Monday, June 30, 2014

SzG Podcasting 101: Getting Started

Both Bat and I have now been Podcasting for a little over a year and a half and through all of that time we have made MANY mistakes and had numerous learning opportunities.  Being self taught and starting off with no prior experience we both have had to learn as we go.

With all of that said we wanted to maybe give others out there a little bit of help by offering up our experience and showing others how to Podcast.  We are by no means experts, we are far from it.  But we put out a podcast on a weekly basis and people listen and are able to find it, so I'd say we are at least somewhat competent.  As with everything on the internet this is merely opinion but it is given with the best of intent.  Hopefully you find something worth while here and if you have any suggestions or comments please feel free to leave them below or send us an email

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” 
― Thomas Edison

You can break this down in about 3 To Do Lists or suggestion sections: Before you sit down and Podcast,  when you are to Podcast  and When you have finished recording your Podcast 

Before You Podcast
  • The first thing we suggest is Picking Concept.  This is where you pick what is your Podcast going to be about about?  Make sure this is something you are passionate about and that you will enjoy talking about at length.  This can always change down the line but its good to start off with an idea
  • Next thing you are going to want to do is pick a name and making a logo/image. Do research and use Google, it's your friend.  Try and find something that you can make your own and make sure to pick or create some sort of logo to go along with it.  Even if its something simple, something is better than nothing.                                                                                                                                     The specs required for podcast logos are  1400 x 1400-pixel JPEG or PNG
  • Set a schedule.  This includes picking when you record (figure in the time for setup and wrap up) as well as when you plan on posting your podcast.  This sets a standard for both you and your listeners.
  • Gather or purchase your Equipment.  This can be the biggest road block for some but really you can get by with pretty cheap equipment to start.  
    • USB Mics: we used Rockband game mics about $12-15
    • Mic Stands:  These don't have to be fancy, just sturdy enough to keep your mic steady $5-25+
    • Windscreens:  These things are cheap at about $1-5 but improve the quality of sound by reducing the P's and B's or Pops) they are the little fuzzy balls on the ends of mics 
    • Pop Filters:  these are good to have if you can afford the extra money, about $20, but if you have Windscreens and are on a budget these aren't necessary 
    • Table: this sounds so silly but get a comfy table that you can set your mics on and make sure its comfortable and spacious so you don't hit it while you record
  • Choose your program:  Krystal vs Audacity 
    • Both of these programs allow you to record/edit/produce a finished show.
    • The big difference is how many Mics you want to record with.  With Audacity you can only have one input/mic so that means either you use a omi directional mic or share.
    • Krystal on the other hand allows you to essentially have as many mics as you want, though I suggest keeping it to 3 or under.
    • I have no used both extensively and can tell you Audacity is the better (and much more stable) program to use but if you are wanting to use multiple USB mics and can't get a sound board Krystal is the way to go.  Below are some basic Tutorials that show the different interfaces.  There are TONS more out there
    • Here is a Video of Editing with Kyrstal

    • Here is a Video of Editing with Audacity.

When You Are Ready To Record.

  •  Do a Test Recording.  We recorded 2 episodes just so we had some to listen to and critique.  We never posted ours as they were basically experiments which really helped us work out some issues before going live.  Use these as learning tools.  Listen to yourself and learn your own pet peeves
  • Pod Faux Pas.  Generally I am the one who is editing and publishing the finished product so that involves me listening to some or part of some episodes over and over again and I start to notice things that you might otherwise forget while you are podcasting.
    • Be wary of hitting/knocking your table or mics as they will pick up everything.
    •  Choose a good location by picking some place repetitively quite and limit background noise.
    • Try and avoid dead air, though this can always be cut out after the podcast has been recorded.
    • Try and keep your voice at a normal level to avoid audio spikes (i.e. refrain from screaming or yelling randomly or getting really close to the mic)
  • The whole idea is that you want to make your Podcast as easy to listen to as possible
When You Have Finished Your Podcast
  • Post Production can easily be the most time consuming but it is all about how much you want to tweak everything.
  • Levilator is a handy tools to help you balance out your levels to make everything as even as possible.  It is really easy to use, free and works pretty damn well 
    • open program>drag and drop WAV file>wait>ding your files done
    • just be ware that this will balance out ALL sounds present so if you have a lot of background noise it will try and balance that along with your voice.
  • If you are wanting to add music or sound effects to either Krystal or Audacity these files MUST be in WAV format.  But if you have a MP3 file that you need changed to WAV just look up conversion sites like this one 
  • Lastly when you have that everything the way you want it you export your podcast.  This will be in WAV format imagine a 1hr show at about 600MB.  Now you want to convert it to MP3.
  • For converting I use ITunes.  Just follow this Guide to set up your preferences and simply drag the WAV file into ITunes, right click and select create MP3 and now your 600Mb file is 60Mb and its ready to post!
  • There are so many ways to post your your new podcast but for beginners we recommend using a Podcast Hosting Site like Podomatic/Podbean/Soundcloud/Libsyn 
  • We originally used Podomatic because they offered a Free basic tier that gave us enough space to host 10 hour long episodes.  But all of these sites make posting and spreading your podcast really easy and they give you the final step in getting your podcast to the masses, Your RSS Feed.
    • really basic, your RSS Feed is the Radio Station frequency that you give to places like ITunes or Stitcher so that they will display your show and automatically update as new episodes come out
  • Once you have your RSS Feed its time to spread your Podcast (there is about a 2 week period from submission before your podcast shows up on either service)
    • Go here if you want to submit your Podcast for Itunes
    • Go here if you want to submit your Podcast for Stitcher  

And that is all Folks you have now created, recorded and posted your very own podcast.  There is so much more out there and so many differing ways to podcast so don't get to stuck in your ways.  Learn and grow but most importantly get started!

Hopefully this has been helpful and if it has please share and comment.  You can also reach us at as well as find us on Facebook or Twitter.
you can also Tweet me @krennnkalis

Check out our Podcast Sprecken ze Geek which posts every Monday morning at 5am on Itunes and Stiticher.

Co-Host of the Sprecken ze Geek Podcast

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