Art by Mike Shragal!

Artist Mike Shragal stopped by Audiohive Podcasting to experiment with some live streaming. Mike is thinking about utilizing Audiohive’s services to produce drawing tutorials for his youtube channel. 

We weren’t focused on the audio tonight so much as figuring out how all the video parts would work. We were able to use the LonelyScreen AirPlay Receiver app on the studio’s windows PC to mirror Mike’s Ipad Pro into OBS Studio. It worked really well! 

Make sure to check out Mike’s youtube channel and catch the pilot of his original animated series! 

https://twitter.com/meeksthemighty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRASAUriUOI&t=52s https://www.instagram.com/artbymikeshragal/ https://www.instagram.com/meeksthemightycartoon/ https://www.storefrontier.com/meeksthemighty

 

Let me introduce myself!

Last week I featured a short interview with Saul and Joe, who are currently recording their Hospice Chaplaincy podcast at Audiohive Podcasting. This week, I’m going to answer the same questions, and offer a little insight to what goes in to taking a podcast from start to finish.

 

  • What made you decide to start a podcast studio?
    I’ve been playing and recording music for 20 years, and have worked in music retail for 14. Over the last couple years I’ve noticed a growing interest in podcast recording. One thing most of the interested parties have in common is this: Zero audio recording experience. One of the biggest hurdles people face in podcasting is the technical aspect. I’ve had customer after customer basically throw away money on recording equipment they couldn’t use. Many of them who were able to figure out the basics and do some recording realized they weren’t getting the sound they had hoped for. This stemmed from a few factors, such as a limited budget for good microphones, or a general lack of mixing knowledge after the recording was complete. I knew I could help, and decided to open Audiohive Podcasting!

 

  • Has anything been more challenging than you expected?
    The editing! You might not realize it, but there’s a lot of editing happening in most of the podcasts you listen to. I’ve spent hours editing my customers podcasts. What am I editing out? Coughing, sneezing, clearing throats, mis-spoken words are common. I’ve also had requests to make the podcast “snappier,” which involves going in and shortening silences between words, questions, and responses. This requires a good ear for timing and cadence to keep speech patterns sounding natural while still speeding the conversation up a bit. I can judge if I did a good job at this if I can’t tell where the edits are when I play it back, even though I’m the one that edited it!

 

  • Has anything been easier than you expected?
    Handling revision requests for my clients has been a breeze, thanks in part to FilePass. FilePass is a revision collection platform that makes it easy for me to upload my client’s podcast for them to review, and put in time-stamped revision requests. I can then easily see exactly where they want an edit to happen and what they’d like me to do. Once I finish a revision, I check it off the list. When I’ve completed all the requests, I re-upload the edited version. Once the client is happy with the finished podcast, they are able to pay for the work and download the file.

 

  • If you could go back and re-record your first podcast, what would you do differently? 
    I’d spend more time getting the introduction, break, and ending voice overs recorded well, and mixed in with the music right away. I realized I was wasting a lot of time inserting vocal tracks, lining up the music, creating the fade in/out on every podcast I edited. I had a “duh” moment and now create mixdowns of those elements before doing anything else so they’re quick and easy to insert into each episode of the podcast. I’d also really pay more attention to how guests are situated around the microphones. I think due to my background with musicians I can take for granted people knowing good microphone technique. Often I find that isn’t the case, and rather than try to get a client to position themselves around the mic better, I try to position the mic around the client better!

 

  • Do you have any advice for someone thinking about starting their own podcast?
    My advice is the same as Saul and Joe’s, just go for it! I make it super easy for you to come in, sit down, and start talking. Have some notes and maybe bring a friend and see what comes out! I can guarantee that it’ll at least sound good.

 

  • What do you think of your overall experience with Audiohive Podcasting so far?
    It’s been a great learning experience. I’ve spent a lot of time recording and mixing music, but there’s a special set of skills and tools for dialogue mixing and editing that I haven’t used as much. It’s really interesting finding things that my recording software can do that I just never needed to use before.

