Successful to podcast recording
Podcasts have been enjoying increasing popularity in the online world for several years. But what makes a good podcast? What is there to consider when creating podcasts? How do you put a podcast on Spotify, Youtube and Co.? All information including instructions such as podcast recording, podcast apps and much more. In this tutorial you will find everything you need to know about creating a podcast.
WHAT IS A PODCAST?
A podcast is an audio or video recording that is released periodically and is available for subscription over the Internet. Podcasts can be offered on various platforms, such as dedicated podcast websites or through mobile device applications. The topics of podcasts can be very diverse, ranging from news and entertainment to education and specialist topics. Podcasts are a popular form of entertainment and information because they can be conveniently listened to on a mobile device and allow the listener to listen to the content at a later time.
PODCAST IN EVERYDAY LIFE
Podcasts have become an everyday companion for many people - on the way to work, while eating, or in the evening comfortably on the sofa. According to that Reuters Institute Digital News Report of 2019 21 percent of the German population listened to at least one online podcast a month - the number has probably increased by a few percentage points since there are more and more apps and providers. Among the most popular podcast platforms Spotify, Apple Music/Apple Podcasts and Deezer. But there are also dangers lurking when creating podcasts: the microphone is hissing, the person you are talking to is incomprehensible, the voice is distorted, just to name a few examples.
So that this doesn't happen to you, we will show you below, with our instructions, step by step, what to look out for when creating a podcast, which one Equipment is needed and how you put your podcast on Spotify, Youtube and Co.
Before creating the podcast, you should think about a concept for it. Identify and define the topic and target audience. Think about the orientation of your program (entertaining, informative, ...). Then you can think about the length of each episode. This should always remain the same, for example 25 to 30 minutes per episode. Of course, an episode can be longer or shorter from time to time, but a certain consistency should be maintained. The same applies to the publication of the individual episodes. A fixed release schedule, for example fortnightly or monthly, must also be established.
Both a graphic and a acoustic logo give your podcast a recognition value. Especially the former is necessary to create your podcast. An audio logo in the form of a jingle marks both the beginning (intro) and the end (outro) of a sequence. There are various providers from whom jingles can be purchased, or you can create your own jingle.
Before you get into that record, tape and create your podcast, you should choose the right equipment:
PODCAST RECORDING ACOUSTICS (ROOM ACOUSTICS)
Before you create the first episode of your podcast, you should create a test recording to check that both your microphone signal and the room you're recording in sound good. the Raumakustik is an often underestimated problem that can lead to poor recording quality. The aim is to keep the voice recording as dry as possible. If your space is problematic, it doesn't need a vocal booth or the acoustics of one professional studios. Small acoustic modules such as the acoustic foam or absorber panels on the MB AKUSTIK website or the desktop absorber from t.akustik provide a remedy for the perfect podcast recording.
When selecting the microphone, it is important to consider whether it should be a "traditional" microphone with an XLR connector or a USB microphone. USB microphones have the advantage that they do not require an additional audio interface, as this is already integrated in the microphone. No matter which connection you choose, make sure that the directional characteristic of the microphone is cardioid. In addition, the sensitivity should not be too high, otherwise a lot of background noise such as passing cars will be captured - the popular entry-level microphone NT-1a from Rode is therefore suboptimal for creating podcasts.
Attention: If you want to create podcasts with several guests, you should use an XLR microphone with an audio interface. Connecting multiple USB mics to a computer can be problematic (but it's doable).
Furthermore, a microphone spider and a pop filter should be part of your setup. The former dampens structure-borne noise and footsteps, the latter intercepts unpleasant plosive (P, T, ...) and sibilant (S, Z, ...) sounds. Many microphones come with a pop filter and spider - it's worth checking!
USB microphones up to 150 euros:
- Blue Snowball
- Tascam TM-250U
- Rode NT-USB
- Audio Technica AT2020 USB+
- AKG Lyre
USB microphones up to 300 euros:
- Rode Podcaster MkII
- PreSonus Revealer
- Elgato Wave: 3
- Back MV7
- Beyerdynamic Vox
USB microphones over 300 euros:
- Apogee HypeMic
- Antelope Audio Axino Synergy Core
- Shure SM 7B
- Yellowtec iXm Podcaster
XLR microphones up to 150 euros:
- IK Multimedia iRig Mic Studio XLR
- Rode PodMic
- bone SC450
- PreSonus PD-70
- Sontronics Podcast Pro
XLR microphones up to 300 euros:
- Rode ProCaster
- Back MV7
- Beyerdynamic M70 ProX
- Audio Technica AT2050
- AKG C3000
XLR microphones over 300 euros:
- Earthworks Audio Icon Pro
- Electrovoice RE-20
- Audio Technica AT4040
An audio interface is needed when you choose one XLR microphone decide and/or would like to accommodate several guests locally at the same time. The task of the interface is to amplify the incoming microphone signal and convert it from analog to digital. The converted signal is then sent to the computer via USB/Firewire/Thunderbolt cable and channeled into the DAW. Audio interfaces usually always have at least one headphone output including volume control. An advantage over USB microphones, where both the headphone output and the volume control provided for this purpose are often attached directly to the microphone body, which can lead to unwanted noises in the recording when adjusting.
USB audio interfaces with 2 microphone inputs:
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
- Motor M2
- Universal Audio Volt 276
- Behringer U-Phoria UMC202HD
USB audio interfaces with 4 microphone inputs:
- iConnectivity Audio4c
- Tascam US 4x4HR
- Focusrite Scarlett 4i4
- Audient Evo 8
Who prefer All-In-One wants to record can do so with standalone recorders. In addition to the conventional analogue connections, many recorders offer USB and Bluetooth interfaces, so that online calls can also be recorded from a smartphone, for example. In addition, these devices often offer sound pads with which jingles, sound effects and other samples or loops can be "fired". Various effects such as compressors and de-essers are also usually on board. The advantage of standalone recorders is that with them, thanks to SD card can create their podcast anywhere.
