the interviewee is saying, leading to errors in the transcription. To ensure good sound quality, use a high-quality microphone and place it close to the interviewee. Also, consider using a pop filter to reduce background noise.

Transcription Tools

Transcription tools can help simplify the transcription process. There are many transcription tools available, ranging from free to paid versions. Some popular tools include, Temi, and Rev. These tools can automatically transcribe the audio, making the process faster and more accurate.

Research Interviews

Before transcribing an interview, it’s essential to research the topic and the interviewee. This will help the transcriber understand the context of the interview and the interviewee’s background. Researching the topic will also help the transcriber identify any technical terms or jargon the interviewee uses, making the transcription more accurate.

Transcription Format

The transcription format is also an important consideration. There are different transcription formats, including verbatim, intelligent verbatim, and clean verbatim. Verbatim transcription includes every word spoken, including filler words such as “um” and “ah.” Intelligent verbatim removes filler words and repetitions, while clean verbatim removes all filler words and repetitions, resulting in a more polished transcription.

In conclusion, transcribing an interview requires attention to detail and good sound quality. Using transcription tools and researching the topic beforehand can make the process faster and more accurate. Choosing the appropriate transcription format can also result in a more polished transcription.

Final Thought on How to Mic an Interview

In conclusion, micing an interview is essential to any recording session. It sets the tone for the rest of the recording and helps ensure the audio is clear and crisp. You can easily mic an interview and capture great audio with simple steps and the right equipment.

Juan Louder
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Juan Louder

I started SoundStudioMagic to learn how to record my own audiobook at home, and now I'm addicted to all the latest techniques and gear.

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