How to record a podcast? Complete Guide (2024)

Learn how to record a podcast: plan, choice of hardware (microphones, filters, headsets), editing software and hosting platforms
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Podcasting has experienced a meteoric boom in recent years and that in all regions of the world.

This figure has more than doubled since 2015, testifying to the growing popularity of this audio format, especially on mobile devices.

Faced with this trend, it is essential to master the techniques to know how to record a podcast before embarking on the adventure.

Share of podcast listeners on each continent
Share of podcast listeners in each continent in relation to the overall population - Source: Statista

Recording a podcast may seem complex at first, but in reality, the process is broken down into a few key steps.

Understand how each phase unfolds will allow you to considerably simplify the creation of your show.

Although each episode requires specific preparation, there are basic principles to know before you startr in the recording.

If you want to learn how to start a podcast, I'm going to explain the steps needed to use a podcast software so that your podcast is recorded, edited, and ready to be published on one of the many podcast hosting sites currently available.

Let's get started.

Creating a detailed plan: the key to a successful podcast

Before you start recording a podcast, it is essential to define a clear and structured plan.

Although you can always refine your episode during the editing phase, a well-designed plan will allow you to:

  • Guarantee the fluidity and consistency of your content
  • Cover all the essential points to be addressed
  • Captivate your audience from start to finish

How do you create an effective podcast plan?

You don't have to write a script word for word, but your plan should at a minimum include:

  • A catchy introduction
  • The main themes and sub-themes to be developed
  • Key questions you want to answer
  • The interventions of your possible guests
  • A striking conclusion and a “call to action”

The objective is to structure your thinking to create a logical and relevant thread.

effective podcast plan
Effective podcast plan - Template available under Monday

Always keep your target audience in mind

To design a truly effective podcast plan, you must put yourself in the shoes of your listeners.

Before you start recording a podcast, ask yourself:

  • What are their questions and expectations on the subject?
  • What problems do they face on a daily basis?
  • How can I add value to them through my content?

In you focusing on the needs and interests of your audience, you can create a podcast that resonates with her. Your content will become more relevant and useful, allowing you to stand out and retain your community.

Remember that each episode is an opportunity to start a conversation with your subscribers and to strengthen your status as an expert in your field.

A well-constructed podcast plan is the first step to achieve it.

Essential equipment for a quality podcast

To create a professional podcast that is pleasant to listen to, it is crucial to have a good quality basic equipment.

Here are the essentials to get started creating a podcast the right way:

1. Microphone: the star of your setup

Logitech Blue Yeti
Source: Logitech website

The choice of microphone is essential to obtain a clear and clean sound.

For beginners, a USB condenser microphone like the Logitech Blue Yeti Or the Samson SAQ2U Q2U are a great option.

Also consider investing in a pop filter to reduce mouth sounds and a shockproof holder for minimize unwanted vibrations.

Now let's see why.

2. Pop filter: for quality sound

Amazon - Neewer Anti-Pop Filter
Source: Amazon - Neewer

To ensure professional sound quality, using a pop filter is crucial when recording a podcast.

This technical device plays an essential role in attenuating the explosive sounds produced by certain consonants such as “B”, “P” and “T”. When these consonants are spoken, they expel a flow of air that, by striking directly at the microphone, can generate a dull and unpleasant noise.

By positioning an anti-pop filter between you and the microphone, you significantly reduce these noises, thus making the sound clearer and more pleasant to listen to for your audience.

3. Headphones: your best ally

Technica ATH-M50X audio headphones
Source: Amazon - Technica ATH-M50X

A headset allows you to control your voice and that of your guests in real time, while ensuring the quality of the sound.

Preferably opt for a model with noise reduction in order to isolate yourself from ambient noise.

4. Audio interface and recording software: the essentials

To connect your microphone to your computer and record your podcast, you will need an audio interface and dedicated software that each has a mixer:

Popular options include:

  • Audacity (free, Windows or Mac operating system)
  • GarageBand (free, Mac)
  • Adobe Audition (for a fee)
  • Zoom (or theone of its many alternatives (such as Skype) for remote interviews

Be sure to choose software that can handle various audio file formats without loss, and that offers editing features to fine-tune your episodes.

