If you’re a podcaster and you’re not quite sure what settings you should use for recording your show, I can shed some light on that for you. First, if you’re recording just your own voice, you only need to record in monaural (no need for a stereo track). If you’re recording yourself and a guest, use two microphones and a separate track for you and a separate track for your guest if possible. Having two separate tracks makes it easier to mute each track when the other person is talking — knocking out thumps and paper shuffling. Now let’s move on to what sampling rate you should use.
If you have a choice between 32 kHz, 44 kHz, or 48 kHz sampling rates, go for the highest sampling rate — 48 kHz — for highest quality. And when it comes to choosing between 16 bit, 24 bit, or 32 bit, choose 32 bit. It means you’ll be recording more data. And more data allows for better manipulation later. Manipulation?!! What’s that? It’s the enhancing you do (or we do) to your recording like adjusting equalization (making your voice sound less muddy or less tinny), removing plosives (popped P’s) and sibilance (distorted S’s), and removing or reducing room noise. Let’s talk more about room noise.
You’ll get a much nicer recording if you reduce room noise before you start recording. Turn off air conditioners, fans, and any other noise maker such as a refrigerator (just don’t forget to turn that one back on after you’re finished). And one more important thing about room noise. You can eliminate or reduce the dreaded hollow sound if you put something up around you to dampen the reverberation caused by sound bouncing off nearby walls. Hang blankets or sheets around you. Or stack pillows up to dampen the reverb.
After you’ve recorded your show, I strongly encourage you to edit out the verbal flubs like uh and uhm, thumps, coughs, dogs barking and … well .. anything that shouldn’t be in the final presentation. This is a tedious job, but it will make your listeners very appreciative. You don’t want to hear mistakes on shows you watch on TV. So why leave them in your podcast? Your listeners deserve quality.
And finally, what format should you save your recording to before publishing it? If you’re doing a talk show, I suggest saving it as a 96 kbps MP3 file (a 128 mono file would be better). If music is in your show, I suggest you save the show as a 128 kbps stereo MP3 file. You can go for less, but the quality will suffer.
I hope these pointers help you with your podcast. If you need help with editing and enhancing your podcast, Audiobag offers an audio editing and enhancing service.