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Training Podcasts Series 1 – Episode 4 – Advanced Tips and Troubleshooting

Description

Series 1: The Technical Side

Episode 4: Advanced Tips and Troubleshooting

[Intro Music]

Welcome back to EcoPodcasts! I’m Giota, and you’re tuning into the fourth episode of our series “The Technical Side”. In our last episode, we covered editing and producing your podcast. Now, we are going to take your podcasting skills to the next level with advanced tips and troubleshooting techniques. We will explore advanced editing tools, how to troubleshoot common issues, refining your podcast for a professional finish, and effective strategies for sharing your podcast. So, let’s get started!

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In this episode, we will dive into four key areas: advanced editing tips, troubleshooting common issues, refining your podcast, and sharing your podcast with the world. By the end of this episode, you will have the knowledge and skills to produce and distribute high-quality podcasts with confidence.

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Segment 1: Advanced Editing Tips

Let’s start with some advanced editing tips. These techniques will help you enhance the quality of your podcast and make your production process more efficient.

First, if you are using software like Adobe Audition or GarageBand, take advantage of multitrack editing. This allows you to work on different tracks separately, such as voice, music, and sound effects, and then mix them together. For example, you can place your main vocal track on one channel, background music on another, and sound effects on a third. This setup makes it easier to adjust the volume and effects of each component without affecting the others.

Next, consider enhancing your audio quality with plug-ins. These are additional tools that can be added to your editing software to improve sound. Common plug-ins include noise gates, de-essers, and reverb. A noise gate can help eliminate background noise between speaking parts, a de-esser reduces harsh “s” sounds, and reverb can add depth to your voice. If you are using Audacity, you can download and install plug-ins like the GGate for noise gating or Spitfish for de-essing. Experiment with these tools to find the right settings for your podcast.

Another technique is using automation to control volume levels, panning, and effects over time. This allows you to create smooth transitions and dynamic changes in your podcast. For instance, in GarageBand, you can automate the volume of your background music to gradually fade out when you start speaking and fade back in during breaks.

If you have multiple recordings with different sound qualities, use equalization matching to make them sound consistent. This involves analyzing the frequency spectrum of one recording and applying the same profile to another. Many advanced editing tools, like Adobe Audition, offer automatic equalization matching features. Use these to create a seamless listening experience.

Finally, mastering is the last step in audio production. This process involves applying a set of final adjustments to your mix to ensure it sounds great on all playback devices. Use tools like limiters, compressors, and equalizers to enhance the overall sound. Apply a final compressor to your podcast to even out the volume levels, a limiter to prevent clipping, and an equalizer to add a final polish to your sound, ensuring it’s balanced across all frequencies.

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Segment 2: Troubleshooting Common Issues

Even with the best preparation, you might encounter issues while recording or editing your podcast. Here’s how to troubleshoot some common problems:

If you notice background noise in your recording, use noise reduction tools in your editing software. As we discussed earlier, select a portion of the audio with only the background noise and use it as a profile to reduce noise throughout the track. In Audacity, you can use the Noise Reduction effect. Select a noise sample, get the noise profile, then apply it to the entire track.

Echo and reverb can occur if you are recording in a room with hard surfaces. To mitigate this, use foam panels or move to a room with more soft furnishings. In post-production, tools like Adobe Audition’s de-reverb can help minimize unwanted reverb without making your audio sound unnatural.

If your recording has inconsistent volume levels, use a compressor to even out the audio. You can also manually adjust the volume of individual sections if needed. For instance, in GarageBand, the volume automation tool can help smooth out any volume changes manually.

Distortion happens when the recording level is too high. To fix this, lower the gain on your microphone and ensure your audio levels stay below 0dB while recording. If you notice distortion during editing, use a de-clipper tool to reduce the harshness. Always record at a lower level and increase the volume in post-production if needed to prevent distortion and preserve audio quality.