5. Computer and accessories: the little extras that make the difference

Obviously, a computer is required to know how to record, edit, and publish your podcast.

But don't forget the accessories that will make your life as a podcaster easier, like:

  • A microphone stand for optimal positioning
  • Acoustic panels to improve the sound quality of your recording space
  • A portable recorder (or your smartphone, or laptop) for interviews on the go
Zoom H4n Pro recorder
Source: Amazon - Zoom H4n Pro

6. How much should you budget for your podcast equipment?

If you can easily spend a fortune on high-end hardware to create a podcast, it's entirely possible to set up a quality setup at a lower cost.

The key is to find the equipment that fits your needs and budget.

Start with the basics (mic, headphones, software) and then gradually improve your setup over time and as your podcast succeeds.

The important thing is to get started, to create a podcast with quality content and to improve yourself continuously.

Tips and tricks for successful recording

Once you have your equipment in place and your podcast plan in place, it's time to take action! Here are some tips for getting the most out of your recording sessions.

How to use your microphone well: the basics you need to know

  • Position yourself at a reasonable distance from the microphone (about 10-15 cm), so as to be audible without being too close.
  • Speak clearly, with natural volume and flow.
  • Avoid sudden actions that could generate extraneous noises.
  • If you're recording in a room with difficult acoustics, Get close to a wall or a piece of furniture to attenuate the echoes.

Recording a podcast remotely: the solutions

If you can't bring all the stakeholders together in the same place, don't panic!

There are several options for recording your podcast remotely:

  • Use several quality USB mics, each on your own, to obtain distinct and usable audio tracks.
  • Opt for recording software online like Riverside, Squadcast or Zencastr, which allows you to obtain a final, studio-quality rendering.
  • As a last resort, use Zoom or Skype, making sure to Set the audio correctly to limit sound compression.

Whatever your choice, take the time to test before you start, to avoid unpleasant surprises!

Pause and resume: good reflexes

It is common to have to pause a recording temporarily, whether to come to your senses, consult your notes or let background noise pass.

To ensure smooth audio editing, consider:

  • Use a digital recorder with editing functions, to easily remove white space and extraneous noise.
  • Make a short silent pause before continuing, to facilitate the identification of the various sockets during assembly.
  • Stay calm and focused to quickly get back to the flow of your speech.

With a bit of organization and forethought, you will manage to obtain a quality recording that is pleasant to listen to and to edit!

Setting up your podcast: for or against?

While some podcasters choose to broadcast their raw episodes, without any audio editing, the majority see several advantages:

  • Remove mistakes, blanks, speech tics, and extraneous sounds for a made more professional.
  • Reorganize your ideas for a better structure and a more powerful message.
  • Add sound elements (jingle, music, excerpts) to boost the rhythm and identity of the show.

Well-done audio editing, even minimal, goes a long way in strengthening the perceived quality and attractiveness of your podcast. It's up to you to find the right balance between authenticity and perfection!

Exporting and distributing: Preferred formats

Once your episode has been edited and validated, all you have to do is export it in a format adapted to its online broadcast.

The most common audio file formats are:

  • MP3 : a good compromise between audio quality and file size
  • AAC : a newer format, offering excellent quality at the same size

Choose a “podcast quality” setting or equivalent in your editing software, and check that the exported file is compatible with your hosting platform.

All you have to do is upload your episode to a dedicated service (Buzzsprout, Spreaker, Acast...), reference it on the main listening platforms (iTunes, Spotify, Deezer...) and share it on your social networks. Your podcast is in the starting blocks, ready to take over the world!

Popular listening platforms

There are several popular platforms where you can listen to podcasts, the chart below represents the popularity of each platform by age group:

Preferred streaming platforms for podcast consumption
Preferred streaming platforms for podcast consumption - Source: Statista

Each offers unique features and can be accessed via the web, mobile applications, or even connected devices.

