I've been asked about the podcasting equipment setup and software that we use on the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast. After 220 episodes in one year and over 430K downloads, we've settled on a configuration we like. In this post, I'll share the setup and help you get started.
Just today, teacher Eric Walters from Marymount emailed me about the setup I use. Rather than typing this email over and updating it each time, here's a post you can bookmark that I'll keep up to date with information on the podcasting equipment setup and software we're using now. This way, we can send info on our podcasting setup anytime someone asks. We're happy to share.
So, here's the basics. There are always little tricks, however, this gets you started.
My microphone setup as the host
I use the ATR2100- USB Microphone. This is an upgrade from the Blue Snowball that I used to use and I'm much happier with it.
On Stage Foam Ball-Type Mic Windscreen. I use the black but you can get other colors.
NEEWER Adjustable Microphone Suspension Boom – I attach this to the bookcase beside my desk.
NEEWER 6 inch Studio Microphone Mic round Shape Wind Pop Filter Mask Shield with Stand Clip – This gives one more layer of protection from those “plosives” (the nasty reverberating “p” sound that can really mess up a show.
I've always had cheaper earphones, however, on a recent trip to Dubai, Kip got me some Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones. I have an old audio jack, make sure if you get them to match the jack you'll be using. I like it to be wired but I plug it directly into the computer, although the ATR2100 does have a jack on the back. I've found that I get a truer sound that way.
Recommended mic for guests
When we're on Skype (not face to face)
Logitech Clearchat comfort USB headset 390 – This is an older mic but wow, it is great. It makes for great sound.
I use a Macbook Pro for recording and my husband has a Lenovo PC for editing. I'm not sure if they really matter in the end.
When we're in the same room
I used to use the Blue Snowball Mic for this but wow, it was terrible for echoes and took a whole lot of editing work.
So, the prices came down on the ATR2100 and I bought a second one and boom arm and windscreen.
Royalty Free Music
I purchased the royalty-free stock audio from Audioblocks.
When the guest and I are not in the same room
Skype – Using Skype is awesome as long as Dropbox and other bandwidth hogs are turned off. Also, make sure that you really encourage people to be on a wired connection.
Ecamm Call Recorder for Skype. Note that you can try it for free. They also have it for Facetime. The secret is that you want TWO TRACK recording. That is one of the secrets to great audio.
When the guest and I are in the same room
I record into Garage Band after pairing the two mics so we can do the two-track recording. It is a little tricky to set up the first time, but it works.
A note about three guests
My show is just 10 minutes and I like each guest to get attention. So, I really try not to do three-person recordings. The problem with three person recording is that it puts the two guests on the same track. I could invest in a more expensive setup to go with three-track recording, but I prefer just to keep it down to me and a guest.
That way we can have a high-energy conversation that sounds like two excited friends are talking about education.
Editing and Workflow
Then, I export it and do some pre-editing in Audacity, which is free.
Kip and I have a shared folder in Dropbox and I export with two tracks out of Audacity into Dropbox. All of the prerolls and post-rolls I record into Audacity and export. I export a single mp3 for my transcriptionist, Kymberli for her to work on and paste in Google Docs.
Kip then edits in Adobe Audition on his Lenovo Laptop. He's an engineer so he uses top of the line software. He finishes and saves it back to an mp3 file in our finished folder.
Tagging and uploading
Then, I use ID3 Editor to tag with all of the podcast tags you have to have. This is tricky. I also add the graphics here to the mp3 file.
Then, I upload to Libsyn which also syndicates to iTunes, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, and more. I've spent hours configuring this powerful hosting service to syndicate everywhere.
I create the graphics for each show in Canva.
Kymberli Mulford transcribes the show. Then she puts it in the Google Doc.
Database Tool: Airtable
Lisa Durff pulls all of the guest info and submitted information out of Airtable. Airtable is truly a gamechanger for us. This cloud database is a powerful tool and easy to use. Guests put their bio in and more. It is a workhorse!
Then, I use a handy Google Doc to WordPress plugin to pull it over. The only thing I DON'T like is that you lose the alt tags for the graphics and can have accessibility issues. Alt tags are used for those who have visual disabilities because their browsers will read the graphics to them. Also, it is used by search engines. So, often, I'll replace the graphics with new ones once I pull it over.
How to Learn How to Create Your Own Podcast
Now, there are so many other moving parts to this, however, John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur On Fire has a free podcast course which is where I got started on the technical side of things.
There are so many things we could talk about podcasting – it is so much fun although it is very hard work.
If you decide to create a show or have other questions, just leave a comment or contact me.
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