Popping sounds, or plosives, occur when speaking directly into the microphone. Use a pop filter to reduce these sounds. In post-production, tools like the FFT Filter effect in Adobe Audition can help remove plosive sounds. Position your pop filter around 5 centimeters from your microphone and speak slightly off-axis to reduce plosives.

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Segment 3: Refining Your Podcast

Now that we have covered advanced editing and troubleshooting, let’s focus on refining your podcast for a professional finish. Here are some final touches to make your podcast stand out:

First, ensure your podcast has consistent branding. Use the same intro and outro music, as well as a standard format for each episode. This creates a recognizable brand for your listeners. For instance, use the same music and voice-over for your intro and outro in every episode. This consistency helps build your podcast’s identity.

Next, outline the structure of your podcast, including segments like introductions, interviews, discussions, and conclusions. This helps listeners follow along and know what to expect. For example, start with a brief introduction, followed by the main content, a mid-roll break for announcements or ads, and then a conclusion with a call to action.

Speaking of calls to action, end each episode with a clear and specific request. Encourage your listeners to subscribe, leave a review, or visit your website for more information. For example, say, “If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review. Your feedback helps us improve and reach more listeners”.

Creating detailed show notes for each episode is another way to refine your podcast. Include a summary of the content, key points, and any links or resources mentioned. Show notes help your listeners follow along and find additional information. Post your show notes on your podcast’s website or in the episode’s description, and include timestamps for major segments to make it easy for listeners to navigate.

Engage with your audience by asking for feedback and suggestions. Use social media, email newsletters, and surveys to interact with your listeners and build a community. Create a dedicated hashtag for your podcast and encourage listeners to use it when sharing their thoughts on social media.

Consistency is key to building a loyal audience. Release new episodes on a regular schedule, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Keep your audience informed about upcoming episodes and any changes to the schedule. For example, if you release episodes every Monday, stick to that schedule as much as possible. Inform your listeners in advance if you need to skip a week or make any changes.

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Segment 4: Sharing Your Podcast

Now that your podcast is polished and ready, it’s time to share it with the world. Here’s how to effectively share and promote your podcast:

Start by utilizing social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to promote your podcast. Share teasers, quotes, and behind-the-scenes content to engage your audience. Create eye-catching visuals using tools like Canva. Use hashtags relevant to your podcast’s topic to reach a broader audience. For example, post a 30-second teaser clip of your latest episode on Instagram Stories with a link to the full episode in your bio.

Next, submit your podcast to major podcast directories such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and TuneIn. Each platform has its own submission process, so be sure to follow their guidelines. Start with the big directories to maximize your reach. Once you are listed on major platforms, consider submitting to smaller niche directories as well.

Creating a website or a dedicated page for your podcast is also crucial. Include episodes, show notes, a blog, and a contact form. This provides a central hub for your listeners to find all your content and engage with you. Use WordPress or Squarespace to build a professional-looking website, and include an email signup form to capture subscribers for your newsletter.

Building an email list and sending regular newsletters to your subscribers can also help promote your podcast. Include updates about new episodes, exclusive content, and other podcast-related news. Offer a free resource, like an eBook or checklist, to encourage people to sign up for your newsletter.

Collaborations with other podcasters, bloggers, or influencers can help you reach new audiences. Guest appearances and cross-promotions are effective strategies. Invite a guest to be interviewed on your podcast, and in return, ask to be a guest on their show. Promote each other’s episodes on social media and email newsletters.

Finally, engage with your listeners by responding to comments, reviews, and messages. Building a community around your podcast can increase listener loyalty and encourage word-of-mouth promotion. Host a live Q&A session on social media where listeners can ask questions and share their thoughts about your podcast.

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Conclusion

Congratulations! You have reached the end of our series “The Technical Side”. In this episode, we covered advanced editing tips, troubleshooting common issues, refining your podcast for a professional finish, and effective strategies for sharing your podcast. With these skills, you are well-equipped to produce and distribute high-quality podcasts that engage and inspire your audience. Remember, podcasting is a journey, and the more you practice, the better you will become. 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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