Should you create an intro before you record your first podcast, or should that come afterwards so that you can determine what your show is truly about? I believe the second part of the question is basically the answer. If you have a name for your podcast before recording the first show, you should be good to go ahead and record it, leaving the intro script and production for later. After all, it might sound funny to say, “Welcome to our show. We haven’t named it yet. But we will eventually!”
After listening back to your recording, you’ll know the attitude and character of your show – whether it’s low key or upbeat, serious or funny, informative or entertaining, fast-paced or slow. We’ve produced a lot of podcast intros for customers who, at the time we produced their intro, had not yet recorded their first show. So, it was left up to us to set the tone of the podcast – not really knowing the tone of the show. And if the podcaster didn’t have the same interpretation of the image we created, the intro missed the mark and failed to set the proper atmosphere.
When a new customer places an order for a podcast intro and outro from us, we have a place on our Script and Instructions form to place a link to the podcast. We’ll listen to the show and immediately know whether to use a conversational or more high energy voice delivery, what genre of music to use, and whether sound effects will add or detract. And if we don’t nail it the first time, we offer a 30-day period for the customer to give us feedback so we can revise the intro to better meet their needs.
You can learn more about podcast intros and outros as well as purchase them here.
It’s really quite simple. We got into editing video because when enhancing the audio in videos customers sent to us, we noticed that the video also needed attention. It was too dark, too light, blurry, and often had verbal flubs — all of which could be repaired.
Audio is often the weakest part of a video, so make sure whoever does the post-production work on your video is an audio expert. We find it often the case that the people speaking on camera are not mic’d properly because the microphone is several feet away on the camera or smartphone. This not only creates low volume, it also produces a hollow sound and room noise (hiss). So the best advice we can give you is to use a boom mic or lapel mics.
If you’re a podcaster and you’re not quite sure what settings you should use for recording your show, I can shed some light on that for you. First, if you’re recording just your own voice, you only need to record in monaural (no need for a stereo track). If you’re recording yourself and a guest, use two microphones and a separate track for you and a separate track for your guest if possible. Having two separate tracks makes it easier to mute each track when the other person is talking — knocking out thumps and paper shuffling. Now let’s move on to what sampling rate you should use.
Radio imaging can make or break a station. If your voice talent sounds confident and in control, your station will sound professional. If your voice talent sounds weak, you’ll sound amateurish. If there are too many zaps, lasers, and explosions in your radio sweepers, you’ll sound annoying. If you use rock music in your sweepers on a country station, you’ll sound like you don’t know your target audience. And if you say the same things other stations say in their liners, you’re plagiarizing.
I was listening to a podcast the other day on one of my late afternoon walks (yes, we can take walks in the middle of winter here in Central Texas), and I was amazed that the podcast had an annoying spike noise throughout the show. I contacted the podcaster and offered up some quick advice on how to easily remove the noise. I thought I’d pass it along here as well.
When recording a phone interview for your podcast, one of the smartest things you can do is to put your microphone source (that’s you) on one track of your recording (track one), and your phone input source (your guest) on another track (for example, track two). Feed track one to the left channel recording input in your recording software program, and feed track two to the right channel recording input. In other words, you’ll be on the left channel and your guest will be on the right channel of a stereo recording. That way, if your guest makes unwanted noise while you’re speaking, you or your audio engineer can mute your guest’s recorded track in post production (and vice versa in case you make unwanted noise).Let’s listen to a before and after example of what I’m talking about.
We’ve edited and enhanced many podcasts through the years and the biggest problem we hear in the recordings we enhance is the lack of good room acoustics. “Room acoustics” is simply how the room sounds once you turn on your microphone and start talking. Most podcasters don’t realize one very simple trick will drastically improve the sound of their podcast.
Our pet project at Audiobag is cleaning up recordings made almost a half century ago by Sonobeat Records — the company who introduced the world to Johnny Winter, Eric Johnson, and other great musicians who either lived or passed through Austin in the ’60s and ’70s. One of my personal favorite recordings was released digitally today on iTunes and Amazon.
The goal of a post-production podcast engineer is to make a podcast sound the very best it can. It’s a time-consuming job, often taking days. Some podcasters try to justify leaving noise and verbal flubs in a podcast by saying it makes it sound more authentic. Frankly, that’s an excuse for being lazy and not caring about your listener to give them your very best. Would you like watching a movie if the director decided to leave in mistakes? I doubt it. Podcast listeners want quality audio, too. But how do you achieve that?
It’s a cold hard fact that making money is more important to radio station owners and investors than being the best they can be. Don’t get me wrong. Making money is vital. However, when making money trumps being your best, radio stations become mediocre. The proof is in the production room where sloppy mistake-ridden commercials make it to the air, and in the control room where fewer and fewer actual live shows occur because shows are voice-tracked days in advance. So the DJ forgoes being fun or interesting and instead reads uninteresting PSAs or station promos (which most listeners could care less about) in order to quickly whip through the six shows he needs to record in one sitting.