The quality of the audio recording is as important as the content to keep your listeners interested in your work. Voice recording is an art as well as a technique that you need to master for creating a strong impact on the audience. You may have good equipment, and you are good at voice modulation – but are you puzzled whether to record sitting or standing?
On a technical level, recording sitting or standing has the same outputs provided the other factors remain the same (your vocal technique, the acoustics of your room, etc.). However, you might find podcasters, or any other voice-over artists, often vouch for one form over another.
The decision to record sitting or standing should be entirely yours.
In this post, I will not decide for you. Rather I will clarify some points that can guide your decision.
To sit or to stand – that is the question!!!
Let me first tell you some details about recording sitting or standing.
Stand while recording – analysis, pros, and cons
If you have ever seen an artist recording his song or voice on television, you would have observed him or her passionately voicing into a microphone while standing in a high-tech studio.
Standing while recording is the most preferred way of recording in voice studios.
As a newcomer, you might think – that’s what my favorite podcaster does, so I am going to do that!
But just because a method or process is the most popular or most recommended one, doesn’t make it the right choice for you. Before deciding whether to record sitting or standing, consider the nature of the recording (the subject matter), and/or the length of time you’ll be at the mic, or how long is the entire project.
For instance, if the script is energetic and/or emotional (think fiction!), your best option would be to stand. Whereas if it is non-dramatic (like an academic podcast) or natural, you may as well sit down, as it will not require much emotion or energy.
Many podcasters and voice-over artists will say that standing is the best position, let me tell you, it has both pros and cons that you should know about.
Pros of recording in standing position
- Standing while recording gives you the freedom to express your body language.
- It permits the use of hand gestures, and you can put more energy into your work.
- Also, standing is better for health – less pressure on your spine.
- There is the added advantage of burning extra calories while standing and recording.
Cons of recording in standing position
- While we know that sitting for long hours can be harmful to health, standing for a long period too has its downsides. It leads to aching limbs, tiredness, and for some people, certain medical conditions can make standing full of distress.
- You may not be comfortable or don’t have the energy if your recording has a long duration – you may tire yourself quickly.
Sit while recording – analysis, pros, and cons
Sitting is preferred for the recordings, which need a softer, gentler tone.
Being seated allows you to create an intimate atmosphere and give voice to the gentle aspects of the script.
Podcasters and voice-over artists who cannot access a studio will work from home, where they sit and record their work.
Recording podcasts and other forms of content while sitting in front of a laptop or smaller hand-held sound recorders is common for newcomers who are reluctant to invest in a microphone and mic stand needed for standing recording sessions.
Pros of recording in sitting position
- While standing brings energy, sitting can help if you want to record the script that needs to sound gentle or subtle.
- You can be comfortable and work for a longer duration without killing your feet.
- You can be at the mic for longer periods without getting tired.
- Recording while sitting will make you comfortable.
When you sit and record, you can easily coordinate with others virtually for your podcast (for example, a telephonic interview with a guest).
Sitting and recording is also a great option if you want to live-stream your work, or you have an academic or analytical podcast where you don’t have to use a range of emotions while recording.
Cons of recording in sitting position
- People who like to use body movements or hand gestures may feel constrained.
- You may feel that recorded voice covers lack personality because body language isn’t possible. But I would say that this one is actually achievable – it’s a matter of practice and strategy in bringing the characters or nuances of your script into life.
- There are also some health implications for sitting for too long. Sitting for too long can strain your back, shoulders, and neck.
An important consideration while deciding whether to record sitting or standing is your script. What kind of energy it needs and what are you comfortable with?
There are several other factors that you need to look into before recording a perfect podcast.
Making a choice for yourself!
Let us look at factors which should be considered when you choose if you want to record sitting or standing.
1. What is your personal preference
What makes you more comfortable – is it to record sitting or standing?
Your own choice matters the most as you should not face a mental block while recording your podcast. Regardless of the purpose, podcasting is a creative outlet, so it’s your freedom to record the way you want.
I would suggest you try it both ways to figure out what makes you comfortable. Comfort gives you more confidence, and confidence makes your podcast sound perfect.
How long can you record sitting or standing without affecting your physical energy or mood? If you are recording for a long duration, the position in which you record your voice affects the tone, clarity, and consistency.
Standing for prolonged time kills your feet, and sitting for too long may be the reason behind your aching back.
Do you have any existing health conditions due to which you should not stand or sit for too long? All these factors need to be taken into consideration. If you have any medical condition, you need to adjust yourself so that it doesn’t worsen your health.
