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How to Make Your Podcast Sound Great

Lesson 8 of 10

Avoiding Common Mistakes

Ray Ortega

How to Make Your Podcast Sound Great

Ray Ortega

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Lesson Info

8. Avoiding Common Mistakes

Lesson Info

Avoiding Common Mistakes

Let's avoid some common mistakes that I see in production all the time. The SD card, make sure again you have enough space for your recording, format it if you can. But make sure you back up your card. You don't want to run out of space. Check your batteries, do you have enough? Plug in to the wall if you can, if you have an adapter for your recorder. But again, if plugging into the wall creates a ground loop, pull it out, run on battery. Hopefully you have a battery back up solution so you don't have to worry about running out of battery. But sometimes even your laptop plugged in to the wall, unplug the laptop from the wall and sometimes that'll make the hum go away. 'Cause again it's coming from the connection to the wall. Did you press record? It seems so basic but you will not press record one time. Make sure on an audio recorder, even in your software, numbers will start to roll. The time code will go up. Even if I see the light is red, I want to see those numbers moving. That let...

s me know we're recording something. So I'm always looking at the numbers. Are the numbers going? Paranoid, numbers going? I have not hit record so many times, it's ridiculous. And related to that, soon as that comes up in your mind, I should probably hit record. Hit record. I don't care if it's 10 minutes before the interview. Again, make sure you have enough SD card space and battery. Soon as you think of pressing record, do it. Start rolling. That way, 'cause you're going to get in the conversation and that's gonna go out the window. Body awareness. You know, tapping this. Are you a hand talker? You're gonna, (clanking) you're gonna do that, it's gonna go through. So just be aware of your body if you're talking with your hands. It's why a boom arm can be nice. It kind of can get, separates you from the desk, if you're tapping your foot, stuff like that. I have a host who again, always just seems to talk with his body and I just hear it all the time. So I'm trying to get him to sit still but he doesn't so we're gonna take his mic and move it off the desk. That's one way to deal with it. Check your batteries, I'm keeping up with my own keynote here. Check your guest's mic, are they actually using the wrong mic. When you're in studio together and you've got mics close to each other, and you're listening. Take down your own microphone so you can only hear their mic. You can get tricked. 'Cause you're like ah, I hear audio. And then you get into the edit and you look at the different tracks and what you were hearing was their voice going into your microphone. And you just got tricked, you're not used to the levels. So make sure, have them scratch the microphone a little bit. So that you know that microphone is active. This goes for Skype as well. Skype will default to the built in mic all the time. That is in your computer, you don't want that. It's far away, noisy, picks up the room, fans. I used to have people tap the mic. You can get fooled by that 'cause tapping your mic or chest can also then go into that. You don't have that fine, detailed ear to be like yeah, that's coming from that microphone or this microphone, just rub it. If you have a headset boom, have them rub it. Rubbing is, it will let you know oh, that is the right microphone. And then in Skype know how to guide them through Windows setup and a Mac setup. Because what's gonna happen is they're like yeah, you're gonna say oh it's your built in mic, can you please switch your microphone? They're like how do I get there? And you're gonna spend 15 minutes going um, try the preferences. No, no try the, I don't know, let's just do this tomorrow. So have a little list that lets you and I don't use Windows generally. So I don't know, it's different for Skype, the settings. So be able to walk them through that. And their mic position. If they're using earbud microphone, 'cause you want to get them on some microphone ideally. Hair, it can hit hair, it can move on clothes. Have them move their head a little bit. 'Cause that microphone brushing against a necklace, earrings, long hair, clothing, you don't want to hear those sounds. So just, it's gonna sound and look funny but tell them move around a little bit to make sure that mic's not hitting anything. And I have no panning, no reverb. So we fought really hard to sort of take the reverb out of the room. But reverb sounds cool on singers. People in the beginning when they start podcasting, they're like I'm gonna add a little reverb. We just worked so hard not to do that. So don't add reverb. It does seem cool. You can do it in post production, after you've recorded your audio. If that's something you want to do. And panned audio, people think oh, you know what would be cool? I'm gonna put a little me in the left ear, a little of my guest in the right ear. It's gonna be really cool. You know how I go to bed? One earbud in. And what happens when the audio is on the left side and the guest is on the right side? I hear the questions and I hear no answers. Or you hear it really low 'cause of a little pan. So don't record panned audio. This is just a big pain. These are just a couple things I see new podcasters wanna do 'cause it seems like that would be cool. Don't do it.

Class Description

So you’ve bought, borrowed, or bartered all of your podcasting gear. Congratulations! Now it’s time to figure out how to use it. In this comprehensive technical course, Ray Ortega will show you the ins and outs of how to record audio and process it for publication.

You’ll learn everything from how to connect your equipment to how to speak into the microphone to how to record the cleanest audio possible. By the end of this course, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence you need to embark on your podcasting journey and create a high-quality recording.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Record audio that’s clear and free of noise.
  • Connect your gear.
  • Use your microphone correctly.
  • Set recording levels.
  • Identify audio issues.
  • Add in recording effects.


Julio Lemmen Meyer

Great detailed information and technical best practices for the new podcaster. Ray is a great teacher. He explains complicated technical stuff in an easy to follow way. I got a lot of value from this class. I am sure that it will allow me to avoid and headaches and some time consuming mistakes in the future. Thanks Ray!

Chrissy Gabelman Dunham

Such a Great Course! Wish I would have had this before I started my podcast and bought the wrong equipment, twice, LOL! SO Good!

Michelle MartinF

Ray had a lot of information to cover in a short amount of time and he was generous with his hard-earned insights, well-organized and offered detailed information on hardware. He did a great job talking about the must-haves as well as the great-to-have-when-you're-ready items.