Do You Podcast?

April 2nd, 2006
 

If anyone reading this podcasts, would you please head over to my other blog and help me out with some questions I have about podcasting?




One Response to “Do You Podcast?”

  1. Ginger Says:

    I wasn’t able to post my comment at the video-making blog due to “questionable content”, so the error said. I hope you don’t mind if I save it here.

    Where do you record? I record in my own room, where the only electrically noisy item is the computer itself. Noise is a part of nearly all computer recordings–it’s as much about the sound card as the ambience. Getting a noise-cancelling mic will help, or an expensive mic. Ideal solution? Build a sound-proofed room and keep the computer outside of it. But that’s going a bit overboard. Most podcasters have a low bit of noise, and just put up with it.

    Do you record your podcast all in one take? When I began doing my informal, amateur radio show, I had scripts, and I recorded my voice bits in a series of takes. Now I just hit the record button and don’t stop until the end of the show, 2.5 hours later.

    It largely depends on your format and your audience. If you’re talking to professionals, then you’d probably treat it as a business meeting. You’d have a script. You’d make more than one take, as long as it took to get that particular segment out. If it’s you talking as an enthusiast, then a speech outline is a good idea, but let the words come naturally.

    Recording for the span of your show and calling it good is completely up to you. I used the multi-segment format until I decided that it was too much work and just started talking. I got a lot of positive feedback when I went to a more “live” format. People respond to it. Again, it’s informal.

    I use Audacity, myself–it doesn’t natively render mp3s, but you may use lame_enc.dll (http://www.dlldump.com/download-dll-files.php/dllfiles/L/lame_enc.dll/download.html) to fix that. (E-mail for instructions if you like, it’s fairly straight forward.) I save my 2.5 hour shows with a 48k bitrate. 128k is very, very clear, digital. 64k is CD quality. 48k is just a smidge below that, and knocks off about 20MB off of the file I’m rendering. In the world of broadcasting, filesize is a factor, and if you’re doing an informal show lasting more than a half hour, I definitely recommend a lower bitrate. At 32k bitrate, sound gets distorted noticably, but of course compresses the file even more.

    Which is why the hum as you’re recording isn’t such a big deal. ;)

    Anyway, Audacity is a very snazzy and easily understood multi-function Swiss army knife for podcasters. It gives you effects as well as the ability to record.

    For the purposes of my particular radio show, I also employ Record Smart, which has only two functions–recording, and saving that recording. If you make a mistake, re-record. There’s very few buttons and options because it’s only made for the purpose of recording and saving.

    Record Smart is here: http://www.prosigner.com/en/recsmt_overview.html — I felt that at $9, it was more than worth the price. ;)

    Not that you asked, but incorporating music into your podcast is allowed. There are specific rules, but there are laws in place to allow you to do so–

    No more than two songs in a row by the same artist.
    No more than three songs by the same artist in a 3.5 hour span.
    No more than two songs in a row off of a compilation album.
    No more than four songs from the same album in a 3.5 hour span.

    So, yeah, if you use music, diversify.

    I’m rereading your post here to make sure I didn’t leave anything out–the lapel mic could well be your hum culprit. The news anchors use equipment costing in the realm of $1000 per mic. Turn up your TV sometime and see if you can hear a hum as they’re talking. Say, during the weather forecast. It’ll probably be there. :)

    If people are interested in your content and your message, then they will subconsciously ignore the inevitable hum, and focus on your words, your music, whatever.

    Any other questions?

    *pokes* I would still like to see your videos. If you never get around to it, that’s fine. Just wanted to let you know that my interest has not waned. :)