Now that The Log is officially up and running, I wanted to add another post to my series on things I have learned behind the mic.
I am not the best show host quite yet. Although not yet published, I have recorded a couple of 30+ minute interviews with a variety of guests from around campus. While interviewing them, I quickly realized the importance of having a good set of questions or list of topics to help keep a common narrative throughout the show. All my guests have been great so far, but there were times when a more structured layout could have been helpful.
Outside the interviews (those are special episodes), I want a “normal” episode of The Log to be relatively casual. However, even the most casual of episodes talking about the technology industry will inevitably use some quote or figure that then needs cited and referenced. This can be overwhelming to do beforehand, since I often don’t know which direction a show will end up going, but I have found that post-production is a great time to 1.) make edits and 2.) go grab all the sources I mention while talking.
Limit to three takes
I would re-cut a section of audio until it sounded perfect, if I could. However, I have imposed a three-take limit for any given section of an episode. This figurative limit helps me not get caught up on trying to sound perfect and helps keep me sounding natural, instead of too rehearsed.
I am really happy that I didn’t tag the word “daily” on to the show — not because I couldn’t do an episode a day; rather, I don’t want any of the shows to sound forced or be extremely short due to lack of content. Having some flexibility for the slow news days is going to be nice down the road.
I am currently using Audacity to do all my audio recording, and all audio is captured via the Blue Yeti Microphone [affiliate link]. To keep the file size down, I export my audio around 120 kbps with a constant bit rate mode. For spoken-word podcasts, this seems to offer a nice quality-to-file-size ratio.
As my foray into the podcasting world continues, I’ll update this series with any new thoughts or tips I come across. Currently, one of the biggest things I want to ensure is that I don’t forget to write in the midst of all this recording and editing. How ironic that would be, no?
As always, thanks for reading and listening, and be sure to check out the latest episode of The Log with special guest Emily Mariani, my fiancee.
—Thursday, 20 February 2014