Here are some things that Randy has learned over the last couple of years since starting his podcast. Learn from these experiences to save yourself time and money.
What are some things people may look over when starting their podcast?
- Use tools that are easily transferable .
- Record in WAV or any uncompressed audio format in general. This will serve as your source file that you’ll archive and backup. Think of this as the studio master of your album - how the record industry stores musical art.
- Backup your show notes and each episode’s cover art.
- These backups don’t have to be tricky at all - I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned how I back up my episodes, but the episode are mainly like a Word document style (Rich Text Format), they consist of one Square cover art image relevant to the current episode, and then the audio file that was recorded. Those are placed into a folder, then I ZIP/Compress that folder and name it S:X:EX and I put them in a folder of the Season name, back it up to my NAS and then in One Drive.
- This way, if i change hosts or for some reason stop podcasting, I don’t have to think twice if my host will delete me for inactivity, because I can always just resurrect any episode at a later date and re-upload a fresh copy.
- Noisy chair or room or mouth?
- I have listened back to some of my episodes just because I like to do check-ins on my audio quality every now and then. On more than one occasion, I can hear my annoying, squeaky desk chair, obviously because I can’t sit still. Meanwhile, across the room, I’ve had this amazing solid leather chair that doesn’t make a sound. Christa and I bought this chair when buying all new furniture for our house and I realized I had never used it. Now as I’m talking, you won’t hear my chair squeaking.
- Going back to listening back to some episodes, I realized I had either had a dry mouth, or I just have a noisy mouth (likely because that’s one of the results of putting the mic right in your face to get that isolated sound, blocking out room and background noise). If the mics in your face, you can really block out room noise, but you also boost up mouth sounds.
What audio gear do I use and have my recommendations changed?
- Better products are coming out all of the time, so I have a couple more audio recommendations that I can throw out there to produce your podcast in the most efficient way possible.
- I am still using my solid PreSonus Series III mixer - this thing is a beast and has never let me down.
- I still recommend XLR microphones over USB, any day of the week, BUT. . .
- USB microphones are still great and I can highly recommend the PreSonus Revelator USB-C Microphone. This thing has a built-in mixer and voice effects that don’t actually sound like crap. To be completely honest, I probably would’ve purchased this first before going all-out on a mixer when starting this podcast, had the Revelator existed them. This thing is outstanding for the money - $150
- There are similar competitors, such as the Shure MV7, ($250) and this mic sounds great as well. However, for the price, and hearing a side-by-side comparison, I think the Revelator wins. This is coming from Shure fan, meets a PreSonus fan - I use Shure mics on all of my drums. I still think the Revelator is the better of the two.
- Use a DAW that you’re comfortable with.
- Luckily for PreSonus Revelator users, it includes my all-time favorite DAW, StudioOne 5 Artist (which retails for $99), from which you can produce your podcast episodes, as well as music if you wanted.
Do you need the host with the most?
- On average, I’ve changed hosts each year. I’m on my third host, and it’s one of the big dogs - Spotify’s Anchor.fm platform. It’s free, but does it give me the most?
- In my situation, yes I believe it does - it’s free and I use it in the exact manner I used my previous, paid-hosts.
- It depends what kind of value you’re looking to get out of your podcast host? Are you looking for one that has tutorials and recommendations/coaching on your podcast? If so, I’d recommend BuzzSprout. But, I didn’t need help with my audio, and maybe you won’t either because you’ll buy a high quality device that’s easy to use, such as the Revelator. But BuzzSprout does offer more than recording device - They have topics on everything, such as how to create better content and more. But honestly, I never read that - There are free YouTube videos and information I could pull up online anyway.
- The other host I used in the past was SoundCloud. They are also amazing and I feel like they’re a lifelong friend, as I’ve hosted music there and checked out so many artists for as long as I can remember. But that’s still what I think of SoundCloud as: A place for artists to host music. I wasn’t adding any benefit to my podcast by hosting it there, other than paying a monthly fee to host. I still think that SoundCloud is among the best placed to store music online. It’s just that Anchor.fm does it for free, while guaranteeing that they don’t own your content, and it always remains users - which leads me to circle back to where we started with this episode, stating the importance of backing up your show data - because it’s yours and you’re responsible for it.
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