Skip to main content

Audio for Podcasting

This in an online walkthrough of the Studio's Audio for Podcasting Workshop. Please visit utc.edu/library/services/studio to get further help.

Introduction

Where do I start?

So you've listened to podcasts and would like to start your own. There's more to it than just talking into a mic and hoping people will subscribe. More than anything, Podcasting is about storytelling. Look at the sidebars to the right to start figuring out what your show should sound like. We also recommend thinking "Beyond the 5Ws".

Getting Started

Get Organized

Essentially, every episode will need to be scripted, recorded, edited, and posted. Whether you're doing this with a team or by yourself, you're going to get organized. Decide who's going to do what and when. We recommend checking out our online workshop "Organize Your Group" to introduce you to some tools that may be helpful.

Scripting

This will depend on your podcast's style. If you mostly want to talk about research and have conversations, your script may look more like a series of bullet points or an outline. If you're going for something more narrative, it may be a more traditional script with notes for sound effects. For an interview, it may just be a series of questions. The goal is to make sure you're prepared so you don't have to go back and record something else later. Preparation is key!

And don't forget to cite your sources in your script so you can put them in your show notes! This is much easier than going back to find them later.

Tools

The Studio has some great equipment available that can help your podcast sound professional. It's available to check out for three days at a time.

Blue Yeti Mic

The Yeti is a desktop USB mic that just needs to be plugged into your computer. It's perfect if you have a quiet room set up and just want to talk into a mic. You can either reserve one ahead of time, or just come to the Studio desk and ask for one. 

Photo of Yeti microphone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zoom H1

The Zoom H1 is a one-button, portable recorder that's great for interviews on the go. It can also be used as a USB mic if one of the Yetis isn't available. And, yes, it comes with that nifty tripod. No need to make a reservation for an H1. Just come and ask at the desk.

Zoom H1

Zoom H6

The Zoom H6 is the H1's big sibling. It comes with three interchangeable mic capsules (omnidirectional, mid-side, and shotgun), but it has extra ports you can connect XLR or 1/4" cables to. It's great for capturing interviews on the go, or recording your band in your living room. You can reserve one here. 

Zoom H6

All of these programs are available on computers in the Studio, including the remote computers.

Audacity   

Audacity is a free Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) that works for both Windows and Macs. It's pretty basic, but it does all the things you need to get a podcast up and running.

Garage Band 

Garage Band is a free DAW that comes with Macs. It's not available for Windows. Like Audacity, it's pretty basic. It's another solid choice if you don't want to spend money getting started.

Adobe Audition 

Part of the Adobe Creative Suite, Audition is a professional DAW with all the bells and whistles. It has more of a learning curve than Audacity or Garage Band, but it's what the pros tend to use.

Make A Plan

What is your podcast about?

It may seem like podcasts are just people talking about things that interest them, but it's a good idea to narrow down your topic. It'll give you a direction once you finish the shows you already have ideas for. 

  • Start big and then narrow it down. (Fashion->Sewing->Building a wardrobe season to season)
  • How is your podcast different from what's already out there? What is the new thing that will make people want to listen?
  • How much time do you have for research? Interviews? Editing?

What's your style?

There are lots of different kinds of podcasts. Do you want something where one person tells a story like Lore? Do you and a friend want to research a topic and then talk about it like Dressed? Do you want to go all-out on a deep dive into a topic like RadioLab

Once you think about what you want it to sound like, who is going to help you? Figure out who's doing what and what your schedule will be. The best way to gain a following is to post consistently.

Who's your audience?

Who is this for? How old are they? Are they someone who already knows a lot about the topic, or are they hoping to learn more? What other sorts of podcasts do they listen to? How are you going to get their attention and what can you do to hold it?

Ask a Librarian