Guest post from https://blog.omnystudio.com/
Industry best practices and tips for home recording
As you’re reading this the COVID-19 lockdown might be a receding memory, or it’s still your daily reality — At the moment, we just can’t tell. One thing we do know is that the demand for quality audio, and the amount of people stepping up to produce it has never been higher.
Read this blog post for:
- Best practise tips from within the global podcast industry for getting great sound — as both a show host and a guest.
- Resources for putting a little ‘outside’ back into your show with deep archives of natural sounds.
- How Omny can help you; from getting your levels just right, to creating audiograms that help put a face to the voice.
First: Advice from podcasters around the world
Podcasters are wondering if it’s possible to produce quality shows from home, and we’re here to tell you that it is! Here are some great resources available to help get you started — and keep in mind, there’s a lot of great advice on home recording out there.
Below you’ll find some helpful tips and tricks we’d hate you to miss:
- One person, one track. If you can get a multi-track recording, where each speaker is recording their own vocals, it’s going to make the sound quality and editing process much easier. It may be easiest to just jump on a call and hit record to get it all down on one track, but trust us, your waveforms are going to look like a spaghetti monster. Here’s a great round-up of multi-track recording platforms thanks to our mates at Podcast Movement.
- Keep your tracks clean. Insist all speakers are using headphones to hear the other participants, not their lounge hi-fi speakers or laptop speakers. If one person speaking is showing up on someone else’s track, see above for why that’s a problem. Everyone has headphones, insist they use them.
- Know your mic! Wear headphones, yes, that’s a recurring theme, and test your mic input, to find your sweet spot when addressing your particular mic, in your particular room. To quote the NPR team, who know a thing or two about podcasting; “Wear headphones! Spend a few seconds listening closely for background noise. Test your “p-p-p-p-p-p” sounds — those poppy, percussive ‘plosives’. Having a producer or engineer on the phone or Skype is not like having them listen in the studio. This is your job now.”
- Embrace the imperfections. Screaming kids, construction noises, and the flushing of a toilet during that key line of a clutch interview? Yes. We are all experiencing moments like these at this time. Embrace them, lean into them, we’re all right there with you.
- Have phone? Can podcast. Most have access to the iPhone Voice Memo method — or Android equivalent voice recorder — which means that practically everyone has a surprisingly decent-quality microphone. Don’t be afraid to leverage this device that’s so ubiquitous you can easily overlook its utility as a recorder. Find a surefire method to record and retrieve tape from your guests below:
But are people still listening during lockdown?
The answer is yes, but the listening is different. If you’re worried about your listenership disappearing, don’t. Are you making content relevant to the new reality? Great. Making content that lets people escape and think of something else? Even better!
As we write this, research is still coming in about the effects of COVID on the podcast industry, some say we’re up, some say down, however Omny’s data shows listening remains about the same.
At the macro level: “Podcasting awareness and consumption in the U.S. continue to rise,” according to the most recent information from the Infinite Dial 2020® from Edison Research and Triton Digital. “Seventy-five percent of Americans age 12+ (approximately 212 million people) are now familiar with podcasting, up from 70% in 2019, and 37% (104 million) listen monthly, up from 32% in 2019. This continues the growth trend that The Infinite Dial® has measured since 2009.”
Catch up on the 2020 Infinite Dial from Edison Research and Triton Digital (Omny Studio’s parent company) here for a great source of quantified reassurance that podcasting is here to stay!
Now’s the time to double down on podcasting, but not sacrifice quality.
You’re likely recording in different places than before, for example, your guests are remote and your volume levels are probably different than you’re used to. Omny Studio has tools to help.
If you’re already mastering your podcast, that’s great, but if you’d like to guarantee high-quality audio before publishing, you can use the built-in loudness normalization for smoothing peaks and troughs, and auto-leveller for ensuring consistent volume across your episode.
Bring in the sounds of nature, when they’re out of reach for many.
The reassuring voice of some of our favourite podcasters is just what some need during social isolation, but what about the sounds of nature? For many people living in built-up areas, they miss the sounds of wind in the trees and bird calls. So if you’re discussing the great outdoors on your show, need a pleasant soundbed or surprising transition sound, check out this library of recordings from Yellowstone National Park.
Now you see me: a face to the voice.
You might already be using audiograms (social videos) to promote your podcast on social media. If not, then we’ve made it easy to start with Omny Studio’s integration with Headliner — the leading audiogram creation tool, and a free 60 minutes of video creation per month for most accounts.
If you are, you might be using the combination of audio from your show and images — but, why not an image of the host, or the guest, or both?
Your listeners may be feeling distant and disconnected during this time, so make it possible for your listeners to get a sense of who they’re listening to, and engage more than just their aural senses by showing them the faces behind the voices.
Don’t forget to add your subscribe links to your promotional videos — it’s a great time to get your show into new ears!
Thanks for joining us as we report back on some of the developing best practices in the podcast industry, and how we’re all adapting to these unprecedented times. The team here at Omny Studio is excited to be able to provide our users with some great tools to support you, and help you succeed, even through adversity.
If you have suggestions or questions about where we can take this blog series, please contact Support@omnystudio.com.
All the best,
The Omny Studio Team