There is no better skill set to have than podcast troubleshooting! Here are some tips for you to keep in your back pocket as you start your podcast journey!
Be Open To Learning
Once you start creating episodes, you will find that there is a lot that you don’t know. You will also bump into issues that are unique to you, your life, and your podcast studio setup.
Be willing to do the research to find solutions. You’d be surprised how many times a small tweak in how you use a microphone, change a location, or modify a software setting can be everything that you need.
Big wisdom: things that work for others might not work for you—and it’s ok.
There are a plethora of channels focusing on podcasting tips, podcasting hardware reviews, and tutorials. If you’re looking to figure out how to use a certain DAW or figure out an editing workflow, YouTube has your back! Some of the top YouTube podcasts are videos of podcast tips. If you get stuck on anything, head on over and search. Your investment is your time and your brain.
Tips for Recording Vocals
Get the best quality raw audio. Raw audio = the initial audio recorded before anything is done to it. If you have the highest quality recording initially, you will be able to offer the highest quality final product with the least amount of editing and post production. One of the most painful podcast mistakes that newish podcasters make is thinking that any recording issues can be fixed in “post.” Audio engineering and podcast editors can be magic makers, but they have to start with something they can work with!
Before You Record, Test To Make Sure Everything Is Optimized For Recording.
- Are all proper podcast microphones selected in the software?
- Are all cords and connectors properly inserted?
- Are all cords and connectors in good health? As in, not broken or tweaked?
- Have you checked your audio levels so that they are somewhere between 6 and 12 db?
- Are you wearing headphones so that you can hear everything?
- Are all your notifications turned off on your computer and cell phone?
If you hear lots of popping “p” or mouth noises coming from you, you can adjust the angle of how you speak into the microphone. You could solve the problem by shifting your mouth’s position when speaking “p’s” or “s’s” or any other vowel that gives you issues.
This also applies to adjusting for the best distance from the microphone, so that if you happen to have to take a big deep breath you don’t sound like Darth Vader.
Consider shifting how you position yourself in front of the mic. Sometimes setting the microphone slightly to the side of your mouth vs. straight in front can take care of a lot of issues.
Also, foam mic covers or pop filters are your microphone’s best friends.
Cords and Connectors
If you hear a lot of buzzing, crackling, interference, or weird clicking sounds as you’re recording, take the time to make sure that all of your hardware and software is connected properly and that you’ve moved any other cellular devices away from your gear.
If a cord is folded too tightly or simply starts to show it’s age, it won’t be able to conduct appropriately. The end of cord (the hard part that fits into the port), tends to bend, break and fray.
Another big point of failure are the hardware ports themselves. The port you use to connect to your compute, your digital recorder or your mic might fail faster than the main hardware itself.
For headphones, basic podcast wireless earbuds work surprisingly well for podcast recording tools. You can level up to higher-quality headphones when you’re ready. Most people prefer over ear headphones while they monitor and edit, to better block external noises.
Remember that remote guests should always wear headphones.
Try to stay away from bluetooth headphones as they can disconnect, unexpectedly run out of batteries, or fall out of the ear.
You can do fundamental editing on your phone, as in a little snip here and a little snip there. Most of the free audio mobile editing software is very basic. If you want any kind of advanced features, you will have to invest in more powerful apps. A great recording studio app for iOS is the Ferrite podcast app. One that might work for Android is Voice Pro.
Or, you can transfer the audio file to a computer and use Garageband (Mac computer, iPhone or iPad) or Audacity (Mac or PC), both of which are also free and widely used.
A general rule of thumb is that every minute of audio takes three minutes to edit.
The best way to avoid future editing issues is to monitor yourself in the process of recording. 99.9% of the time, what you hear in your ears is what’s going to go on the final. Invest the time up front, so that you can focus on creating better content and on growing your podcast.