Podcast Tips 1

Over the summer, I had the pleasure of attending PodCamp Boston. One of the first presenters that I listened to was Guido Stein, passing on some tips to getting started in podcasting. There are more of the technical than creative vein, but good stuff, nonetheless.

Recording Audio

  • GarageBand is great. Sadly, only available for Macs. However, the default file format is MP4. Go to “Share” and change for iTunes/MP3 for best results and most versatility
  • Use Levelator to unify audio levels in the recording *before* doing any other editing. This is especially important if you have more than one person on the recording, and are not in the same location.
  • Audacity is a pretty good and easy to use editing tool for getting rid of mistakes & deadspots.
  • Speaking of mistakes, if you do make a slip up while recording, leave about 5 seconds of silence after, so it will be easy to find while you’re editing

Recording Options

There are many ways to get audio into a file on your computer. The key, though, is getting it the best format possible. I’ve suffered through podcasts that were obviously recorded over the phone or similar, and one person is LOUD and you can hear paper shuffling, sniffling, everything, and the caller is so soft that you want to turn it up to hear him/her, but you’re eardrums get blown out when the first person comes back on.

  • Headset – with so much VOIP techonology being used, there are many headsets on the market these days. Find one that comfortable, with good sound quality. I use one that was actually designed for Sony Playstation, but it’s lightweight, comfortable, and delivers pretty good audio quality.
  • USB Microphone – the cheap $7 versions probably aren’t going to give you the best quality but if headsets aren’t your deal, try a standalone microphone.
  • Digital Recorder – this could be a great option if you plan to be recording your podcast when you’re not at your computer. You can transfer the recorded file to your computer later for leveling & editing.
  • VOIP – some VOIP tools like Skype allow you to record a call, which could be an ideal solution if you have multiple people on the recording from different locations. Please remember to run the file through and audio leveling program, through, to be nice to your listeners.
  • Another option is a service like drop.io, where (I’m told) you can call in and set it up to automatically post the recording to your podcast. Neat.

To test out a microphone, record something and play it back. Make sure the output levels are satisfactory, and quality is good – no scratchy noises, pop, background noise isn’t too loud, etc.

Next time, I’ll share some of the tips I’ve picked up for how to publish your podcast, and where to get it listed to maximize your exposure.

Until then, I’d love to hear how you currently or plan to record your podcast…

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