Introduction: Producing a Podcast
This unit introduce you to the practise of making audio pieces for podcasting, broadcasting or other kinds of distribution. Essentially this is about storytelling, yet we will encourage you to start thinking about audio as a way of exploring questions, subjects and ultimately… the world. Audio production is not only a means to tell the story it is also a particular way of reflecting the world. This unit will give you some input on how to work with sound recording and sound editing tools whether that is to tell the story that is already there and just needs the right format to get out, or it is to explore the world to see if some sort of narrative or form can be teased out
Recently podcasting has given audio production a veritable renaissance. While earlier radio was mainly for professional producers and required a heavy apparatus, today digitalization has made it easier to publish and produce audio. Digital audio production follow very much the same trajectory as digital video production: democratization and proliferation of forms. Yet audio maintains a minor position compared to video; there is nothing like YouTube for sound. Instead podcast seem to allow users to find media forms that fulfil very specific interests and needs for reflection and isolation.
This unit is not ideal as an introduction to the technical parts of audio production. We recommend that you look at the Podcasting Basics at Transom.org for introductions to Voice Recording, Software, Audio Levels and Processing and Hosting & Distribution. Transom.org is a treasure chest of hints and ideas for radio and podcast producers. These guides bring you through the basic tech issues in producing a podcast. Remember that less will do fine too. If you have access to a microphone, a portable sound recorder, and a professional sound editing software it is great, but if you do not, you can start by using your phone or computer for recording. For editing see the recommendations at Podcasting Basics. If your do not have access to a computer with sound editing software, there are some useful shareware or free trials. What you need to have, though, are headphones. Do not use the computer loudspeakers only: if you want to think through and communicate in sound, you need to be able to listen closely.
What you need in order to work your way through this unit is
- a microphone (although microphones in smartphones and in computers are getting better, they are still far from real dedicated sound recording microphones)
- a recording devise (a portable sound recorder would be great, a computer with an external sound card can do a lot too, and most computers and smartphones can record without an external sound card as well)
- Sound editing software
If you do decide to make the exercises suggested in in the unit, we encourage you to upload them to Sound Cloud using this tag: DariahTeachSound. This way you will be able to listen to other students productions and share experiences.