Podcasting Pre-Production Guideline (For Your Guests)

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Your guest is respectable, notable, intelligent, and has a great story to tell…however, they might not be seasoned podcasters. 

Let’s make sure that you can help your guest – so that their story is shared with clean, beautiful audio. 

The most important thing you can ask your guest to do is to choose a quiet environment. If your podcast is not presented as a video, it doesn’t matter that they are tucked away in the bottom of the closet. Don’t park it outside with nature lurking behind you. Don’t sit in the big, grand ballroom in your house. Find a quiet, small room, with a lot of soft fabrics. NO HARD SURFACES. You want tight, clean, noise free audio.

Most podcast interviews are conducted via Zoom, Skype, or some other form of virtual meeting. This is recipe for audio disaster. WEAR HEADPHONES! There are so many things that go wrong when you don’t wear headphones. I’m talking to you, the guest. Mic bleed, audio gating, straining to hear your guest. Please, from every recording engineer in the world, wear headphones.

Anything is better than your laptop microphone. You can use almost any microphone and it’s better than your laptop. Even earbuds (if they are corded). Bluetooth microphones suck when it comes to connectivity.

There are a few Zoom Audio Settings you can adjust if you’ve followed the guidelines mentioned before. If you haven’t followed those guidelines, do better! 

To adjust your Zoom Audio settings, click on the up-carrot in the bottom left hand corner of your Zoom conversation screen (as seen in the picture below).

In the picture (below) you’ll notice a few points highlighted to improve the RAW audio. Some of these settings will come across as worsening the audio, but this is really just giving the control to the post-production crew, as oppose to the Zoom AI-bots.

Double check that the microphone, and headphones you are using match the locations circled. For example, mine are called Universal Audio. Yours might be AKG microphone, or Blue Yeti, etc. 

Please turn the background suppression to “low” as indicated below. This reduces the chance of Zoom cutting out your audio because of an offensive noise.


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