Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Break Guide to Podcasting

Hey everyone! Well, for most of the students at the University of Texas at Tyler, our Spring Break period has come to and end. What then,dear reader, does this mean I was doing the whole time? Well, one thing I have always loved has been audio podcasts. What is a podcast? Many might know them as a series of audio or video productions released over a series of time as a means to cover some particular subject.

Once-upon-a-time my PC was unable to properly handle the kinds of equipment I had (briefly!) bought to handle trying to do a podcast because ... well ... Windows Vista was a terrible, terrible idea but I had no other option.

Last year I was fortunate enough to have bought the gear for a whole new PC desktop and I never got around to fiddling with the audio capacities I then had access to. Over my Spring Break I started digging into the kinds of things I might need to do in order to properly start a podcast for the articles I write over at the comicosity website where I try and apply all my English Major nonsense to comic books!

Depending on the kinds of thing you might need that I myself have been playing with, consider the following:

1) How to record yourself and multiple people ---

Skype --- this one is easy to acquire and it is already crazy popular. This is a good program for recording yourself and guests, provided you need multiple people for your program. Skype also works great if you need to record just the audio as many audio recorder plug-ins can record the audio for you. I reccomend playing with Callnote Call Recorder. Their website is at

Google Hangouts --- This is an insanely powerful program that lets you record video conversations between yourself and others, as well as allowing for live-streaming options. Their website is at

 2) How to record yourself as a solo act ---

Audacity --- This program, like Skype and Google Hangouts, is a huge benefit to recording audio if you are using your own microphone (which I will cover in a moment!) or headset. If you need help with this free program then you can look no further than YouTube! Their website is at

Adobe Audition --- While this program is not free you can use a free trial of the program thanks to the website and give it a try.

3) What to record with ---

Your simple i-phone ear-buds and mic --- Okay, so, this might not seem like the best option as opposed to your PC, but hear me out. If you are on an i-phone or even a galaxy phone (heck, or any smartphone) these work well enough for starting out. Download a free audio recorder from the app store and record your files. When done just transfer them to your laptop/desktop and clean up the audio with Audacity or Adobe Audition.

For an example of something I recorded on an i-phone with just the headphones and a free trial of Adobe Audition check out this


 A headset --- These can be hit or miss and they may also (highly!) depend on how much you want to spend. At Wal-Mart I picked up a TB P11 headset that works very well.

A dedicated mic --- This one might seem like a deep rabbit hole to delve into but I can recommend one thing that is a solid performer as is cheap. The Blue Snowball iCE Condenser microphone. This little guy is cheap for the amazing sound that it captures.
or what you have around the house.

Here is a sample of what my test post sounds like with the Snowball if you want to compare/contrast against the ear-buds. Its very different.

I know these options are not going to be the most accessible to everybody but you will find that they are a good start. With many things in life you might find that even just starting out with the most basic tools can lead to learning and becoming a better and better expert.

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