3. Breath control
In a normal scenario, we do not give much thought to how we breathe. It is an involuntary action. However, a good podcast recording needs breath control. Ideally, you should breathe from the diaphragm.
For recording a podcast, three things can interfere with your work – not enough breath, the tension in your breath, or lack of proper tension in the diaphragm.
To breathe without a visible tension, you need to maintain good posture.
If the podcaster is in proper posture, the chance for extra tension decreases. So you have to see in which posture your breathing is better for the purpose of recording. Recording while sitting involves different muscles while standing position involves different muscles affecting your breathing. Try both sitting and standing postures to assess yourself.
4. Other content generation plan
Do you plan to record videos or snippets of your podcast recording for promotions?
When you are visible to the audience, you need to decide whether you want to record it in the standing position or sitting position.
Consider factors like the theme of your podcast, the aesthetics of your recording environment, and the image you want to present while making a decision. Let’s say if the theme requires a passionate discussion, standing is suitable. If you are working on an educational podcast, it will look better in your promo video if you sit and record.
5. Train to do both
If you have big goals as a podcaster, you should train to do both.
This may be your first podcast, but you might work on more in the future. You may have to explore new ideas too, like going outside and talking to random people for a podcast, so you should be comfortable recording on the go on a compact sound recorder.
Your usual podcasting set up makes you shed your inhibition and record comfortably. However, recording in a new location might be needed to generate interesting content, get candid answers from people, etc.
So now you don’t have the luxury of your go-to work set up. This, of course, goes out the window as soon as you’re outdoor (or visiting someone for an interview).
You need to prepare, not just mentally. You should also have equipment that lets you be flexible, whether you record sitting or standing, indoor, or outdoors.
Along with the above things you need to have
- Spare batteries – lots of them,
- Memory cards – formatted and with plenty of free space, and/or spares,
- Pen & paper/device for taking notes.
If you are recording outdoors, you will not have an option to choose if you want to record sitting or standing – be prepared for all situations.
If you have a podcast that needs you to master different accents (consider a fiction podcast!), or you need to change your pitch or tone while speaking, practice everything both sitting and standing. Ideally, you should be able to train yourself give the same performance, no matter how you record – sitting or standing!
A successful or a rising podcaster often gets invited to talk on other podcasts as a guest speaker. Or you might request someone to let you be a part of their popular show to promote yourself.
You should be flexible and confident of recording in different environments – another podcaster is unlikely to change his studio settings for you.
At times, you may have someone over for your show, a guest who is not a podcaster, and you might have to adapt to his or her style – you can’t stand and record if your guest wants to be seated! You have to be ready to record in any position and yet sound great. That is where your practice comes into the picture.
While technically, there is no difference in the recording, mentally, there might be a difference that has visible impacts on the outcome. Once you find a comfort zone in either of the positions, you continue to record that way, but as you grow your work, your script and audience will expect more from you. So be prepared and work towards honing your recording skills in both positions.
Additional tips for better recording
- No matter whether you record sitting or standing, make sure that the microphone is two to four inches away from your mouth while recording.
- Please ensure that your recording environment is free from unwanted sounds, as sophisticated microphones would pick these up and ruin your recording.
- Be watchful of your actions while recording. Try not to cough when the mic is on, or tap on the desk or make any other sound as you record.
- Be suitably dressed. Don’t wear something that can create sounds – like too many zips on your jacket or jingling bracelets!
- If you sit and record, make sure your chair is not squeaky. Also, its ergonomics should help to be comfortable for long recordings.
- Invest in a sturdy microphone stand that is suitable for your recording position.
No matter whether you record sitting or standing, it is important to take regular breaks. If you sit and record, you need to take a break and walk around for a couple of minutes. Likewise, if you are standing for too long, you need to relax – sit down and inhale a few times deeply, then start over again, whether you plan to record sitting or standing.
Podcasts are a labor of passion, so take care of these subtle points that will polish your work regardless of the position in which your record. By improving upon the finer aspects of sound recording and releasing meaningful episodes on schedule, your podcast can become popular and successful over time.
You need to make an individual decision if you will record standing or sitting.
- Don’t follow famous podcasters or voice-over artists – they have made those decisions individually,
- Both forms of recording have pros and cons – impacting recording technique, comfort, freedom of expression, and even health,
- Ideally you will want to be able to record both ways – it can be useful for different projects, also you might be someday a guest speaker and be forced to record one way or the other,
Posture and breathing are two important aspects of a good sound recording.
Pay a lot of attention to these as you record in either of the positions.
And always remember, no matter whether you record sitting or standing, you need to rehearse, do vocal warm-ups, and practice voice recording to attain perfection.