My Podcasting Journey – Wk4 – Sound & Music

My Podcast Journey Stitchery Stories Wk 4 Sound & Music

My Podcast Journey Wk 4 Sound & Music

Wk 4 in my podcasting journey as I work towards creating & launching my own podcast, Stitchery Stories.

This week I have been concentrating on the recording and sound aspects of my podcast – and it has been fun having a play. This post is about what I have chosen to do – it is not an in-depth look at recording a podcast but I will be writing another blog post on that soon no doubt.

Recording An Interview-based Podcast

Stitchery Stories will be an interview based podcast, where I interview guests who are in a different location than me. My audio quality needs to be good since I am the host, and this will set the ‘tone’ and quality feeling of the podcast. It is recommended to use a microphone, with earphones, or a headset with both, as this gives a much better quality sound. It also helps prevent echo (which can’t be removed by editing afterwards either!)

I considered if the location of my computer is good enough to record good enough sound, and after some tests – yes it is. If you have an office with lots of hard surfaces which ‘bounce’ sound around then consider some sound deadening activity. We are looking to achieve a good enough quality of sound that people don’t notice the quality of sound – if that makes sense!

What Equipment?

Looking at equipment there are many options to choose from depending on the amount you want to spend. The Logitech H390 headset is a good option, and since I already have one that is what I am going to use. I have run some tests recording the audio from it, using Audacity, and it sounds good. A favourite microphone at the moment amongst other podcasting friends seems to be the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB microphone which is coming up at around £200 on Amazon at the time of writing but maybe with some shopping around, or a lucky ‘black friday’ deal I could find one for less. If I do I might treat myself to one.

What is Audacity? Audacity is a free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. It can be used to record and edit audio. It’s a great choice and easy to use, with many useful features – some quite advanced that you just don’t need to worry about. I’ve been using it for a few years now.

Using Skype To Record Interviews

I will be using Skype to conduct my interviews, and I will be using the Free MP3 Skype recorder, as I use a PC. It’s free to download from For Mac users, there is something similar called eCamm which has a small charge to buy it. Both of these have been recommended by several podcasting friends and are what I recommend too. MP3 Skype recorder is easy to use, and the quality comes out nice and clear. Again this is something I have already been using, and it works well, so no need to look at anything else.

When using Skype there is always the danger that your guests do not have a great Skype set-up or a headset, and so it is always wise doing a sound check first to avoid likely problems. If they are not getting great sound through Skype for whatever reason, then you could consider calling their landline from your Skype account, as a last resort, so you can still record them. Calling their mobile phone is not recommended as the audio is usually terrible quality with patchy coverage. I am creating a simple document checklist to help my guests set up Skype correctly so they get great sound too. They too need to use a microphone or headset during the interview as that helps prevent echo on Skype, the feedback between microphone and earphones.

Backup Plan B

Having some backup options if there are problems with Skype, and or the Internet, has also been something I have thought about. It’s worth having a telephone conference call account too, that you can dial into via a landline and the call will be recorded. There are plenty of options. My friends in the States often use Over here in England, I already have an account with Cisco WebEx but services such as seem well used too. You would only consider using a landline as the absolute last resort – for hard to get hold of, in demand guests, you may decide it’s better to go ahead with the interview by recording it within a telephone conferencing facility, rather than lose your long awaited guest forever. Since my podcast is a hobby one, with textile artists, then it is likely that we will always be able to re-schedule to another day but I still want to have a backup option to hand.

Music For My Podcast

Last thing on ‘sound’ today, and the most enjoyable, was picking some music to use as the intro and outro for my podcast. Again there are loads of stock music sites around – you need it to be royalty free of course. You can not just pick a song you like and hope to use it! I used as the music comes with a commercial licence and is reasonably priced. The one I picked (eventually) was around £10. Which one did I pick? Ahah – that’s a secret – you will have to wait until January….
Things to think about when picking music is something that sets the tone and energy for the podcast, and is appropriate. Something happy clappy plinky plonky would not suit a serious financial stock market podcast, would it?

Whilst thinking about my Intro, I thought about having a voice-over done but decided that actually it wasn’t necessary or even very appropriate for my podcast and I would just record a basic intro myself, with the music. Depending on your podcast, business, audience and content, you may decide otherwise. If you represent an organisation, then using a professional voice over talent would be necessary to give that polished professional sound and again to set the right expectation and quality.

There are of course plenty of other things to consider regarding the audio elements of creating your podcast. I have highlighted the most interesting for this post today. If this all sounds a bit too much detail for you – don’t worry, when I am working with you on your podcast I ‘hold your hand’ to get everything set up appropriately for you, then all you have to do is just ‘Turn Up & Talk.’

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About The Author


Straight-talking Podcast Advice & Practical Podcast Training For Busy Business Owners

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