Podcasting Tips

Podcast

In preparation for producing the first podcast for this blog I have been listening to a range of podcasts on podcasting. The following is just a brief collection of good practice or noteworthy information that really has been from notes I made as I went along.

  • ID3 tags: the meta data that embeds details of an audio file within itself such as album (or podcast) the file might belong to, can be generated through a range of software, with audacity being one of them, iTunes is highly recomended as you can also attach your logo or image of your podcast. More on this as I work through my own podcast.
  • Audio Noise: Preferably record with no ambient noise. Eveything turned off, closed doors and maybe late/early so everyday living does not impact. Use a Pop Filter. A compressor (hardware/software) will “silence” out low/unwanted noise.
  • Audio Levels: If you bring in speech and music at the same audio level they will compete for attention, have the music dropped to a lower level from 0dB to -15dB. Use The Levelator (software to soften high and lows) or Chris’s Dynamic Compressor.
    • Note: Normalising a track will set it to a baseline point, effectively reducing loud tracks/clips and increasing quieter tracks/clips.
  • Audio filters: Reverb is a good effect in the fact that it makes it sound more like a hall, a lot of DJs prefer a touch of reverb to give emotion to your voice. Corouse is also another filter that adds mutliple layers of your voice – think “HAL” in 2001 a Space Odyssey.
  • Audio blips: remove stuitters, stammers and blips by either cutting or overwriting with silences in your editing software, as well as shortening long pauses – but not to short, it still needs to come over as natural.
  • File Type: work in wav or aiff uncompressed format.
  • Audio Terms:
    • Intro /Exit, Tail or Outro: whereby the show is identified with music. Often 30-45 seconds.
    • ID Tag: Guest voice – introducing themselves, your podcast and maybe a cheeky comment.
    • Bed Music: Background music behind vocal, either adding atmosphere or masking noise.
    • Rejoiner: is like a bumper but uses the shows theme whereas a bumper does not, brings listener back into the shop especially if you feel you have drifted from main content / feel
    • Stinger: a shorter sound clip or element (such as a gunshot or whip crack) to build emphasis between smaller sub-content, such as each news article, they also help to build longer transition and can often be found at the start of a longer transition clip.
    • Transition: between two segments, to help your audience separate section or topics, don’t over-use. About 3-5 seconds.
    • Bumper: a bumper is like a mini intro for a specific segment, there are also outro bumpers (a subtle reminder what they had just listened to. Add a voice-over to a transition and you have a bumper.
    • Logo: 10-30 seconds clip of music (nothing more complicated). This can go anywhere and helps identify a regular piece of content that may not happen at a regular timeslot.
    • Doughnut: Random  head and tail ad or promo mostly unrelated to your own content
  • Interviewing:
    • Know people’s names: Nothing worth than getting it wrong at the beginning and worse still throughout a podcast.
    • Prep questions: Keep them short and  to the point, have follow up question if initial answer is very brief.
    • Skype Recording: use Hot recorder, or record separately at either end and combine into one audio file (recommended: alternate a countdown between the two ends – one saying even and the other saying odd, this will aid syncing later).
    • Balance: Have each voice on different balance. One all on the right, the other all the way to the left.
    • Describe unseen: Your audio will not show visuals – ensure you describe.
  • Consistent content: Try and keep similar organisation each podcast, that does not mean you cannot have an “anything can happen in the next 5 minutes” segment. Such a set-up could be….
    • Round up month blog posts
    • Future projects (Teasers long term)
    • Feature (unique to the podcast and not in the blog with the exception of a transcript)
    • What’s coming up (Teaser short term)
  • Pod fading: Intervals become wider then stops without warning. To avoid this take a hiatus. I have already planned for this – a monthly podcast, limited to 15-30 mins, no podcast (or blog) over the summer months of July & August.
  • Feedback: Gain audience feedback and produce a specific feedback show if it gets to-much and could overwhelm normal podcast

Andy

 

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One comment on “Podcasting Tips

  1. I find while creating any type of media, breaks really clear your head. I sometimes lose my train of thought while creating and never really like the end result. I find resting, sleeping or even leaving it for a couple of days really helps you come up with the ideas you couldn’t get before leading to a much more professional end result 🙂

    also another recommendation i’d say would be to record while its still fresh in your mind, if you’re going to cast how your week was or what you done, there is no time like the present. writing this in a script also really does help!

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