Serial, TED Radio Hour, and The Nerdist are just some of most popular podcasts today. These programs inspired people try their luck on starting their own podcasts. However, podcasting is not that easy. People need to realize some important things before they can record their first audio program.
COMMITMENT IS IMPORTANT
If they are going to start their own podcasts, people should be dedicated to what they will do be doing. Podcasting does not just involve recording audio files but also intense preparation and post-production processes. Moreover, podcasts should not just be just any topic, it should be something that must really make sense. In short, any podcast should be considered a major project.
In addition, recording podcasts also take considerable amount of time, especially the post-production process. Podcasts should also be broadcasted at a regular schedule in order to engage the attention and gain loyalty of listener base. Thus, all episodes should be planned and recorded in time for release. Nevertheless, podcasting can be exciting work even though extreme effort is constantly required.
Likewise, people should realize that podcasting is not a fountain of money. Though some earn money from it, they get help from advertisements and sponsorships just to get by. Thus, for those who want to keep their programs, they must build a solid listener base in order to earn the faith of advertises.
People need not expensive mics for their podcasts. The most important thing is that the equipment is working. However, when they look for the ones to be used during recording, they will recognize that microphones can be with USB cable or analogs. USB mics can be connected directly to computers in laptops; these things work by converting analog sounds (in this case, voices of the people recording) into digital format. This task is easier to accomplish though there is the danger of producing low quality audio file.
Meanwhile, analog mics require XLR connectors. In this cases, additional device is needed to transfer audio files to the computer. On the good side, people can expect that they will be producing quality audio file. In addition, other sound equipment can be used with analog mics.
PORTABLE XLR RECORDER
When using analog mics, people should also own portable XLR recorders capturing and conversion of audio files into digital format. In addition, portable XLR recorders can be used for basic sound adjustments. Use of such equipment also enables automatic storage of audios in storage devices, such as memory cards, which can then be plug in PCs or laptops. On the downside, price of portable XLR recorders can be quite steep, ranging from $100 to $500, depending on the number of channels included.
Some podcasters use audio interface for their podcasts. These devices are used for directly recording audio files using analog microphones. In this case, analog mics are used but the audio files are directly converted into digital format. Audio interfaces are connected via USB and Firewire.
Any laptop or program equipped with any kind of operating system can be used in podcast uploading. However, some specific ports should be present for connection of dedicated recording devices. USB ports are required for USB mics, whereas portable XLR recorders or audio interfaces are required when using analog mics. Other important ports include 3.5 mm audio-in jack and Firewire port. Thus, before buying any audio equipment or recording device, people should take note first if their computers or laptops are compatible with such things.
AUDIO EDITING SOFTWARE
Digital Audio Workstation is used for actual recording and editing. People may use free software, such as Audacity, which have functions for basic auditing. However, some programs, such as Reason or Pro Tools, require paid licenses.
Though it is really necessary pop filters, they are very useful in producing clearer audio sound. These things are used in minimizing plosives during recording. Pop filters are quite cheap, whereas in other cases, people opt to make their own.
STEPS IN STARTING YOUR OWN PODCAST PROGRAM
SELECTING A TOPIC AND FINDING NICHE
Podcast programs are quite popular, and the topics cover a wide range of things. Thus, for those who will just be starting their programs, they must think of very interesting topics that are apt to catch the attention of the people. For instance, when the topic is about music, the podcast should focus on more specific aspects, such as culture, people, and genre. After narrowing the topic, thinking of more details that should be discussed becomes easier.
INSTALL AND SETUP AUDACITY
Audacity is not only a free audio editing tool but also the perfect program for beginners. The software is available in Windows, OSX, and Linux format. After installing, Audacity should be properly set up. Mic should be connected to the PC and tested whether it works well with the program. User may conduct test recording and save the test audio file in MP3 format by installing the Lame MP3 encoder.
RECORDING AND EDITING WITH AUDACITY
Audacity is pretty easy to use but users should ensure that their mic is compatible with the program first. Users should allot 5-second recording space for their tracks. Projects may also be saved while they are still in progress. After recording, Audacity can also be used in addition other tracks on a podcast. Moreover, the tracks can be trimmed, copied, and modified with effects as deemed necessary.
TAGGING AND EXPORTING MP3s IN AUDACITY
After editing audio files, they can already be uploaded online. However, people should ensure that metadata of their podcasts are properly edited. Then, Audacity can be used in exporting audio as MP3 files.
Podcasts should also have very interesting names that will attract people into listening. Podcast titles should also contain some information regarding the topic that people will be listening to. In other cases, people also add cover art for their podcasts.