Podcast pointers and primers, please.
September 29, 2008 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Podcast pointers and primers, please.

Can you recommend a good "primer" for starting a podcast? This podcast in particular that I have in mind will consist mostly of interviews, and just a little bit of buffer music.

And/or: can you give me your tips for the beginner's guide to podcasting? For example, what gear should I have? What software for editing and voice equalization?

More background details: The interviews will take place over the phone (I already have a quicktap for this), as well as in person/at conferences. So, in the latter cases, recorder-portability is an issue. I have access to both PCs and Macs, so software can be for either. In terms of budget, I'd like to spend enough to have this sound professional and pleasantly listenable (no hissing, no wild sound variations between speakers) but I'd like to be frugal when possible, since I work for a non-profit.

posted by NikitaNikita to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If you want professional sound, I would suggest going with a decent quality mic and outboard sound card. A Shure SM57 can be found for under $100 and will work well. A Shure SM7 will work much better, but will cost several times that amount. It all depends on what you are willing to spend.

You can use Audacity for your software, it is free, or you can go with something like a ProTools Mbox, which is a converter box and comes with the software. I have been using ProTools for years, so I am biased, but I think it works a lot better than Audacity.

As for tips, make sure to use music in your opening. A standard way of doing it is to start by saying the show name and date, kick into the music, and have it fade while you start talking. The opening music makes a big difference. Disclosure: I write music for podcasts, but there are hundreds of sites with podsafe music on them, so you don't need to have the music custom written for your show. A short snippet of a good song will do wonders for a podcast intro.

Biggest tip I can give you: EDIT! There shouldn't be any "umm's" in your show. Many people hit record, talk for 30 minutes, and call it good. You should go back through the show, edit out any strange sounds, words, etc. Until you have practice talking for that long at a stretch, it is not going to sound professional. Over time you get used to it, and you will need less editing.
posted by markblasco at 11:38 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Experience as a listener: please edit. Unless you are amazing at extemp speaking, edit mercilessly.

Also, bring on a friend. I've found that podcasts with multiple talkers are much easier to listen to than one person rambling.
posted by toomuchpete at 12:32 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Check out this thread. Posted today as well. Might as well follow both.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:23 PM on September 29, 2008

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