One of the ways to cheaply record a podcast that has multiple hosts is to use Skype, the voice over internet protocol (voip). I’m using this technique when I record Photo Share Podcast with Sandra, my co-host. This post will try to steer you away from some of the mistakes we’ve made.
There’s really no point in me explaining the mechanics of recording a Skype call. Many others have done it, plus I could only tell you how to do it on a Mac. Also, I’ve found that the recording software I use, Audio Hijack Pro, is updated so often that the directions are constantly evolving (getting easier). If you want more information about recording a Skype call, you can look here, here, here and here.
One thing I haven’t found is advice on what mistakes to avoid. Here are our 5 mistakes to avoid, in no particular order:
- Use a good headset. In general, I recommend spending about $50 for your headset. Remember, the better the headset, the better the quality of audio it will capture. I use a Plantronics headset, but I’m sure you can find other headsets with good “dynamic range”.
- When recording your audio turn off speakers and any other electronic equipment that may interfere with the audio. When I forgot to turn the speakers off, a low hum was captured, which I didn’t hear until I tried to edit. Other possible interference sources could be dimmer switches, external hard drives, and other unshielded electric cords.
- This is pretty basic, but remember to turn off any fans or other sources of “white noise”. When you try to edit the audio those noise sources will no longer be white; the smallest background noises can be captured.
- When using a headset, keep the microphone adjusted slightly away from your mouth and control the cord so it doesn’t move around when you’re talking. I had to re-record an entire podcast when I made the mistake of thinking that standing would improve my vocal quality, but didn’t remember the headset cord knocking around on the desk.
- Before sitting down to record your first podcast using Skype, make time to create at least one demo show, from soup to nuts. I found putting together a complete podcast for only demo purposes to be valuable in identifying problems and elements that I want to improve in the future.
I hope you find this useful in your podcasting endeavors. And if you did, please consider subscribing to the Netcast Blog Feed.