Today, I want to talk more about podcasting from any location.
I touched ont his in my last episode. I talked about the best mobile podcast setup. I’ll touch on that again, but I want to answer some very basic questions regarding podcasting from any location for those who are totally new to podcasting.
MOBILE PODCASTING EQUIPMENT
The best equipment to use for podcasting, whether you’re in your studio, or on location, is the Zoom H6, along with one of the Mics I suggest (Electrovoice RE20/320, Byerdynamic M99, Heil PR40, Shure SM7b, or the Shur SM58 handheld stage mic). Of course, one of my secret weapons is the CloudLifter. It’s not required, but totally worth the price.
The great thng about using the Zoom h6 is that if you’re on location you don’t even need a computer. You can record multiple microphones at once to separate tracks and the Zoom will save them to the SD card. This eqipment will quite literally fit in your jacket pockets.
If you want to go even lighter then simply use the Zoom h6 and the optional shotgun microrphone which attaches to the Zoom. It’s sold separately, but also with the price. Especially for easy field recording of ambient sounds, and on the street interviews.
In this case, you’ll just be holding the Zoom h6 and you wont need any other eqipment to record you podcast.
If you’re using the shotgun mic you’ll have to apply your vocal effects processing a little differently than what I suggest for other microphones, and if you need any help with that you can contact me.
Keep in mind that this equipment is exactly what I use to podcast in my studio. No need for a seperate setup for your studio – which means you’re saving a lot of money, space, and time!
PODCASTING ON LOCATION
This is for those who are really new to podcasting.
For the most part podcasts aren’t recorded live. Most of them are pre-recorded, and delivered to your device where you can listen to them whenever YOU choose.
This allows the podcaster the ability to make sure the podcast sounds great before it’s sent out.
They can edit their podcast, apply vocal effects, and combine different recordings into one final episode.
More and more podcasts – especially those that are simply releases of radio shows – are recorded live. These shows don’t have the ability to edit their programming, and they require more skill from the host. Theoretically they should have worse audio quality, but the audio quality of most podcasters who pre-record is still pretty poor. (Because they simply don’t know what they’re doing.)
I suggest starting out pre-recording your podcast for several reasons.
In relation to mobile podcasting from any location pre-recording your podcast is safest choice.
Live-streaming a podcast form a location which your normally don’t stream from may be risky, because it may turn out that your internet is unstable, or that the ambient noise in the area is so bad that streaming live isn’t worth it. In a case where the ambient noise is too loud you need to be able to fix that issue in post-production before you release your podcast.
However, there may be cases where you know that your internet connection will be stable, and you have some control over the ambient noise in the environment – like a hotel room, for example.
But what if you’re out in the field? On the street, or in a building? In this case if you really want to live-stream on the street, and you have a great internet connection via your phone, you can plug your Zoom h6 into your phone, and live-stream your audio via Mixlr, or even via youtube, or facebook. (The Zoom H6 will record to the SD card, and output to your phone at the same time.) If you’re a “one-man-show” (so to speak), and you’re walking around recoding, you can just cover the camera and put it in your pocket to make it easier. YouTube, or Facebook will stream your audio. If you have the ability to set up your phone so that it can capture you while recording then that’s even better. Either way, you can stream live using your phone, which means you can roam around, and be extremely mobile. You just have to make sure that your volume level on your H6 is set at a good level depending on your micrphone. This is easy, since the H6 has a display showing you how loud your input level is so that you don’t come in too hot and cause distortion.
While this allows you to live-stream your episode, you’ll still need to publish it on your website, and to iTunes, Google Play, etc. (There are services that allow you to live-stream, and publish, all within their service, but I highly suggest you publish your own podcasts, on your own website!)
I suggest doing this after editing in post-production. In this case your final podcast will sound better than your live-stream, because you will have edited it, and applied some vocal processing effects.
IS LIVE STREAMING FROM ANY LOCATION WORTH IT?
In most cases, no. The reason for this is because most people listen to podcasts precisely becuse they don’t have to listen live – they download them and listen at their convenience. Live streaming is better for special events, and for most beginning podcasters is far too much to take on. You won’t be worse-off for not livestreaming your podcast from any location. Trust me.
ON-LOCATION VS IN THE FIELD
For the purpose of this episode I’m making a distinction between on-location, and in-the-feild. You may have picked up on that.
