Getting started with Podcasting
In honor of International Podcasting Day today, I wanted to share a short guide to creating your own podcast with Adobe Audition. It’s not difficult to get started, and if you’re a Creative Cloud member, you already have almost everything you need!
1. What is your podcast about?
Start with the topic. What do you want to share with others? This might be a passion you already have, or a topic you want to learn more about. Interestingly enough, small, niche podcasts can have better success than shows with a wider variety of topics. Choose something you’re passionate about, and get started!
2. Start recording!
You don’t need a full suite of audio hardware to get started – many popular podcasts are recorded on-the-go with a phone or laptop. Quality of content can be more important than quality of production. There are exceptions, of course, so find a quiet room free from extraneous noises and echoes. Whether you’re using a high-end Neumann microphone that cost the equivalent of a semester’s tuition at a good university, a low-cost USB microphone, or the microphone built into your laptop, be sure to practice good mic control: Keep the microphone a consistent distance away from your mouth, and slightly to one side to reduce pops while speaking. You don’t want to record too “hot” – where the signal peaks are consistently reaching the top of the view – instead keeping your peaks around -12dB to -9dB. This will prevent clipping and distortion while giving you some freedom to apply effects and adjust levels later. Follow along with Adobe Evangelist, Jason Levine, as he walks you through recording a voiceover in Audition.
Respect your listeners time by trimming out unnecessary umms, ahhhs, and trailing thoughts, but don’t go overboard. A natural sounding podcast always feel better than one that is obviously edited to bits. Judge the length of your podcast based on your topic and energy level. Whether it’s 10 minutes or 2 hours long, you want your listeners to be engaged and it never hurts to leave them wanting more. Consider spending some time in the Audition Effects Rack dialing in that perfect, custom “sound” that gives your podcast a professional feel and identity. You can start with some of the presets we’ve supplied, such as Podcast Voice, but be sure to adjust the EQ and Dynamics Processing parameters to bring out the best in your voice. Also consider adding your show information in the Metadata panel. The simplest approach is to add the information to the ID3 tab, which will be the most common metadata fields used by podcast players and hosts to make sure listeners can find your show, and know what they’re listening to. Listen to Mike Russell give away his secrets to great sounding voice recordings in Audition.
You’ve got to get that podcast down to a size that’s compatible with streaming or downloading! The first thing you’ll want to do is create a final, compressed version in Audition in mp3 or m4a formats to be compatible with most players. Choose File > Export > File… and chose your export settings. Ideally, you want the best quality for the smallest file size. Personally, I prefer the tongue twister of a format: MPEG-4 HE AAC V2 which sounds incredible. You can configure this in the Format Settings parameter in the Export File dialog, but feel free to experiment with different codecs and settings and see what works best on the devices you listen to podcasts on right now. Watch John Lee Dumas explain his basic process for exporting a podcast file after editing.
In order for publishing services like iTunes to carry your podcast, you’ve got to get your files online. Most podcast directories don’t host the actual audio files themselves, instead linking users to the location you’ve stored your recordings. If you already have web hosting space, you can upload your files there. You can upload to a service like YouTube and SoundCloud – if so, you’re done! Otherwise, you might want to look at services like LibSyn or Spreaker which provide hosting and publishing to directories like iTunes. You’ll make an account, setup some information about your podcast series, then upload your files.
If you choose to host the files yourself, you’ll need to inform directory services like iTunes that you are publishing a podcast so that they can list your show and link to your files. Read the instructions and follow the steps at iTunes Making a Podcast site to build your profile and get your show searchable to their millions of listeners. Their site walks you through the process of creating art, RSS feeds, and more that they’ll require to keep their site up-to-date as you post new shows and content.
Obviously, this is a basic guide intended to break things down into a few easy pieces. If you’ve read this far and still want to stake your own claim in the podcasting world, consider the following detailed resources to provide you with the complete workflow and process to recording and publishing a successful podcast:
Already have a podcast, or inspired to create one? Share your podcast with us in the comments!