It’s 2022 folks!
We are living in a time where every facet of our life is revolutionizing with each passing day. Technological advancements, extensive research, innovation, and digital disruptions all contribute to a better and improved life. In this era, when everything is backed by technology, automation, and a high class of innovation, your podcast too should reflect the same.
One of the most important aspects of your podcast is its sound or audio. We know that podcast is all about ensuring a great listening experience for your audience and that is why podcast sound occupies immense importance. Recording a podcast may seem to be a simple process of speaking into a tool, but a lot goes into producing a professional sound. Great content combined with great audio quality contributes a lot to your podcast’s success.
The start of the new year is an ideal time to give that extra special attention to your podcast and to consider taking it to the next level. Improving the audio quality of your podcast and making efforts to ensure professional sound is one of the effective strategies for the growth and success of your podcast.
Worrying how to do that while you record at home and do not have access to a state-of-the-art studio?
If you do not have access to a full-fledged studio, miraculous advancements in recording and audio engineering can help you make your podcast sound professional even when you record at home.
If this strategy of making your podcast sound professional sounds great to you, we are giving you guidelines and a few handy tips and ways to achieve that.
Read on and find out how you can achieve professional sound for your podcast.
What Makes A Stellar Podcast Sound?
A telltale sign of being a podcast newbie is not paying attention to details, specifically to the audio quality.
For a listener, nothing can be as off-putting as listening to the dishes clanking in the background and a vehicle passing by buzzing up a horn, or the classic one, cell phone going off.
The raw file that you record rarely gets published on your podcast. Rather, it goes through a lot of tweaks, editing, and fine-tuning to produce the professional sound that your audience would like to hear.
But, what it means to have a professional sound podcast?
If we were talking about podcasting in the 90s, being audible could have been enough. But, this is 2022, we have gears, tools, and resources to elevate its quality and make the podcast sound professional.
Your podcast sound should be free from signal interferences, hissing sounds, background noises, or any other sound that should not be there in your audio file. Simply put, the following characteristics make a podcast sound professional:
- Your voice is audible
- The recording is not muffled up
- There is no echo or reverberation unless you have planned it
- The recording does not have unnecessary sounds
- Your speech is clear off fillers like umm and aah
Strategies And Tips To Make Your Podcast Sound Professional
To make your podcast sound professional, you should consider and pay immense importance to things that can make your podcast sound clear and seamless. Of course, the most obvious way to do that is investing in creating a high-tech and high-end studio, but we know that this option is not feasible for all. Passionate podcasters with limited resources and newbies who may not consider such an investment a viable option look for ways and tips to create professional sound and we are here to guide you.
With our vast experience of working with numerous clients and our expert audio engineers, we do have a few handy, effective, and easily doable tips up our sleeves that can help you in making your podcast sound professional.
Opt For White Label Podcast Editing Service
This strategy may seem to be a little clichéd, but we have a lot to say about it and strong grounds on which we can suggest that this strategy can work for you if you want your podcast to sound professional.
With our extensive experience, we know that a host of podcasters and podcast agencies, especially those who have just started tend to avoid outsourcing white label podcast editing thinking it would break their bank accounts.
But this is merely a perception.
Several white-label podcast agencies offer simple and fuss-free packages and plans. For instance, here at Podblade, we have a flat rate system. That means we charge a fixed amount per client while allowing you to charge whatever amount you wish to charge from your clients.
If the picture is still blurred for you, let us clarify with numbers.
Say, for example, you are a podcast editing agency and charge $1000 from your clients and we offer our reselling service for $200, then you will only have to pay $200 to us from $1000 and the rest will go to your pocket, giving you enough margins.
Now that this number-crunching is solved. We should talk about the main topic, which is to make your podcast sound professional.
Look, when you opt for the white label podcast editing service, you get the services of highly skilled, expert, and experienced editors. They thoroughly understand all the nuances of your audio quality and do everything to make your podcast sound professional.
When you avail the services of a white label podcast agency you get the services of professional audio engineers who know their ropes. These professionals and highly skilled audio engineers know about all the technical details. From cutting out rumble with a high pass filter to clarifying sound by using notches and sweeping, a professional editor can work his magic to take your podcast sound to the next level.
If you are looking for a white label podcast editing partner, you are at the right spot. We provide all sorts of white label podcast editing services and customize our plans according to your needs. Book a call with us to discover our offerings.
