Some of you blog reading people might know that I have a fairly well known podcast called the “notPop podcast”, that centers around music news and the activities of my site, notPopular.com. for almost 2 years now @xFLORIDAx and I have been churning these podcasts out and having a lot of fun doing it.
From time to time I get people emailing me asking how we record and put the podcast out onto the web. I’m going to be honest, it wasn’t easy to figure out, but we made it through. I’m going to tell you how we record our podcast, so that it might help you figure out how to do yours.
If you are un-familiar with my podcast, There is a minimum of 2 mics, but up to 8. We also play music and take listener calls.
The notPop podcast format is as follows:
- intro music
- welcome / introduction / catch up
- featured band
- news stories
- throwback band
- feedback from callers
- ending statements
- outro music
- outro bonus clip
That might look like a lot of stuff to take on if you are un-familiar with recording audio on a computer. Don’t worry, I will walk you through it. (Disclaimer: I use Windows Vista for podcasting, but this will also work on Windows XP)
First off since we do have so many mics running at once, we need to capture all that audio at once. One solution is to just have one mic that everyone talks into. You can do that if you want your podcast to sound like crap. I don’t suggest it. Another way is to use a sound mixer board, and professional mics. That’s pricey and requires a lot of know how and fancy audio cards installed in your computer. I don’t suggest this method either. The best way I have found to get multiple mics working at the same time is USB headsets.
USB headsets are cheap and offer great sound quality. The real advantage is that each USB headset will act as their own sound input to the system so you have will have sound control over each device. I personally like to use the “Logitech Premium USB Headset 350”, you can get them cheap online, about $25 each.
Once you have them hooked up, windows will see them. Go to the control panel and go to recording devices. I like to set each mic to 30%. I have found that this is the best setting to prevent clipping. Clipping happens when a sound input is higher then can be recorded. when clipping occures, you lose out on the data trying to be recorded and you end up sounding like crap.
For recording software, I use Adobe Audition. It’s super powerful. Inside the application, you will see multiple time lines. I assign each time line to a input (remember that each USB mic is its own input!). I leave an open time line for sound clips and songs. Arm the tracks to record, press the record button and start talking into the mics. You should see the sound coming in.
Once in a while we press the stop button and drag in an mp3 or wav file to be played. Once its in place, we set the timeline right after the clip and start recording again. We do this for the intro and exit music, along with the songs and listener calls we take.
For listener calls, I use skype with the skypeIn option. With sypeIn you get a phone number and a voicemail box. By default, you cant save the voicemails that people leave you in skype. I use a software package called PrettyMay to save the voice mails and calls as mp3 files. I use the PrettyMay Call Recorder for Skype, it costs $24 for a license with free upgrades for lifetime. After I save all the calls to mp3s, I can drag them into the time line in Adobe Audition, just like the songs we play.
Once all the audio is finished and complete in Adobe Audition, I export the raw WAV file by going to file->export audio. The export takes a while to complete.
Once you have the mp3 exported, listen to it (or atleast spot check it)! You want to make sure your rad new podcast sounds good. This is the final product, the rest of the post will be on how to deliver it to the listeners.
A podcast is simple an entry in an RSS feed with a media file enclosures. I’m not going to go into details on how to do this, but Apple has a great page on how to get your podcast into iTunes.
That’s basically it! I love podcasting and have been doing it for several years now. If you have some questions, leave them in the comments below..