The basics of your podcast begins with recording and editing. All the
podcasts that I have made, are interviews with people, on the telephone, as I
have discussed in earlier sections of the web page. On my computer I have
several programs that allow me to record sound files. The program I use to
record my podcasts is WavePad mentioned in the software section. The
reason I use this program to record the podcasts is WavePad is my favorite
program to edit podcasts. When your are saving mp3 files you loose a bit
of quality. The more times you save the file the more quality you loose.
So using the same program to record and edit the podcasts makes a lot of sense
to me. Besides, WavePad works just fine to record the podcast. I
will proceed with the assumption that you have followed my advice and installed
WavePad and have your audio input hooked up and ready to go.
When your ready to start your recording with WavePad you simply click the
round red record button on the bottom bar. At that time a window opens up
and you have to put the settings in you want to use to record. You have
two choices, one the sample rate and I always record at 44100 and check the
single channel button and click OK. That window then closes and another
window opens up.
WavePad remembers your settings but the first time you need to set them.
On the top left side is where you enter the "File Info" and you will see a place for the file name
and it may be "grayed out" but don't worry about the file name because you can
put that in when you save the file. Just below the file name you will find
a section for the playback settings and a place named "device" and here you
select the computer sound card. Below that is a slider to set the volume.
You want the volume to be as far to the right as possible but not so far as to
cause the red bars to appear.
On the top right side (Recording Settings) is again a box for you to select your computers sound
card. The next box below you want to select "Microphone." Then below
that again adjust the volume. It during your recording you see that the
red bars are appearing you can move this slider back slightly to the left to get
rid of the red bars. Once your actually recording you don't want to change
the recording slider anymore than you absolutely have to.
If you click on the advanced button you will want to check "auto start" and
audio trim." If you look at the bottom right of this window you will see
the elapsed time of the recording running and the recording volume meter.
Since this first time is to just get the setting correct click on the black
square button to stop the recording. Then click on the red X on the top
right to close the recording control. When the window closes you will see
the waveform of the recording you just made. All you have done at this
point is to set the recording control settings so you can now close the test
recording and get ready for your first real test.
Now start the recording again and this time pick up the telephone. You
will be recording the dial tone so click any key on the phone and the dial tone
will go away and say test 1 2 3. Stop the recording and then listen to
what you have recorded by pressing the green play button on the main tool bar on
the bottom. Once you see that everything works you will want to make
a test recording by calling a friend and record the conversation. Be sure
and tell them that your recording the conversation so you don't break any laws.
Different stats and countries have laws about recording telephone conversations
so you want to make sure that the person you are interviewing is aware of the
When your actually recording the podcast you will want to be sure and
instruct the person your interviewing, on the rules of a good interview.
Tell the to relax and talk in a clear strong voice into the telephone
mouthpiece. Tell them to keep the mouth piece close to their mouth.
Also assure them that you will edit the podcast and take out anything they don't
want in the finished podcast. Tell them if they say something that they
did not want to say then to just pause and start over again to make it easy for
you to edit the podcast. You might assure them that you can't add anything
to the podcast but you will delete any mistakes that either of you make so you
both sound as good as possible. One other note: I never let anyone
listen to a podcast interview before I release it to the Internet. Once
the interview is done it's done but I don't tell the interviewee that.
The first thing you want to do when you have recorded a podcast is to save
the file before you do anything else with it. Saving the file with WavePad
is simple and straight forward. Click File - save as - (name the file) -
select mp3 as the file type and click save. Then another window opens and
in this window on the left side make sure the following settings are there,
selected or checked.
Constant bit rate
Bit rate (kbps) 128
Check high quality
On the right side of this box under "Error Protection" select include CRC to
detect errors and then save the file to a folder on your hard drive. I
then copy this raw podcast to a CD so I am sure to never loose the interview.
Once the raw uncut podcast has been safely saved it's time to edit the file
and now the work begins.