 

I am super grateful for the opportunity to record your podcast! I’ll continue to do my best to make recording easy for anyone aspiring to start their own personal journey into podcasting.

 

Meet Saul and Joe from The Hospice Chaplaincy Show!

Hello Podcasters!

This week I’m taking some time to spotlight a new podcast being recorded at Audiohive Podcasting. I would like to introduce Saul Ebema and Rev. Dr. N. Joseph Newton of The Hospice Chaplaincy Show. Say hello!

Saul and Joe started recording just over a week ago, and have already recorded 4 episodes! They are passionate about what they do, and are really excited about their podcast. Saul and Joe are both completely new to podcasting, and had no previous studio experience. I asked them a few questions after their last recording session to see how they felt about things so far.

  • What made you decide to start a podcast?
    Saul:
     I feel like I have a lot of content to offer people- especially in the area of educating people abut the psycho-spiritual aspects of end of life care in the context of hospice.
    Joe: I was asked by Saul to be a part of this endeavor.  I was immediately interested due to the remarkable market there is for podcasts.  I never thought I would be part of something that I believe will be life-changing.  I was initially unsure of the purpose and if there was a need, and then hearing Saul explain all that he has done up to this time, I was in.

Saul and Joe are a great example of taking your life’s passion and work and making it the subject of your podcast. They both have extensive experience and years of stories about their lives as hospice chaplains.

  • Has anything been more challenging than you expected?
    Saul: Of Course it takes time to find the right voice and rhythm to create the perfect mood for your podcast.
    Joe: I find that conversation is powerful. Getting to that comfort level was challenging at first, but finding it and feeling the freedom to express one’s thoughts is liberating and exciting.

Comfort is key, and by the time they were recording their third episode I started to feel them relax and settle in to things more. It takes time to find your voice and pacing. Saul listened to his first episode and noticed things he didn’t like and was able to begin addressing them the next episode.

 

  • Has anything been easier than you expected?
    Saul: Recording the shows seems easier than I expected.
    Joe: Initially I was only answering questions and adding some of my insights which was easy for me.  As time has gone on it has become more of a heart-to-heart give and take of ideas and experiences.

I was happy to hear that the recording part was easy! After all, I started Audiohive Podcasting to give people a way to record their podcast with zero recording experience.

  • Do you have any advice for someone thinking about starting their own podcast?
    Saul: Yes, just start. Don’t over think it.
    Joe: My advice to someone wanting to begin a podcast, just do it.

I first met with Saul at Audiohive on a Friday morning to show him the studio, and by Monday they were recording their first podcast. They definitely walked the walk on this one!

  • What do you think of your overall experience with Audiohive Podcasting so far?
    Saul: My overall experience has been amazing. The support has been great- 10/10
    Joe: I was a bit intimidated walking into the studio, never been part of something like it, but Brian has made it very comfortable.

I am super grateful for the opportunity to record your podcast! I’ll continue to do my best to make recording easy for anyone aspiring to start their own personal journey into podcasting.

You can check out The Hospice Chaplaincy Show by visiting The Hospice Chaplaincy website, or find them on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play Music.

Record your podcast from home?

This week I wanted to talk about the equipment is commonly used for podcast recording. I’d love to record you at my studio here, but if you’ve been thinking of recording at home, I’d be happy to help you with that too! One of my reasons for opening this studio is that the technical barriers to entry can be daunting to folks without an audio background. I sell recording and live sound equipment as my day job, and every week someone comes in that is thinking about starting their own podcast. Here are a few setups I show them, with some pros and cons to each!

