How Music and Sound Effects Make Your Podcast Better

In this blog post we’ll discuss how including music and sound effects throughout your recordings can create an engaging podcast, and offer a heightened audio experience for your listeners.

When you first start podcasting or are looking to improve, there are a number of things you can do to really make it feel and sound professional; you can focus on your niche, publish episodes regularly, use the right gear, get the right audio-editing software, as well as use music and effects.

Today we’ll focus on the ways different podcasters have used music throughout their content.


Breaking up segments during your episode

Music clips and effects are especially useful for episodes structured like stories. They help punctuate key moments as you go through the beginning, middle, and end, and add extra emotion to your interviews. Another way to use sound effects is to introduce new segments, like flash news stories. FQ Radio does a great job of that; they produce short episodes that you can listen to as a playlist, with each episode separated by an effect:

Podcast intros or jingles

We’ve already talked about the fact that your podcast intro is the most important audio element you’ll ever create for your podcast; it’s the first thing potential new listeners hear. The same goes for producing the perfect jingle for your podcast. Here are just a few good examples:

The first thing to consider is that the intro, or the pre-roll, should be made with your audience’s expectations in mind. Here’s a selection created by Podcast Examples to give you an idea of what we mean:


Background music for “talky” podcasts

A great voice is spellbinding to listen to, but, even if we don’t realize it, part of the pleasure often comes from the right background music. That backdrop is important, especially when the aim of the podcast is to tell a story, or when you’re going in depth on a specific topic, like in the Creative Pep Talk Podcast. They handpick music that their creative, geek-oriented audience will clearly enjoy.

Another example is how music, sound effects, and originally recorded audio make the story more interesting:

All these examples are just starting points in discovering the world of sound effects, songs, and tracks that will make your podcast unique. If you don’t know where to begin, or aren’t an expert musician, search through royalty-free music or copyleft songs on the web first. Starting this week, Spreaker’s Store now includes a library of 30,000 royalty-free songs and sound effects you can use at your discretion. Whether you already know how to produce your own podcast music, or just need some inspiration, definitely listen to this podcast on audio production tips and ideas.

Find this article interesting for your podcasting business? Want us to write more about any topics in particular? Let us know by writing in the comments below – we’ll be glad to answer you!

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  1. Completely agree with background elements. When we were working on our show style I wanted to make sure it sounded like we were recording in a bar without actually doing so. Introducing a simple repeating loop of background noise fills in the “dead space” you hear on typical podcast shows. It’s a constant layering process and I think of my DAW as basically a canvas adding layers of sound. The real world of audio is VERY dimensional and the more your show is sounding more dimensional, the more engaging the listener will be. Otherwise you sound like a person recording on a cassette tape recorded with a piezo mic from 1978.

  2. Friends…., my daily, 3 minute, 7 days a week, “On Top Of The News” show would be an interesting example for other professional broadcasters because I utilize opening theme music, a top DJ voice over, scoring music under my dialog and a number of interesting sound effects, some ending theme music along with a button ending. I have over a hundred shows listed but here’s one example I randomly selected because it was aired on 50,000 watt WMEX 1510 in Boston. (My unique news show is played every Saturday evening on WMEX)

    Trade Martin.

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