My podcast The #socialAfricanshow is an interview based podcast. On the show, we chop-it-up with awesome entrepreneurs of African origin.
And, since we launched in August 2017, I have learnt a few tricks of the trade that help me consistently put out great, crystal clear podcast episodes.
I believe in keeping things super simple. There is no need for overcomplicated setups when you can achieve amazing results with basic tools and clever software.
These are the five tools that I use to create high quality podcast episodes:
1. The Blue Yeti microphone
The Blue Yeti is an advanced and versatile multi-pattern USB microphone. Combining three capsules and four different pattern settings, the Yeti is the ultimate tool for creating amazing recordings, directly to your computer.
With exceptional sound and performance, the Yeti captures podcasts with astounding clarity and ease.
It utilises a high-quality A-D converter, a built-in headphone amplifier for zero-latency monitoring, and direct controls for headphone volume, pattern selection, instant mute, and microphone gain.
With no drivers to install on MAC or PC, it is the most versatile USB mic out there today.
If you can, stand, don’t sit!
The Yeti Mic comes with a desk stand so it’s easy to place it on a table and sit down to record your podcast.
However, for me sitting down is a no-no! I am an energy driven host and I love it when that energy cascades through to my guest.
And, it comes across on the entire episode. With this in mind, I stand up throughout the recording. It means my voice is projected and my energy levels are on point.
To achieve this, I had to hack. I removed the built-in Yeti table stand and attached a boom scissor arm mic stand.
This is the scissor arm that I use, it’s really easy to set up.
Gone are the days of Skype + recording software + mixer + whatever else you may want to plug into this loop.
Ringr gives you the power to record an interview or conversation with anyone, anywhere in the world and have it sounding like you’re in the same room.
You can even capture conversations on mobile devices.
This is a game-changer because some of these smartphones have really powerful mics on them.
3. GarageBand for Mac or Audacity for Windows
If you own a Mac then look no further than GarageBand to edit your podcast.
GarageBand is a fully equipped music creation studio inside your Mac, with a complete sound library that includes instruments + presets for guitar and voice.
If you thought Garageband was just for musicians, then think again. I edit all my podcast episodes on Garageband.
In my opinion, it’s easier to use than Adobe Audition. I can chop up audio; add intro, outro, music and effects. And, sync up conversations with ease.
I find the decluttered interface helps me stay focused.
I don’t worry too much about variations in sound levels between me and the guest. I use another tool (mentioned below) to master the final mp3 file.
However, if there are obvious changes in sound levels like a loud laugh that I want to keep, I can pinpoint the location and edit the volume of that part of the conversation in Garageband.
No mac, no worries. Try Audacity!
Audacity is a free, open source, cross-platform audio editing software. It looks to be just as easy to use as Garageband and is very highly recommended by other podcasters.
I have never used it. So, I really cannot tell you much. However, a quick YouTube search will show you everything you need to get started.
I use this to master the final (edited) mp3 file.
Auphonic will analyse your audio and do whatever is necessary to achieve professional audio quality.
an Intelligent leveller that balances levels between speakers, music and speech Loudness
a normalization tool that normalizes sound to broadcast standards (EBU R128, ATSC A/85, Mobile), including a true peak limiter
an audio restoration tool with automatic noise and hum reduction and filtering of disturbing low frequencies.
Simply put, this is the final mastering tool to bring your audio quality up to professional standards.
It especially helps when you have a guest who connects to an interview with sub-par equipment.
Auphonic will work its magic in levelling the audio and delivering a quality sounding mp3 for download.
If you’re unhappy with the final work for any reason, don’t download it because you can edit the production. Tweak the mastering options and run it through again.
5. Tag your mp3 – iTunes or ID3
Did you know that you can tag your mp3 files on iTunes (app downloaded on your mac)? Oh yes, you can!
Create a new playlist (name it podcast episodes), and add your episodes there by dragging and dropping your mp3 into the playlist. Right-click the episode you wish to tag, click song info and… BOOM!
Add your name, show name, guest details, episode details, podcast artwork etc.
No iTunes? No problem. Use ID3 Tag editor
ID3 is a very popular audio file data tagging format widely used by other podcasters. I have not had the need to use it yet but I guess when that playlist begins to occupy more space than I can spare then I may give it a go.
Again, a quick Youtube search will reveal a few videos that will have you tagging away in no time.
Top tip (iTunes) – after tagging your first episode you can always go back to it, click on song info and copy the bits that are generic to the new episode. Saves time!
Some of the links in this post are affiliates. So, I get a small commission if you purchase or use the products/services recommended. However, I am only recommending them because I use them myself and they work well for me.
For a detailed list of tools and systems that will help you optimize your business, please see the resources page.