Podcasting at Middlebury

A podcast is "a digital media file, or a series of such files, that is distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and personal computers." [1]

Equipment

The circulation desk at the Davis Family Library has a two-mic podcasting kit available for checkout.  Podcasting Kit #1 has:

  • H4N Pro ZOOM recorder (documentation)
  • Headphones
  • XLR mic cables (2)
  • Tabletop mic stands (2)
  • Sennheiser MD46 mics (2)
  • Mic foam covers (2)
  • Tripod to mic stand adapter

It’s a good idea to reserve the kit in advance; please reserve the kit using the Davis Family Library booking form.

Media Services has two single podcasting kits available as well. Equipment must have a faculty member sponsor the loan, and one needs to come down to Davis 125 to check them out. Fill out a Media Equipment Request form. Two kits can be checked out if multiple mics are needed. Podcasting Kit #2 includes:

  • H4N Pro ZOOM recorder (documentation)
  • Headphones
  • XLR mic cable (1)
  • Tabletop mic stand (1)
  • ZOOM ZDM-1 dynamic mic (1)
  • Mic foam cover (1)

Recording

  • For collecting audio of people speaking be sure to test out recording quality prior to conducting interviews.  Following the documentation for recording and playback, record a sample of audio, then play it back to hear how it sounds.  
  • Record a short amount of ambient sound that you can insert in your timeline when you wish to create a pause but don't want the space filled with complete silence. This will help with recording continuity.
  • In most cases be sure only one person is speaking at a time.
  • If you have scripted your text, practice reading through it several times so your tone is conversational and animated.
  • Script text should be written for the ear. Make sure it sounds natural and your points are clear.
  • Take the time to collect the highest quality footage possible. The best editing cannot overcome a poor recording.
  • Be sure to have fresh AA batteries for use with the recorders.  While both the library and Media Services may have batteries already loaded, it is known that these recorders drain them relatively quickly.  To be safe, you should purchase your own and be ready to replace them.
  • Recording locations without much cloth or noise “dampening” material can result in “echoey” audio.  Bringing in a blanket or two hung over a door or shelf can help warm up the sound quality.  

Editing and Mixing

Middlebury faculty, students, and staff have access to the Adobe Creative Suite via Middlebury’s campus license for audio editing and mixing. There are also some free audio editing applications that are available to some users:

There are some features that are common across all audio editing applications. The following are the most commonly-used functions:

  • Playback controls

Use these tools to hear changes you have made to one or more tracks.

Keep audio on separate tracks for better control (voiceover on one, ambient noise on another, background music on another, etc.)

  • Play, Stop, Pause, Rewind, Record
  • Solo = only play back the selected track
  • Mute = playback all tracks except the selected track.
  • Volume control

Adjust each track and test. Make sure you can hear the voiceover over the background tracks.

  • Fade-ins - slowly make a sound louder
  • Fade-outs - slowly make a sound quieter
  • Cut, copy, paste
    • Remove, duplicate, or move pieces of sound.
    • Consider fade-ins and fade-outs instead of abrupt starts and stops to sound.
  • Export
    • Consider MP3 for fast delivery over the web.
    • Consider WAV for high quality delivery.
    • If you are using a podcasting service check their documentation for the preferred file type.

For more information about the functions and features of the audio editing applications, see the LinkedIn Learning tutorials above or the Additional Resources below.

Podcast Platforms

To deliver podcasts to subscribers you will need a way to distribute an RSS feed. At Middlebury you can do this by embedding your audio and video files in a WordPress blog post. This will allow your subscribers to subscribe to updates from your blog and receive notifications whenever a new podcast is available.

Additional Resources

Details

Article ID: 258
Created
Wed 2/23/22 10:31 AM
Modified
Tue 3/1/22 1:28 PM