I have been bitten by the podcast bug, and even though audio mp3 podcasts seem to be soundly trashed by the ease of vlogging, the following is my workflow of my podcast “Everybody Else Is Too Loud1“.

A little back-story first: from my musical hobby I have amassed some respectable gear, and even though your mileage may vary, if you want quality results there are a few things you’ll need:

Sound card

The integrated sound chip that you have already installed on your mother board is best for playing the system alert sounds, but if you want to record your voice so that it is pleasing to listen to, you’ll need to make this upgrade. There are prices to match every budget, but look to spend $100.

I’ll spare the technical details, but be sure that you can sample 24bit, 96khz. You will “downsample” this when making your mp3, but the logic goes that if you capture “better bits”, the compressed end result will be richer.

Good microphone

Garbage in, garbage out. There are fundamentally two types: condensor and dynamic mics. I have both but only use the condensor mics from MXL, although you could get a dynamic mic for less; and they are more rugged.
The sensitivity of the condensor mic requires a windscreen or pop filter, due to the ungainly way it captures plosives.

DAW software

The sky is the limit here and a more detailed round-up is beyond the scope of this post. Recommended reading is “Podcast for Dummies”. There is an open-source (free) option called Audacity, and Mac users may opt for Garageband for the recording and editing.

I’m chiefly concerned with the quickest possible recording and editing. This means that my five minute podcast takes no more than one hour to record, edit and upload to the podcast’s website.

In support of flattening these steps, most DAWs allow the creating of template files. This is typically helpful when composing music and you have wired all your MIDI instruments to connect automatically. However I find this to be less useful for podcasting than setting the software to open the “last file used” – that way I merely delete the previous week’s main audio talk-track and retain the consistent show opener and closer, and music beds.

For recording on Friday night , I start amassing notes on my iPhone of topics of interest approximately a day or two before; it’s typically good to have one more than needed. If there is a particular webcomic I want to highlight or industry news that is particularly compelling, I’ll note it here.

Finally, I found that as I wrap editing, it’s pretty undesirable to start typing the requisite show notes, so lately I’ve been starting the “Draft” post status in WordPress and use it as my talking points, to keep me on track. The WordPress plugin that makes it all possible is Blubrry Powerpress.

Since this is relatively short podcast, this is merely a process that works for me.
If you have a podcast and have any tips, please let me know what works for you!

1. The title of my podcast was inspired by the Who song “The Quiet One”, by John Entwistle and paraphrases the lyric “I ain’t quiet, everybody else is too loud.”