A good podcaster does their best to engage their audience. While that may depend on your definition of “engage,” it’s fair to say that the more you hold their attention, the better. The easiest way to do this is by making sure they can hear you clearly.
When guests are involved, though, things get a bit more complicated, especially if they’re remote from the host. Fortunately, there are now lots of different ways to make sure everyone sounds as natural as possible.
Here are some podcast recording techniques for taking advantage of those tools, and giving yourself every chance at sounding great!
1. Get A Good Microphone
A good microphone is a worthy investment. You don’t have to break the bank, but you’ll be sorry if you skimp too much on this element of your setup. People often think of microphones as tools for recording narration or voiceovers-but they’re actually really handy tools for streamlining conversations as well.
Still, personal taste plays a role here. In some cases, producers may want an alternative sound…which can mean using a different microphone from the one the host uses. Perhaps it’s better suited to picking up vocals in a loud environment, or maybe its higher sensitivity makes it easier to capture both voices at once.
2. Get A Good Mix
A good mix is as essential as a good microphone. If you can’t hear the guests, it’s not going to matter how clear your host sounds! This is where headphone mixes come in-and why lots of podcasters now prefer them over speakers and an extra set of earphones.
Typically, a headphone mix will consist of both the host and guest tracks (each on their own channel), along with some monitoring features like volume control and EQ settings. These can be assigned to separate knobs or sliders on your interface, which means no more fiddling with the computer during recording!
3. Record In Stereo
If you need to use multiple microphones at once (other than one mic for the host, and one for the guest), it helps to record them in stereo. This helps you get a better sense of where each person is coming from, making post-production easier.
4. Do A Test Recording
Even if you’ve done your homework (and found the right tools!), there’s no substitute for doing a test recording before game day. You’ll know what adjustments need to be made once you start hearing everything through your headphones-so use that computer screen time wisely! And while you’re at it…
5. Make Sure There’s Nothing Distracting In The Background
If you can hear other voices or sounds during your conversation, chances are good that your listeners can too…which isn’t always what you want! The best way to avoid this is by recording in an environment that doesn’t have any distractions. If you can, disconnect yourself from wireless internet and turn off your cell phone (or at least put it on silent).
6. Keep It Natural
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when you do something repeatedly-even things like talking! So don’t try too hard to sound perfect; just be yourself, speak naturally, and you’ll go far. Clarity is important, but forced enunciation never goes over well with audiences. Your listeners are smart enough to understand what you’re saying…and they’ll appreciate being treated like adults too!
7. Get Creative (If You Can)
Of course, you can’t control everything that happens in your recording environment…but there’s always room to get creative when things don’t go quite according to plan! For example, if you’re chatting with someone in a busy cafe and the background noise is too loud for good quality audio, find a quieter spot or turn up the volume of their voice in your mix (so it sounds closer). Some people even like to do this during interviews, sometimes pre-emptively in order to create an effect. It all depends on what works best for the story.
With these podcast recording tips in your arsenal, you’ll be able to create professional-quality audio at a moment’s notice! So whether you’re on the go or working out of a home studio, recording conversations is easy and it can lead to some really great content. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and record!