Podcasting is one of the most popular means by which people share their ideas today. The process appears to be easy, but producing clearly audible and professionally recorded audio actually requires sufficient time, money, and equipment.
For those who want to make a seamless podcast, there are some tips that they can try out to ensure that quality and content of their final audio.
PLANNING AND PRE-PRODUCTION
Before people can proceed with recording their podcasts, they should properly plan for what should be included and said on their audio. In addition, they must consider some important factors, as follows:
The theme of a podcast can be anything, and people will basically never run out of things to talk about. The theme may be about local issues or those from other places. However, what people should remember is that they should choose a topic that they find interesting. This way, they will be more passionate to talk about the topic, and it is highly possible that they can add a number of things to the discussion. In addition, they will not notice how time passes by if they enjoy recording their podcasts. As result, their podcast will sound more entertaining. People can also expand their horizon and focus on other topics that may be related to their interests.
LENGTH AND FORMAT OF PODCAST
Normally, length of podcasts is less than 60 minutes. Aside from total length, media such as songs or pre-recorded introductions should be accounted for and their times should be taken into account. Though exact timing is not always achievable, people should aspire to achieve such goal when recording their podcasts.
SCRIPT OF PODCAST
After selecting a topic for a podcast, the next thing that should be accomplished is podcast script. Though improvisation is may prove to be necessary, podcasters should still follow specific outline to avoid diverting from the topic. Having an outline is also very important in smooth transition from different sub-topics.
People should determine how many times their podcasts will be aired. Normally, podcasts are aired once or twice a week, though in other cases airing may done once a month.
Equipment is where most money will go in podcasting. Some of the equipment needed include mics, headphones, mixer, and recording software. However, in other cases, people use additional equipment to improve and ensure quality of final podcast.
One of most commonly used recording programs is Pro Tools. However, people may also use free tools, such as Audacity, which is an open-source editing and recording software. This software is compatible with a number of systems and is perfect for amateurs. Users can record live audio with audacity and import files with different formats. Audacity also has recovery options that help people in retrieving their work in case that their computer system crashes.
Another free audio editing software is Acoustica Basic Edition. Users can record and edit audio using the software, but they have to pay premium for other advanced features.
Extra microphones may prove to be important in recording podcasts. Some notable USB mics include CAD 37 and Fifine USB Plug & Play. These mics can be directly plug into computer and used with recording applications. In return, people can record smooth and flawless podcasts. Each recording session should also be supplemented with sufficient number of mics to ensure that all participants can be heard. When using a mixer, the mics to be used should be compatible with it.
Though mixer is generally not needed in recording podcasts, it can be used to directly record and store audio files. Mixers also enable users to confer greater control and use more effects on their files. Moreover, mixers can also be used in adding movie or music clips in a podcast.
Any headphones will do in a podcast as long as the users can clearly hear everything. However, quality headphones may be necessary when using a mixer, as these are important in adjusting audio channels.
Pop filters are used to minimize explosive sounds, which are normally heard from some people when they talk. Some inexpensive pop filters include DragonPad’s generic products ($8) and Nady’s clamp-on filter ($11). These products are aimed at eliminating sudden bursts in air pressure and bassy sounds.
RECORDING AND EDITING
Technical and creative factors should be considered during podcast recording. However, everything will possibly turn out just fine once this task is already accomplished.
Post-production is one of the most vital aspects of podcasting. In this step, multitrack recordings are created and the material for final audio output is edited carefully. For beginners, some complex tasks may be hard to achieve but with enough practice, they will be able to do more with their podcasts. Some of the things done during post-production include trimming audio files, adjusting bit rate, and other variables. Beginners are also advised to learn more about post-production through tutorial; they may start by using inexpensive software first.
UPLOADING TO HOST SITE
Podcasts should be hosted online. People may use websites, such as WordPress and Blogger, which are free for use and can be effective in hosting audio files. Meanwhile, some paid hosting sites, such as HostGator, allow subscriber to use more advanced features.
Meanwhile, when using WordPress, RSS2 enclosure is automatically added after placing a link. As a result, podcasts can be used immediately.
Podcasts are XML files, and content management systems, including Squarespace and WordPress, can be used with plug-ins for creating podcast XML feed. Apple’s podcast specifications are recommended for optimum results. Once XML files are uploaded online, RSS validators are used to check accuracy of feeds before they are sent to iTunes store. Other podcast platforms, such as Google Music, Stitcher, and Soundcloud, should also be considered.
Social media networks are effective grounds for connecting listeners. Post notifications on various social media are effective in informing people regarding new podcasts and developments. Such platforms should also be taken advantage in order to engage and maintain interest of listeners.
People may also use websites to host all episodes of podcast series. These websites should include necessary information regarding about each episode.
There are also companies that can live stream on location but this is usually not cheap. We have used Phoenix Live Stream when we broadcasted in Arizona.