How to Make Podcasts Sound Better

The advent of podcasting is bringing hundreds of new people into the world of self-recorded and self-produced audio. And because most of us are starting from zero as far as audio knowledge is concerned, many podcasts sound, well, absolutely horrible.

My colleagues at Yankee have been podcasting longer than it’s been called that — Jud’s New England Journal goes back many years, when sending audio out over the net required a RealAudio server. Last year it became a bona fide podcast, with an RSS feed, MP3 files and all the other accoutrements of the medium. And it sounded pretty horrible.

Before this month’s episode got recorded and processed, I put my old friend John Muir together with the folks at Yankee to try and diagnose, and fix, the audio problems. I had a hunch they were simple, and I knew that John was the right man for the job.

I was right, and the proof is in the pudding. Compare the January episode to the February episode. I think you’ll agree that there’s a big difference between the two.

None of the improvements were dramatic on their own, and the same equipment was used to record both. I’m going to try and work with John to develop a quick checklist for podcasters to help everyone achieve improvements like this. In the meantime, Jud just became a lot easier to listen to.

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