Starting a podcast show is an overwhelming adventure with many ins and outs. Podcasters strive to deliver impactful episodes that can stand out and make a difference. However, as the name suggests, podcasting is all about the soundable content. Listeners expect no less than professional, clear audio with no distracting noise, crackles, or echo.
That being the case, recording is where the art of podcasting starts. Terrible audio clips can’t make a quality podcast no matter how much editing and production work is applied. This article puts together some practical podcast recording tips to master the art of podcasting and produce high-quality audio.
Podcast recording methods
Recording a podcast depends on various elements defined by the podcaster’s approach. The first step is answering these questions:
- How much is the available podcast recording budget?
- What would be the audio file format?
- Will the podcast be a solo performance, or will guests be involved?
- Will the interview take place on-site or remotely online?
Accordingly, a podcast recording method can be chosen among the following available ones:
Use audio editing software for solo podcasting to directly record the episodes. Nowadays, many online platforms offer affordable podcast recording tools. All it takes is a stable internet connection, a good-quality mic, and a headset.
Use conferencing software for hosting guests remotely. Besides the popular virtual meeting software like Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet, professional podcasting solutions are available to host conferences like Podcastle and others.
Portable recording tools
Using a portable device for outdoor or in-person audio recording offers flexibility and enables recording podcasts from anywhere.
Crafting the art of podcasting
It’s about time to start recording the first podcast episode. Utilize the following tips to produce a high-quality podcast and save time and effort:
Use a script to stay on track
Quality is not only about sound equipment and recording studios. In fact, recording activities play a vital role in the process. It’s surprising how often podcasters drift away from the topic, forgetting what to say. Therefore, writing a script and organizing all the ideas keeps the podcast flow on track, speeds up the editing process, and helps podcast guests to show up prepared.
Choose a quiet podcasting location
Choosing a suitable recording environment resides in the essence of podcasting mastery. Hence, finding and preparing the right recording location is critical—most podcasters record at home, and finding that perfect recording corner is tricky.
The recording location must be quiet, with no reflective surfaces to avoid echoes. Minimize the echoes by choosing a room with sound-absorbing materials like carpets and rugs. Also, avoid rooms with windows or high ceilings, and reduce extraneous noise by turning off fans or other electrical appliances.
Set up your podcasting studio
Ensure everything is correctly set up and ready to work. You definitely need a reliable recording kit; the essentials include a good microphone and professional podcast recording software. Research online to find software that offers the services required in your episodes. For example, transcription, audio to text, video recording, reverse editing, and others. Once everything is ready, start the software, connect the mic, and share your creative thoughts with the world.
Get familiar with the mic
Most beginner podcasters handle the mic for the first time. Finding the right spot and distance to the mouth is the most significant challenge! Usually, a distance of 6-8 inches is good enough. The posture contributes to reducing the echoes and results in a smooth, clear voice. Memorize your practice and keep the same position every time you record a new podcast episode.
Practice and warm-up
Preparing your voice and speaking tone for the podcast recording can’t be escaped. Before starting a long talk on the podcast, it’s recommended to warm up your vocal cords and mouth, which will improve the dictation and avoid stumbling. For that purpose, many online videos and training are available to help podcasters prepare themselves physically.
Set the suitable mic input level
Most recording software allows podcasters to set the microphone’s input level; They display a visual scale that usually has three levels: green, yellow, and red. For everyday conversation, keep the voice in the green level, while for emphasizing an idea, go for yellow and be away from the red light to avoid distorted levels.
Stay still during the recording
Mics record all the sounds, not only the podcaster’s voice! A minimal movement will create background noise. So, to reduce potential noise, stay still as much as possible during the recording. For example, avoid moving your body, placing stuff on the table, flipping pages, or cracking knuckles.
Keep your body hydrated
Well, this is an edible tip! Before recording, eat an apple or drink water to keep your body hydrated. It will help reduce the dry mouth’s clicks and popping noises. Drinking water will loosen the mouth, settle the stomach and keep you focused.
Make mistakes and leave the rest to editors
It’s normal to be nervous while recording, especially for beginners, and mistakes happen. Fortunately, editing software is here to help. When you misspell or have a wrong idea, word, or sentence, simply pause for a second and continue the sentence the right way; the mistaken one will be removed easily in the post-production process.
Podcastle offers a comprehensive set of podcast recording tools. However, the most significant is the AI-based audio editor, which allows various options, including editing audio by editing the text.
Handle the guest properly
As a podcaster, having guests at your show is a regular event. Act professionally and don’t interrupt them during their talk. Instead, give them a space to talk openly and freely; no one likes interruption! Listen to your guests until they finish speaking, give them two or three seconds, then comment on their words or move on to another question.
While the guests are speaking, muting the mic as a host is an excellent trick to minimize the editing work and not catch their voice through your mic in addition to theirs. Another important tip is to wear headphones to reduce the audio feedback.
Utilize a pop-up filter
The pop-up filter is like a magic tool for podcasters. It eliminates any air puffs that naturally come from the mouth when using plosives that sound like “p” and “b.”
Write playback notes
No one likes their recorded voice initially, but you will get used to it. However, you must listen to the recorded file to improve the episode. While doing that, trust your ears and instincts and write notes. Use the written notes to adjust the equipment setup and guide the next recording session.
Use a high-resolution audio file
Like videos and images, audio files have resolution too. Audio files with 24-bit/48 kHzWAV or AIFF are a great choice, while other audio formats like M4A, AAC, or MP3 restrict the high-frequency range and are not favorable for podcasting.
Ultimately it’s all about doing something you’re passionate about, so keep yourself motivated and enthusiastic about your podcast. That’s the only way to build a fan base of interested listeners. No matter how much effort you put into your podcast initially, you will probably end up with something you’re proud of.