Step by step - The perfect podcast


Beth Zarkhosh TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Beth Zarkhosh
Issue 99 - March 2015

The beauty of podcasting is that it can be done in very little time and with great ease when done properly!

This article will give you a brief insight into how to create the perfect podcast and what elements to take into account.

So firstly, what is it you are podcasting about?

The key to any successful podcast is a script. A big rookie error is to think that winging it with a vague idea of what youre going to say after hitting the record button is the way to go. If your script isnt properly thought through and rehearsed, your podcast can sound unprofessional and will simply be uncomfortable to listen to...Trust me Ive heard a few!

Its a little known fact that the long serving BBC Radio stalwart Chris Evans religiously scripts his show every single morning his deliverance makes it sound like hes riffing, but theres a solid amount of planning going into everything we hear. So, with that in mind make sure your content is ready and you know what you are talking about thoroughly.

Voices.com is a good resource for budding podcasters and offers some helpful pointers for a decent script.

Sound

Once youre satisfied with the content of the podcast and have got a script raring to go, its time to take a look at your recording set up. The sound quality of any podcast will make or break a great recording and your audience will know the difference. A tinny, echoey or shoddy sounding recording is something you want to avoid and to do so here is a tip I would give make sure you get yourself a decent microphone, which can record at a level of 48Khz or above. There is a world of microphones to choose from on the market; the Studio Series SL150 USB Microphone by Editors Keys records at broadcast quality and plugs directly into your laptop, PC tablet and it comes in a handy carry case, so is a great bit of kit for any podcaster... If youre recording multiple sound sources look towards a microphone like the Rode NT1.

A portable recorder are used by many top podcasters, these are brilliant for using when conducting face to face interviews or making voice memos for those random moments of inspiration when youre out and about. A great portable recorder is the Zoom H4N which can be purchased at www.gear4music.com at
around £150.00

Software and inputs.

If youre on a Mac, then Garageband is a great contender. Its free of charge and has built in podcast support and direct exporting to iTunes. If youre on a PC and strapped for cash then Audacity is completely free and a perfectly good software to record with.

If you are recording with multiple microphones then you will need an audio mixer or interface. The decision in to how many channels the mixer will have is dependent on how many microphones you will have, but remember to allow extra room for growth.
One great audio mixer Id recommend is the Yamaha MW12CX USB Mixer priced at around £290.00 available to purchase on sites like such as studiocare.com

Length

When deciding on the length of your podcast remember to bear in mind that a good podcast should usually last no longer than 40 minutes and be no shorter than around 20 minutes. So try to be careful when youre considering podcasting on a detailed topic that you dont start waffling away! Your audience are dedicated but dont have all day to sit and listen.

Editing & Style

A podcast usually has a style which makes it unique to others. Most podcasts are co-hosted and it is more than likely that one host will play dumb on a subject to initiate a conversation flow and gives room to talk about a subject they actually probably know about like the back of their hand. Having a conversational style allows the podcast to become real and the more casual the conversation the easier the listening is. Editing a podcast is important as this also contributes to the sound of the style you are aiming for. Getting rid of common pains such as erms and arrs in conversations will give an overall fluidity to your podcast.

Publishing

Finding free websites to upload your podcast too is easy and there are plenty to choose from. SoundCloud which is usually familiar with musicians can also be used for podcasts. Its as easy as signing up and you have your own profile in which you can upload podcasts for viewers to listen to - www.soundcloud.com.

Podomatic is another very easy to use and free host that you can upload your podcast too. It has one of the most easiest interfaces to work with which is great if you are not very experienced in this area of the podcasting production. The beauty of Podomatic is the fact you can create a podcast directly on the website and with having a free account you are supplied with 15 GB bandwidth and 500 GB of storage overall. www.podomatic.com

So there you have a brief overview of what I think makes a podcast stand out and some tips to get you going! One thing I believe is a key thing to bear in mind is to keep it regular.

Regularity is key if you want to keep hold of your audience and making them wanting to come back for more, by this I dont mean every other night but every 2 weeks is ideal and a convenient time scale to put together a quality podcast.

My favourite podcast is This American Life available on iTunes or at www.thisamericanlife.org .
Let me know what your favourite podcasts are by tweeting me at @editorskeys.com or email me at beth@editorskeys.com

Good luck guys!


Tags: iss099 | podcast | editors keys | step by step | software | microphone | audio | Beth Zarkhosh
Contributing Author Beth Zarkhosh

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

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