Over the course of three blog posts I'm sharing how my podcast, The Girl Next Door Podcast, is made. So far, I've shared the equipment that we use and how we publish our show online. This week I'm sharing tips for recording that we've learned while producing the show.
+ For each show, make an outline and become really familiar with it. We've found that we like to write out our intro and exit text but otherwise keep the outline general to encourage natural conversation. When we were too detailed in our outline we focused too much on what we'd written instead of just talking to each other. Instead, the conversation is more natural if I'm familiar with the topics that we will cover and what I want to say but I don't have to keep referring to the outline.
+ Take a few minutes before sitting down to record to relax. We usually record our show after Dashiell goes to bed and so I go into our podcast after having worked a full day, commuted, managed dinner time and bedtime with a toddler, and set up our equipment for podcasting. I've found that I need about 30 minutes just to decompress and change gears so that I can be fully present for the podcast.
+ Have water and Kleenex on hand.
+ Leave your phone in another room. For our equipment set-up our phones interfere with the audio and create horrible feedback. We've learned from experience!
+ Start recording before you start the show. As soon as we sit down at the table we start recording even though we don't start the show. We check audio levels and get comfortable and generally get some butterflies out before starting the show. Before starting the show we take a long pause so that it's easy to edit later.
+ Don't hit stop, even if you mess up. Just collect yourself, take a long pause and start again. Similar to taking a long pause before starting the show, this makes it much easier to edit later. An exception would be if you weren't sure what you said right before messing up and want to be sure you pick up in the right spot.
+ Get really close to the mic. Even closer. When we're recording I nearly always have my bottom lip touching the windscreen of my mic.
+ To create a high-quality mp3 of your podcast episode that can be published online, export the file to mp3 from Garage Band with these settings: Bit Rate 320 kbps; Yes to Variable Bit Rate Encoding; Highest VBR Quality; Stereo Channel; Use Joint Stereo.
These are some things that are working for us, if you're a podcaster I'd love to know what you have to add to this list!