This setup will get you started pretty quickly, and will work for you as a solo podcast host. The Blue Yeti is an all-in-one recording interface/microphone. It connects to your computer via USB, and all audio to and from your PC passes through the Yeti. You plug your headphones into the yet to hear yourself and the audio from your computer. It is usually “plug and play,” which means their should be minimal setup to get your computer to recognize the device. The Yeti has a switch that will make it “omni-directional” which means it will pick up sound from any direction, which could be useful if you wanted to have a guest in the room with you. While the omni-directional switch makes the microphone a little more flexible, it has the downside of picking up everything else in the room you may not want on the recording. Sounds like your heating/AC, wheels rolling on the floor, bumps into the desk, doors opening and closing, all have the potential to be picked up by a microphone with an omni pickup like the Yeti. Another drawback to this solution is that you can’t upgrade it, you’d basically just be starting over again with the next package.

With this setup, you will get noticeably better sound quality, and more flexibility. The Focusrite 2i2 interface is your hub to get all of your audio in and out of the computer. The interface connects via USB to your computer, and then all of your audio devices connect to the interface. With the Mackie mixer, you’ll be able to plug in two microphones, an external media device such as a phone or separate laptop for music playback, and the iRig2. What’s the iRig2 for? Phone calls! You’ll be able to patch your phone (if it still has a 3.5mm jack) into the iRig2, and use the aux output on the Mackie to send your microphones back to the phone so that you can record conversations with remote guests. I included the Sennheiser E835 with this setup. It’s a dynamic microphone, which means you’ll need to have it close to your mouth, but it will pick up a lot less of your room sound. It’s also easier to get that “radio broadcaster” type sound from a dynamic microphone with a little EQ and compression. I’ve also suggested a nicer set of headphones. The HD280s are an industry standard for recording and have exceptional acoustic isolation with minimal sound bleed that could effect your recording. With this setup, any of the individual components could be upgraded in the future. You could get better microphones and still use the same mixer and interface, or get a bigger mixer to allow more microphones, or eliminate the mixer all together and get a bigger interface..Which leads us to the next rig.

With the previous setup, all of our audio would have been recorded on just two tracks. This means that if something was recorded too quietly or too loudly, we wouldn’t be able to isolate that particular element (maybe the audio coming from the phone call) and correct it. With this setup, we’ll forgo the mixer and go for a larger interface. The Focusrite 18i20 will let us plug in up to 8 sources directly to the interface, with digital inputs and outputs offering even more if you need them. This is essential if you want to have a multi guest podcast, with the ability to go back and edit/alter each person individually after the recording. We’ve also stepped up to a serious broadcast-quality microphone, the Aston Stealth. These are the mics we use in the studio, and I really like the way they sound. Many of these types of microphones require an additional pre-amp to to work properly, but the Stealth has one built in! We’ve also upgraded to a nicer set of headphones, as well as added a set of studio reference speakers. With these, we’ll really be able to hear all of the little details of our recording that we might not in a cheaper set of headphones. It’s really important to have an accurate playback of your sound, so that you can make educated decisions about volume, eq, compression, etc. If you want multiple guests, multiple headphone mixes, a few external audio devices, and everything recorded on its own track, this is the setup to go with.

There’s so many more little details to go into when it comes to home recording. What cables to use, how to connect it all, which software to go with, how the software works, etc etc..These are all the details we have worked out at Audiohive Podcasting! It’s a big investment to get into podcasting. Not just in money, but in time as well! I’ve covered mostly hardware, but haven’t even touched on software. There are lots of options, even some free ones, but what they all have in common is the learning curve. It’s steep! I’m committed to helping people make podcasts, one way or another. Reach out to Audiohive, we can do it all for you, or coach you through the process to get you up and running at home. Contact us to schedule a visit to the studio, and we can find out what’s best for your podcast.

What should my first episode be like?

Have you had an idea for a podcast, but don’t know where to start? If so, you aren’t alone! Over the last couple weeks I’ve been talking to a lot of people thinking about getting into podcasting. Most of them have a specific subject the podcast will revolve around, but aren’t sure how their first episode will go. Understandably, you’d want to feel prepared for that first sit down at the microphone and not feel like you are wasting your time and money. I’ve put together a few tips that can help you get up and running for that first podcast.

