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Baltosiewich: How to Start Your Own Podcast - Part Two

How to Start Your Own Podcast - Part Two
by Brian Baltosiewich

So, youve rediscovered your voice, found your passion again and youre ready to podcast! What next? Chances are you have some gear in your closet or basement and youre already good to go. Basic setup- you need a mic and a computer to record on- but youre a pro, and youre looking for a high quality sound. There are several different ways you can go from here.

At www.radioexiles.com we have nearly 20 different podcasts, and theyre recorded in very nearly 20 different ways. Lets start with the shows I produce myself. Several years ago I got a part-time gig calling college hockey games. The equipment provided by the  radio station was, lets say, sub-optimal. Putting the headphones on was like putting my head in a vice.

So over the first few seasons, I slowly took the money I made calling those games and bought a piece or two of equipment, starting with headset mics that were more comfortable-  more like putting my head in a cloud. That process left me with two Sennheiser headsets, an 8-input portable Mackie mixer and assorted cables and handheld mics. I didnt know it then, as podcasts didnt exist, but I had assembled my podcast kit six years before I would need it.The only thing missing was the ability to go from the Mackie into my laptop. A $50 investment at Guitar Center solved that problem:  a connector that converts from XLR to USB. Bang. Podcast kit completed.

Today www.BSWusa.com sells, effectively, what I assembled during my hockey years in one package. A podcast kit, small mixer with USB outs, mic, cables, and audio software. Retail price about $250. Youd need to augment with another mic or two depending on your podcast, but this is a  great way to start if youre missing the pieces out of the gate. At Radio Exiles, many of our podcasters have their own studios, already set up for voiceover businesses, etc. Maybe our most unique recording method comes from Bob Cady and Doug Ray (Bob and Doug Coast 2 Coast.) Bob is in Florida. Doug is in California. Take a listen to their show and you would never know.

Heres how they pull it off, without an ISDN line: Bob records his side of the show. Doug records his side. Separate tracks. They connect through a video call on Skype so they can see and hear each other during the recording. When they are done, Doug emails his track to Bob who combines the two tracks into one seamless track that sounds very much like they are in the same room, rather than nearly 3,000 miles apart. Edmonds and Foster, at Radioexiles.com, actually record their show using Skype. Skype is also a great way to incorporate guests into your podcast without springing for an ISDN line. It is much more reliable now than it once was, especially for audio only.

Other Radio Exiles podcasters (The Brad and Schu Experience, Bookmarks)  use the one mic method, with a high-end twist.  Blue is a company that has podcasters very much in mind, and they have several single-mic/omni-directional products that work very well.  www.bluemic.com. As an aside, these mics look really cool. Next week- post-production, distribution, and the necessary evil that is iTunes.

Brian Baltosiewich has been a broadcast professional for more than 20 years.  His podcast website, www.radioexiles.com features professionally-produced podcasts from radio pros who have lost their gigs.
Reach out to him at brian@radioexiles.com or through their twitter account @radioexiles and on Facebook at radioexiles.com




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