Here are the main options:

  • Apple Podcasts : Available on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad) and via the Apple website, this platform is one of the most used with a large library of podcasts of all genres.
  • Spotify : In addition to music, Spotify offers a wide selection of podcasts. Accessible via applications on smartphones (iOS, Google Play), tablets, computers and on certain car models.
  • Google Podcasts : Easily accessible for Android users via the Google Podcasts application, and for all users via its website.
  • Ausha : Specially designed for listening to and managing podcasts, Ausha is accessible via its website and offers practical tools for both listeners and podcast creators.
  • Deezer : Known for music, Deezer also offers a nice selection of podcasts in various categories. Available via its application (Web, iOS, Google Play) on many devices.
  • Amazon Music : Amazon Music subscribers can listen to ad-free podcasts on the Amazon Music app, available on mobiles, tablets, and via Alexa smart speakers.
  • SoundCloud : A platform that allows creators to share their podcasts directly with their audience. Accessible via the website and the mobile application.

These platforms all offer varied listening experiences and are accessible globally, allowing listeners to enjoy podcasts wherever they are and regardless of their device.

Different types of podcasts (+ examples)

When starting a new podcast, one of the first things you need to do is decide what type of podcast you want to create.

Before you hit the record button, it's essential to understand the different types of podcasts that exist, as this will help you shape the content and format of your show.

Discover the main types of podcasts and their characteristics:

1. Interview podcast

Interview podcasts highlight conversations with guests, enriching content with diverse perspectives.

  • Very popular format based on exchanges with guests
  • Allows you to gather unique stories, stories, and perspectives
  • Can be done in person or remotely via dedicated software
  • Offers listeners the opportunity to learn from the guest experience
The Joe Rogan Experience
Podcast: The Joe Rogan Experience

🔥 Popular examples:

  • The Joe Rogan Experience“🇺🇸: Hosted by Joe Rogan, this podcast offers discussions with a variety of guests, including scientists, artists, and athletes.
  • Armchair Expert“🇺🇸: Dax Shepard invites celebrities, journalists, and academicians to explore their stories in a relaxed setting.
  • Transfer“🇫🇷: Slate.fr features personal stories told by the people who lived them, offering a profound insight into their unique experiences.
  • Le Gratin“🇫🇷: Pauline Laigneau shares tips and tricks with her guests through their experiences to succeed professionally and personally.
  • La Poudre“🇫🇷: Lauren Bastide interviews influential women in a series of intimate and profound conversations.

🎙️ Recommended platform: Riverside, known for its superior recording quality and remote recording capabilities, which is ideal for capturing clear interviews with guests who are not physically present.

2. Narrative podcast

Narrative podcasts captivate audiences with structured stories and detailed sound productions.

  • Format similar to an audio soap opera
  • Tell a story in an immersive and engaging way
  • Primarily aimed at an audience looking for entertainment
  • Uses elaborate production techniques (sound effects, music)
Hondelatte raconte
Podcast: Hondelate Raconte

🔥 Popular examples:

  • Serial“🇺🇸: A narrative podcast that tells a true story over multiple episodes, focusing on in-depth criminal case investigations.
  • Hondelatte Raconte“🇫🇷: Christophe Hondelatte narrates news stories, criminal stories or social phenomena with a captivating narrative approach.
  • Phaune Radio“🇫🇷: Explore immersive sound worlds through stories and legends for a new auditory journey.
  • Apocalypse according to Dorothy“🇫🇷: A humorous and captivating post-apocalyptic story.

🎙️ Recommended platform: Ausha, which provides robust tools for managing complex audio content and effectively distributing it across a variety of platforms to reach a broad audience.

3. News podcast

Intended to act as a link to inform listeners about the latest events, these podcasts require quick and regular publication.

  • Focuses on a specific topic or niche
  • Introduce a variety of experts in each episode to deepen the theme
  • Allows auditors to enrich their knowledge in a specific field
  • Requires regular monitoring to stay up to date with industry news
Podcast Code Source
Podcast: Source code

🔥 Popular examples:

  • The Daily“🇺🇸: Produced by The New York Times, this podcast offers an in-depth look at today's important news with interviews and analysis.
  • Up First“🇺🇸: NPR offers a summary of the most pressing news, perfect for a quick morning update.
  • The balls on the table“🇫🇷: This podcast addresses gender issues with a focus on masculinity.
  • What's the girl“🇫🇷: Look at current events and culture from a feminist perspective.
  • Source code“🇫🇷: Le Parisien delves into the stories behind the major news headlines.

