How to launch your podcast beginner guide

    A month ago, we discussed trends in the market for audio podcasts . Today we decided to tell you how to start recording your own podcast and not spend a lot of money on it.

    Photo by Jakob Härter / CC BY-SA

    Choosing a microphone

    Budget: 0 rub . You can start recording podcasts without any serious investment in audio equipment. At first, most of the gadgets already available will do. For example, a telephone headset can be used as a microphone. This opinion is shared by Jason Snell, the founder of The Incomparable podcast aggregator.

    As long as your speech is literate, understandable, plus the topic worries the listeners, the audio quality is not so critical. But it is still better to record the transmission in a room where the echo will not interfere. Do not work in rooms with empty walls or high ceilings. Curtains on the windows as well as carpets on the floor will absorb reflections and improve the quality of your material. No matter how funny it may sound, a dressing room can be a good place to record.

    Budget: 10,000 rubles . Even if the listeners do not feel discomfort from the sound recorded on the headset, it definitely does not bring them joy. Therefore, if you have a desire to invest in recording quality, then you should buy a decent microphone. Up to ten thousand rubles, you can choose a suitable USB-microphone.

    Such devices already incorporate a built-in audio interface and work with a laptop or PC out of the box. However, they have the disadvantage that it will be difficult to write several audio tracks at once (for example, if guests participate in the program).

    In many reviews of USB microphones, Blue occupies a leading position . Their Yeti and Snowball microphones are often used.for recording podcasts. However, when working with them (in particular, Yeti), it is important to consider a number of design features. Some of the errors that podcasters make when recording to Yeti are covered in this video:

    Jason Snell, already mentioned, recommends the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB dynamic model as a microphone for beginners . In spite of its price, this is an “outgrowth” microphone. In addition to the USB port, it has an XLR connector. If in the future you decide to purchase an external sound card, then you will not have to change the recording device.

    Note that in addition to the microphone, you should purchase a pop filter. You should also get a stand or stand for a microphone (if it is not included, as is the case with Blue products) - then you will not have to hold the device in your hands.

    Budget: 20,000 rubles. and more. In this price segment you should pay attention to analog microphones with XLR connector. They will have to additionally purchase a sound card, but this will expand the recording capabilities: you can write several audio tracks at once and, in some cases, control the effects using physical controllers.

    Among the XLR microphones can be distinguished Rode NT1-A. It is used by professional musicians, and he is also a frequent “guest” of TV studios. Another device - Audio-Technica BP40 - is also mentioned in the compilations of gadgets for podcasters. We talked about some of the other podcasting microphones in a separate blog guide .

    If you look at sound cards, then Focusrite's Scarlett solutions are popular in the budget segment. Theirpreamps are distant relatives of Focusrite professional products — well suited for recording podcasts and even used in podcast studios.

    Also, experts recommend to pay attention to the eight-channel recorder Rodecaster Pro , specially created for podcasters. Its price is quite high ($ 600), but for this money you will receive a device that contains an audio interface, a mixer, a panel for sound effects and headphone preamps. The product was released quite recently and is not yet available in Russia. But those who have already managed to evaluate the decision, speak well of it.

    Record a podcast: invite friends

    Podcasts rarely consist of monologues, so you should invite guests to the program. The first time they can make your friends or colleagues. As we have said, multichannel recording with XLR microphones and a sound card is expensive. However, there are several options that will help avoid spending on additional equipment.

    Photo by Jakob Härter / CC BY-SA

    Everyone writes himself. You can record guests remotely, for example on Skype. In this case, all participants in the conversation write their own sound to their microphones. Then the author is enough to collect these records and mount in a single track. But this approach has a number of difficulties. Firstly, the tracks will have to be synchronized, and secondly, if someone suddenly stops recording, there is a risk of irretrievably losing the accumulated material.

    One records all. You can write sound on one available microphone, transmitting it to each other and cutting pauses during editing. But such an approach can quickly turn heart-to-heart conversation, which podcasts are so valued into, into an ordinary interview. If you use Skype or TeamSpeak for recording, you can capture audio directly from the application with special programs, but this will greatly affect the quality of the recording.

