These days, everybody has a podcast.
Your next-door neighbor has a podcast about little-known gardening tools. Several of your co-workers have podcasts about video games – although each podcast is totally different from the others. Even your mom is starting to think she should start her own podcast.
You, yourself, love listening to podcasts.
You listen to them almost as much as you watch Netflix. In fact, you might even listen to them more.
So you love podcasts, you know that anyone can start one, and you think you too have some interesting things to say.
Should you start a podcast of your very own?
How to Use Audacity to Start Your Own Podcast
Why not, right?
Everybody’s doing it and anybody can do it. You’ve got an interesting topic to work with and a niche audience of listeners you could tap into. All you need is a little procedural knowledge, and you can get yourself up and running.
One of the most important things you’ll need to know how to do is actually how to record your podcast so that you can stream it.
With the help of apps and computer software, you don’t need a fancy recording studio, or a sound engineer.
You can do it all yourself if you have the right tools.
Since you know so many podcasters, and listen to so many podcasts, you’ve probably heard a lot about Audacity. A lot of people use it to record their audio, and they have some pretty good reasons why.
Audacity is a free app trusted by millions of people to record and edit audio. It’s used by anyone from musicians to podcasters, and you can make the most of it too.
Here are 4 basic things you need to know about how to use Audacity to get your podcast up and running.
1. Setting Up Your Recording
Once you have the software open, find the microphone icon and select your input from the drop-down menu.
The output from the device you are using should match the input from Audacity. Think of it the same way you would when you connect your printer to your computer.
Remember, you are going for recording studio style sound in the comfort of your living room.
If your device, such as your mic, doesn’t show up on the drop-down menu, then make sure that it is turned on and plugged in. You can also check your connections by selecting the Start Monitoring button from the drop-down menu between the output meters.
Once your inputs and outputs are synched, you’ll want to decide in what mode you want your recording to be in.
For a podcast, it makes the most sense to record in mono. That means your voice will come out of the left side of the speaker and the right side of the speaker equally.
There’s really no need to adjust this setting unless you are mixing music, or perhaps if your podcast involves a lot of eerie details and ghost encounters.
But more likely than not, your listeners don’t need your voice coming in stronger on the left, or the right side at any point.
2. Recording Your Material
The next step in recording is to choose how you want the recording to be activated. If you simply press the red Record button your recording will start right away.
If you are prepared and confident, you might do it without hesitation. But it’s more likely that you will likely be left with a few seconds of silence at the beginning of the recording that you can trim away alter.
You can also set it to start recording once it picks up sound. For a simple podcast, you might not need to use this feature. But it does ensure there isn’t a long pause of silence at the beginning of your recording.
You might find it helpful if you get nervous at the start. After all, it’s kind of intimidating to speak into their microphone the very first time, and it might actually take you several recordings to become comfortable.
To use the sound activated recording option, you need to select the Sound Activated Recording box from the Recording preferences menu.
You can also schedule a recording for a specific date and time. It will begin recording automatically. To do this, select Timer Record from the Transport Menu. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Shift-T to open the appropriate window.
Whichever method you choose for your recording, you will able to monitor the levels of audio input as the software records. You can actually see your voice in audio waves on the screen.
To stop the recording, you simply click the yellow square button.
And just like that, you’ve made a recording!
How to use Audacity is pretty easy, and it’s no wonder so many people find it helpful in creating their podcasts.
Why did it take you so long to join in?
3. Editing Your Material
Once you’ve recorded your material, you need to sit back and take a listen. To do that, you simply click the green Play button.
The first time you listen to the recording it might seem a little strange.
“That’s what you sound like?” It’s a pretty common reaction, so you might want to listen to the track a few times just to get used to how you sound. It will help you be more objective and thorough as you edit your work.
Audacity has some pretty cool controls and editing settings. But when you think of how to use Audacity, you want to make sure you keep things simple.
You don’t need to loop in other tracks or have multiple tracks playing at a time. Audacity has these cool features, but they pertain more to mixing and recording music.
Hmm, you could start recording your own music too. Well, for now, let’s just take things one project at a time.
For editing your podcast, you’ll most likely need to trim it or cut out parts. To do this, you’ll want first to backup your original file just in case you make a mistake editing.
You should name this file something different so that nothing gets saved over top of it. Then, to begin trimming, select audio that you want to keep. Then press Shift-Space to listen to the audio that you have selected. This is what you will be keeping. Does it sound good?
Once you are satisfied that you like the audio that you have selected, it’s time to trim off the remaining, unselected audio. To do that, just go to the Edit drop-down menu, select Remove Audio or Labels, and then select trim. Alsom you can press Command-T on your keyboard.
You can use this trimming feature as much as you need to you. You might find that you have to cut parts from the beginning or the end. This you can do in one trim, but you might also need to cut pieces out of the middle.
4. Adding in Effects
As you are learning how to use Audacity, you’ll discover it has lots of cool features that are fun to play around with. From the Effects menu, you can choose a variety of effects such as Fade In or Fade Out, Echoer, and Amplifier.
You should take some time experimenting with what effects make sense for your podcast. You don’t want to go overboard. But a simple fade in or fade out might go a long way in making your podcast more enjoyable.
You might even start to think that making music wasn’t such a bad idea too. Maybe your podcast needs a theme song. Maybe you need a little music just to break up the sound of your own voice. You can use your recording skills to help add depth to your podcast.
The more you record, the more you can explore Audacity.
Remember, as long as you make a backup of your original file, you should feel free to explore the tools without fear of losing your original.
Continuing to Explore Audacity
For a free piece of software, audacity can do an awful lot.
Don’t let the price tag fool you, it is often by lots of people as their preferred method of recording audio.
Now that you have a brief knowledge of how to use Audacity you can get to work making test recordings and playing around with the settings.
In no time at all, you will not only be an Audacity pro, but you will also have your very own podcast with a real following.
See? It wasn’t so hard, was it?