Podcasting can be incredibly rewarding and is also a very popular form of media consumption. Whether you’re doing an in-depth interview style show, or a news and current affairs based one, podcasting is a creative outlet for you to share your thoughts, feelings, or crack a few jokes with some friends for the whole internet to hear. Before you hit record for the first time though, let’s go over a few things that matter for your podcast to make the best product possible and to make sure you retain your listeners once they’ve discovered it.
Your Equipment Matters
When it comes to buying your equipment that you’ll use for recording your podcast, it is much more nuanced than just buying an expensive microphone. There’s much more to think about and having a basic fundamental understanding of how some of the equipment works is important. The most important piece of equipment, of course, is an excellent microphone, suited to your type of production and the environment you’re recording in. You’ll need to choose between a condenser microphone and a dynamic microphone, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all way of choosing between them.
A condenser microphone is at home in recording studios and areas where the ambient sounds and refraction can be controlled. It provides very clean and high-quality recordings, but it’s much more difficult to achieve those clean recordings on a condenser microphone because it will pick up much more ambient noise because it’s more sensitive to background sounds. If you choose a condenser microphone, make sure you can make your recording environment quiet.
A dynamic microphone is better suited to noisier environments and environments with more background noise because it is less sensitive and less prone to picking up all the noise in the background. You have to be much closer to a dynamic microphone and in general you’ll need to spend more to get a great quality one, but the investment can result in cleaner and more intelligible recordings.
Your Space Matters
We mentioned environment a few times above, and that’s for good reason. Just as important as the microphone you’re using is the environment you’re recording in. If you’re choosing to record at home, you want a room with a lot of soft surfaces like a lounge full of soft cushions, couches and curtains. Avoid areas with a lot of naked walls or tiled flooring if possible as these hard surfaces can cause refraction and make your editing job more difficult. If you have the option, hiring a podcast studio is also something to consider as not only will the equipment be provided, but the specially built environment will also make your podcast production effortless.
Your Software Matters
Spend some time looking at the different ways you can record your podcast voices from the microphone to your computer and edit it afterwards to produce the best sounding show you can. There are some free options and there are paid options and each has their unique advantages and disadvantages.
Audacity, for example, is completely free and allows many of the same features as the paid software but might lack some post-processing capabilities of a paid solution like Adobe Audition. If you’re using an Apple device to produce your podcast, have a look at free included software like GarageBand which provides a good option with a feature set that fits in somewhere between free and paid software that might work for you. Don’t shy away from paid options without doing the investigation in what will work the best for you.
Some software will even handle the publishing of your completed episode to your hosting provider.
Your Branding Matters
Getting your podcast out to your audience is crucial to the success of your podcast and creating a full package that is enticing to your listeners is part of this. A familiar intro song and introduction from the host can create a familiarity that listeners will pick up on and isn’t expensive to do with royalty free music archives. You could even outsource the creation of your intro to one of the many audio producers on gig websites like Fiverr.
Look beyond the audio side of your podcast to your graphics and cover art too and treat your podcast like a brand. Produce an identity for it with color scheme, logo and cover art templates. Having your podcast stand out on a podcast directory has a lot to do with the visual elements before a listener even presses play.
It’s not easy to create a great sounding and high-quality podcast, but with the availability of excellent equipment and the features of modern software, it’s easier than it’s ever been. Podcasting starts with a passion and a great idea, and it’s created into a well-produced product using a good knowledge of equipment, environment and software. If you produce your podcasts keeping these tips in mind, you have every chance of success.