Digital Content Producer Trainee at London College of Fashion with our STEP programme, Will Asare gives the technical 101 on how to make your own podcast

I’m currently working at London College of Fashion as a Digital Content Producer trainee. In my traineeship so far, I have been operating cameras at fashion shows, editing, setting-up filming equipment, assisting with production and post-production and it's been fun.

However, due to being in lockdown I’ve decided to share a quick guide on how to make podcasts. Podcasts have become increasingly popular in the last decade. I find them to be an interesting form of audio content because you can listen to it with your full attention or they can be consumed passively.

You need three things for a podcast. Software, microphone and a topic. Software is needed to record and mix your voice and the microphone obviously captures your voice and the topic can be on any area you like.

Requirements:

  • Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) Software
  • Microphone
  • Topic

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Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) Software:

Choosing software isn’t easy, but there isn’t really a right or wrong choice here. All digital audio editors/workstations do the same thing; they all have different strengths and weaknesses. It's all about finding out what your workflow is and how to use the software. There are a lot of DAWs so I'm going to condense down to three.

Audacity

Audacity is a free open source Digital Audio Editor and recording software easy to use and to learn. There are a lot of tutorials on YouTube as well if you need a guide. The only weak points are it is not as powerful as other paid software. But it is more than good enough for recording a podcast and a radio show. I have recorded shows with it. I even used it to make soundscapes.

Adobe Audition

It used to be called Cool Edit but since Adobe bought it out in 2003, it is called Audition. It is a multitrack digital audio workstation capable of restoring, editing and editing mixing content. It is very good in my opinion, most community radio stations and some bigger ones use it to record and mix their shows. The workflow is simple. There are two main ways to edit either by using the multitrack view or the waveform view.

However, you have to pay £19 a month to use it. They do have a one-week trial so you can try the software.

Ableton Live

My personal favorite, Ableton Live is developed by a company called Ableton A.G which is based in Berlin. This is a DAW which is very popular with beatmakers and musicians alike. This can be used to produce a podcast and a radio show as well. Ableton is a lot more expensive at £600. However, you can download a 90 day trial to see if you like it.

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Microphone

It can vary as there are different types of microphones and you also have to consider your acoustic environment and budget and that is a completely different discussion altogether.

But starting out you can use your phone, most good smartphones will do the job. A tip would be to cover yourself in a duvet when you are speaking to cover background noise. But, if you really want to splash the cash, there are other options.

Shure Sm58

It's a very solid microphone used by singers like Bjork, John Mayer and Damon Albarn, it can be used for live recordings and studio recordings, so it's good for podcasting as well.

Zoom H1n

A very good portable audio recorder, You can use it for anything really and it's very easy to use. Records directly to an SD or microSD card and has USB port to connect to a laptop/desktop.

Tascam dr-05x

Also, a good portable audio recorder, has USB port so you can connect to your computer and it can hold up to 128GB in an microSD card. It's like the Zoom mic and can be used for things like Foley, talking or recording instruments.

Topic

It can be anything you want it to be. The possibilities are endless, as long as you are passionate about the topic you will always enjoy making it. I’ve listened to football podcasts, podcasts about business. I even listened to one about basket weaving(honestly). Don’t feel confined, it sounds cliche but do what your heart wants you to do.

Some favourite podcasts

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Joe Budden Podcast

Tune into Joe Budden and his friends Rory & Mal and follow along the crazy adventures of these very random friends.

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Queer Ear

Hosted by fellow STEP trainee Rory Boyle Queer Ear is the queer thinking, straight-talking radio show that explores LGBTQ life in the UK today.

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World Football Phone in

The World Football Phone-in is a British Weekly radio phone-in show about football around the world. Hosted by Dotun Adebayo, it is part of the nightly Up All Night programming on BBC Radio 5 Live presented by Adebayo. The football show is broadcast in the 2 am to 4 am slot on Saturday mornings, and is also released as a podcast. Regular contributors are awarded a 'Brazilian shirt name' as a nickname.

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Receipt’s Podcast

Everybody needs a person who's willing to be real with them. Well, with The Receipts Podcast hosted by Milena, Tolly T and Audrey - you get three for the price of one. The unadulterated trio is taking over 1xtra for six installments of filter-free chat, X-rated debate... and the occasional mass singalong.

Words by Will Asare

Images © Eric Aydin-Barberini