You’ve got your own podcasting platform, your listeners, and your topics. You may have been podcasting regularly, but with a few tweaks like those mentioned below, you can still upgrade your podcast quality – and perhaps increase your audience. At the very least, you can increase your existing audience’s interest in your material. Good luck!
Invest in a professional mic for better sound quality. There are a number of entry-level professional mics that provide smooth sound output yet won’t strain your budget. Besides, most of these models come from the same companies that produce pricier and high-end recording gear as alternatives to suit everyone’s needs and budget constraints.
Music adds more color and depth to your work. An intro and outro may sound professional but before you take on clips of your favorite song, be wary of copyright laws that cover it. You don’t want to get sued for copyright infringement right?
Instead of using label-owned music, you can use available soundtrack samples from recording software. You may want to check out Royalty Free Music, Freeplay Music , Music Bakery, and Shockwave for podcast-friendly music.
3. Sound Adjustments
You should learn how to work with editing software. Invest time in it so you can have total control over factors like sound levels, dead air, speaker volume – left and right channel, sound output balance, fading in and out into your intro and outro soundtrack, etc. Good editing can greatly improve your work’s final output and make it sound professional. The same applies to creating videos for your podcast.
A microphone screen – or even a piece of nylon stocking stretched over a loop of wire – can help reduce and filter out unnecessary and annoying sounds like popping (loud P’s and B’s) and breathiness in your recordings. You may not notice your little exhalations when you speak, but your listeners can.
5. A Dedicated Website
Move your podcast from a free service platform to your own blog site. Using a more dedicated website leaves a more professional and authentic impression on your listeners and visitors. Also, this gives you more freedom to include upcoming shows, iTunes subscription links, contact information, events, promos, free downloads, show notes and RSS, all of which can be very attractive to your existing and potential audience.
Web developer Kyle Graham has silently released a new plugin for WordPress that would change the course of blogging and even podcasting. It is called VoicePress.
Preview the VoicePress.it speech recognition WordPress plugin from WPCandy on Vimeo.
This is an amazing plugin that uses voice recognition software to transcribe your recordings as you speak. Since it is still in its early stages, expect upcoming improvements soon. For now, it is available in beta and only works in Chrome browser.
It would be very interesting to see how WordPress-based podcasters maximize this awesome tool, transcribing the spoken word into the written word, especially for WordPress mobile versions.
Download the plugin HERE, for free:
If you’re a podcaster who considers himself as a hardcore audiophile and is looking for a unique brand of microphone then you might want to check out The Black Hole BH-2 by JZ Microphones. Designed as a condenser mic, the BH-2 comes in a nice-looking cherry wood finish case. Included is a uniquely designed shock mount that snaps into the 2 pins in the mic’s center, making it look like it’s floating from the stand.
It is available with an optional custom blast filter, and it sounds great with the Tube Tech plugin. The cardioid pattern allowed for a nice off-axis leniency and very good rejection. It works well with both male and female voices, with tenors where it almost doesn’t need any further equalizing.
With a street price tag that hovers somewhere around $1,099, this isn’t what you would call your daddy’s microphone. After all, I did say “hardcore audiophile” in the beginning didn’t I?
Audacity is a free downloadable software which is used to record and edit audio material, available for both PC and Mac OS X. Many podcasters swear by this program because it’s user-friendly, versatile, and free.
For editing, you can:
1. Cut, Copy and Paste, Delete, Insert Silence, Duplicate and Split the audio files.
2.Apply the plugin effects to any part of your recording.
3. Customize playback rate on each tracks.
4. Align the audio segments.
The new version has fixed its bugs from the previous version. Its improvements are as follows:
1. Normalize preserves the left-right balance in stereo tracks by default and has an option to normalize stereo channels independently.
2. Spectograms allow window sizes to 32768 and frequencies to half the sample rate.
3. The Mix and Render function preserves the clip length by not rendering the white space before the audio starts and also preserves it before time zero.
4. CleanSpeech Mode is removed from Preferences, but you can still run or disable it in 1.3.14 by changing the Preferences in the previous version.
5. For OS X, there is added support for Audio Unit Music Effects but no MIDI support.
Check the site and download it HERE.
After you have downloaded Audacity, you need to set the Preferences before recording your project. This will ensure that the playback and sound source options are correctly set with the bit rate, quality indicators, etc.
Steps in Setting Preferences
1. Launch Audacity and go to Edit > Preferences.
2. From the Preferences dialog box, choose Audio I/O. This will tell where you will record your sound from and where to play it back.
3. From the dropdown menu under Playback, select the output device you would like to route your sound through. If you’re using an interface, you should install its driver and select it, but if you’re using your computer’s soundcard, then select it.
4. Under Recording > Device, select the sound source. If you’re only recording your voice, there’s no need to check the Record in Stereo box. Check it only if you’re recording music as well. You may also uncheck the ‘Play other tracks while recording new one’ check box.
5. Set the audio quality under the Quality tab. Set default sample rate at 44100 Hz for a good sound quality. The higher sample rate it is set, the better audio quality you’ll get but it will consume a large amount of file size. Leave the other settings at their default.
If you’re using the new version, it may look a little different, so here’s a screen shot. You can follow the steps above.
Set the channel to 1 Mono since Stereo will use up a large file size when saved.
You may also watch these video tutorials to learn more about Audacity:
Editing and Trimming
Importing and Adding Music
Saving and Exporting into MP3