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Recording Your Own Podcast
Podcasts have an incredible amount of freedom since they are often given out for free and through Internet distribution, which means that you do not need to deal with rights and advertising in a lot of cases. Beyond this, most of what you need for most podcast production is found on a Mac computer or with a few basic audio equipment additions. If you want to record your own podcast you have a lot of great options at your fingertips and do not need a full audio recording suite to do it effectively. Here are some podcast production tips to help you when you are recording your own podcast.
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Format and Software
The first thing you need to consider when you are recording your own podcast is exactly what type of podcast you want. Since a podcast is really just a recorded radio show played as an audio file, you want to decide exactly the type of format you want. Podcasts have traditionally been based on a "talk radio" format since it is original material that is easy to distribute, but you can also include things like music and outside audio content. If you want versatility, you will want to use a full audio mixing program like Soundtrack Pro or Pro Tools, though most people will be able to do the simple recording and mixing in Garage Band. What you want to make sure is that you have a program that will allow you to manipulate sound, add different tracks into a timeline and essentially put out a full sound edit.
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Many people do not want to look beyond the onboard microphone from their Mac computer when considering recording their own podcast, but this is important for real podcast production. You should include an attachable microphone for podcast production, especially since capturing the voice is primary for podcasting. Most podcasts include several different people, which may also cause a problem of input. The best option for doing this is by actually combining peripherals for your podcast production. Instead of just buying high-end microphones for voice capture and purchasing headphones for playback, which is very important when recording your own podcast, purchase a high-end microphone headphone combination. These are often used for gaming, but you can find some that are going to have a sufficient microphone.
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The format of an audio file for podcast production is not universal, though distribution networks like iTunes tend to be standardized. Instead, you have to consider a few factors. First, you want to maintain the audio integrity of your podcast production. If all your podcast contains is simple talking, it is a little more forgivable to compress, which really just shrinks the dynamic range of the files. If there is a lot of music, you will need to have a larger file type, but you have to make sure that the file is going to be small enough to transfer and will be able to play on a number of relevant devices. The MP3 format is often the best choice since it is easy to transfer, easy to play, and will essentially be smaller than a .wav or .aif file.
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Source: author's own experience.