Starting a podcast: how are you going to record it?
There are definitely different approaches here, and I feel it depends on who you are and what you want the feel of your show to be. By the way, I'm not going to simply recommend microphones and software here, this is more about techniques you can use regardless of how you record.
My whole career is based around making sounds sound good. I'm a composer for TV and I offer podcast production (editing dialogue, treating audio etc) and audio branding services. Production quality is high on my list of priorities, because if it wasn't I feel it would have a knock on effect to those other areas. That's not to say that my approach is right for you.
If you simply have a great idea and want to get started, you have a voice recorder in your pocket. Nowadays, smart phones have pretty good microphones, and there are free apps to record with and free apps to edit with (mental note: that's a whole other blog post for the future). Some podcast hosts even offer recording via their apps so you can record and publish seamlessly. I'm not sure if I've said this for a few posts, so I'll say it again: IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CONTENT. Listeners can be forgiving of lower production quality if your idea is good and well executed. That said, if you want to go the extra mile, it's only going to improve your prospects.
My first little tip is about echo. Whatever you are recording on, whether it's your phone or the most expensive microphone ever built, if you record in a really echoey room it's going to be off-putting. Look around the place you want to record, are there lots of shiny surfaces? These surfaces are the nemesis of recording dialogue as sound reflects. If you have fewer shiny surfaces the chance of sound bouncing around and creating echo is reduced, simple! True story: I had a guest on Creative Cuppa recently. When she popped up on the screen she was in her wardrobe, surrounded by hanging clothes. She recorded on her hand held recorder and emailed her side of the chat to me afterwards, and it sounded AMAZING.
My other tip is about guests or co-hosts. We're currently in a situation where recording in the same room isn't an option, so remote recording is the way to go. There are lots of ways to do this. One way is to record everyone involved over the internet, through whatever video conferencing programme you use (Zoom is able to record each person separately which is a bonus), and there are professional remote recording websites (at professional prices) for those who really want to go the extra mile. The only downside to this approach is that you are entirely at the mercy not only of your internet connection but of your co-hosts' and guests' connections too. I much prefer remote guests to record themselves. I talk through how with them beforehand, and generally if they don't have podcasting equipment, recording on their phone and sending it afterwards works just fine.
I could go on about recording techniques all day long, but if you do your best to eliminate that echo, it'll make everything else a little easier.
If you have any questions about this or any other post in the 'Starting A Podcast' series, feel free to contact me. Until next time, have a very happy Friday and a great weekend.
Posts by Gareth Davies.