Now we are going to talk about setting up a basic podcast recording. We have talked about what you will need: content, demographics, marketing strategy, co-hosts and guests, equipment, publishing, cover art and other fun stuff. We’ve gone over microphones and mixers, if needed, and what microphones are best for a podcast. Once you have gone over all of the required things that you will need to start a podcast, we can get into setting up a basic podcast recording.
First you want to make sure you have a place to record all of your audio. You’ll want to set up your Digital Audio Workstation, or your DAW for short. This is a space where you work on all your digital music–like Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Audacity, and even Garageband. Apple products come with Garageband and is a good place to start. Audacity can be downloaded for free, and while you can find bootleg versions of the Logic Pro and Pro Tools, the real thing will cost you quite a penny. They all do the same thing, but are just formatted differently. But the basis of them all is the same thing. The plug-ins and details might be slightly different but they are all stations where you can work on your music or podcasts.
So you’re going to open up a new session in whatever DAW you’re using. Depending on the DAW, it might give you a couple different options like what kind of project. Open up an empty project. Then the program will open a prompt and ask you how many tracks you want to create. It’ll look something like this:
Because we are setting up a podcast recording, you’ll use the Audio option. You want to make sure that your Input and Outputs are lined up correctly, and you’ll see the Input device is clearly labeled with your piece of equipment. You can see that I’m using my favorite handy dandy Handy H2n Zoom microphone. This is just my personal preference, but there are plenty of podcast microphones out there. You can even check out the links below to see what podcast mics we like and how to find a great one for yourself.
You can create new tracks at any time, but we are just going to start with one audio track. You can create more right at the beginning if you want to have extra tracks just in case, but it’s not necessary. Whenever I am recording something, I will create anywhere from three tracks to five for security purposes, and as I go along, I am always adding more. The more takes you have, the better it is anyway. Personally, I like having more tracks, because then there are more chances for good things to happen. You never know what might happen when you are recording! If you have more takes, then at the end, you can just choose the best one instead of editing a bunch of sounds together.
You’ll want to have your podcast microphone plugged into your computer before we even start this process. Whether it is through USB or a mixer, the inputs should be the same, and it should look like something similar above. The most important thing is that everything is wired correctly and that you are getting signal and sound from your equipment.
In order to check if you are getting signal from your equipment, you’ll have to have the Record button on the separate track clicked on. You should be seeing something similar to this if you are getting signal:
There will be a few buttons that you want to take notice of. While all DAWs mostly do the same thing, some of their features may differ based on the program and the provider. But you want to make sure that you are aware of everything that is available to you in your program. Make sure that you know how to use your program and all of its basic features. How to start and stop recording, how to cut and place edits, how to add tracks, plug-ins and other features. Knowing your program and how it works is vital to producing any and all of your work.
Once you know that you are getting signal and you are prepped, you are ready to go! Hit record and talk on! Make your podcast! If you talk on your own or if you use a script or notes, it doesn’t matter. You have set up your podcast and after all your audio is down, the only other thing you have to do is edit and release it.
After all of your editing and producing is complete, it is time to publish it. Make sure that when you start and save your projects, you are properly naming and labeling them. Save your projects often and way too much (trust me, you’ll thank me later when you’ve gotten yourself into the habit of saving your projects after every few minutes). Save them as something simple, like “PodcastTitle Ep1” so that when you are looking to upload it, it is easy to find and in quick succession. You can choose to save them in specific places, so if you want to change it from the program safe space and to your desktop or a designated folder, that is definitely an option. It all depends on how you work and where you want to have everything.
Setting up podcasts is fun and should never be daunting. If you are new to editing and producing your own work, play around with your DAW for a bit so that you can get used to it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and get your friends involved! Once you are familiar with the set up and all the inner workings, it will be much easier to get your podcasts set up and published. The more you practice and do, the better you will be. So get to it!
Keep on listening and keep on creating,