Viewing entries tagged
using a microphone

Pre-recording Checklist for Podcasting

Comment

Pre-recording Checklist for Podcasting

“  It takes about 3 minutes to check, but it can really save you an hour of bad quality audio.  ” 

Rookie mistakes can happen to anyone from the first time podcaster to the weekly podcast professional. It doesn't matter how much experience you may have when it comes to producing a great podcast - everyone makes mistakes. In order to make as few mistakes as possible, I have written a quick go-to list that you should check every time before you hit that big red button.

Podcast Checklist:

  1. Turn off your phone and place it far away from you
  2. Kick out any pets in the room
  3. Have water or a beverage close by
  4. Use the bathroom
  5. Open any relevant links and resources that you will be referencing later
  6. Have your questions and notes close by
  7. Find and plug in your headphones
  8. Warm up your voice (optional)
  9. Do a quick mic check and sound test
  10. Do a guest mic check when they're on
  11. If you're recording video for your show, then make sure you're in frame (tips below)

Although the above list may seem simple, you'd be surprised how many times podcasters, including myself, will regret not having a glass of water to drink during an hour long show. Turning off your phone during an interview will prevent you from having to edit more later, yet it's something we don't always do every single time - especially if you're interviewing a person that you've known for a long time and feel comfortable with. Don't be afraid to ask the same of your guests while they are on the show.

I personally like to put my phone on a soft surface where I won't be able to hear or feel the phone vibration. When editing shows, I can often hear that vibration sound being picked up on the mic, which can be pretty annoying if you are receiving a call. A hungry indoor cat or dog can be the worst and can really distract your focus from an important interview. Not only that, if your animals are often seen walking past the web cam, then it's best to kick them out of the room while you're recording. If your animal is known for making lots of noise, then make sure you feed them a little bit before your big interview.

We might have urges to skip through the sound testing process, but it's something that really shouldn't be avoided. There isn't a lot you can do to your voice quality after the show has been recorded. This means that if you recorded your voice using the web cam mic or your default laptop mic instead of your high-end microphone, then there's not a lot you can do on the editor side to save the interview.

You can often test audio quality and sound by using the Skype Sound Test. This is useful when you already plan to be chatting with your guest through Skype and need to hear how well your voice is being portrayed. While you're testing your voice, you can press the record button to hear back how you and the Skype Sound Test system sound. It takes about 3 minutes to check, but it can really save you an hour of bad quality audio.

“  A hungry indoor cat or dog can be the worst and can really distract your focus from an important interview. ” 

A hungry indoor cat or dog can be the worst and can really distract your focus from an important interview. ” 

Wearing your headphones always helps to prevent your microphone from picking up feedback and warming up your voice can be seen as a bit extreme, but sometimes when the weather is a bit too cold, the quality of your podcast can really benefit towards a better sounding show. If you've already done a mic and sound check before your guest comes on, then doing a second one with the guest there live with you isn't always necessary. However if you have a doubt or think there's something wrong, then do the check anyway just to be safe.

And the last tip I mentioned in my Podcast Checklist was in regards to video.

It doesn't matter if you're recording yourself through a professional camera or just your web cam, recording yourself in frame is extremely important. As a tip, make sure your head, shoulders, and elbows are in the camera frame. There should be a little bit of space above your head, on the sides, and slightly below your elbows.

Imagine that there's an invisible border around the frame that you can't touch, this will give you accurate dimensions and prevent you from looking like you're too close or too far away from the camera. Of course, during the camera test you can see what's best for you, but just remember someone who is too close or too far away from the camera can be a bit uncomfortable for the viewer to look at.

Until next time!

Ayn. 


"Tweetables"

"When it comes to producing a great #podcast - everyone makes mistakes" Tweet This!
A hungry indoor cat or dog can be the worst and can really distract your focus from an important interview. ” Tweet This!
It takes about 3 minutes to check, but it can really save you an hour of bad quality audio.” Tweet This!

