You guys! My Podcast has finally been launched! Before I dive into my celebration, I wanted to update you on the mess that has been editing and producing this thing. There were LOTS of lessons to be learned.
The Podcast Production Process: My Personal Hell
For those of you that haven’t been following me as I bumble along figuring out how to make a podcast, you can get caught up here and here and here. It’s definitely been an imperfect journey, but it hadn’t been particularly painful until this last step: Production.
And I must’ve known it was going to be rough because I put it off for as looooong as I could. But this past weekend, I finally decided to focus on getting it done and dove, head-first, into editing.
The Production Steps I Took:
In case you’re interested, I’ll start by walking you through the steps I took to produce my very first podcast. I may eventually outsource this task to a professional, but I wanted to learn how to do it and try my hand at it a few times so I can use that info to inform the way I record my interviews in the first place. So far, this has been a good move. I will definitely record my next episode differently!
Record my intro “blurb” (I don’t know what it’s actually called.)
Remove the Micro SD card from my microphone, (I happened to use this one ) and add the digital files from the Micro SD card to my computer’s hard drive
Fire up the Garage Band app on my computer and drag my audio files in, along with the music file for my intro/outro
Try not to throw my computer out the window as I split, rearrange, cut, fade the different pieces of audio
Hate myself for starting a podcast in the first place
Take a deep breath and press on with the editing
Export the completed podcast as an MP3 file
Load my MP3 file into Libsyn and populate all of the show/episode description info
Publish the episode in Libsyn!
Apply to add the podcast to iTunes
Apply to add the podcast to Stitcher
Freak out a little when I see my podcast show up on my ACTUAL Podcast feed!,
That list made it seem so simple, didn’t it? Well, not everything went perfectly. Here are a few more lessons I learned while producing this baby…
Lesson #1 - If you’re going to make a 30-ish minute podcast, don’t record 90 minutes of audio.
Remember back when I told you how laid-back I was going to be about how I structured my first interview? And remember how that didn’t really work? Well, it doubly didn’t work because my easy-breeziness meant that my guest and I just chatted casually for 90 minutes. In my head I thought, “This is great! I’ll definitely be able to edit this down to pull out only the best parts.” Doesn’t that sound SO LOGICAL? It really did to me.
What I didn’t properly respect was that editing is Time Consuming. Yes, with capital letters. And what seems like a tiny snippet of an idea you want to capture can take hours to stitch together juuuust right. And then double that if you haven’t touched Garage Band since circa 2002. So yeah, it was a long 2 days of editing. You read that right, two full days to pull together a 30-minute podcast. Ugh. I’ll never get that slice of my life back.
Lesson #2 - Yes, you need a mic stand or tripod.
Ughhhhh, there are so many rustles and crinkles and barumphs in my first episode. And it’s fine. It’s supposed to be a hot mess right now. But still, I wish I would’ve fully understood the importance of a stable mic. Thankfully, my husband gave me one he’d had just lying around, so I’m set for next time!
Lesson #3 - Be conscious of your pitch.
This might be one that’s specific to me, but there were lots of times in the conversation where I went into some weird baritone range of my voice. I think I do this naturally in conversation, but it doesn’t play well on a recording. I recall that during the interview, I was kind of leaning back on the sofa as I talked because I’m so comfortable with this particular guest. Next time, I’ll pay attention to sitting up straight and keeping an upbeat energy throughout so my voice stays in an optimal pitch range.
Lesson #4 - When it comes to audio, garbage in/garbage out.
Similar to Lesson #1 above, I had this idea when I was recording that it didn’t reallllly matter how perfect the mysterious “levels” and room acoustics were when I recorded. I could fix it during editing. But that’s not really how it works. While it’s true that you can “turn things up” and “turn things down,” there’s no substitute for doing it right the first time.
Furthermore, I’m realizing that the fewer separate voice recordings, the better. I ended up with very different volume levels and energy-in-my-voice levels from my podcast intro, episode intro, and the interview itself. In retrospect, it sounds pretty bad, so please hang in there with me…I’ll get better with this audio stuff!
But besides how long and tedious it was to edit, it really did go smoothly. And now that I’ve learned Lesson #1 above, this process should go a lot more smoothly next time (I hope!). I have to tell you, the first time I saw my little podcast appear on iTunes it felt so surreal. Apparently I podcast now.
I hope you’ll check out my very first episode with one of my favorite humans, Inga Varney.
Inga is a Wine-geek, a fellow process nerd, a lover of organized digital and physical spaces, while almost always having thousands of messages in her inbox and large stacks of paper all over her desk and surfaces. She is currently a part-time employee working full-time hours while dabbling in her wine business and hanging out with her darling 3-year-old and lovely husband. (And me sometimes.) You’ll love her.
We talk about…
Learning by jumping into the mess
The value of being “the new girl/guy"
How even the most organized people have trouble prioritizing their day
How to get on track when your current systems are no longer working
How to follow the pain to figure out where to start systematizing, and
How to use constraints to make decisions more easily
It’s a pretty fun conversation!
(Side Note: The ridiculously nerdy (and amazing!) tool we discuss is the Timeular tracker.)
I hope you’ll subscribe! (It can only get better from here!) And just so you know, I had previously identified a certain pair of zebra-print shoes as my reward for finally publishing.
So if you see me in them, you’ll know I’m wearing my “Hot Mess Shoes.”