Isn’t it a no-brainer?
Before you think about the equipment and tools, you need to consider your recording environment or simply put, the place where you are going to record your podcast.
We all know that your recording environment casts a huge impact on your podcast sound. For starters and people with less technical knowledge about audio recording, quality, and editing, a good recording environment may merely entail closing windows and doors to cancel the external noise of passing by vehicles and running appliances. But it involves a lot more than these things.
If you are recording in a room with glasses and tiles, your sound will have an echo effect. On the other hand, if you are recording in a room that is fully carpeted and is filled with sound-absorbing materials, your podcast sound may appear dead. The ideal way is to strike a balance between the two.
The key to creating an ideal environment to make your podcast professional is to understand different materials and their effects on the sound quality. Surfaces that are polished, shiny, and hard like tiles, glass, and metals tend to reflect sound; whereas, cloth-textured surfaces like pillows, curtains, and blankets tend to absorb sound reflections. You can use this understanding to create a suitable environment for your podcast recording.
The Right Gears And Equipment
For all the passionate podcasters, podcast gears, tools, and equipment mean a lot. These tools are like treasured possessions. Of course, these fancy tools like a high-end mic and luxe headphones help a lot in producing a professional sound, but we believe that having the right equipment is not enough.
You may have all the best gadgets and expensive tools, but if you don’t know how to use them, then they are only futile. However, if you have even normal equipment but you know the tricks, you can easily make the most of these tools and achieve great podcast sound.
One of the most critical and pieces of equipment that you need to make your podcast sound professional is a great quality microphone. Having a good podcast mic ensures that you have professional sound and it also saves a lot of your time in post-production.
There are many brands available in the market and you can choose one that works best for you. A general guideline however is to get a mic that is easy to set up and reflects a sound depth of voice.
Headphones are another important gear that you should have in your podcast arsenals. If you are just starting, any headphones will do the job. Many folks believe that headphones are quintessential to your podcast recording gears, but you don’t need to spend a mammoth amount on this tool right away. Any set that you use to listen to music can work for you. A set of over-the-ear headphones is recommended for podcasters as they render professional sound and help you hear accurately.
A microphone stand is another important tool that can improve your podcast sound. It is especially needed if you want to set up your mic off the desk. The benefit of having a mic stand or a boom mount is that it brings the mouth closer to the mouth level. This is an important factor to consider because the vertical alignment of the mic with the mouth level greatly impacts your podcast sound. Also, when you use a mic, there are fewer chances to rub it against something while you do the recording.
Pop filter or windscreen
A pop filter is another simple tool that makes your podcast sound professional. You need it only when your microphone does not come with a built-in pop filter. This is used to reduce the plosive sounds that we make while saying words with P or T. This simple tool is made up of foam or mesh that can be fixed on the microphone.
Editing software and audio treatments
The field of audio engineering has revolutionized audio editing. If you are wondering how to make your podcast sound better with audio engineering without having to hire an audio engineer, software and audio treatments can be your savior.
There are many software and audio treatments that are available in the market that can help you make your podcast sound professional. Some software is indispensable to edit your audio and improve your podcast sound, but some audio treatments are fancy and go beyond doing basic things.
A mixer is an audio editing tool that is used to improve audio quality. It is also suitable equipment if you are recording with multiple guests. Different brands are offering different types of mixers, but basically, you need to look for two main features: One it should have multiple recording channels and second, it should have an AUX out feature.
For starters and podcasters who do their audio editing on their own, there are many plugins that they can use to improve their podcast sound. These plugins are designed to help you in improving the audio production quality and come in handy for any sort of audio repair including your podcast recording. The great thing about these plugins is that they automatically detect and remove noise, hum, clipping and clicks.
In an ideal world, we’d prefer recording podcast episodes in a space that is purposefully built to capture professional sound and smooth audio. But creating this ideal world is not a sound option when you are limited on a budget or just starting as a podcaster. For such scenarios, we rely on our creativity and opt for DIY studios.
In a DIY studio, you can add acoustic treatments that can help produce professional sound by eliminating background noise and reducing reverberations. Several options in your house can act as an acoustic treatment for your studios such as heavy comforters, your closet full of coats, full bookcases, and rugs. All these things can be a great acoustic treatment to reduce ambient noise and make your podcast sound professional.
