Pondering the Podcast

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A while back I mentioned I wanted to create a podcast for a variety of reasons. Creating podcasts seems to be the #1 advise being given to Indie writers right now, and this information’s carelessly oversimplified. It’s true that anyone can make one, just like anyone can make a Youtube video. But it takes more than just a microphone and a camera to make a good, memorable version of either.

So what’s needed?

To make podcast or a video, the things you need fall into 3 categories.

  • Equipment
  • Know how
  • Content

Equipment

A good quality microphone. A computer that can handle audio (or video) editing software. A decent sound processors, though if your computer is fairly new, it should come with one. A quiet place to record and patience. Patience is one of the most important pieces here since most things aren’t going to be gold on the first take. I suppose if you’re just doing a free form style of podcast, that’s fine, you don’t need that for the recording aspect, but you may need it to figure out how to record.

Know How

Unless you’re familiar with recording and editing, it’s gonna take some time to figure these things out. There’s a wealth of resources on how to do this on Youtube or Google if you search. If you’re more the type who needs a physical copy of things in your hand to be able to learn, I’m sure you can look up some old books on ebay or half.com that’ll have something useful. There’s always the library for a free option. But no matter what you choose, looking things up will make things easier in the long run rather than just trying to use trial and error.

Why is my mic recording so low? What’s gain? What’re levels? How do I cut out parts of the recording I don’t want? All useful things that any of the above resources can show you.

Content

Knowing what you’re going to make before you actually start making it is key. I learned this the hard way (but we won’t get into that.) There’s nothing more jarring or immersion breaking than realizing that the creator of a thing you’re trying to get into didn’t have any idea of where they were going or what they were trying to say as they started plodding along. Halfway through a book or podcast and things just stop making sense or get far off topic is the absolute worst. And it’s on this point that I find myself stuck.

I don’t just want to make something, I want to make something worth listening to. I want to know what I’m going to do before I get into it, so I’m trying to figure out a way to make the best of what I have to make the best thing I can right now. On the equipment side, I have access to a decent microphone, but no soundproofing at the moment. I have decent computer hardware for the recording, and I have 2, maybe 3 people I can use as the talent. That leaves me with few things that I can create when my aim is to stay away from rambling, info dump style podcast.

I have one or two ideas, and while they aren’t bad, I’m lukewarm on most of them. Nothing’s screaming out to me. I’ll get it eventually.