Answered By: Julia Gunst Last Updated: Jul 16, 2021 Views: 60
How do I plan for a podcast?
There are three stages to consider when creating your podcast.
This stage involves preparing and planning for everything you'll need before you start recording:
Content: Take some time about what kind of content you want in your podcast and how you wish to present it. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- What is the length of your podcast and how many topics will you talk about? A shorter length will be easier to achieve.
- How many hosts and interviewees will you have? Make sure you have enough space, time and equipment for all speakers.
- Who is your audience? Keep in mind the level of jargon and technical terminology you are using if your podcast is for the general public.
- Do you need any field recordings or live recordings? Consider any additional sounds you’ll need. For example, street noise.
- Will it be scripted? If you are going for an informal discussion or roundtable format, a list of topics or questions may be all you need. Here is an example of a script for radio from NPR.
- How many episodes do you plan to produce? Create a realistic goal.
Technology Becoming familiar and comfortable with technology will be key to your success. Take out the equipment in advance to become familiar.
- Knowing basic audio concepts will help you get the best possible sound. Consult this guide.
- Familiarize yourself with the Audio Rooms technology, recorders and microphones you’ll be using at the Library. Consult this guide for portable recording options.
- Contact Audiovisual Media Support for a consultation if you aren't sure where to start.
- Lynda.com offers a variety of training videos (available through a Calgary Public Library membership).
Research: Getting ahead on your research is important to ask the most informed questions possible.
- Background research and literature reviews.
- Music, archival or secondary audio sources. Use this guide to find resources.
- Research permissions to use secondary audio sources. Give credit when necessary.
- Create an outline for your project based on your research.
Here are a few tips to help the production stage, or recording, run smoothly:
- Have your scripts or outlines ready, as well as water.
- Test levels and microphone placement before you record. The meter should hover at around -12 to -6 decibels on your recorder or device when you speak normally.
- Use headphones to monitor what you are recording while you test out the sound. Wear them while recording to catch anything that might be picked up during your recording - i.e. perhaps you start to hear a vacuum cleaner down the hall.
- Check battery life and SD card space if applicable.
- Record in WAV file format, 44.1 kHz and 24 bit (16 bit if you want smaller files).
- Double check that you are actually recording before you start speaking! The time should be ticking upwards.
- Write down notes during production about what went well, what moments should be included in the edit, and any points that came up during an interview that require further research.
- Avoid ums, ahs and likes when you are speaking as much as possible.
- Rephrase questions or restart answers if you need to.
During this stage, you'll pull together everything you've recorded into a final audio file. Visit this guide to Post-Production for a detailed outline of the process.
In general, when it comes to audio post-production, you may have these steps to complete:
- Cleaning up of noises, coughs, or unwanted dialog.
- Removing hums or background noise.
- Adding music or other secondary sources.
- Mixing your tracks. This process includes making sure the volume levels for all tracks are even and your exported track has an appropriate volume.
- Exporting your final mix as an mp3 file with the highest quality possible. An mp3 file takes up less space and is more easily shared.