I started podcasting in 2005. I've had lots of folks over the years ask how I make my shows. I try to offer the highest quality show for my listeners. Podcasting has been one of the most-rewarding parts of my career. I'm thrilled and honored to have so many loyal listeners. However, I would LOVE to see more people online creating great podcasts, like YOU!
Since starting the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast in July 2005:
A podcast can take up a lot of time and energy. So if you're just starting out, I suggest you keep your expenses to minimum. Audacity is a free program for the PC. You can get a decent USB microphone or about $30. If you're on a Mac, try Garageband. I haven't tried it, but I assume you might even be able to record the entire podcast on you iPhone.
Here is home recording equipment I use to make my podcasts
A preamp isn't necessary. You could instead just get a USB Microphone.
Or even better, get a portable digital recorder. Then you can record anywhere, or directly into your computer. I do a lot of interviews and sometimes record shows on the road. Then I bring the recorder back to my computer for mixing.
I receive quite a few submissions each month to the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. Each submission includes information about the artists including their URL, a brief description, and where their music is available for sale.
I copy that info into a text file, and transfer each new MP3 submitted to my iTunes library.
Next, I create a playlist in iTunes. I listen to each new song that is submitted and decide which song to feature. I drag that MP3 into my playlist and add the band information to my shownotes.
Then I organize the files. I start each show with an instrumental. The first set of four starts with an instrumental, followed by a vocal, followed by an instrumental, followed by vocal. I try to keep that format throughout the show, but since I don't get that many instrumentals submitted, it usually becomes more vocal by the end of the show. The third set is the Celtic rock or contemporary Celtic music set.
I repeat that process until I have about 48-52 minutes of music in the playlist. That includes all but the last song of the show. Then I record the show.
When everything is mixed in place (see the next section), I see how much time is left on the show. I pick the song based on how much time is left so that the show comes out to be about 60 minutes long. Then I add the final song to the playlist and the shownotes and record the information about the song.
Finally, I add all the notes to the WordPress blog on the website.
When I'm on the road, I record directly into my Zoom H4n as a WAV file (better sound then recording straight to MP3). I then transfer the WAV file to my computer for editing.
At home, I record with AKG C3000. That plugs into my PreAmp which goes into Adobe Audition.
Next, I edit the vocals while inserting MP3s into the mix.
I add a little Dynamic Processing to the vocals: 1.81:1 Compressor Above -30dB and 1.19:1 Expander Below -30dB.
Then I Normalize (also listed as Match Volume in Audition) all of the music files. When those are normalized, I listen for a nice balance between vocals and music. I mixdown the entire audio file, add ID3 tags and save.
Finally, I convert the file to an MP3 and upload it to Libsyn (my audio host).
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