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Training Podcasts Series 1 – Episode 2 – Recording Your First Podcast

Description

Series 1: The Technical Side

Episode 2: Recording Your First Podcast

[Intro Music]

Welcome back to EcoPodcasts! I’m Giota, and you are tuning into the second episode of our series “The Technical Side”. In our last episode, we covered the basics of podcasting technology, including the essential equipment and software you need to get started. Now, we are diving into the nitty-gritty of recording your first podcast. We will discuss setting up your recording space, tips for high-quality audio, and finally, recording a sample podcast. So, let’s get started!

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In this episode, we will explore three key areas: setting up your recording space, ensuring high-quality audio, and actually recording your first podcast. By the end of this episode, you will be ready to hit the record button with confidence.

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Segment 1: Setting Up Your Recording Space

Let’s start with setting up your recording space. The environment in which you record plays a crucial role in the quality of your podcast. Here are some tips to create an ideal recording space:

First, choose a quiet room. Select a space with minimal background noise. Avoid areas near busy streets, loud appliances, or other potential sources of noise. Rooms in the interior of your house, away from windows, are often the best choice. For example, a bedroom or a home office can be ideal. Try to avoid rooms with lots of hard surfaces like kitchens or bathrooms, as they can create echoes.

Next, consider soundproofing. While you don’t need professional-grade soundproofing, a few simple measures can make a big difference. Use thick curtains, rugs, and soft furnishings to absorb sound. Hang heavy blankets or duvets on the walls to reduce echo. If you want to take it a step further, you can use foam panels or even egg cartons to help diffuse sound waves and prevent them from bouncing back and creating unwanted reverb.

Now, let’s talk about microphone placement. Position your microphone on a stable surface using a boom arm or a desk stand to keep it steady. Place the microphone about 15-20 centimeters from your mouth and slightly off-center to reduce plosive sounds. For example, if you are recording at a desk, place the microphone on a stand and angle it slightly to the side of your mouth. This will help avoid capturing breath noises directly. Additionally, consider the height of your microphone. It should be at mouth level to ensure clear and consistent sound.

Finally, eliminate distractions. Ensure your recording space is free from interruptions. Turn off your phone, close windows and doors, and let others in your household know you are recording. A fun and effective way to prevent interruptions is to put a “Recording in Progress” sign on your door. Inform family members or roommates about your recording schedule to minimize disturbances.

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Segment 2: Tips for High-Quality Audio

Now that your recording space is set up, let’s move on to ensuring high-quality audio. High-quality audio is essential for keeping your listeners engaged and delivering your message clearly. Here are some tips to achieve the best sound:

First, focus on maintaining a consistent speaking volume. Speak at a steady volume throughout your recording. Avoid moving away from the microphone or drastically changing your speaking volume. One way to practice this is by reading a script aloud. This helps you get used to maintaining a consistent distance from the microphone and can highlight any tricky sections you might need to adjust. Think of it as having a conversation with a friend across the table – keep your voice steady and clear, avoiding sudden loud bursts or quiet mumbling.

Next, consider warm-up exercises. Just like singers, podcasters can benefit from vocal warm-up exercises. Simple activities like humming, lip trills, and tongue twisters can help prepare your voice for recording. For example, try saying “Red leather, yellow leather” several times in a row. This helps with diction and warms up your vocal cords. Another good exercise is to hum a simple tune, gradually increasing your volume to warm up your vocal range.

While recording, it’s crucial to monitor your levels. Use your recording software to monitor audio levels in real-time. Aim for levels that peak around -6dB to -3dB. This ensures your audio isn’t too quiet or too loud and leaves room for editing. If your software supports it, use the compressor effect to even out the volume levels and make your voice sound more polished. A compressor reduces the volume of loud sounds and amplifies quieter ones, creating a balanced overall sound.

Finally, remember to take breaks. Recording for long periods can strain your voice and lead to mistakes. Take regular breaks to rest your voice and stay hydrated. If you are recording a longer episode, break it into sections and take a short pause between each. This not only helps your voice but also makes editing easier. Drinking water between segments can keep your throat clear and your voice strong.

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Segment 3: Recording Your First Podcast

With your space set up and audio tips in mind, it’s time to record your first podcast. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

Start by planning your content. Before you start recording, plan out what you want to say. Create an outline or a script to keep you on track. This helps you stay focused and ensures you cover all the important points. Write down bullet points or key phrases rather than a word-for-word script. This allows you to speak more naturally and engage with your audience. For example, if you are doing an episode about recycling, outline the main points like the benefits of recycling, common recyclable items, and tips for starting a recycling program.

Next, do a test recording to check your setup. Speak into the microphone as you would during your actual recording and play it back to listen for any issues. Record a short introduction, such as, “Hi, this is [Your Name], welcome to my podcast”. Listen for any background noise, volume issues, or clarity problems. Make adjustments based on your test recording. If there’s background noise, try moving to a different location or adding more soundproofing materials.

Once you are happy with your test recording, it’s time to start recording. Press the record button and take a deep breath. Speak clearly and with confidence, following your outline. Start with a brief introduction, then move through your planned points. Remember to speak naturally and keep your tone conversational. Engage your listeners by asking rhetorical questions or sharing personal anecdotes related to your topic.

If you make a mistake, don’t worry. Simply pause and edit. Take a breath and start the sentence again. You can edit out mistakes later. If you stumble over a word or lose your place, pause for a few seconds. This creates a clean break in the audio, making it easier to edit. You can also clap your hands or use a marker sound to indicate where an edit is needed.

When you have finished, save your recording immediately. Create a backup copy to ensure you don’t lose your work. For example, save your file as “Episode1-Raw” and make a copy labeled “Episode1-Backup”. In this way, you always have a spare in case something goes wrong during editing.

Finally, review your recording. Listen to your entire recording from start to finish. Take notes on any sections that need to be edited or improved. This is a good time to check for consistent volume levels, clear audio, and any background noise that needs to be removed. Use headphones to catch details you might miss with regular speakers. Listening in a quiet environment will help you notice any subtle issues.

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Conclusion

Congratulations! You have recorded your first podcast. In this episode, we covered how to set up your recording space, tips for achieving high-quality audio, and the steps to recording your podcast. Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you record, the more comfortable and skilled you will become. In our next episode, we will dive into editing and producing your podcast, where we will turn your raw recording into a polished final product. Thanks for tuning in to EcoPodcasts. Until next time, happy podcasting!

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Credits

University of Macedonia

Giota Digkoglou

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