Studio #8 Online Resources for New Podcasters
Today’s episode is going to be a quick one where I go through some of the best places to find online help for getting into podcasting. When I was getting started a couple of years ago I spent months looking online for help, and one of the things I noticed was while there were some websites out there, there were some YouTube channels, there were some social follows that put me in the right direction. There were just so many things I just didn’t even know what to look for.
I didn’t know what questions to ask.
I wasn’t sure yet who was doing a really great job of podcasting, who I wanted to model after, and where could I really go to find the answers that I needed, and so what I’ve been doing is kind of what most people do. You know, saving bookmarks, jotting things down, subscribing to things, different websites, different channels, and trying to make sense of all of this different information, all these different approaches, all these different styles for recording, editing and producing podcasting.
That was kind of the genesis behind what this show was supposed to be about and what it is about, and my website daringcreative.com, and so what I’m doing on that site is I’m putting together an educational section, a learning section, where I’ll have all of these resources linked to, so you can go to one place, you can find all the things that helped me get started. While my website’s still continuing to evolve, and I’m building out that content, what I wanted to do was just give you a sense of some of the resources that I found really useful when I was just getting started, and so I’m going to talk about those today.
Without a doubt, the biggest influence on my in terms of learning how to produce podcasts professionally has come from Jason Snell. Jason is a writer. Well, he’s a former writer for Macworld. He now has his own website, sixcolors.com, where he talks mostly about Mac and Apple related news. He does have a section on his site, though, related just to podcasting, and it’s where I’ve learned so many things about how to record, what equipment to buy, how to kind of build your work flow so that you’re getting the most out of your time, you’re saving time, you’re doing quality edits. I’m going to link to his site specifically in the notes for this, but if you go to sixcolors.com, and then you click on his link at podcasting in the nav bar you can get right to this page.
Some of the things that I’ve learned from Jason’s site was about using Cast for doing remote recording which is cast is a great tool where you can connect up with other people no matter where they are. As long as they have a Chrome web browser and they have a headset you can get recordings that sound almost as good as if you’re in the same room with them no matter where they are. He covers a lot of news about what Apple’s doing relative to podcasts. How they’re reorganizing iTunes, how they’re kind of splitting podcasts out, so there’s some great information there that’s very current and timely.
He produces his own network of podcasts. I believe the network is called The Incomparable Podcast Network, and he’s got a bunch of shows, does a great job of being a host and a guest, and talks a little bit about his editing process, some of the equipment that he uses, I learned all about the Zoom H6 recorder which is the newest tool that I’ve added to my own podcasting kine of arsenal if you will. Different tools on the Mac. One of them Audio Hijack which is a great tool for capturing audio and rerouting it through your Mac in different interesting ways. All the way down to even editing podcasts on IOS, so if all you have is an iPhone or an iPad he talks about software that you can get on those platforms. Some of his own experiments as well as he has videos and samples and all kinds of stuff, so if you’re in the Apple ecosystem I definitely recommend going to six colors. Great resources there. Even if you’re not interested in day to day Mac news his podcasting section is fantastic.
The next website that I think is worth a mention is Marco Arment’s website which is at Marco.org. One of the things that I’ve learned from him is all about podcasting microphones. Now, I did my own episode number six where I compared some microphones that I have accessible to me. He’s gone in and reviewed dozens and dozens of microphones, has audio samples, he keeps his reviews up to date, and he has a really nice ranking system that he’s kind of put together, so if you go to Marco.org/podcasting-microphones you can get to that content, or you can look in the notes.
He has very different views about what makes a good podcasting microphone compared to the views that I have. My favorite mic is the Shure SM7B which he has kind of in the middle of his list which is surprising to me, but he’s tested out tons of mics. Way more mics than I’ve ever tested, and he’s got audio samples and things too, and so I definitely recommend taking a look at his site. Maybe in conjunction with the Wire Cutter. Maybe compare his reviews to what The Wirecutter have to kind of get a sense of what people are saying about these different microphones, because like I said I love the Shure SM7B. Sounds like he really wanted to love it, but it just didn’t work in his setup, so that’s another great resource that I would check out for sure.
The next two are not specifically related to podcasting. They’re related more to home recording because a lot of people that do podcasting also record out of their house, or they have maybe a small do it yourself studio environment. I find that these are actually really good resources. One of the things that I also wanted to do when I got started was not limit myself to just learning from people that talk about podcasting. I wanted to learn from people that do audio engineering, recording, production. If you’re working on putting together an album, and you’re recording vocals, and you’re processing vocals, those vocals are going to sound pretty damn good whether they’re for a podcast or they’re for a pop record.
I think that studying people that produce really high quality audio recordings is valuable, and so the two channels that I would recommend … One of them is fun. It’s put together by Rode Microphones, and it’s called Studio Rescue, and I’ll have the link in the notes. You can check it out. Basically what Studio Rescue is is it’s almost like Pimp My Ride if you remember that show, or one of those shows where people come in and they fix up your house, or they change something around. Where they basically come into your home studio, and they show you how to set it up. It’s really important that you have your studio environment and your workflow set up in a way that’s conducive and that’s effective for you, so I definitely think that this is a really cool program to watch. It’s not specific to podcasting, but it’s very specific to recording.
The other channel that I think is worth a look is Recording Revolution on YouTube. You could also go to recordingrevolution.com. This channel has a lot of information about the technical aspects of production. I’ve learned a lot about compression, EQ, noise gates, the mixing. All the different things that are part of podcast production. Not necessarily the things that you think about all the time, but when you actually get in you’re working with the raw audio files. You want to make them sound as good as you can. You want to assemble them, so that they all kind of marry together into this nice production. I’ve learned a lot by just going to this guy’s YouTube channel. He’s got a lot of great information here. Again, it’s more from a music production standpoint, but if you apply what he talks about to your podcast production, it will make your stuff sound great.
The final resource that I wand to point out is brand new. It’s the New York Times podcast club, and it is a closed group on Facebook. If you would like an invite I can arrange one for you, or you can just look it up on Facebook. You can do a search for New York Times podcast club, and request an invite that way. One of the things that I really like about it is it’s full of podcast listeners, so at the time of recording it has 15,320 members. The idea behind the podcast club is that each week the organizers of this club who are people that work at the New York Times, they’ll suggest a podcast for everyone to listen to, so in a way it works like a book club where everyone is listening to the same podcast one week, and then giving their critique on it. It is an open forum. You can ask questions there, and you can read, and you can kind of see what podcast listeners, people like you, what they think about various podcasts. Different styles, different types of production, different topics.
You can ask your own questions, and each week on Saturday you can promote your own podcast there, so it’s a large group of people. I really like it. I like how it’s moderated. Everyone’s really pleasant. No one’s a jerk. There’s no politics like most of the things that you see on Facebook these days, and it’s just a great place to kind of get a pulse on what podcast listeners think, what they’re looking for in their shows, and maybe will give you some inspiration.