- Rode RodeCaster Pro
- Tascam Mixcast Pro
- Zoom PodTrak P4
- Zoom H8
- Sound Devices MixPre-6 II
For the Post-processing of the podcast recordings a DAW is recommended. Since it's all about the post-processing of speech (and possible editing of music, effects, etc.), it doesn't need a "high-end DAW". There are many different developers, some even free versions their audio editing software (program). The classics include the program or programs from Audacity, Bandlab Cakewalk, Garageband, Hindenburg and Reaper. Here you can make step by step the individual editing of episodes, insert intro and outro.
No matter which setup you choose, the top priority when recording your podcast remains not to overdrive! You can adjust the volume level using the gain control on your microphone/audio interface. This should be around -12 dB FS. If your microphone signal is already too loud in your DAW/recorder, there are often pad switches that lower the signal by 20 dB. If you are unsure, you can use one for the first shots Limit into the corresponding channel of the DAW and set the ceiling to -1 dB.
As soon as the room acoustics have been checked or adjusted, the microphone is in the spider, the pop filter is attached and the level is set correctly, you can start recording.
By the way, you should wear headphones (preferably closed-back headphones) during the recording, so that there is no crosstalk on your microphone signal.
Once you've recorded your episode, that counts edit audio. Slips of the tongue and frequent "Uhhs", "Uhmms", etc. should be cut out. It always applies between editing and natural language flow to weigh. If a cut noticeably impairs the flow of speech, you should consider leaving the "uh". Smacks, on the other hand, should always be removed (if possible). You'd be amazed how many people start their sentences with a smack that doesn't catch the eye in face-to-face conversation but stands out uncomfortably in the recording.
In addition, a low-cut at approx. 90 Hz can be set for voice tracks using an equalizer. For female speakers it is a little further up, at around 120 Hz. In order to increase the intelligibility of the speech, a small increase at 250 Hz and a slightly stronger increase at around 3,5 kHz often help. Hissing noises can be defused via the de-esser and are mostly in the range of around 6,5 kHz. But be careful: if you de-ess too much, it will sound like a lisp!
After the equal can the dynamics by means of a Compressor to be controlled. A fast attack with a medium to slow release and a ratio of 4:1 to 6:1 compensates for jumps in volume. A high level of dynamics is not desirable with podcasts, as they are usually heard as an accompanying medium.
Incidentally, several compressors can also be used one after the other, each reducing only a few dB. This can be particularly helpful with signals from online recordings such as Zoom or Skype, which experience has shown to distort very quickly.
After compression, the highs can be increased again with a high shelf band in the equalizer, but that depends on the signal and taste.
If you're new to podcast or voice editing, artificial intelligence tools can help. In particular, iZotope Neutron and United Plugins/Soundevice Digital Voxessor should be mentioned here.
MASTERING AND EXPORTING
Once the language has been edited and any jingles, effects, etc. have been cut in, you can do that Podcast masters create. A subtractive equalizer to equalize interfering frequencies if necessary and a gentle compression to "to stick together“ can be used on the master channel. A limiter should be placed at the end of the effects chain, with a ceiling set to -1 dB FS. The final test is always the ear - so check if your podcast sounds good, nothing overdriven and everything is easy to understand.
By the way, many have Streaming platforms like Spotify, Youtube and Apple Music have their own guidelines regarding loudness, which we summarized in a separate post. However, these guidelines play a secondary role when creating podcasts. Nevertheless, certain loudness values (in LUFs measured) important so that your podcast doesn't sound too quiet!
If everything is to your satisfaction, you can export/bounce the episode. For podcasts, a stereo MP3 audio file with a constant bit rate (CBR) of 128 kbps is usually sufficient. If you play music in your podcast, you can increase the bitrate to 256 kbps.
Test our analog streaming mastering now.
UPLOAD AND PUBLICATION
In order to publish your podcast, you need a hoster. There are different hosters that also serve different platforms. The most well-known websites and apps like Spotify, Apple Music/Apple Podcasts, ITunes, Deezer and Google Podcasts are usually populated by all hosters. So marketing is important to get your postcast heard!
Special case Youtube: Compared to Spotify, Deezer and Co., YouTube is usually not populated by podcast hosters. Nevertheless, it can't hurt to upload the podcast to YouTube. Visuals are needed, of course, but that's provided in the form of each episode's featured image, as is the finished audio track—so you don't need to create separate content for it. The easiest way is to simply fade in a still image of the featured image over the duration of the podcast - which can be done quickly and easily with any video editing software. If you don't already have video editing software, I recommend Black Magic Design's free DaVinci Resolve.
Incidentally, you can adjust the publication of your episodes on YouTube to that of your hoster so that the episodes appear on Spotify, Deezer, Youtube & Co. at the same time. With a little extra effort, you increase the potential online reach of your podcast.
- Always record your own language track locally for better audio quality.
- For online interviews: Ask the other person if he/she can record the voice track locally and then send it.
- Safety first: Many online video chat platforms offer an integrated audio recording function. Always enable this, even if the tracks are recorded locally, so that there is a backup.
- Briefing the conversation partner: Before the podcast, the conversation partner should be clear about what equipment he/she needs, which video chat platform is being used, the topic, etc.
- If you play music in the podcast, it should be produced in advance. The eventual editing of music should not only happen when creating your podcast.
- For each audio track (speaker, jingle, music...) you should create a separate audio track in your DAW. This makes editing and volume adjustment easier.
- Listen to your episode again after creating it.
- Also upload your podcast to YouTube via the website.
Christoph Strauss, Chris Jones