If you have enough spare space to DIY a studio, you can even consider investing in acoustic panels. These acoustic panels for sound dampening come in different shapes, sizes, and budgets, so you pick the one that matches your space requirements. There are vocal booths and acoustic treatments on the pricier side as well that can even fit behind your microphone and improve your audio quality drastically.
Never used editing software? No worries, technology has a solution to everything. For non-tech people, technology creates an automated system. So, if you want your audio files to be cleaned up on auto, remove background noises and hums, and level up your audio to produce professional sound without doing anything, you should opt for automated audio editing software. Automated audio editing software acts like your workers and builds an entire podcast episode for you. In fact, there is AI-driven software that makes editing podcasts super simple. This option works well for those who do not have the expertise to use editing software, neither they have time to learn editing skills nor do they have a budget to outsource the editing task.
Recording with guests virtually
Interviews on the podcast are quite popular and podcasters love to use this content to grow their podcast and to improve their listenership.
The main dilemma with recording an interview with a guest speaker or multiple speakers is recording them virtually. Different backgrounds and recording environments affect the podcast sound.
We recommend that if you have to virtually record multiple guests, there is no better option than Zoom. You can use this platform to record each speaker in a separate audio file. What makes us give brownie points to Zoom is that it even allows you to remotely control your guest’s computer that can aid you in explaining the recording setup.
In addition to using the right platform, there are other things too that can compromise a professional sound. Let us walk you through these matters and share some other tips that can help you record with guests virtually and make your podcast sound professional:
- The best bet is to start your preparation a day or two before the recording day. You can even ask your guests to send you a small recording sample in advance to know if any issues can affect your podcast sound.
- Ideally, podcasters should use slates so that every participant starts recording at the same time. This is a very helpful technique to find sync points easily.
- Screen sharing a timer with your participants is also a great way to keep your acts and speaking points synchronized and planned. For instance, you can use a timer to clap at the same time to avoid any sort of lag or delay.
- Stay quiet when your guests are speaking. Dropping in a “yes” or “okay” may come naturally to you while you are talking to others and you tend to follow the same pattern when you record your podcast. But, you have to be aware of it and avoid any sort of impromptu speech at all (unless planned and necessary) as it can distract your listeners. Of course, you can edit and remove these interruptions later, but that is all unnecessary and extra work that you can avoid by training yourself. You can also communicate the same to your guests and ask them to follow the same practice when you are speaking.
- Mute your mic when you are not speaking: Another best practice or rule of thumb should be to mute your microphone when you are speaking. This way you can save yourself a lot of time later in editing. Also, it won’t pick up your speaker’s voice in your mic and produce crispier audio.
- Another rule of thumb is to record each person on a separate channel. We all speak differently, have different pitches and tones and of course, we can commit different mistakes. Editing for different speakers and multiple voices on a single channel can be tiresome and time-consuming. Editing is way easier when you record each person on a separate channel. This way, you gain control over each speaker’s volume and noise profile.
- While recording remotely with guests, another important factor that you must consider is the bandwidth of your internet. You should run a speed test to ensure that you are getting the speed that you pay for. If you are not getting the speed, you should complain to your internet provider. It is vital to have a strong internet connection when you are recording remotely. You may have the best software and gadgets, but if the speed of your internet is low, your recording software will capture choppy and distorted audio.
Some oh-wow tips to make your podcast sound professionals
We have discussed many strategies in detail, but we also know a few things that will make you say oh wow and will help you a great deal to make your podcast sound professional.
No mic, no problem!: If you are too tight on budget and investing in a piece of basic equipment like a mic does not seem feasible at the moment. You don’t have to worry. Your phone might be a good mic and allow you to still produce a professional sound. You can use your phone’s vice note or voice memo recorder as a mic. A handy tip is to set your voice recording on lossless quality and turn your phone on airplane mode.
Record while standing up: Your delivery position matters a lot for a professional sound. Recording your podcast while standing up improves the outcomes multifold. On the other hand, if you choose to deliver while sitting the quality of your audio will be affected due to sound reflections and obstructions in the airflow from the desk and the chair.
Test it out: Before opting for a proper recording of an entire episode, you can first test your waters with a short audio clip. Recording a short audio clip and listening to it will give you an idea about things you need to work on to bring improvement. Another great idea is to test your audio quality b listening to it in the environments your audience will be listening to such as in a car or a subway. You should also consider testing on different devices earbuds, high-quality headphones, and low-quality earphones.