Tell your story.
A good first episode might be just letting your listeners know who you are, and what your “mission statement” might be. How did you get to where you are (in front of a microphone)? If your podcast is about a specific topic, you’ve probably got some stories about what formed your interest in it. If I were to spend an episode giving my background, I could relate a long series of events, starting with wanting to be a heavy metal guitar player, to realizing I find more fulfillment in the behind the scenes work that supports other artists. I went from playing guitar, wanting to record myself, wanting to record my band, having to figure out how mixers work so we could actually play shows, realize I hate playing shows (or just trying to work with other band members in general), operating mixers for other bands, getting into music equipment sales, live sound recording, stage handing, and finally becoming a studio owner. For your first episode, really think about the series of events that inspired you to start the podcast. Make it personal and genuine, and you’ll be more likely to connect with your listeners. Sincerity will go a long way in getting people to keep listening! If you are a solo host, aim for 30 minutes for your introductory episode. If you have co-hosts, you might be able to easily spend an hour telling your stories and bouncing questions off each-other.

Get the feeling right.
Having a great intro song can be a good way to get you into the right head space. We can pump your intro track into your headphones to give you a launching point at the beginning of your recording. Do a google search for “royalty free music” and you’ll find plenty of websites that offer music across a wide range of genres that you can use without worrying about any copyright claims. This will also be the first thing your listeners hear, so be sure to pick something that conveys the kind of tone you want to set. If you can’t find anything for free that you like, you could try checking out some music sites that offer “micro licensing.” These tracks are generally produced to a higher standard and don’t cost as much as licensing a song by a major artist. If you’ve got that radio broadcaster voice, you could even spend some of your time at the studio recording a voice over introduction on top of your music. We also have voice-over artists that you can collaborate with if you need some help! A great banner or logo for your podcast artwork is something you can start working on right away as well. I recommend canva.com as a quick and easy way to make one.

Just go for it.
Before I was really fluent with recording software, one of my biggest problems was managing to get it all working to capture a musical idea I had before the inspiration went away. I can’t tell you how many guitar riffs I’ve had disappear from my mind forever because I couldn’t get the program running on time. Audiohive Podcasting takes away all of those technical issues. You just have to show up, sit down (I guess you can stand if you want) and start recording!

If you’ve never been in front a microphone before, it can feel a little awkward. They are sensitive to your position around them, you’ll find that your voice changes depending on your proximity and angle to the microphone. It can be off-putting to hear your own voice played back in headphones for the first time. “Is that how I really sound?” Yes, it is! The important thing is to just dive in and start talking. Over a couple podcasts, after listening back to your recordings, you’ll start to develop an ear for what works best for your voice. It’s also important to listen back because you will quickly realize things you want to change, or bad habits you didn’t know you had. I personally realized that I say the word “like” an incredibly annoying amount of times the first time I recorded a podcast. I hated it! I realized that I wasn’t taking the time to think about what I was about to say, and “like” is my version of “um.” I’ve been conscious of it ever since and have been trying to slow myself down in every conversation to think about what I’m going to say before I say it. If you go back and listen to the first couple episodes of any podcast that’s been around for a couple years, the hosts will probably sound like completely different people. Microphone technique is a real thing that you can practice and improve on.

Hopefully I’ve answered one or two questions you might be asking yourself, or at least answered some you hadn’t thought of already. I’ll keep trying to put out useful information as much as possible! If there’s any questions you have that you think I can help with, feel free to get in touch and we’ll get them figured out!

-Brian Mackender
Audiohive Podcasting

Audiohive Podcasting uses Transistor.fm to host your podcast!

Can you make money from podcasting?

One of the most common questions I’ve been getting asked by people visiting the studio is this: Can I make money doing a podcast? The answer is yes! There are several ways to monetize your podcast. Not all of them may apply to you, but there’s probably a model that will work for you. Keep in mind, most of these require you to establish a bit of a listener base first, so its important to start with consistent and quality content.