Comment

The 6 Elements of Effective Podcasting

Comment

The 6 Elements of Effective Podcasting

A podcast that captivates its audience contains at least 3 out of 6 elements that leave the listener coming back week after week for more. In today's post we'll go over on how to make a great podcast that helps you exceed beyond your limits.

It's no secret that podcasting has increased and there are more and more companies incorporating podcast services into their business, but with the up rise of podcasting, it also presents tough competition. To stay ahead here are 6 things to always keep in mind when you're about to record your show.

 

1.     Prepare yourself properly.

There are too many people out there who aren't properly prepared for a hour long interview and try and drag it out more than they should. To prevent this, always have back up questions in case things get a little bit quiet. Find questions that will help get your interviewee talking. This could be personal questions, questions about their work expertise, or even how they got into that particular hobby or interest. Always produce something that your listener is never going to be bored with.

 

2.   Just like number 1 in our list, be sure you have something to say too.

Rambling on can be an easy thing to do if you have a quiet guest. It's important to be a bit self-aware of how you're talking and checking in with yourself every now and again to make sure your conversation isn't going in loops. You also don't want the same thing happen to your guest. If you see that their mouth is going in circles, don't be afraid to take the lead on your show and interrupt them.

 

3.     Speak into your microphone.

This can be a hard skill to pick up at first, but with a little bit of practice, you'll be able to do it in no time. Good quality microphones have a very limited range, this helps prevent background noise from picking up, so it's important to speak directly into the microphone. That means face-to-face with the device. This is a hard skill to pick up because we are so used to moving around when we are talking and looking directly at the person we're talking to instead of a device.
 

4.   Create Clean Audio.

Overtime, you want to try and reduce the amount of um's, ah's, and uh's in your podcast. There are also filler words such as, 'like', 'you know', and agreement words such as, 'ummhmm', 'yeah', 'sure'. These particular words shouldn't be avoided, just reduced for smoother conversation. It's natural to agree with someone while they are talking, but due to the way programs are made, such as Skype, whenever you agree with someone, this can actually cut off the speaker's voice and created uneven audio levels. To avoid this, turn on webcam and silently nod instead. You can even explain this to your guest before the interview so that they don't feel like you're not paying attention.

 

5.   Just be you.

Every time an article talks about 'being yourself', I can't help but give an eye roll. Who else am I going to be? But, it needs to be mentioned because too many times a podcaster listens to a couple of guys who they truly love and then goes on to produce a podcast doing a bad imitation of their idols. There's nothing wrong with liking and wanting to be like these guys, they're probably pretty good, but the reason why they're good is because they have their own unique style and don't follow anybody's trends. You don't need to talk or act a certain way, especially if doesn't come natural to you. There's nothing worse than trying to listen to someone who isn't using their real voice.
 

6.   Show Notes.

The importance of good show notes are often over looked, but show notes are a necessary part of whether or not your show is worth listening to. People who are just glancing at your blog or professional website aren't necessarily going to check out your audio 'just because'. You need to write a detail description of what your listener is going to expect when they click on your podcast. It grabs attention that way and a new visitor is more likely to click the listen button if your show notes look appealing or interesting. Show notes don't have to be that long, but it does need to capture what exactly was talked about in the show.

 

In conclusion, delivering an effective podcast is not as hard as you think. If you follow at least three of these tips, you'll be well on your way to producing great content that your fans will enjoy week after week.

 

About Podfly

Podfly is a professional team of audio editors and engineers that focus on making podcasts sound and feel great. Podcasting should be both easy and fun. We take on the grunt work and the behind-the-scene details, so that you don't have to. All you have to do is click record and we'll take care of the rest! Feel free to contact Ayn Codina at Ayn@podfly.net for more information.

By the way, over here at Podfly, we can do the show notes for you. Feel free to contact us at any time. 


Comment