The Quick Guide on How To Record a Podcast
Updated: August 12,2022
So you want to be a podcaster, but you don’t know where to start. Where is the best place to record? What kind of equipment do you need? Which recording software should you use? What should you talk about?
These are all questions that every beginner podcaster should ask themselves before diving into the podcast world.
This article is here to introduce you to all the necessary knowledge on how to record a podcast, and more. It’s not as difficult as it might appear, so read on, and let us help you get your new project off the ground!
What Do You Need To Start a Podcast?
First and foremost, if you really want to start your own podcast, you need to make a plan. This includes:
- Deciding on what subjects you will talk about
- Who your target audience will be
- How long the episodes will be
- Whether the episodes will be scripted or not
- How you would bring guests on the show (if at all)
Planning and Preparation
Planning a podcast is crucial if you want the project to succeed. You need to set aside time to do your research, make a blueprint, make sure you have the proper equipment, and learn how to use it.
Choosing your topic lays the groundwork for your podcast. If you pick the wrong one, expensive gear and prestigious guests won’t help. Moreover, it’s not just about what topic you pick - it’s also about how you handle it.
If you’re making a podcast episode about the “My Little Pony” show, there will be an audience for it. However, the episode structure is what can win or lose listeners. An episode has to address key points and allow enough time for each of them to be discussed properly.
Furthermore, there are three important questions you should ask yourself when planning your podcast:
- What kind of problems are your listeners experiencing?
- What are the questions your listeners need answered?
- What kind of struggles are your listeners dealing with?
If you get these right, you will successfully set up a good launching pad for your future podcast.
Scripting a Podcast
How good are you at controlling a conversation and staying on topic? Are you easily distracted? Would you be more comfortable with having no script, some limited guidelines, or a full script in front of you, letting you know exactly what to say next?
This is vital to consider when creating your podcast, as it will affect the impression you give off to the audience. Choosing the right approach will make you come across as more relaxed, confident, and authoritative, and it will make it easier to engage guests in conversation.
If you’re unsure, it might be a good idea to start in the middle - have some notes or cue cards to help keep the episode on track, or try out a light script. Once you see how things go, you’ll be able to decide on the best approach more easily.
Tracking Your Statistics
After you’ve recorded and published your podcast, it is important to check how the viewers interacted with it - what they liked, what they didn’t like, what sparked their interest, etc. If you read them right, they will show you how to make your podcast stand out in a sea of similar projects.
All podcast platforms provide you with insight into how many viewers your podcast has reached, how many times it was shared, how many likes you have, and what type of audience it was most popular with. You may want to do some research and check some streaming statistics to prepare better and learn how to target the desired audience.
Now that we’ve gotten the creative process out of the way, we can focus on the technical details. What kind of equipment should you use, and where should you record?
When looking for the equipment you’ll need to start a podcast, the first and the most important thing is your microphone. You need to figure out if you need a mono or a stereo microphone and whether you should use a USB mic, an XLR mic, or a portable recorder.
A USB mic is a perfect choice for people on a budget, but it comes at the cost of sound quality. Although they are far better now than they used to be, problems with lag are more prevalent than with other mics, which usually happens because of hardware or OS issues.
You’ll also need to do a little bit of configuration in the system, as the computer won’t automatically recognize both mics as recording devices.
The second option for your dedicated podcast recorder would be an XLR microphone. Compared to USB, XLR offers better signal transmission and is generally less prone to lag. The main downside would be the price and the audio interface required for the mic to be connected to a PC, but it is a better long-term option.
If you decide to go with an XLR microphone and you’re recording inside a designated studio room, our advice would be a condenser type of microphone. They are more sensitive to sound and give you that clear and crisp recording that simply screams “quality.”
The third option would be a digital podcast recorder or a portable recorder. They are small enough to fit in a large pocket and often feature integrated microphones, making them an ideal pick if you don’t have a designated studio or if you intend to go to your guests rather than having them come to you.
Once you’ve decided on what hardware you’ll be using, you need to consider the software, and the best option would be a digital audio workstation.
With a DAW, you can record directly using an XLR microphone, you have an unlimited number of tracks to use for recording, a library of effects you can add at any moment, and you can edit your recordings immediately or after you are done.
One thing you would require to use a DAW is some basic knowledge of audio engineering, so we suggest brushing up on it before you start mixing your sessions.
The third technical factor is your location. Be it inside or outside, you need to look at your location as your designated podcast recording studio and treat it like one.
If you are recording from the comfort of your own home, it would be best if you had a room that could accommodate both you and your guests and that is also acoustically treated so as to avoid inferior sound quality or echo in the recordings.
The location should also be a determining factor when deciding what kind of gear to use. If you intend to record outside or just move a lot, a portable recorder would obviously be a better choice than a setup that includes multiple pieces of fragile, expensive gear.
The Final Word
Once you have the basics covered, everything else comes with time and experience. The more time and effort you put in, the better you’ll get, but it all starts by checking out a guide to recording a podcast such as this one.
All in all, we hope you’ve found this article helpful, and we wish you the best of luck in your future projects!
Frequently Asked Questions
To record a podcast at home, you need a room that doesn’t create much echo, a decent microphone, an audio interface, a computer, and recording software you’d use to record and edit your podcast.
For recording a podcast, you only need a computer, recording and editing software, an audio interface, and a microphone.
If you’re looking to learn how to record a podcast for free, a video conference software like Zoom is the answer for you. It has the option to record your conference calls, which are often used for recording podcasts online.
The easiest way to record a podcast would be to use your phone as a recorder, but that would only leave you with more hassle later in the editing process. Truth be told, the actual easiest way would be to invest in your gear so that you don’t have any difficulties during or after the recording process.
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A true tech and gaming savant, Ivan has been fascinated by the digital world since the early days of gaming on antiques such as the ZX Spectrum and Commodore’s beloved Amiga. Whether you’re interested in the latest PC and console gaming news, antivirus software, or smartphone reviews, or simply want to learn about the newest geeky gadgets around, we at KT have you covered, and Ivan’s likely the one we’ll ask.