Minimize external distractions: It is a good idea to check for external distractions. If you have a god space to record, your audio quality may still get compromised due to external distractions. Check if your air conditioner is blowing air into a mic or an appliance like a refrigerator is running nearby. These are the simple things you can do to minimize external noises and distractions.
Keep an eye on your volume levels: To get a professional sound, it is important that you closely monitor your volume levels while recording your sessions. Most recording software display volume levels as a scale from green, yellow to red. You have to make efforts and moderate your voice to keep it on the green scale. When you need to emphasize something or need a high pitch, you can lead towards the yellow scale, but it is best if you can avoid the red zone altogether.
Using sound effects: Undoubtedly, sound effects can add a personality to your podcast sound, but it can be off-putting too if used inappropriately. Using loud effects and using effects too frequently can make your show lowbrow. The best practice is to use these effects sparingly and when it fits the content.
Audio editing tricks: If you are cracking up and your vice is breaking, adding a tad bit of cleanroom tone in the background can help it sound better. Another hack is to plant or leave audio cues in your recording to edit quickly. For example, if a mistake has happened while recording you can leave a cue after that mistake such as a long pause or high-pitched sound. You can then quickly look for that cue during editing and work on it.
Soften up your voice: A good sound quality encompasses more than a high-quality microphone and recording environment. The sound of your voice also occupies immense importance. You can try out time-tested tricks to soften up your voice. Broadcasters and singers recommend gargling with warm water to clear your throat and help in soothing up your voice. Also, as we know podcast involves a lot of speaking, you may suffer from a dry mouth, and drinking a glass of apple juice can help you with this.
Create a silent audiotape: A good practice is to have an audio tape comprising nothing but silence. What you can do is take a pause for a minute or for a few seconds at the beginning of your recording to create this audiotape. You can then use this tape during editing to treat background noise and other distractions that compromise your podcast sound.
Keep a script or outline ready: Although this tip is not technical or directly related to producing great podcast sound, it contributes a lot to making your podcast sound professional. When you have a script or an outline ready in front of you, it allows you to adopt smooth speech with a consistent flow. It also reduces fillers, meaning less time on post-production.
Take strategic breaks: There is no award for recording your entire episode of a podcast in one go. So, don’t force that on you, and in case you are recording with guests then on them too. Rather, it is best if you can plan strategic breaks. These breaks can help you refresh, refocus, stay hydrated, and resolve any technical and content-related issues.
Draw inspiration from other podcasters who are nailing it: If you like the professional sound of a podcast, we’d suggest, pay attention, and taking notes. Put your investigative hat on and listen carefully to understand what is it that makes their podcast sound professional. Then compare your notes with your podcast, it will surely reveal things that you can do to create professional sound.
The medium of the podcast is all about sound and audio, therefore it requires your extra attention to produce impressive, captivating, and supreme quality podcast sound.
Indeed, making a podcast sound professional is not a cakewalk. It takes a lot of effort and hard work to bring finesse into your podcast sound that can impress your audience and give them a seamless listening experience.
The tips and strategies that we have shared above can lend a helping hand to you in making your podcast sound professional. The idea is to pay close attention to details and work on them to get things right. Also, stay open to new ideas and use the resources that you have created to produce the best quality podcasts.
These ideas and tips may seem daunting, but if you are passionate about podcasting and committed to giving an awesome, distraction-free, and seamless listening experience to your audience, you will find a way or two to make your podcast sound professional.
The key is not to get overwhelmed and enjoy the process.
Here’s to the new year and better podcast sound!
If you want to outsource the task of editing your audio files to attain professional sound and impressive quality, you can contact us at Podblade. Our representative will get in touch and enlighten you with our top-class services.
Want to know more about podcasting, get ahead, and learn more tips about different aspects of podcasting? You’d love to check out our other blog posts.
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- How Podblade’s Personal Podcast Manager Makes Your Whitelabel Podcast Launch Effortless
- How Important Is Our Whitelabel editing service As An All-In-One Centralized Service Portal To Grow Your Business?
Rom is a podcasting specialist, ranking his show in the top 100 for all business podcasts in only his first 6 months since launching. He is also the co-founder of Podblade, creating an affordable yet professional editing solution for podcasters. When he isn’t working, you can find him watching his favorite soccer team (Tottenham Hotspur) in action.