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How to record a podcast

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WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

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Recording device

How do you get your dulcet tones down on tape?

Are you at the beginning of the podcasting journey and know nothing about how to get your idea into people’s ears?  Here’s a little 101 on how you record a podcast…

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Record using audio software

If you’re hosting your show solo, this will be the easiest way to record your podcast.  Why?  Because all you need is a USB mic and your favourite editing program.

Setting up is as simple as plugging your microphone in, making sure it’s selected in audio preferences and hitting record.

The one thing you have to be careful of, however, is where you record.

If you’re setting up a home studio your recording space needs to be audio friendly.  That means avoiding rooms with reflective surfaces like tiles, windows or high ceilings.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money getting this right.  In fact, a few thick curtains or couch cushions will do.  But you have to put thought into the quality of sound when you’re recording if you want your show to be a success.

How to record high-quality audio at home

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Which software should you use to record your podcast?

There are a bunch of different programs you can use from Garage Bang to Pro Tools so it all comes down to personal preference.

Here are a couple I’ve used and can recommend…

Audacity

This is a free program a lot of podcasters use.

If you’re just starting out and working out whether this is something you want to do long-term, this program is a great place to start.

Adobe Audition

A subscription program I use to edit all my podcasts.  It’s used by professionals but it’s not as intimidating as programs like Pro Tools so you can still easily get a handle on it if you’re a beginner.

Do you need to edit your podcast?

Read

Record using Skype

This is one way to record when you’ve got guests on your show or co-hosts who aren’t in the same location.

Again, you just need a computer and a microphone but you’ll be recording via Skype rather than audio editing software.

Traditionally you had to download additional programs to do this but Skype has recently added a recording option to its latest version.  It’s important to note, however, that right now you can only record Skype to Skype calls using this feature not Skype to phone calls.

I still use call recording software because I’m used to it and I like the functionality.  So if you want to try that method the programs I recommend are Ecamm (for Mac) and Pamela (for PC).

Skype is great because you can see your guest but you can also use it to call people on the phone which can provide more flexibility in terms of who you can get on your show.

Just beware the audio quality of someone on the phone is lower than other methods of recording so you shouldn’t use this all the time if you can help it.

How to get callers on your podcast

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Record using Zencastr or Ringr

With both Zencastr and Ringr you invite guests to join a session and each person’s audio is recorded locally then saved for you to use later.  This means you end up with two high-quality files you can piece together to make it sound like you were in the same location.

The only limitation with this method is you can’t see each other so an easy fix is to run Skype simultaneously (with your computer mics muted so you don’t hear screechy feedback).

It’s also important to make sure you’re somewhere with a strong internet connection, otherwise, the sound can drop out between you and your guest.  This won’t affect the physical recording but it can seriously impact the rhythm of conversation.

How to record a podcast with people in different locations

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Record using a portable recording device

This is what I suggest if you’re planning to record in person with people and need to carry equipment with you.

My top recommendation for this is the Zoom H6.

It’s the device I use to record all my podcasts and it’s portable and reliable…just remember to pack additional batteries or you’ll be cursing yourself.

How to make editing easier when you’re recording a podcast

Read

Record using Anchor

There are pros and cons to this app because while I’m all for making podcasting easier I don’t think that should ever come at the expense of quality.

As someone who’s used to more granular editing software, I found Anchor didn’t give me as much flexibility as I needed in my edits.  But you might be an absolute gun at this program and feel like it’s the best option for you to make something that sounds great.

If that’s the case, go for it!

What is Anchor?

Read

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

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GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

SEND IT TO ME!