Podcasting techdive from Gordon Haff

I work with Gordon as the other Cloud Evangelist at Red Hat. Gordon got me into podcasting and I've now refined it into about 30% of my day job I guess. I've also worked really hard to get the audio quality to be as high or higher than the vast majority of commercial podcasts out there. Recently Gordon was in London and I greeted him with some new microphones to get him back up to speed. Wasn't about to teach the master how to suck eggs and podcast, I learnt from him so that would have been rude.

He's written up a great article here and he's going to add to it the remote podcasting technique that I've perfected and passed upstream to Gordon. This stuff is really important because when you start out podcasting people think "it's easy". Well it is. It's easy to make a really bad podcast. To make a good podcast that gets 75,000+ listeners you have to work at it, you have to learn your craft and it starts long before you sit down with a microphone.

Also having the right kit helps, I have a cupboard FULL of microphones ranging from passive and phantom powered XLR mic's through to portable kit for road warrior use and now in the internet age you can be even more intelligent with audio and get stuff recorded that previously relied on Skype or recording phone conversations.

I nowadays use a Tascam DR-40 and a DR-05 for recording on the road or my iPad with an iRig Pre connected to a studio condenser mic when quality is important or I want to pack light. I also just bought an Alesis IOMix for the iPad to use with twin XLR mic's but I've not even opened it yet. In the studio I have a range of mixing decks and Shure condenser mics so I've learnt it doesn't come cheap. I'd guess I'm hitting nearly £3500 in purchases since I started this road in August. But you get quality audio and it makes the podcasts sticky and people download them and refer them to others. Thats important to the magic especially in the world of iTunes making your stuff instantly accessible.

When I started out there was nothing really useful that were free to help me get up to speed at least now I've done it maybe Gordon and I can help others realise that podcasting is fun and popular and provokes thought but it also takes time and love (and a pile of cash if you want to be really anal about sound).

One thought on “Podcasting techdive from Gordon Haff

  1. BTW Richard, I also took a cut at how to do things with Google+ Hangouts here: http://bitmason.blogspot.com/2013/03/remote-podcasting-with-google-hangouts.html. I think it's also worth emphasizing that there are relatively frugal first steps that people can take which are big wins. Not using cell phones, using some sort of microphone rather than the one built into the laptop, doing some basic audio processing, being aware of the environment in which you're recording; these all help enormously. And it's a learning process. Of course, getting the very best results require the right equipment, but a lot of people can still get significant improvements relatively modestly. There's a lot of low-hanging fruit.

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