Traditional Sponsorship.
You can think of this a lot like a television or radio add. Interested advertisers offer an up front payment for you to run their add at some point (usually before or during) in your podcast. These ads are valuable to the sponsors because podcasts are usually topical and have a very targeted audience. If your podcast is about hockey, a sporting goods store can be sure that their ads are reaching the right audience. Other sponsors may pay on a CPM, or “cost-per-thousand” basis. Rather than an up front payment, you would earn anywhere from $15 to $25 per 1,000 downloads of your podcast, depending on the ad length and placement. One more model would be referral based, where a sponsor pays out a pre-determined amount for every sale of their product or service that comes with your referral code attached. Joe Rogan made $25 off of me when I signed up for Ting.

Sell your own product or service.
If you have a product or service to offer, a podcast might be a good way to market it. One of my favorite podcasts is about the music recording business, and the hosts both have specific services that they offer. One has a service called Filepass, a tool for sharing audio mixes with clients and collecting revision notes on the songs. Their podcast isn’t specifically about this Filepass service, but the vast majority of the listeners see value in it because they are active in the recording industry that could make use of the service. They made $70 off me for a year subscription. The other host of the podcast is an audio mastering engineer, and while the podcast isn’t specifically about mastering, I’m sure he’s gotten quite a few jobs offered from people who listen to the podcast.

Affiliate Marketing
Generating sales of someone else’s product or service can also generate revenue for your podcast. It’s fairly easy to become an amazon affiliate and generate affiliate links that can be put in your show notes or youtube video description. I get asked a lot about what I use to record with in the studio, so I have amazon affiliate links in my show notes for all of the equipment I use in the studio. If someone clicks the link and buys the product, I get a cut. If you have a guest on your podcast that offers a product or service, you could work out an offer where you get paid a commission for generating sales for that guest based off of their podcast appearance. Both parties benefit! Your guest reached a targeted audience that is interested in their product, and you make some cash on the side.

There’s A LOT more to talk about when it comes to monetizing your podcast. Reach out to us today to schedule a visit to the studio and we can go more in depth on this, or any other questions you might have!

Who’s listening, anyway?

I was doing some research about podcast listeners this weekend, and I found out some pretty interesting stuff. For example, did you know the country with the highest percentage of podcast listeners is South Korea, as high as 58% in some polls?

  • Where does the U.S. Rank?
    I’ve read quite a few different reports, but the general consensus shows that about half of Americans polled have listened to a podcast last year. 33% have listened to a podcast in the last month. That ties us with Australia for fourth place! Sweden, Spain, and South Korea all have a higher percentage of podcast listeners. The total United States population is much larger than those countries, so there’s still a higher total number of listeners in the U.S., but it made me wonder, why  was there was a higher adoption rate in South Korea?

 

  • Freedom of Speech!
    My initial thoughts were that maybe they just adopted the technology more quickly. After all, there are some pretty big tech companies headquarter in South Korea, such as Samsung and LG. I found that I was not alone in this initial thought, and many people also pointed to longer daytime commutes (an average of 75 minutes) as a possible reason. It turns out, the most popular podcasts in South Korea are political! Liberal South Koreans felt that traditional media outlets like terrestrial radio and television stations were bought out and towed the establishment line. They found a way to voice their opinion to the country and bypass the networks that could keep them from reaching the masses. These shows are accredited to driving previously inactive members of the country into political action and helped the Democratic Party get in to office.

 

  • Find your hive, no matter where they are.
    Italy, Canada, France, Japan, Germany, and the U.K. all have significant amounts of the population listening in. That number looks like it’s going to keep growing, especially as more and more of the world population gains internet access and turns an ear to the airwaves. Did you know that Elon Musk plans on launching something like 12,000 satellites into space in the next few years that are going to provide wireless broadband internet to basically the whole world? There’s currently about 4 billion people out there without internet access! Ideas are going to truly have the potential to be shared globally in the future. Your podcast doesn’t have to be a catalyst for country-wide political reform like it was in South Korea, but it’s good to know in podcasting that we are in control of what we say, how we say it, and who we can say it to.

 

Audiohive Podcasting offers you everything you need to get your podcast up and running. If you’d like to visit the studio and find out everything we have to offer, email us today!