By in-the-feild I mean outside, or inside, walking around – extremely mobile. Whereas by on-location I mean recording from someone elses studio, or home, a hotel room – an area where you’re stationary.
In a situation where you’re stationary, you have the option of pluging your Zoom H6 into your laptop and recording to your laptop. However, you certainly don’t have to. You can also use a mic stand of some sort.
In a situation where you’re walking around you want to hold your mic, and keep your Zoom H6, and CloudLifter, in your pocket, or bag. You’ll also likely be recording to the Zoom h6, or your phone (if you’re live streaming).
In either situation your control over ambient sound will be limited.
In some cases you want ambient sound to add a sense of location to your show. And so it works to your advantage.
In other cases you want to limit ambient noise. Try to find a location with as little reverberation as possible. A carpeted area, with lots of space. A room with furniture, etc. That will absorb sound.
Your audience will be more forgiving of your poorer audio quality knowing that you’re recording on-location. If you’re recording on-location, or in the field, you’re going to have to be okay with less than the best audio quality. However, in my experince, in some cases you can luck out and find a great location that makes for even better audio quality.
RECORD FROM ANY LOCATION, AND STREAM LATER.
If you really want to stream live, there’s another option for you. Record first, then edit your show, and stream the recorded show live while you interact with your listeners in a chatroom, or facebook page, during the live broadcast.
This can be a great way to build audience participation, answer questions, and grow a more engaged listener base. I personally really like this idea, and I’m tempted to start doing it with this show, because it will allow me to answer questions as they arise – many times people think of questions while they’re listening that they would normally forget later.
There are a couple good services for chatting on your website while you’re streaming live. There’s Chantango, Chatroll, Chatwing, or Flyzoo, among others. They will allow your listeners to login with their social media accounts using any device, and chat with you while listening to your livestream via your website, or another app that allows people to listen while the app is closed. These chat services won’t stream the audio for you, they will allow users the ability to chat while they play your stream from another program, or mobile app.
LIVE STREAMING PRE-RECORDED AUDIO, AND VIDEO
There are a few different ways to live-stream your pre-recorded audio, or video. You can use Open Broadcast Software in order to stream the audio, or video, to YouTube, or Facebook, or other live stream services. The instructions for doing this are far to in-depth to cover on this podcast, but you can find instructions online. I will likely create a particular course showing how to accomplish this step-by-step on video.
The easiest way to live-stream your pre-recorded audio is via a service like Mixlr, where you simply choose the Mixlr Audiolink as your audio output from any application that allows you to output to any audio output device. If you’ve installed Mixlr, Mixlr will show up as an optional output device.
Once you’ve selected the Mixlr Audilink you can open Mixlr, and select that as your input under the “any input” channel. Start playing your audio file, and start the live broadcast in Mixlr, and you’ll be live streaming.
You can stream Mixlr to your facebook page if you want, and use Facebook comments to interact. Or, you can use Mixlr’s chat function. You can also embed mixlr on your website (in the sidebar, for example), and interact via chat right there. You can find instructions on Mixlr’s website.
By the way, Mixlr has both free, and paid versions. Free will get you one hours worth of brodcasts daily.
In the end, live streaming while recording isn’t really worth it in my opinion. Live streaming a pre-recorded show is a better idea. And the your best bet is traditional podcasting by reocrding your show, applying vocal processing effects, editing it, and then publishing it on your website, and to iTunes.
If you want to learn about how I use this equipment, and almost everything else about the most optimal, cost effect, yet professional podcasting system then head on over to How To Start A Podcast .ORG and check out my course. It’s not live yet, but it will be very shortly. And once it’s up, and I’m accepting memberships, you’ll want to be one of the first to sign up, becuase the first 50, or so members will recieve a free phone consulation with me as well as a free vocal processing plugin stack setup designed specifically for your voice. What that means is that I will take an audio sample from you, and configure an effect stack that you can copy on your computer (using my suggested software, and plugins) and use for podcast. One of the most difficult, and confusing, parts of podcasting is learning how to utilize vocal processing plugins to get a high-qualiy, professional sound. After 10 years of audio engineering for podcasts I’m a pro at it, and a customized effect stack is really worht more money than my course itself. However, I want really want to get feedback on the course so I’m offering this big bonus for a limited time.