🎙️ Recommended platform: Buzzsprout, which facilitates quick and simplified online publishing, crucial for news content.

4. Podcast tutorial

Ideal for teaching, this type of podcast explains procedures or knowledge in detail.

  • Dedicated to learning and developing skills
  • Offer step-by-step explanations to guide listeners
  • Ideal for those who want to acquire new knowledge
  • Requires proven expertise from the facilitator on the topics covered
Podcast : Stuff You Should Know
Podcast: Stuff You Should Know

🔥 Popular examples:

  • Stuff You Should Know“🇺🇸: Explore how things work and discuss fascinating topics from popular culture to science.
  • How To Money“🇺🇸: Provides practical advice on financial management, targeted at young adults.
  • Things to know“🇫🇷: Offers short and instructive lessons on a multitude of topics.
  • Vlan!“🇫🇷: Experts come to explain marketing and psychological concepts to better understand the modern consumer.

🎙️ Recommended platform: Ausha, excellent for its analytics that allow creators to track engagement and optimize their educational content.

5. Discussion podcast

Engaging multiple people in debates or discussions, this format enriches content with multiple opinions.

  • Stages exchanges between several speakers
  • Encourages the sharing of opinions and thoughts on a variety of topics
  • Encourages listener interaction and participation
  • Requires good dynamics and compatibility between participants
Podcast : SuperHeros
Podcast: Superheroes

🔥 Popular examples:

  • The Argument“🇺🇸: Debates on social and political issues led by New York Times journalists and experts.
  • Pod Save America“🇺🇸: Hosted by former White House staff members under Obama, this podcast discusses American politics
  • FloodCast“🇫🇷: Florent Bernard discusses everything and nothing with guests, often with a humorous tone.
  • Love your race“🇫🇷: Rokhaya Diallo and Grace Ly discuss issues of race and identity.
  • Superheroes“🇫🇷: Julien Cernobori conducts intimate interviews pretending to be a superhero who listens to people's problems.

🎙️ Recommended platform: Riverside, which allows multiple audio tracks to be recorded separately to ensure high sound quality during group discussions.

6. Podcast fiction

These podcasts use storytelling and sound effects to create immersive experiences.

  • Offers scripted content and original stories
  • Call on actors to embody the various characters
  • Offers an immersive listening experience thanks to careful sound production
  • Allows you to diversify the content offer and to reach an audience that loves creativity
Podcast : Welcome to Night Vale
Podcast: Welcome to Night Vale

🔥 Popular examples:

  • Welcome to Night Vale“🇺🇸: Presents news reports from a fictional city, combining humor, mystery and the supernatural.
  • Limetown“🇺🇸: Followed by an investigation into the disappearance of more than 300 people in a city of neuroscientific research, this podcast combines suspense and intrigue.
  • Homecoming“🇺🇸: An audio fiction with Catherine Keener and Oscar Isaac, centered on a mysterious reintegration center for soldiers.
  • Anyway, I am in PLS“🇫🇷: A fictional podcast telling the daily adventures of a young woman.
  • The Cosmos and Me“🇫🇷: Futuristic stories exploring our relationship with the universe.
  • Amalia“🇫🇷: Psychological thriller following a journalist's investigation into a mysterious disappearance.

🎙️ Recommended platform: Podbean, which offers large storage and bandwidth to handle the large audio files needed for elaborate fiction productions.

Summary.

To optimize the reach of your podcast, feel free to reuse its content on your blog or website.

This cross-media strategy will allow you to attract new listeners and promote your brand in a complementary format.

Some podcasters even go so far as to record a video via a video conferencing software, publish it on YouTube, then extract the audio track for their podcast.

While recording a podcast may seem daunting at first glance, you'll find that by following the steps detailed in this guide, you'll be able to produce a high-quality show with professional sound.

Whether you are new or experienced in the art of podcasting, always keep in mind that the key to success is the quality of your content.

Your priority should be to offer your audience a program that provides them with assistance or content of real added value.

To get you started right now, here are two of the most popular audio recording software and podcast hosting platforms:

Finally, here is the link to an article comparing Podbean, Libsyn, and Buzzsprout to choose the solution that best suits your needs.

Podcasting opens the doors to an exciting world, so don't wait any longer to share your voice and record your first episode!

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