Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you...you're just helping re-supply our family's travel fund.
Wondering how to improve podcast audio quality? Picture this: You’ve decided to start your own podcast. You’ve come up with a unique idea for a show, you’ve convinced a couple of friends to join you and you’re excited to get going and record your first episode for the world to hear. Before you do, stop for a minute and think about the reasons why you keep listening to a podcast—or more importantly why you don’t keep listening. Chances are, if you listen to a lot of podcasts, you’ve unsubscribed to more than one in the past because of the quality of the recording not being up to standard. We’ll help you avoid this happening to your podcast by looking at a few ways you can improve the quality of your podcast recordings.
How to Improve Podcast Audio Quality
Consider Your Equipment Choices
It’s time to get out your wallet for the first part of setting up a podcast because you’re going to need to buy some equipment and it doesn’t come cheap. The more money you spend isn’t going to guarantee you a great quality podcast recording, but realistically going cheap on what you buy is going to have a noticeable impact. More important than the brand name and cost of the equipment, however, is the type of equipment.
It’s very difficult to explain the nuances of the different types of equipment in a few words, but here are some questions you can ask yourself to lead to some more research of the available options.
- Do you need a condenser microphone or dynamic microphone?
- Do you want a microphone that is plug and play or do you want DAC to have more control?
- How many people will be recording and how many devices do you need?
- Does your microphone have a built-in pop shield or do you need an external one?
Take a Hard Look at Your Recording Space
Just as important as your microphone and associated equipment is your recording space. Those in the business of recording audio have all heard stories of people recording their vocals in cupboards or sitting in the walk-in closet surrounded by wonderfully soft noise-dampening clothing, and there’s good reason for it. The environment you’re recording in matters a lot.
Hard surfaces like tiling and bare walls create reverberation and echo and make recording clean vocal very difficult, and even more so if you’re using a sensitive condenser microphone. You need to be able to soften the surfaces of your recording space with carpeting, blankets, and soft materials to increase the intelligibility of your recordings. If you can’t then strongly consider making use of a podcast studio that will offer a full professional recording studio for you to use for your podcast recording. No matter where you are, you will be able to find a podcast studio to hire in your area.
It’s Got a Lot to Do with Software
Improving podcast quality has a lot to do with buying better equipment and improving your recording space, but it can help to have these things aided along by recording software that goes beyond just software to edit your recordings. Choosing software to improve the quality of the recording side of podcast production can often mean spending more money, but there are other ways of getting more from your equipment without breaking the bank, particularly if you have a bit of technical know-how.
If you’re doing live podcast shows, then simple free-for-end-user software like VB Audio’s Voicemeeter Banana can offer a small amount of customization to the brightness and intelligibility of your audio, as well as offering live mixing between various audio sources. Combining this with a few VST (virtual studio technology) plugins to give yourself technology like audio noise gates usually reserved for expensive DAC hardware and can make all the difference. Even if you are recording your shows to edit afterwards and don’t do live recordings, don’t discount these options because they can make your post-recording edits easier.
A Script or a Bullet Point List?
One last thing to think about and consider that is outside of equipment, recording space and software is how you structure your podcast and how freely you let things flow versus how tightly you script it. Some podcasters meticulously script their shows, leaving just a few minutes for discussion and free conversation, while others rely on bullet points to guide them and just wing it. Consider the type of show you’re making and what will suit it better. Don’t be afraid to script some parts of it and adlib others—there’s no set formula for success here.
How to Improve Podcast Audio Quality Conclusion
Don’t let the quality of your podcast recordings be the reason people don’t subscribe to yours. It’s easier than it’s ever been to make a great sounding and professional product without out-of-the-box solutions from major hardware and software makers, so embrace them and these tips and go make the best possible production you can. The world needs to hear your production!