Have you ever wondered how you can record and sell your own guided audio meditations? Maybe you have an idea to record your own thoughts and programs for your clients – or you want give a recording as part of an opt-in offer.
A yogi teacher friend recently posted that her son told her that voice was a LOT better than “some guy on an meditation app.” But she wasn’t sure how to get started – or if she could really do it herself. She already had a half-finished website and was worried this might be just as tough.
But I’m going to show you that it can be easier than you might think to create, record and sell your own guided meditations. And I’ll share the easiest (and cheapest!) ways you can DIY and sound like a pro!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What equipment you should get to record your guided meditation, podcast or online course
- Where should you record your guided meditations?
- Tips to make your audio recordings sound better
- How to record your guided meditation using your iphone
- How to record your guided meditation using your computer
- How to edit your guided meditation
- Cleaning up your audio files
- Best file formats and how to save your audio recording
- How to save a file from Audacity to MP3
- How to convert a file to MP3 using iTunes
- How to share your guided meditations
- How to sell your guided meditations
Please note that I am an affiliate for some of the resources listed below. As an affiliate, I may earn a referral fee if you purchase these products based on my recommendations. I only recommend those services that I actually use in my own business.
What equipment you should get to record your guided meditation, podcast or online course
If you’re just testing the waters, don’t go spending a ton of money. If you’ve got a smart phone (like an iphone) and the headphones that come with it – that’s enough to get you started.
If you’re looking to upgrade from your iphone headphones, I recommend starting with a mic that can plug directly into your computer’s USB port. While these mics don’t have the same broadcast quality as some of the higher end mics, the simplicity of plug-and-record is an advantage. These mics will be a great step up from the iPhone earbuds and you’ll notice a difference in sound quality.
A lot of online folks recommend the Blue Yeti or Snowball, but I personally use the Audio Technica ATR 2100 for my own recordings. It’s USB compatible and has the added bonus of having a headphone jack that allows me to hear myself as I’m recording.
If you’re looking for a mic that offers professional level broadcast quality sound – then you might look at getting a higher end microphone like the Rode podcaster. If you want to test microphones in-person you can often check them out at a local big box music store (yes, they still exist!). Each microphone has its own signature sound — you may find you that one mic has a warmer tone or while another might have a “bigger” sound.
One downside to the high end mics is that they typically don’t plug directly into your computer – they have a special three-pronged connection called XLR. For these XLR type mics, you’re going to need another device to power the mic and cables to connect to your computer. This means more expense and fuss for you.
Before you spend too much time and money on a mic, there are other things you’ll want to consider that contribute to the overall sound quality like the recording environment and audio production.
Where should you record your guided meditations?
First, find a quiet spot in your house or apartment where you can record without a lot of background noise. Even though you can sometimes edit out background sounds, we’ve all heard cases of dogs barking in the background, the occasional fire truck siren, or the doorbell ring. Even recording in a large boxy room can create an annoying sound echo that you won’t be able to remove with editing. You don’t want that!
Closets are a fantastic option for a recording space since there’s usually a lot of soft material around to deaden the sound and limit reverberations. They also tend to be interior rooms that don’t have a lot of outside sounds. Plus you’ll have less interruptions from pets or kids if you’re hidden away. If you don’t have a closet big enough, then try a small room that has lots of fabrics (like a bedroom). Ideally you’re looking for a space that has the fewest hard walls for sound to bounce off of.
And remember, if you’re using your phone, make sure to turn the ringer off or set it to airplane mode (nothing like getting the email “DING” in the middle of your great recording! )
Tips to make your audio recordings sound better
There’s an old saying in the software world – garbage in, garbage out. And the same is true for audio. The better your audio sounds going in, the better your end result will be.
Now that you’ve selected a microphone, you’re now ready to start recording. There are some simple things you can do to make your recordings more professional … and they won’t cost you any more money! Here are some best practices that will help you sound like a pro:
- Prep and practice. The more comfortable you are with what you’re sharing, the easier your words will flow. But you might not want to read directly off a script – that can sometimes feel stilted or forced – especially if you’re used to teaching or speaking to live classes. I like to work off of outline notes and “wing it” with my own commentary. Find what method works best for you.
- Take your time and go slow. I personally talk too fast – and I have to be super mindful to slow myself down so people can understand what I’m saying. Remember that your audience not only needs time to hear what you’re saying, they also need time to mentally process what you’re saying. A 2 second pause feels like a long delay for you, but for the listener it can be just that little extra time they needed to fully appreciate what you just said. Some of the greatest public speakers are masters at managing “silence” in their speeches.
- It may be easier (and quicker) to re-record than to edit. It doesn’t cost you anything to re-record something – and it may save you time editing.
- If you’re recording a longer piece, break it up into manageable chunks. I’ve done a few video tutorials that were 45-60 minutes in length. I tended to record those in 2-4 minute segments – that made it easier to edit and manage.
- Add a bit of extra blank time at the beginning and the end of the recording to make editing easier.
- If you’re recording straight to your computer, close any unnecessary programs (especially those that are resource hogs). Recording (and editing) can take a lot of processing power.
How to record your guided meditation using your iphone
- Plug in your headphones
- Start up the voice memos app
- Make your recording
- Play it back to see if you need to record it again
- Tap the 3 dots under the recording
- Click share to send the file to yourself
How to record your guided meditation using your computer
- Plug in your microphone to the computer
- Start a new recording in audacity (or your choice of software)
- Test your recording levels
- Start speaking
- Save your audio file
How to edit your guided meditation
You can certainly outsource editing to someone else. But I think learning how to edit is a super valuable tool – especially if you’re just getting started (or if you want to offer this as a service for your clients). I find myself editing audio and video files on a weekly basis. If I had to wait for someone else to turn things around it would add weeks to my project timelines. And honestly, most editing is pretty simple stuff – taking out the extra “ums” or background sounds (like NYC ambulances or my dog’s toenails as he walks across the wood floor). You’ll also probably need to trim the start and end of your files.