    Editing a podcast: choose DAW

    If you confidently speak in public or read a pre-prepared script, you can not edit the resulting audio recording. For example, comedian Denis Stranger releases a podcast that records on the phone while walking with a dog. However, audio editing can improve the quality of a podcast.

    Ideally, audio editing software should support multiple tracks, include a compressor and equalizer, and also have basic automation tools. The following software meets these requirements:

    • GarageBand is a music or podcast tool developed by Apple. Allows you to export projects to your iTunes library, SoundCloud, or Apple Music. The skills that can be gained from working with this solution will be useful if you need to switch to professional Logic Pro software. It is recommended by Marco Arment of the Accidental Tech Podcast and Dan Benjamin , founder of 5by5.
    • CakeWalk for Windows - This digital audio workstation was previously called Sonar Platinum. Users note that the system is well suited for beginners. It has the flexibility to change and correct the audio material: multichannel recording, double-precision audio processing, stereo effects.

    Also note that Audacity is a popular option among novice podcasters . This is not a full-fledged DAW, so it is only suitable for primitive audio processing. In general, there is no need to use paid programs, but in the opinion of Jason Snell, professional software will increase the productivity of work on the material. Photo by Jakob Härter / CC BY-SA

    Publish a podcast: hosting and directories

    Your first release is ready - there is an edited mp3 file. Now you need to upload it to the hosting and add it to the directories so that potential listeners can find your podcast. With the development of the podcast industry, this process has become much easier and not costly.

    Hosting Pinecast offers unlimited storage for recordings and the ability to manage three podcasts from one account. But listeners will only be able to download the last ten episodes of the show. Also pay attention to the relatively new service Anchor . Developers provide unlimited storage space for files, and, unlike Pinecast, do not set a threshold for the number of downloads available for download.

    There are also paid services that offer more control and opportunities (such as optimizing hosting for sharing video podcasts). Among professional podcasters, services like LibSyn (from $ 5 / month), ($ 19 / month) or Squarespace (blog platform with podcast support, from $ 12 / month) are popular .

    After downloading the podcast, you need to tell about its existence to the world, namely, add it to the directory. The most popular directory remains Apple Podcasts . Almost all applications for listening to podcasts organize search through this service. To add your audio show there, follow the documentation provided by the selected host. After registration you will be availabledetailed statistics on downloads and auditions. Important point: Anchor registers your podcast automatically - but on its own behalf. With this service you will not have access to data provided by Apple.

    The main competitors of Apple Podcasts are Spotify , Stitcher and Google Podcasts . But the first and last of them are not available in Russia without a VPN, and the user base of Stitcher consists mainly of American listeners.

    Listen to the podcast: applications

    After the podcast is published, it’s worth checking if people can find it. To do this, you can use the so-called podketcherami - applications that simplify the search for new shows on the network and allow you to subscribe to your favorite shows. Such services are released with enviable regularity, but then we will list only the most popular ones:

    • Apple Podcasts is a podcast client installed by default on iOS. Good for undemanding listeners. Some annoying their interface.
    • Pocket Casts is one of the most popular podcast clients on Android, but also works on iOS, macOS and Windows 10. The application is paid, but provides a large number of filters by episode.
    • Castbox is a free cross-platform option. Unlike other options, supports searching by audio . Integrates with Google Cast and Amazon Echo. Also provides tools for downloading podcasts.
    • Overcast is an iOS application created by the aforementioned Marco Arment. It has a simple interface, has support for Apple Watch and automatically changes the playback speed, squandering awkward pauses on the air. Free with ads.

    In conclusion, I would like to note that the main thing in podcasts is content. If people like to listen to you, then they will do it despite the quality of the recording. However, it is still easier to significantly increase your audience if the sound is worthy.

    Further reading - the posts of the "World of Hi-Fi" and our Telegram-channel:

    Discuss Hi-Fi trends: a transcript of the show "Sound" Trautonium: German wave in the history of synthesizers What is the 8D-Audio - discussing new trend

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