The more prepared you are, the less you have to worry about the unpredictable; this rule applies to everything, especially when it comes to podcast recording. Whether you want to start or have already begun a podcast for your business, brand, or a personal hobby, there are quite a few podcast recording tips that are necessary to consider.
Stay out of the closet
AI-powered tools to remove background noise may not be a significant concern, but it’s best to ensure that your raw files sound their best. Recording in a closet is the number one tip in many budget podcasting guides. But we don’t necessarily agree with this particular tip.
Rigid and flat surfaces reflect sound just like a mirror reflects light—and there are many of those in your closet. Blankets that will move around and add unnecessary resonance to your audio is also something you’re better off without.
So what is the alternative? Well, a carpeted space close to bookcases and away from walls is exactly what your sound needs. Prioritize shutting out any noise under your control, such as fans, ACs, or other whirring equipment. Finally, close your door, turn off your electronics, and inform everyone in the house that you are about to go live. These podcast recording tips, combined with the proper speaking distance, will give you the best recording results.
Find the best spot for your mic
We’ve all come across a podcast where you need to take off your headphones every ten minutes because the “b” -s and “p” -s sound a little too sharp, or the host suddenly gets way too close to the microphone.
One of the ways you can avoid that for your show is by taking care of your microphone placement, as it plays a massive role in the podcast’s audio quality. We suggest trying to speak diagonally into your microphone instead of talking straight on the capsule. When you keep your microphone at a 45-degree angle, the bursts of air will not go directly into your diaphragm, helping you get rid of all those “p” -s and “b” -s, in other words,,, the dreaded plosives.
At the same time, we do not advise picking too extreme of an angle, as the chances that you’ll end up with poor-sounding audio are high. Instead, experiment with your microphone placement and find the angle where your voice sounds the most natural. Don’t forget to record test audio every time you change the placement of your mic. Eventually, you’ll figure out which setting and environment sound the best for your audio.
High-resolution audio is key
In the case of podcasts, audio quality is everything. So when choosing the audio format, go with an AIFF or 48 kHz WAV file. If you record with anything lower, you’ll get too frustrated during the editing process.
Completely forget about M4A, MP3, or AAC formats. These formats restrict the high-frequency range, which helps the podcasts sound natural. In other words, if you want to give your show a professional feel, it’s highly recommended that you go with WAV or AIFF. Otherwise, you’ll leave an impression of an amateur, quickly pushing your listeners away, no matter how good your podcast content is.
Follow an outline
Audio quality is essential, but so is excellent delivery and content. The latter requires creative effort and practice, which you shouldn’t spare if you want to gain and keep a community of listeners. In order to read confidently, it is best to follow a script. But that’s not the only advantage of preparing a rough outline of your podcast.
You may not always know where you’re headed if you have guest speakers over, yet with an outline, you’ll have in mind which way you need to direct the conversation. Prepared intros, questions, and transitions will help you avoid quite a few mistakes common during impromptu speaking. These mistakes are also almost impossible to fix in post-production.
You can also use the script to make the editing process more manageable. Mark the transitions in your outline, and change your speech accordingly. It’s even better if you decide in advance how exactly you’ll transition from one section to the next. Is it going to be with the help of a short music track? Will you use a segment from one of your guest speakers to help you change the topic?
With the help of the outline, you can also repurpose your content for different mediums. For instance, you can use your podcast transcript to write a blog on the same topic. This way, you could add all the keywords necessary to your website and attract even more potential listeners. If you don’t have time to create a separate blog post for your episode, you can also post the actual transcript on your webpage, as the chances are high that it already has lots of organic keywords in it. In the end, your transcript will also help your listeners, serving them as a guide.
Go for multitrack recording during remote interviews
Luckily, with podcasting, you don’t have to do it live. However, you also can’t keep re-recording if you’re not the only speaker. And you can’t always invite your podcast guests over either. Sometimes, your interviewees might live hundreds of miles away, and it may not be convenient for them to travel to your studio. Of course, this does not mean you should give up on your guest and cancel the interview. There’s a way more straightforward solution: remote interviewing.
Partially because of the pandemic, remote interviews have become popular. And, in a way, were the only solution for many podcasters. Although we’re no longer locked in our houses today, remote interviews still remain one of the prevalent ways podcasters host guests on their shows.
But here’s the thing: if you’re not using the right recording platforms, the quality of your audio will suffer quite a lot. For instance, you might want to avoid Skype and Zoom. Why? Well, as they are not focused on audio recording, the eventual result will be pretty hard to work with. Instead, try to find software designed specifically for podcasters that offer high-resolution audio recording.
Another essential feature your recording platform should have is the ability to record all your guests with separate tracks. This will make your job way more manageable during the editing phase, as you can simply cut out the unnecessary parts from one of your guest’s recordings without changing the rest of the audio track.
Master audio editing
Thinking of upgrading your amateur set-up? You may want to postpone doing that until you try one of the many online audio creation platforms, like Podcastle.
If you’re having trouble or don’t feel like digging into the technicalities of audio editing software, you can avoid manual processes using such platforms. With automatic compression, noise removal, and other voice enhancement tools, you can develop a post-production ritual that will help you get the desired end result with minimal effort.
Test your audio in different environments
Just like with any product, quality control testing is a step you shouldn’t miss. This is one of the most overlooked podcast recording tips out there.
Remember that your content is consumed in various places and most of the time on the go. Once it’s ready, we advise listening to your podcast on a car stereo, cheap earbuds, or any listening system other than your default one. Feel free to take notes and get back to your audio once more before publishing it.
Be careful when mixing
Compression, de-essing, equalization, and noise reduction are all great but in moderation. Everything you do in post-processing leaves a mark on your audio. Although it may not be your intention, when working with speech, excessive alteration can emphasize all the unnecessary sounds in the background.
To avoid the abovementioned problem, you can use a high-pass filter when equalizing your audio. The latter will only process frequencies above a certain level removing the plosives and the rumble that you most likely don’t want your listeners to hear.
Whether it is you or your guest, a speaker often runs out of breath at the end of a sentence resulting in the volume of their voice sinking. And that’s where compression tools can come into play. Compression evens out the loud and quiet parts of your audio, after which you can turn up the overall volume of the track, avoiding distortion.
So if you want to make your audio more pleasant to the ear, there’s a balance that you should definitely keep an eye out for.
Market at the right places, at the right time, and in the right way
And last but not least, however good your content is, you need to make sure it finds the listener. There are several mediums and channels when it comes to podcast promotion.
Marketing your podcast on social media is one of the evident ones. Switching to video podcasting and adding visuals to your audio content is something that you should consider at one point or another. The latter will diversify your content and allow you to publish it on video platforms too. If you haven’t already, you should also work towards having your own website with a catchy and descriptive domain name.
Podcasting Recording Tips: A Conclusion
Apart from the listed podcast recording tips, you can always learn by reflecting upon your mistakes in the previous episodes. It’s a constant process, and with solid advice and instructions, continuous efforts will take you and your show where it needs to be.
So what do you think about our podcast recording tips, have you tried any of them out? Let us know in the comments below.