Quick tip: Looking for an editor? Contact your local recording studios – you can often hire editors by the hour. Are you friends with a musician? They might also be able to do it for you on their equipment (and remember to pay them for their help!)
While you can edit on your phone, I prefer editing on my big computer monitor so I can really look at the details.
For audio editing, I like using Audacity – it’s free and available for PC or MAC. GarageBand is another great tool if you’re on a Mac. There’s a million other tools out there – but they all work in a pretty similar fashion.
Now I know it can look at bit complex or intimidating, but I’ve made a short video on how I use Audacity it to record and edit files.
Cleaning up your audio files
You’ll want to modify a couple of things to almost every audio file before you make more nuanced tweaks.
Apply a Noise Filter
The first thing you’ll want to do is apply a noise filter. Some software programs have a simple noise remover tool, while others have individual tools for removing different types of noise (e.g., white noise filter, hum filter, etc.). These filters eliminate the stuff in the background that are just annoying or make it hard to hear. For example, you probably don’t hear your HVAC system running in the background, but your microphone will! Some noise filters will change the quality of the sound so listen to it before and after you apply the filters to make sure you like what it’s doing.
The next thing to do in “normalize” the volume in your audio file. This will boost the softer parts of your recording and slightly lower the louder parts so that your voice volume sounds consistent across the entire recording.
Now that you’ve prepped the audio by removing unwanted noise, there are additional tools that you can try out to make your recording sound even more professional. Some software will have a pop filter and an “S” filter. These help to reduce the distortion that occurs when we have bursts of sound pressure (like when you say “pepper”) or that annoying high pitched sound (like when you say “seashore”).
Wish you had just a little more bass in your voice or that your high tones weren’t so dominant? Experiment with the equalizer (the EQ) and make some adjustments to dial in your favorite tones. Before you start making huge tone changes, grab your best pair of headphones and listen to the tone of your voice. Now, listen again through your laptop speakers. Does your voice sound the same? Probably not. Generally speaking, no two sets of speakers are the same, so what might sound perfect on your headphones, might be too weak or “thin” on your computer speakers. You’re not going to be able to make it perfect across every speaker, but by comparing, you’ll be able to identify the best trade-off that sound good on both sets of speakers. I’d recommend making the adjustments by listening to a short 10 sec. clip in the file on your best set of headphones and then listen to it again on your laptop/computer speakers with your favorite earbuds. People will be listening to your audio on different types of speakers – so you’re aiming to find the best average sound.
Best file formats and how to save your audio recording
If you’re recording on your phone, you file will likely be saved as an .m4a, .aac or .aiff. If you’re recording straight into your computer, the file will likely be saved in the .wav format.
.wav is the preferable recording format since it is lossless – meaning the file isn’t compressed and you won’t lose any sound quality. But many devices can’t open or play that type of file.
For ultimate compatibility across devices, you’ll want to convert your audio file to the .mp3 format. When you compress a file to mp3 you will lose some audio quality – but it isn’t typically noticeable to the naked ear (especially if it’s a simple voice audio – you’ll likely hear a bigger difference if you’re compressing a music file).
How to save a file from Audacity to MP3
Audacity can save audio files in a variety of formats – but in order to export your file as an mp3 you will need to manually add the LAME mp3 encoder to your computer. (You only need to do this once). You can find instructions on how to do that here: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/faq_installing_the_lame_mp3_encoder.html
How to convert a file to MP3 using iTunes
Did you record on your phone or have a .wav file you want to convert? Now you’ll need to convert your file to an mp3. iTunes makes it super easy.
- Import your file into iTunes (In iTunes, go to File > Add to Library)
- Find the file you just added, then right-click on it and click on File > Convert > Create .mp3 version
- Click on the new file and view “show info” so you can figure out where the file got saved (it’s usually deep in your iTunes library).
- Navigate to that location and copy or move the file to someplace you can easily find it again.
How to share your guided meditations
If you’re like a lot of my clients, you want to share your audio recordings as free gifts for your audience. While you can upload them directly to your website, I don’t recommend doing that because their large file size can slow down your site if you get a lot of traffic downloading it. It’s best if you upload and store files in a cloud location like dropbox or amazon s3. Once you’ve uploaded the file, you can then create a link to it and then share it with your audience on any channel (like in a blog post or in your newsletter).
How to sell your guided meditations
You’ve got your files prepped and ready to go. Now it’s time to sell it! There’s a million ways to do this – but one of my favorite (and easiest) solutions is gumroad.com
Gumroad is a simple digital delivery service. You don’t even need a website! You can use their free version (they take a higher percentage of the sale) or you can upgrade to their pro version for $10 per month. Gumroad will pay you via direct deposit or paypal. You can create discounts and coupon codes – and you can even have affiliates!
I haven’t found any other service as simple to use and implement. I use it for my own e-books and for clients like Elena Brower’s Art of Attention Audio Meditation Course and Laura Belgray’s 60 Minute Makeover Guide.
How to sell on Gumroad
- Open a gumroad.com account.
- Upload your audio file(s) and set a price.
- Add a cover image to attract buyers.
- Add a product description
- Publish the product
- Start sharing the link – on your social media, websites and newsletters!