There is a very thin line between an amateur podcaster and a professional podcaster. Viewers can often tell whether or not a podcaster is professional or trying to be professional due to the drastic difference in quality. There is usually no middle ground and it’s usually a podcast perceived as professional or not.
In order to make the podcast sound professional, it is important to follow a few simple rules used by most professional podcasters. Compromising in terms of quality may have some noticeable effects which is why it is very important to achieve what is practical in terms of quality.
Here are the top 10 podcast recording tips for beginner podcasters:
1. Podcasting with the right equipment
“The right equipment” doesn’t have to mean expensive. It just means that the podcaster has to make sure that they buy the right equipment, use the right software, and make them work together in order to achieve a good podcast. While standards must be high, it is understandable that podcasts have to work within the budget. If your camera isn’t high-quality, maybe adjust the angle of the video and have a clear background with the right lighting.
2. Make sure to warm-up
It is important that both the podcaster and the guest are both in the right state to start podcasting. Having some sort of ritual or warm-up before starting to shake off the sleepy vibes and get right into it is very important. First, the podcaster has to make sure they are energetic enough for the podcast, the second is that they are prepared, and the third is that they are in the mood to focus on the podcast itself.
3. Set the room
Make sure that the room has good acoustics and is also very comfortable. Getting good ventilation, making sure the temperature is right, and making sure that there won’t be any distractive noises is very important. It is also very important to make the guest feel comfortable as well. Discomfort can be a distraction which is why investing on comfortable seats (doesn’t have to be expensive) can really make a difference.
4. Learn the silence
Test out the audio before starting. It is important to allot some time even before starting the podcast to do a sample record of the podcast and try playing with it. Knowing how to adjust the audio before starting the official podcast is very important. This can be done through using software like Audacity which would allow you to cancel out any sound you might not want to hear in the podcast.
5. Microphone techniques
It’s not just the quality of the microphone that matters, it’s also how the microphone is being used. Adjusting the microphone putting it at just the right spot to get maximum quality is very important. It is important to set up the mic at strategic distance in order to get the audio not too soft and not too loud. Make sure to test the mics before the podcast itself and make sure that the wires are not shaky in order to avoid technical issues.
6. Podcasting volumes
If the podcaster is doing the podcast with an editor, the editor can watch the volume levels live. If the podcaster is doing the podcast alone, it is important to adjust the volume later on. Make sure to pay attention to volume levels and have them at sight in order to check every once in a while if the podcaster or the guest is too loud or too soft.
7. Controlled breathing
Make sure to not breathe into the microphone. In order to avoid this, positioning the microphone a little below the chin or mouth is important. This way, the podcaster or the guest does not breathe directly into the mic itself. The closer the mic is, the more chance of it catching the podcaster or the guest’s breath which can be very annoying for the listeners. It is important to remain at a good distance during pauses.
8. Avoid things that could make sound
The setup should avoid things that could make sound. If on a table, it might be better to have some sort of cloth or something that would absorb sound on the table to avoid watches making sounds, mugs making sounds, or even fingernails making sounds. The more soundproof the podcast setup is, the less editing would be needed later on.
9. Fix issues earlier
When it comes to podcasting, it is better to find solutions before instead of after the podcast. For example, test out the equipment and the podcast room for any unusual or distracting sounds. Squeaky chair? Maybe replace it or add foams. There are things that can be done to avoid extra sounds before the podcast in order to avoid excess edits after the podcast.
10. Podcasting with headphones
Despite being in the same room as the guest, it is important that both the podcaster and the guest have headphones on. This way, they can hear what the audience can hear and they can also hear themselves at the same time. Allowing the guest to monitor their own volumes is very important since they themselves will be conscious of whether they are too loud or too soft.
Having a good podcast recorded with poor equipment, a bad setup, and a really unprepared setting would be a waste of good material. In order to make the most out of the podcast, it is important to focus on the podcast itself but also the other details regarding the conducting of the podcast before and during podcasting.
The difference between properly preparing for the podcast and doing whatever can be done after the podcast to get the highest quality is the more the podcaster prepares, the better the output. After the podcast, the podcaster only has the podcast to work with and if it was not recorded properly, the podcaster would have no choice but to work only with what was recorded. It is always better to prepare than to remedy.