Recording & editing
Listen to module four:
You should have a good idea of what kind of podcast you want to create now and no doubt you’re excited about your podcasting journey. In this module you will learn key tips and tricks on how to present your podcast with confidence and in a way that keeps the attention of your listeners. This module will also help you understand audio programmes that you can use to create your podcasts such as Audacity which is a free and open-source digital audio editor and recording application software.
Mastering the Mic: Speak with Confidence and Captivate Your Audience
Whether you’re doing a solo show, having fun with your co-host, leading an informational discussion or narrating your fiction podcast you need to know how to speak with confidence and different tones of voice to keep listeners engaged and entertained by what you’re saying.
Volume: You don’t want to scream but you also don’t want to mumble and sound unsure of yourself. It is crucial to find a balance between the two. This will be reflected by the levels in the audio programme you’re using which will show the decibels of your speaking volume. You will often be able to tell when you are peaking, which will make the audio quality suffer. More often than not, presenters and podcast hosts may have a “Presenter Voice” which is more vibrant and enthusiastic than their regular speaking tone, have a play around and find yours, these voices are filled with energy and fun!
Diction: While you want your Presenter Voice to be energised and vibrant you don’t want to make it fast and unintelligible. You’re talking about your passion or painting the picture of an epic audio drama, you want to be understood. Ensure you are pronouncing your words correctly and try your best to ensure you’re not getting tongue-tied!
Pacing: Similar to diction, if you’re talking too fast you’re not going to be understood - quickness does not equal entertaining. Remember to breathe and take your time with your speech so that every word you say is understood by your listeners and podcast guests/co-hosts. However, if you are going too slow you run the risk of droning on and boring your listeners. Mastering the mic is about finding balance! Pay attention to your pacing and make sure you have found your sweet spot!
Charisma: If you’re interacting with a co-host or guests you want to show the listeners that you have a good rapport with others on your show. You may not know your guests well enough to call them a friend but treat everybody like they are one! If you can have fun with your guests and co-hosts on the mic, your listeners will be having fun with you. Podcast listeners want to feel like they’re a part of a fun, friendly conversation.
Tone of Voice: Adding variety to your speech will keep listeners engaged, try not to have your speech be one-note. Listeners connect with the emotion behind your voice to keep them interested. Include hints of curiosity, passion and sensitivity in the way you speak about certain topics. This is especially important in audio drama whether you’re playing a character or narrator. You’re telling a story and other than sound effects, all the listener has to go off of is your voice. Have them hang on every word by displaying a range of emotions in the way that you speak.
Do You Have the Audacity to Shine? A Guide to Audacity:
Audacity is a versatile and user-friendly digital audio editing software that's perfect for podcasters. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced audio editor, Audacity has something to offer. To find guidance on Audacity download this Plains FM resource which provides a great overview of the programme.
Soundscaping Success: Elevate Your Podcast with Music and Effects
Once you’ve recorded your solo audio, conducted interviews, or captured your characters’ dialogue, it’s time to breathe life into your podcast through the magic of music and sound effects. Here’s how you can create a captivating soundscape:
Independent Creation: Consider becoming your own foley artist by crafting unique sound effects. Foley artists use various props and techniques to replicate real-world sounds, such as footsteps or door creaks. It’s a hands-on way to personalise your podcast’s auditory experience.
Online Effects: If creating sound effects isn’t your forte, numerous online platforms offer a wealth of pre-made sound effects. Websites like freesound.org provide an extensive library of sound effects for various scenarios. Many of these effects are available under the Creative Commons licence, often requiring simple attribution in your podcast description.
Royalty-Free Music: Music can elevate your podcast, setting the mood and enhancing emotional moments. Royalty-free music is readily available on platforms like Pixabay and YouTube. Search for tracks that match your desired atmosphere. Just remember, even if the music is royalty-free, some creators may ask for attribution, so be sure to check their usage conditions.
Magic of Multitracks: In your chosen audio editing software, you can work with multitracks to build your podcast’s environment. This allows you to overlay dialogue, sound effects, and music strategically. Experiment with audio techniques like panning to create immersive experiences, adjusting volumes to control sound relevance, and simulating distances within your podcast’s world.