Know-How of PodCasting! Audacity to the rescue!
In yesterday’s post, we saw the basic requirements on how to podcast for free. In this final part of the article we will look at the details of how to go about setting up a basic podcast. With this knowledge, and with the knowledge or information you are hoping to convey to your listeners (with some stunning personality of course!), you will possess the final two elements you need to create a successful podcast.
After you have connected your microphone, installed drivers where necessary, and installed Audacity by clicking on the downloaded file, you will need to run the LAME MP3 Encoder file you downloaded. This, like the Audacity installation, is simple. You just need to take a note of where the Encoder installs to.
Now start up Audacity. Click on “Edit” in the top menu and then “Preferences”. Under the “Audio I/O” tab you will need to select your preferred playback and recording devices. The microphone (or headset) will be your choice for the latter. Also, ensure that “2 Stereo” is selected under the “Channels” option.
Now click the “Quality” tab and make sure the default sample rate is set to 44100Hz. Press “OK” to exit the Preferences box.
You are now ready to record. Press the record button (the filled red circle) and say a few words by way of introduction, and then press the stop button (yellow filled square). You can listen to the playback by pressing the play button (green filled triangle).
There are two more things you need to do before your recording is of the right quality and in the correct format. Let’s take a quick look at those now.
Firstly, you can probably hear some kind of hissing in the background of your recording. You should try not to breathe on the microphone when you record, but even if you are careful there is still normally some “noise” in the background.
You can get rid of this noise by selecting a part of your recording (you can highlight it with the mouse much the same way you would a word or passage in Word) to “tell” the software which part is noise. You will need to select a flat part of the blue line on the track – a few seconds if possible. If you have no flat part, then record another track with some silent parts in it.
Once you have selected this silent part of the track you should go up to the menu and choose “Effect” and then “Noise Removal…” – then click the “Get Noise Profile” button to tell Audacity that the bit you have highlighted is the sound of the noise. This may take a few seconds to build. When it is done the box will disappear and you will need to go back to the “Effect” and “Noise Removal…” option. You will now see that “Step 2” is active. Here you should move the slider a little to the left and then press the “Preview” button. If the preview audio sounds clear then click the “Remove Noise” button to clean the whole track.
Once this is done you can go to the “File” menu and choose to export the file as an MP3. The first time you do this you will be prompted to install the LAME MP3 Encoder. Just navigate to the folder into which you installed it and you will be able to save your audio in MP3 format.
Of course, you can add music as well. There are sites which allow use of music for free – you should not use music in a podcast without permission. You can also add interviews by recording Skype conversations with Audacity.
All you have to do now is upload your MP3 file. Once this is done, and with a bit of promotion, your podcast will soon be sounding in the earphones and speakers of hundreds and perhaps even thousands of people across the globe.