One of my goals for this semester is to start a small podcast. I have always loved public speaking, and I truly enjoy finding the stories of other people. Hopefully this will give me the chance to do just that.
After buying an awesome microphone [referral link], I spent the first few days just playing with various audio settings and was able to get a feel for how the microphone handles different environments. Next, I came up with some topics I wanted to discuss with a guest, and I set up a time to record. Finally, tonight, I recorded the first episode.
Even though the first show is recorded, edited, and ready to go, I want to get two or three more episodes set up before publishing anything. If everything goes well, you can expect to see an announcement next week.
Having gone through the whole process from idea to production, I have a few notes to share, and will continue to share as I learn more:
- Make sure the host and guest keep the same distance away from the microphone. My Blue Yeti Mic works great, but there will be a noticeable volume difference unless both parties keep the same distance.
- Find a quiet room with decent acoustics. This comes into play if you raise your voice above a certain threshold (you may hear a slight echo), but having a quiet room and a quality mic are two of the best ways to keep the audio clean.
- Audacity works great for my purposes right now. For post-production, I found that Normalizing the audio, followed by Amplifying any quiet spots really helped.
- It is OK to cut tangents from the recording. At first, I wanted to post an unabridged version of the audio I recorded, but after listening through the first take, I found that some tangents had gone too far off course. Cutting them was painful, but the whole show flows much better now.
- Don’t interrupt the guest while they are talking. Even small verbal ticks like “mhm” or “yea” are really distracting outside the context of actually being a part of the conversation.
- People are interesting. I found my first guest to be entertaining and a lot of fun to talk with, despite not coming from a design or technology background, which were some of the topics we discussed. I found that his unique perspective added a really nice tone to the episode.
This first episode was fun, but I know that there are plenty of places I can improve — both as a host and a producer. I am still debating over where the podcast will live once ready (on kyledreger.com or its own domain), and I have not yet settled on a name. Nonetheless, I now have one good episode and could not be more excited to record the next.
—Thursday, 6 February 2014