Regardless of your research, content and quality of podcast script, shoddy presentation and muffled audio can be the difference between a popular and listenable show, or a poorly executed idea. Whether you’re cooking up a brand new narrative podcast to tell spectacular tales and fables, or you’re simply conversing with friends and publishing a longform chat, if audio quality is lacking, the final product may suffer as a result.
Professional podcasters and hosts of many prominent shows on Spotify and Apple Podcasts will more-than-likely record their audio and edit from a studio. Although setting up a base of your own while acquiring the right software and podcast equipment will likely be on the pricey side, Listening Dog Media are here to help. Whether providing you with advice on your very own makeshift studio, or handling all matters regarding mixing and mastering, read on for our expert guidance.
There are 383.7 million podcast listeners globally, and the number of people who regularly listen to podcast episodes is growing year-on-year. Particularly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, if you come across someone with headphones in their ears during your morning commute, don’t be surprised if they’re midway through the newest episode of their favourite podcast show.
From comedy originals, to topical exchanges on sport and culture, there’s a podcast for everyone in 2022. Ideal for short journeys, gym sessions, or even casual listening just before bed, next time you’re tempted to put on your favourite playlist or audiobook, why not tuck into a podcast episode instead? If a popular TV show, sports team, or common hobby exists, there’s probably a podcast about it.
As much as we would love to recommend setting up a podcast studio in the cushy comfort of your bedroom, there are plenty of reasons why this may not be the best idea. An appropriate podcast studio space should have minimal distractions, and be spacious enough to house a variety of equipment and handy technology. A steady internet connection is required while you record and research, with a medium-sized spare room the ideal location. Another consideration for selecting a space within the home is opting for an area with lots of soft surfaces, plenty of carpet and objects which don’t affect voice projection or cause an unnecessary racket.
Although many additions and components for a makeshift studio are liable to be expensive or technically complex, they can have a really positive impact on the quality of your audio composition. Podcast equipment as varied as microphones, pop filters and professional headphones are all likely to make a world of difference for your episodes and longform chats. Below is just an overview of the various tech additions to utilise within your home studio area:
As obvious as it may seem, your PC or laptop hardware is unlikely to function correctly or run the latest audio software if it is outdated. Though there are plenty of cheap computers available from online retailers, electronics stores, and pawn shops, they may not be suitable for your needs. Editing software has never been more accessible, although to run the premier programmes such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, and Adobe Audition, there are some minimum requirements your system should meet. As a prerequisite, your computer should be capable of running Microsoft Windows 10 as an operating system, alongside 8GB of RAM.
It may be tempting to record on your phone, or via an inbuilt PC microphone, though it is important to note that audio from pre-installed microphones and mobile devices aren’t designed for lengthy conversations or for generating high-quality soundbites. A home-based podcast studio will benefit from a set-up including a shielded noise cancelling microphone, though you may not need to break the bank to attain one. Microphones which are more than good enough for your podcast can be acquired for under £100, and some even come equipped with sturdy microphone stands. Alternatively, USB mics can be just as effective, albeit they lack the premium sound quality of some designs.
An audio mixer is an electrical device which can seamlessly control audio levels, and they are a common sight within all manner of recording environments, including studios for musicians, theatres, concert venues, and of course, podcast studios. Though a high-end audio mixer is likely to cost a considerable sum of money, you can find an assortment of cheaper audio mixers online. When you decide to work with Listening Dog Media, you can benefit from our industry-standard mixers, microphones, and other podcast equipment, giving your show a noticeable quality compared with your competitors.
A pop filter is a handy accessory which can be attached to microphones, conveniently guarding against the noticeable popping sounds produced by pronouncing certain syllables and words. Perhaps most recognisable from being used by musicians in studios, they’re an absolute lifesaver if certain words cause a disruptive noise within your audio recording. Some professional microphones will come equipped with a pop filter already installed – convenient for those without a microphone filter already in their possession.
Headphones may be an afterthought when you’re overseeing a podcast set up, though you may be surprised by the importance of quality overhead headphones when recording and capturing audio. Headphones are often worn by podcasters during the recording process so a voice can be isolated from the background sounds, allowing the speaker to hear any corresponding sound effects and music.
Without the right professional editing software and understanding of how to use it, piecing together the components of your podcast episodes will be significantly harder than necessary. Whereas some free software will allow you to edit audio, mix together background music and continuous speech, or isolate dialogue effectively, there are many paid programmes which take some getting used to, but allow users to go the extra mile with audio quality. As mentioned earlier, Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, and Adobe Audition are the main packages to consider. Our accomplished editors are knowledgeable when it comes to adjusting audio levels and setting up professional mixes.
It can be beneficial to enlist the help of someone who knows what they’re doing, such as a podcast engineer, editor and/or producer, particularly when you’re just starting out. Industry experts may involve higher costs at first, but they can potentially save you money in the long run and help you achieve a polished final product in a stress-free and rewarding way.
If you’re looking for some assistance when getting started on setting up a studio, our production team will be more than happy to help you develop your concept and pair you with the most appropriate member of our team for your requirements. We will also supply the audio equipment and editing services you need to achieve a quality final product that meets your expectations.
At Listening Dog Media, we appreciate the importance of detail, and this is why we take a number of steps in editing to fine-tune your audio, regardless of topic and theme. Whereas some clients may benefit most from crisp, studio-quality audio, others may favour constructive content edits, during which we can simplify stories being told, streamline conversations, or separate your audio into distinctive sections. Whatever your requirements, our selection of satisfied clients are as varied as celebrity Mums discussing Motherhood, to true crime enthusiasts covering macabre and mysterious events.
Our complete podcast service will consist of assistance from an expert team, from initially working through your ideas, all the way to publishing and branding your creation in-line with current trends. Whether you require a long-term podcast strategy for audience growth, a snappy new episode title description format, or a striking original logo and efficient recording equipment, we can provide tailored assistance today. Any questions? Simply contact us – we are always more than happy to help.