Recording

The Set Up:

Samson Multi-pattern Condenser MicIt all starts with the Mic! You’ve gotta have a good mic to feel like you really are producing something of quality. Besides, you want the quality. I use the Samson CO3U USB Mic. I love this thing. Mounted on a shockmount, the sound quality is fantastic and you get little to know vibration noise.

Next you need a piece of software to record your podcast into. I’m digging GarageBand on the Mac, but love Audacity (Mac and PC) as well. Both programs are simple enough for you to get started, and both can expand and give you the control you want over your audio.

Most of our interviews are done virtually. The easiest thing I have found is to record the conversation using YouTube Live by starting an event and making the recording unlisted.

On my MacĀ I use a program called YouTube to Mp3 Converter (free) to download just the audio from the youtube video. One I have that I bring all the mp3 files into GarageBand or Audacity and mix it together.

OK, so now we’ve got the mic, the software to record and the system in place to push all the audio you want through your sound card we’re on to the fun stuff.

You’re gonna want some intro and exit music. You can spend a lot of time on the web searching for that perfect sound, that prefect entrance to your recording. I find Free Play Music to be a great site with loads of free to use sounds and short loops.

Or if you really want something original you can use a paid service like Fiverr. A great site that has a lot of professionals that you can pay to create your sound bits for you (that’s what I did).

If you want to stream live just make you YouTube Live event “public” and you’re live on YouTube!

So here’s how I edit my podcasts:

  • I record straight into GarageBand or via YouTube Live for virtual conversations.
  • I edit the recording in GarageBand, take out the mistakes, add sounds bits, etc.
  • In GarageBand I export to mp3 format at good quality. Because it’s only voice 64kbps is good enough. We’re not going to get CD quality out of a YouTube Live anyway and quality means size. I’d rather have an hour long podcast at 23MB than at 46MB and really not have a sound quality difference. If you look at most podcasts through iTunes you will notice that most are rendered at 64kbps.
  • Next, import your mp3 file into iTunes (I have a playlist called podcast just for this reason). iTunes makes it easy to edit the ID3 Tag. The little information that accompanies the mp3. This is where the title is stored, the producer, and that all so important image art that shows on the iPod.
  • Lastly, you need a place to put your file so others can access it. Using a blog is great, as it comes with a built-in RSS Feed. People can subscribe to your podcast blog and listen to your podcast right in their reader. Or head over to iTunes click on Podcast and in the middle of the screen you’ll see the button to “Submit a Podcast”. You’ll need an RSS Feed, but after that, you will have your own podcast site on iTunes. Just keep uploading files and linking them to your blog posts and iTunes will pick them up. For an easy way to do all this, I recommend using a WordPress blog with the popular Podpress plugin. Or look at other options like Podango which give you a place to host your files.

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