Chris Curran’s company Fractal Recording produces podcasts for companies and business authors. His Podcast Engineering School provides a learning platform where you can learn how to professionally produce a podcast. Chris believes you have to go deep and learn how to really do something to become a professional.
He believes the main fundamentals of sound are often ignored, despite their importance. Quality audio should allow your listener to focus solely on the message.
In his Podcast Engineering School you spend seven weeks diving deep into best practices for podcasting. He emphasizes that having good hardware that you know how to use is more important than having the “best” tools.
- If it is just you, interviewing people over the internet, you need one mic. Chris recommends the Audio-Technica ATR2100 with an XLR output.
- If it will be two of you in person, you’ll need two mics and an audio interface to connect to your mixer.
- Keep your recording space free of noise like air vents, refrigerators, and windows to reflective surfaces like wood floors and bare walls. Carpeted floor, soft furniture, and investing in foam to lean against your walls can really improve the quality of your sound.
- His favorite equipment that is not necessary, but he can’t live without, is a channel strip. This enhances the quality of your audio because it has an EQ, a compressor, and a preamp to give you high-quality audio. The DBX 286 X is less than $300.
- He records all of his interviewees on separate computers, even if he is speaking with them simultaneously. This allows him to record their voices on separate tracks, preserving the quality of their audio. Lately, he has been looking into routing audio through a mac instead of through four separate computers, since he has heard positive reviews on achieving the same results.
- Multi-track Software: Reaper is a very economical option. Some people use bigger programs like Protools, Adobe Audition, and Logic Pro, but because he purchased a bunch of plugins that are high quality, he has been able to enhance Reaper.
- Detail Editor: Sound Forge Pro. Audacity is also a good option, but be careful to save your work. Managing your files well is part of being a professional.
For more advice on what equipment to buy, check out our free email course series here.
The Podcast Process:
- Mixing means mixing the different elements together to make them balanced and sound good in relation to one another.
- Editing is cutting out spaces or pacing your timing to tighten up the flow of the episode, removing “ums” and “ahs”, or cutting out pieces you don’t want in the episode.
- Mastering comes from the world of the music, which uses a little compression to tighten things up.
- Leveling is part of the mastering step, which makes sure that podcasts are following loudness standards.
Advice for Success:
“Gain some knowledge, become a professional, respect yourself and respect your time, and charge what you’re worth you can make a living.”
Your pricing depends on what your client’s podcast framework is. As a business owner, you have to figure out what you need to charge to make it worthwhile. And if they say that your price is too much, don’t be afraid to say, “Okay, no problem! Goodluck!”
“When you’re making a living in any field – if you’re trying to raise your sights, work with higher level clientele, and make more money, you have to say no.”
In fact, you might have to say “no” a lot, but eventually, the right people who understand and value quality will want to work with you.
“Don’t listen to these naysayers. Prepare yourself. Mold yourself into a professional who has real skills and develop a lot of confidence. That is what is going to contribute to your success. Dedicate yourself to improving yourself a lot. Gain skills that almost no one else has, and go out there and make it happen. You can do it.”