Please watch the videos below to complete your recording training.
Please set up your equipment, Microphone, headphones, and try to test on your computer using Skype or Zoom.
Make sure your computer’s hardware settings, and Skype or Zoom, are adjusted and set for using your microphone.
Recording with Zoom
Download and print out the Recording Checklist. If you will record using a different process or software, then make up your own Checklist and print it out for you to have on hand each time you record a podcast.
Podcasts are a listening experience. That is why when the sound is off, you could lose your listeners and damage your entire show. Even those who claim not to be techie must at least know how to use your recording equipment properly. This will help make the best possible sound for your podcast and ultimately the best experience for your listeners. Learn about how you can do that as we share some recording guidelines – from connecting your microphone to your computer to setting up a stand.
Even if you are not very techie, you all need to have a little bit of tech understanding of how you’re going to use your equipment to make the best possible experience for your listeners. The bottom line about your sound quality is that if you have sound quality that is off, has some odd background noise like you have a dog barking in the background or you have a lot of echoes or any static electronic noise, people don’t like that and eventually, they will stop listening. We have been telling you from the beginning of this program that you need to go and purchase some equipment if you don’t have it already. The most important piece of that equipment is your microphone. We’re going to talk about how to connect it to your computer and then how you adjust the settings and make sure you’re using it. This has happened to me in the past, not for this program but for this program learning how to use Google Hangout. I would go and I use my microphone. We have it connected to a mixing board. We’ve got a pretty advanced setup because we’re co-hosts and because we wanted a very high quality of audio. We ended up doing Google Hangout and we’re both talking to our microphones.
Usually, Tracy is across the desk from me and using the camera that’s split between two of us. We would expect Tracy talking to her microphone and I’m talking into mine and it all worked. It turns out when we first started using Google Hangouts, the way that our sound system was plugged into the computer, it wasn’t even utilizing the sound coming from our microphones. It was using the sound from my computer that I’m using to do this broadcast. The audience could hear me okay because I’m talking right into the laptop but Tracy across the table from me sounded like she was way across the room even though she was talking to her mic. We could have recorded that locally, but it wasn’t going out over the internet to Google. The point is, there are some settings that are very important for you to know about in order to make sure that even though you have the right equipment that it’s being used.If you have sound quality that is off, people will stop listening. Click To Tweet
I’m sure those of you that did not already have a microphone went and purchased the one we recommended. We practice what we preach. This is the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB microphone. Most of you will be using this plugged into your computer. That’s what I’m going to talk about first and I’ll touch a little bit on some advanced possibilities toward the end. Most of you are going to use this microphone or a microphone like it. I like this microphone because on the bottom, you can see it has the mini USB port and then these three pins called XLR port. What I like about this microphone is you can start using this mic with USB on your computer. If you upgrade your sound system, you want to do a higher quality of audio where you use a mixing board perhaps or there are numbers of reasons why you might want to do that, then you would connect it to this XLR port which is a higher quality audio connection. It has a little volume adjuster there and there’s even a little headphone jack on the bottom of it which you could use to listen on if you wanted.
It’s best using headphones to have them connect it to your computer, so you hear all the sounds not just the sound coming out of this. This would be more if you just want feedback. If you were singing or something, you want to make sure you’re on pitch hearing your own voice, you might have a headset plugged into the mic. It’s convenient and a nice thing to have but we’re not going to use it in podcasting. This is a standard mini USB to regular USB chord and it comes with the microphone. What you would do is just plug in and it comes with a cheap little stand. What I like about the stand is it’s convenient in that it is small and it’s compact. We have four of these microphones. We have one on each side of the desk. Tracy and I have it connected to our boom mount which allows us to swing it and raise it and swing it back. We have two more of these that we take on the road. When we do trade shows where we conduct interviews in the field sometimes for our podcast, we’ll take our microphones with us. These are very convenient to have as a travel stand but for using every day, it’s very lightweight. I’ve found it topples over.
If you’re going to podcast a lot, I would recommend you use something a little more robust. If you want to mount it to a table or desk surface or get a boom mount. We have a referral to those on our site. There are some other mounts that are heavier that don’t topple over. It’s easy and steadier. If you don’t want to have a big boom spring loaded thing here, you can just use a normal mic stand on a desktop. There are a few others you can look at. This is an important thing. The other major piece of equipment you’re going to use is your computer. You need to use your computer. A computer is a wonderful tool because it does so many things right but it also only does exactly what you tell it to do. We found out the hard way, even just plugging in your microphone to the USB port in your computer does not always mean that when you’re speaking and recording that that software or even your operating system is using that microphone.