You have the gift of the gab, great ideas, and you don’t mind sharing them with an audience? It sounds like you are on your way to becoming a great podcaster. Your talent, enthusiasm, and dedication are vital ingredients, but to be able to convey your message to others, you need to know some tips and tricks and to be backed by appropriate technology.
Written by Keith Coppersmith
It would be perfect if everyone could afford to record in a sound studio with state-of-the-art equipment, but if you are a beginner in the podcasting world or somebody who is doing it as a hobby, chances are you won’t have the funds. So, here are a few pieces of advice, as well as recommendations for some inexpensive solutions, to help your podcast sound more professional.
A good mic is the core piece of equipment for recording high-quality audio. Investing in a good quality mic is better than choosing a less expensive option which might break down, and that you may have to replace fairy quickly. To avoid the unpleasant popping sound of plosives gushing on your recording, it is advisable to add a POP filter which will soften those sounds. Also, for those who are a bit clumsy, to make sure you won’t spill water over the mic, or that you won’t knock it off the table easily, consider purchasing a boom mount which will securely hold the mic close to your mouth.
When it comes to the choice of affordable recording software, the answer to that question is simple: Skype. Many people already have it, it is free and easy to use, so you don’t have to waste too much time showing the ropes to your interlocutors. As for plugin solutions, for PC you can go with Pamela, while for Mac, there is Call Recorder. Naturally, there are free options other than Skype, but not a lot of them allow for you to split your and your guest’s parts of the conversation, which is essential for the post-production process. Besides Skype, there is also Google Hangouts, Zoom, Webex, UberConference and many others.
If you are conducting a remote interview, one of the prerequisites is to make sure both your and your guest’s internet connections are reliable. Since you cannot know the situation on the other side, it’s best to be straightforward with your guest and emphasize the importance of a steady connection. However, if you wish for the safest option, the incredibly fast fiber internet should be your primary choice. Fiber optic cables transmit data much faster than cable internet’s copper ones, which ensures peace of mind for anyone doing business online.
The first thing to consider is the position of the mic in regards to your mouth. As expected, it should be level with your mouth and if you are aiming for a richer sound, point it towards your chest, while for a more nasal sound, you should point it upwards. Don’t forget to monitor the volume indicator since it will tell you the level of the loudness your mic is picking up, as well as your guest’s level. Another important thing to remember while doing a Skype podcast is that the sound of your interlocutor will be coming from your computer. Meaning, don’t forget the headphones!
The sound bounces around the room in waves, so any furniture you have in the room you are recording will participate in that audio recording. Also, you should remove any sources of air circulation that is in the proximity of the mic, such as an open window, or a fan. It’s best to isolate yourself as much as you can from external sounds and do a few test recordings, just to check how everything sounds. Make sure to mute your mobile phone, unless you wish to complicate your life with removing the notification sound in post-production.
If you are a beginner podcaster, remember that mistakes are a part of the learning curve. If you make one, or you say something that you didn’t intend, just leave a message to yourself that you should cut out that part and pause of a moment or two. Nothing is irreparable, just stay composed and you will fix everything later. Also, at the beginning of the recording, always allow for a few seconds of silence so you can use this to eliminate the hum and ambient noise. Feel free to mute your mic when you are not speaking, so as to avoid echoes and background noises, but also so you can compose your thoughts a bit before the next question.
If you have just recently discovered your passion for podcasts, it is easy to fret over many details, especially since you are inexperienced. Yes, there are a few things to learn and you will certainly make a few mistakes along the way, but in time, you will improve. And until you improve and start earning, if that is your intention, keep in mind that there are some economical solutions when it comes to the equipment. So, grab your headphones, set your mic in place and do what you love.
About the Author of the Post
Keith Coppersmith is a business journalist. Find his work at Bizzmarkblog.com.