You have the gear you need to record your first podcast episode so it’s time to get down to business!
First you’ll need some recording software. It’s likely you’ll do some local recording (by yourself or with other people in the same room) or remote recording (with people who are somewhere else in the world). So you’ll want to have software on hand for both situations.
For local recordings, go with Audacity. It’s a free audio editor for PC and Mac. It’s a great tool for starters. It can be used to record live audio, cut, splice, edit, and convert files into different file formats. There are numerous effects to add to files and plenty of installable plugins. We can’t say anything bad about this software. It’s free, functional, and well established.
You have a couple options for remote recordings. Skype and Call Recorder used to the standard, but we have better tools now.
- Zencastr – This is a web-based recording tool with paid tiers and a free option. The free plan does most of what you need to start. It achieves one of the things you absolutely need in podcasting: multi-track recording. It records each person’s side of the conversation separately and syncs them together. This way you can edit them separately and produce a superb overall recording.
- Zoom – This is a free conference calling tool that’s great for conducting interviews. It’s free, but there are paid options. Zoom is great because the connection is reliable. Whereas Skype cuts in and out, Zoom always delivers a great recording, even if your connection isn’t the most stable.
To learn how to record your first audio segment on Audacity, check out our video tutorial.
If you’re recording your episode alone, you can do it all on a single track. If you have a co-host or guest, you’ll want to record on multiple tracks. This will give you the most flexibility during editing.
Before you sit down to record your first episode we strongly recommend writing a script or at least putting some notes together. You don’t have to write complete, word for word essay, although some podcasters like to work that way.
If you’re recording alone, pretend you’re having a conversation. It will sound more intimate and natural to your listeners.
There is no need to stop or pause a recording as you go, even if you make mistakes along the way. You can always edit them out later. Sometimes it helps to make a verbal note in the recording so you remember to cut something out. You might just say “delete that.”
What will you talk about on your first episode? That’s entirely up to you. Think about the type of audience you want to reach and what to hear. Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself since it’s your first episode.
And if you’re nervous, just remember that your recording isn’t permanent. It’s not like speaking publicly in front of an audience. If your podcast recording doesn’t go well, you can always adjust during editing or record it again.
Oh, and if you hate the sound of your voice, you aren’t alone. Everyone does at first.