Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Hi everyone, this is Leo Notenboom with news, commentary and answers to some of the many questions I get at askleo.info.
Today's podcast is just a little different. I'm not only going to describe how I produce my podcast, but show you as well. If you visit askleo.info, enter 10908 in the Go To Article box, you'll be taken to the show notes where you'll be able to watch the video shot while this podcast was made.
Now, a podcast is nothing more than a specific way of delivering an mp3 audio file inside an RSS feed. That can be as simple as just talking into your voice recorder and publishing the resulting file without changing it. But I'm looking for something just a little more polished, so here's what I do.
I start by writing a script using my HTML editor TopStyle. That script eventually becomes the transcript you see in the show notes.
I then use the free open-source recorder and editing program Audacity to record the audio. I use a Plantronics DSP-400 USB headset, certainly not pro equipment, but as you can hopefully hear it has reasonably high quality for something like $60 or so.
I typically do very little editing of the recorded audio - if I make too many mistakes I'll re-record the whole thing. But editing does at least include trimming the front and back of the recording, and perhaps removing a blown line or two.
Next I apply a bass-boost filter. That gives my voice a little more of that deep, rich radio texture that many of us come to expect from spoken audio. Without that, I'd sound a little more like this.
A common question I get is how to I get it to fit in 3 minutes each week? First, once you remove the intro and outro music, I actually have about 2 minutes 45 seconds to speak to you. Now, I've gotten fairly good at writing a script that takes about 2 minutes 45 to speak, but not always. Sometimes after the first recording, I'll go back and edit the script. But if I'm close - say within a few seconds or so - I'll cheat. I'll use Audacity's change tempo function to change the length of the audio without changing the pitch. To exactly 165 seconds.
Then I import my music overlay (which is exactly 3 minutes long), position the spoken audio within it, and save the result as an mp3.
I upload that mp3 to my server, copy the script into MovableType - the engine behind Ask Leo! - and publish.
As I said, the process isn't terribly difficult, but in my case getting a clean recording is usually the longest part.
I'd love to hear what you think. Visit ask leo dot info, and enter 10908 in the go to article number box. Leave me a comment, I love hearing from you.
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