Podcasts are a new form of media that has been increasingly popular in recent years. Typically available on a wide range of platforms such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify, listening to podcasts is a convenient way to consume content. According to the latest reports, the majority of podcast listeners multitask while listening to podcasts. Some do so while traveling while others enjoy it while doing housework and chores.

There are more than 2 million podcasts in the world. And as the demand for audio content grows, the number of content creators continues to rise as well. Given this,  it is important for any aspiring podcast to shed light on the process of creating quality podcasts. 

Aside from the actual content of the podcast, a crucial element in the podcast production process revolves around audio. This involves the recording, mixing, and editing parts of podcast creation. To help you understand better, here is a quick introduction to podcast engineering and how it is utilized in podcasts. 


What Is Audio Engineering

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Audio engineering refers to the manipulation of sound waves in order to produce a new form, mix, or higher-quality sound. A recorded sound, whether it’s an instrument or voice, generally loses quality as it is captured and converted to electrical signals. Not only that, but there it also diminishes character and nuances that can be important when evoking a particular tone or emotion. 

The goal of audio engineering is to hone the quality of the recorded sound waves in order to produce an accurate and suitable recording when played. However, audio engineers have the option to preserve the original tone and characteristics of the recorded audio as well as creatively manipulate it to produce a significantly different sound. Depending on the objectives, audio engineers can simply clean a sound recording or manipulate it by adding elements such as reverb, distortion, fuzz, drive, and the like. 

An important part of audio engineering is to understand the concept of acoustics. There are different elements in the environment that can affect and influence sound performance. Starting from the position you stand from the microphone, the type of recording device you’re using, to the size of the room that you are in. Aside from knowing how to manipulate sound on a computer, audio engineers are also trained to understand acoustics and its principles in order to record decent audio from the get-go. 

Through audio engineering, podcast producers can create quality recordings or set up a studio for live podcast sessions. 


Different Types of Audio Engineers

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There are different types of audio engineers based on their field of expertise, training, and skills. Here are some of the subfields in audio engineering that can be relevant to podcasting.


Recording Engineer

Recording engineers are the ones responsible for handling tasks related to the recording of sound. They generally handle and manage the different equipment and tools to be used. This includes identifying the type of microphone, amplifier, and instruments, as well as the placement of each item in the recording studio. It is the recording engineer’s responsibility to ensure that the acoustics are set the right way in order to capture the sound the way it is supposed to be. In podcast hosting, the choice of microphones as well as the overall setting of the surrounding can be crucial in producing crisp and clear audio.

Mix Engineer

Mix engineers work on post-audio production and are tasked with processing and balancing the recorded sound. If the podcast requires recording mixing, the mix engineer would be the one to manipulate or synthesize to create a balanced mix that would be further polished by a mastering engineer.

Mastering Engineers

The mastering engineer is the final sound engineer involved in the audio production process. They take on the mix engineer’s final product and further smooth the recording to produce high-quality results. 

Live Sound Engineer

Live sound engineers can be crucial when it comes to hosting live podcast episodes. Their expertise allows them to manage sound settings and audio levels in real-time to ensure that the sound is set at an acceptable value. Live sound engineers need to consider different elements such as the environment and the quality of voice of the artists or podcasters in order to come up with the right sound mix and set during a live event.


Helpful Tips For Producing Better Podcast Audio

Given that podcasts are audio-only media, the quality of the sound recording can easily be the determining factor between a good and a bad podcast. Logically, there is no audience that would want to listen to a podcast filled with noise and a garbled-sounding host. In this case, you can either learn about audio engineering and do the audio editing yourself or you can outsource your podcast production to those providing editing services. 

Regardless, it is important for any aspiring podcast host to know how to start creating high-quality podcast episodes for their listeners. To help with this, here are some helpful tips that can guide you in improving podcast creation and production. 


Take time to plan 

One of the earliest mistakes that aspiring podcasters make is to start recording on a whim. While podcasts can be a casual conversation between people, it is still important to minimize rambling and out-of-topic discussions. Extremely long recordings can be difficult and time-consuming to process. 

To prevent this from happening, take some time to plan your podcast episodes. Write conversation starters, interesting topics, or even a rough script that would summarize the content of your podcast. Structure your podcast in such a way that you wouldn’t have to record for hours just to come up with 20 minutes of quality audio.


Invest in soundproofing and quality equipment

It is not necessary to spend so much on your recording equipment early on your podcast journey. It is possible to capture good sound and audio even with your mobile phone. But to do this, you need to minimize as much noise as you can. 

Setting up a dedicated recording studio or soundproofing a whole room can be an expensive investment. If this is not possible just yet, find a small space or a quiet room where you can record your podcast without dealing with day-to-day noise like footsteps or passing cars. And as your channel grows, invest bit by bit in better equipment such as a condenser microphone, a mixer, an audio monitor, and other pro tools that can help you produce better sound and audio.


Listen and rework

There is a reason why audio and music production takes several mixing processes. While it is possible to spot mistakes in your recording after listening to it numerous times, your ears can slowly get used to it to the point where you are unable to notice minor mistakes in recordings

To help with this, make sure to have someone else listen to your podcast and have them take note of anything that is amiss. This allows you to rework and make minor changes to make your podcast episodes better. Ideally, get the approval of other people before finalizing and publishing your podcast online. 


Want to know more about outsourcing podcast creation? Sidekicks is an on-demand virtual company and we’re eager to help visionaries and entrepreneurs like you. Get a free ebook and learn more about how we can help you by signing up for our newsletter. We also offer a free 30-minute consultation if you prefer something more personal.