Recording your own messages: How to get started

Published on 01/10/2017

Technology has improved and it’s now easier than ever to do your own recordings for your phone systems. Software to record and mix files is readily available, files can quickly be uploaded and the interface is a lot simpler than before.

Beyond the technological advantages there are other reasons why you may be considering recording your own messages.
1-Someone in the office has a nice telephone voice and they’re willing to do it.
2-You may have to change messages on a daily basis and have a limited budget.
3-You’re a DIY person that likes the challenge.
4-Your workplace is dynamic and you need to update content rapidly.

That being said, don’t expect professional results if you record your voice prompts using the built-in microphone from your laptop. Professionals have a great voice but they also have mastered the art of recording and use professional equipment. From expensive microphones, high end audio interface and studio grade mixing software, they have all the equipment to turn a great voice into a perfect voice for your phone system.

The good news is you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to get the same results. Before spending any money let’s first look for proper room to record. You’ll want to find a quiet room that sounds flat. Avoid rooms with echos or noisy work environments. You also want it to be a nice environment so your voice talent can relax and be comfortable.

Now you need a microphone. The minimum price for a decent microphone is around for $50. You will find a lot of information on the net about microphones. YouTube and Amazon have a lot of reviews and product comparisons for products in this price range and you will be able to select the one that best suits your need. I will say however that if you plan to connect the microphone directly into your computer I strongly recommend using a USB microphone. They give better results than if you use a microphone that connects directly to the built-in audio input of your computer.

You’ll need a few accessories before you can get started. Get a pop filter, microphones don’t like B’s and P’s and the pop filter stops the fast moving air from hitting the microphone. And don’t forget a microphone stand, it can be a desk model or a floor model depending on your set up. Again there are plenty of inexpensive options. Remember you’re not going on the road with U2 or recording the next Adele record. Have a pair of headphones to monitor the recording or turn-off your speakers to avoid feedback when recording.

Now that you have the gear, you’re ready to record. You will need recording software. The most important thing is to have a software that records the audio in the native format of the device the audio will be loaded on. That will give you the best results. If you record at a super high quality level to later downgrade the file because you need a telephone quality recording, your recording will sound horrible. When recording, also make sure that you don’t record too hot, that means your recording shouldn’t be too loud. If the meter goes in the red, it will be too loud and distorted.

Interalia offers an inexpensive software specifically designed to record telephone prompts, it’s easy to use and you can record and mix your messages. It also allows you to mix music and message files if you want to create music on hold mixes. The software is called iProMOH-Mix and can be downloaded directly from our website. You should always record your messages at the same volume, otherwise some messages will sound louder than others. So take the time to note the volume level when recording and always keep the same distance from the microphone.

If you want to do Music-On-Hold you have to obtain license free music. You can use licensed music, but if you do, you will have to pay for the rights to use that music and that can be expensive depending on the size of your phone system. Again, a quick search on the internet will provide you with a good list of license free music providers. Check them out and pick the one that best suits your need. Some sites will sell individual tracks and others will sell you a subscription for unlimited music tracks.

One last thing. Content is king. Craft your messages carefully. If you have access to a marketing department use them to script your messages.

Here are a few quick tricks to keep in mind:

Smile when you record your message. Your customer won’t see it but they will hear it.

Please don’t say please all the time. When you have a selection menu to record, there is no need to say please at all the selections. It’s annoying and repetitious to the caller.

Practice, don’t speak to fast or to slow and have a co-worker review it internally before loading it live on your system. Using an external person to check the recording is also a good idea.

If you’re not planning to change your messages regularly or if you’re already on a busy schedule you should consider a Professional service. Today you can find a content provider that can deliver a solution to your office and will meet your needs. It can be a basic single production or a very customized and scripted solution, it can be a price per production or a long term contract. The choices are yours.

There are no bad choices, you can’t go wrong with professional recording, you can get a turnkey solution where you don’t need to get involved, you can also ask the them provide you the files and you can manage the files based on your requirements or you can record and manage your files. You just need to know what is right for you and your organization and commit to it.

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