Sound and Music Production for Podcasts

Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular. A podcast is a pre-recorded audio program available online. There are many similarities with traditional radio (some podcasts can even be live!), but there are many also differences.

First of all, a podcast is available on the internet only. Secondarily, many of these programs are independent productions. In order to produce a podcast, you need some basic equipment, such as a microphone and a computer. But if you want to achieve a professional sounding program, you’ll need to dive a bit deeper into production techniques.

In this article, we’ll outline some of the biggest issues that you may come across, giving you practical tips, and helping you to make the right decisions to end up with a great sounding podcast.

Sound Effects

Once you have recorded your voice, you can add interesting sound effects, to make the narration more engaging for the listener’s ears. For example, you can stress important moments of the program with a cascade of chime tubular bells, a funny pop or even fake applause.

You can browse one of the many effects libraries available on the internet, where you can find many sources of inspirations, such as fancy alarm clocks trills, drums fills and nature sounds. The only limit is your imagination.

Remember to mix the effects at a reasonable volume, not too low or too high, and do not insert too many of them to avoid a “cartoon” effect.

Music Selection for Podcasts

If you want to include music in your program, remember that you have to comply with the copyright law. If you are under a strict budget, you can still find royalty-free great tracks that you can play on your podcast.

There are websites specially dedicated to tracks that hold a Creative Commons licence, and you can use them for free, even if in most cases attribution is required. It’s actually a nice way to promote upcoming artists and deliver fresh music to your listeners.

The songs available on the internet are already mastered and do not need additional processing to be mixed with the other audio tracks. To avoid silence, start the song at a lower volume, while still talking, then bring up the volume when the sung part begins.

Don’t forget to add an intro to the program. This can be done by playing a few seconds of music or producing a dedicated intro, which can include the name of the podcast and the host.