 

Not sure what to podcast about?

What are you passionate about?

Is there a subject that you are particularly well educated on, simply because you think its cool or interesting or helpful? That’s a good starting point! It’s almost guaranteed that if you are really in to something, there’s other people that are in to it as well. Podcasting is a great way to connect with people from all over the world with common interests. Me? I’m into audio recording (duh), but I’m also interested in outer space, martial arts, and video games. I listen to podcasts specifically about these subjects, and guess what? I wish there were more of them! The market is NOT saturated at all in regards to content right now. Maybe you really love baseball, and think there are a hundred podcasts about baseball, so why start another? The fact is, there are a LOT of listeners out there, and some of them are going to prefer listening to you and what you have to say over someone else!

  • Are you a business owner, or service provider?

Are there questions that you get asked by just about every single new potential customer or client? Do you give the same answer so many times a week that you sometimes recite it in your sleep? Those questions would be great topics of your podcast! In my profession, audio engineering, I get asked a lot of the same questions by people new to recording. If you ask me what a compressor is, I can prattle off a basic 25 second answer that I’ve given literally 12,000 times in my life. It’s a short answer that I can give when I’m face to face with someone looking to buy something off the shelf right this minute, but I could easily spend another 40 minutes talking about the appropriate ways and places to use a compressor. That’s a whole podcast episode. So i’ll give my short answer and follow up with something like “if you really want to go deep into how to use a compressor, you should check out my podcast. It’s got way more information than I can give you right here today.” If my customer listens to the podcast, they will quickly realize I am an authority on the subject. I know what I’m talking about. Closing a sale with them next time they are in my store is going to be that much easier because they know they can trust my information. Can you apply something like this to your business? A podcast can be a great way to establish the trust of your potential clients!

  • Are you an educator, politician, public speaker, or a pastor?

You can use a podcast to get more ear-time with your audience. It’s key to remember that podcasting doesn’t require the listeners undivided attention. They can be listening on their way to work, while jogging, or doing the dishes. Maybe you wish you had more than an hour for your class or sermon, or maybe more speaking time at that city council meeting. If you are in a situation where having more time with your audience would let you more effectively convey a message, a podcast would make a great platform! It doesn’t have to be about making money or closing a deal. Sometimes just getting your complete thoughts out to the people you care about, serving your community more completely, is a great reward in itself.

These are just a few thoughts to get the ball rolling. If you’d like to speak with someone at Audiohive Podcasting, don’t hesitate to reach out today, we’d love to help you start your podcast!

No interruptions

Ever wonder what it would be like if the guests on your favorite late night talk show had more than 6 minutes to talk before a commercial ran? Or wish a politician had more than 3 minutes to respond in a debate? Or does it drive you nuts when the same ad plays 16 times during a 75 minute episode of Columbo on amazon video? For the most part, this just doesn’t exist in podcasts. You can choose to spend as much time as you want talking with your guests, really getting into the meat of things, without having to bow down or self-censor due to advertiser pressure. Sure, you can choose to have ads on your podcast, but you decide when and how, and your listener has the option to just skip ahead if they want.

Are you a public speaker, coach, pastor, teacher, and wish you had more time to talk to your audience? Podcasting can give you that time!

Like and share this post, let’s encourage people to speak their mind!

Longevity

If Jerry the plumber spends $200 to take out an add in this months local news publication, next month it’s gone. No one reads last months newspaper. That one month of exposure is all that $200 could ever buy him.
Podcasts have staying power. When someone discovers your podcast, they will be able to go back and listen to everything you’ve ever published. I’ve found great podcasts that have years of back episodes. I generally listen to the newest episodes as they come out, and then start with episode 1 and work my way forward through the catalog. I binge listen.

Have you, or someone you know, spent money to advertise your product or service, only to feel like it didn’t amount any return on investment? Podcasting is a great use of your advertising budget!

Help spread the news that Audiohive Podcasting Studio is open in Joliet! Like and Share this post! Thank you!