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How to Make Your Podcast Sound Great

Lesson 10 of 10

Pre-Recording Checklist

Ray Ortega

How to Make Your Podcast Sound Great

Ray Ortega

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Lesson Info

10. Pre-Recording Checklist

Lesson Info

Pre-Recording Checklist

It's nice to have a prerecording checklist. Just a list of things, all these things we've talked about. You're not gonna remember these things. Did you press record? Like seriously, put a sticky tab on your screen that says press record. Mine would say dummy, but press record cause I've not done it. So anyways, if you make a list of prerecording, this is just some of the items you'll find on there. We've talked a lot about these. Yay, I get to have water again. Room temp water is better than ice-cold water, apparently, for your vocal cords, so room temp. Again, there's a lot of theories online about what actually does prevent mouth noises, but we use the ones that I think work best: room temp water. Power on all your gear, and this setup with the mixer, I've got so many things to turn on, and just like two weeks ago, I sat in front of my microphone like I'm ready to record. There's no audio, and I'm like on a live stream, so I'm like hold on, guys, no, I'm good, I know what I'm doing. ...

It took me like a solid minute to be like oh, the mixer's not turned on. I felt like such a dummy, but I've been doing this a long time. Make sure all the gear's on, so just have a list, did you turn on anything that's in your system, your recorder, if that's where you're recording into, turn it on. The noisemakers, sorry, water green apple. Turn off the noisemakers, so heating and air conditioning, close your windows, computer notifications. If your computer makes sound, if you've got Twitter in a browser, anything that makes sound come out of your computer, shut that all down or turn off your notifications. Separate yourself from the computer so those fans are not as intrusive. If you have pets, I worked on a show where dogs were actually like part of the show. It was good ambiance, but if that's not part of your show, maybe separate the animals if ya can. Use battery if the wall power, again, is giving you ground loop issues. Confirm that your SD card is loaded and you have enough space. Again, I would consider formatting as long as you've gotten everything from the previous recording off of there, just make sure you have enough space. Set your levels, we talked about proper gain staging, make sure cause it's so critical. Press record, it's just gonna, I'm just have that over everywhere. You wanna see those numbers rolling, counting up, says stuff is happening, we're using up space. Also make sure that if you're doing a multitrack recording, so this H6 let's me put in four different microphones to it. These are the gain controls for it. Each one of these is on their own track, so when I pull those tracks out of here, everyone's got their own nice track of audio, but these are the channels, and I need to make sure that they are armed and the red light is on. So, you can arm three of these, I got four people in the conversation and not arm one of them, and that person's not being recorded, and then you're like I'm gonna have to use my microphone and the bleed, and it's gonna sound terrible, so make sure all the channels in a multitrack situation are armed and ready to record. Then, room tone, room tone is everything when I'm quiet. When you are ready, and you are set up to record, everyone's in the room, computer's on, everything's ready to go, press record, critical, and then just be quite, 10 to 15 seconds, let the recording capture that sound of the room. That's gonna help in post production cause we can say hey, here's what our room sounds like, let's remove that. Or, if you've got cuts that you wanna cover up, like you're gonna make a cut, and you're like I still need that noise filler to be in there, it can help do that. So, just record a few seconds, everyone be quiet, get your room tone. And, close the unnecessary apps. We talked about VOIP best practices, so have those written down. Disable your auto updates. Airplane mode on your phone, there are apps that record like on your iPhone. You can use an app to connect with someone remotely, but if your phone gets a phone call, a lot of these apps will then take the phone call and turn off the audio to your app, and you've lost your recording. So, once you've connected with your person, throw it into airplane mode or disable, I think like, do not disturb setting, right, so if you're recording that way, but airplane mode. When I get a phone call, so on this lav mic here, if my phone, they transmit, and it picks up through the microphone sometimes. I have all my like guests, I'm like do you have a phone, put it in airplane mode, so that just does a lot of things for you. Batteries, again, make sure you check those. Did you press record? Have fun, absolutely the most part of podcasting. All this sounds so stiff, and you're like ah, you've taken all the fun out of it. Have fun, that's the most important part. That's it, any more questions, that's where you'll find me.

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.