How To Get Started in Podcasting
or every engrossing show on your favorite podcasting app, there are another 60 bordering on torturous. But don’t let that discourage you. Your podcast will be different. That’s because you understand one very basic principle: You have to be interesting. And to do that, you have to know what you want to talk about, why you want to talk about it, and how you want to talk about it.
This is important for more than just style it also determines how you record. A show built around banter between cohosts puts a burden on studio equipment. A scripted show with one host requires tight editing, emphasizing software. We cover it all here.
Assembling Your Studio
Microphones: All mics do the same thing: translate the vibrations of your voice into electric signals. Condenser and dynamic microphones do this in two different ways, delivering distinct results. Condensers are less sturdy but more sensitive and require less amplification great for a home studio. Dynamic microphones are more durable and known to have a warmer sound, providing more of a traditional “radio voice.” How your mic connects to your computer is also important.
No matter the type, the best mics use only an XLR cable, an analog connector that provides the highest fidelity. These mics require pre-amplification and won’t connect directly to your computer. USB mics usually have pre-amplification on board and plug directly into the computer, but their sound quality is slightly worse.
Connecting to your computer: Unless you’re using only a single USB mic, you need a device that can route all your gear to your computer. There are various options, but a USB interface like the Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 has multiple XLR inputs and provides pre-amplification.
A mixing board like the Mackie ProFX8 gives you a lot of control over your sound during live recording, and accommodates more sophisticated set-ups, but requires significantly more tech-savvy to use.
Acoustic hacks: The goal while recording is to keep any sounds from bouncing off hard surfaces walls, tables, your bowling-trophy collection, and into the mic. A few tricks can help:
Gear for guests: Guests’ audio should sound as good as yours. Here are your set-up options, from best to worst.
- The Proper Set Up: They sit in your studio with their own mic, recording their own audio track.
- The Shared Set Up: They sit in your studio, sharing your mic. Be careful not to talk over each other.
- The Double Ender: They talk to you over the phone, but have their own on-site microphone, and send you their recording when the interview is over.
- The Skyper: You call them on Skype, and use ecamm Call Recorder for Skype to record audio from the call.
Recording Your Show
Recording levels: Recording too loudly loses detail the same way too much light washes out a photograph. Recording too quietly does the opposite: When you crank up the volume to compensate, you’ll hear unwanted noises. So be sure to check those peak and loudness meters. Here’s a small primer: