PoducateMe: Practical Solutions for Podcasting in Education
Printable copies of the guide are available for purchase and immediate download at
Generally, foam tiles are mounted on the ceiling if the room is not carpeted, and walls are
covered with the spongy material until a sharp noise, such as a handclap, does not
resonate. Note that acoustical foam will do little to keep outside noise from entering the
roomits purpose is to dampen reflected sound. Other items that absorb sound include
sofas, drapes, tapestries and even plants.
To record CareerChat, we use the only space conveniently available to us on a fairly
consistent basisa small, windowless conference room. The brick walls shield us from
much of the outside noise, while carpeting and a large tapestry hanging on one of the
walls helps reduce sound reflections. However, sound does reflect off the conference
room table on which the microphones are placed. In addition, a ventilation system at one
end of the room produces a consistent, audible hum. The air unit presents the biggest
problem, as we cant turn it off and it is fairly noticeable in our recordings. To solve the
problem, we run our audio through Sound Soap 2 (Mac. PC, $79.95) in post-production,
which effectively eliminates the noise while leaving the vocals largely unaffected.
If you hear electrical noise and hum in your audio, you may have created a ground loop
with your setup. The ground loop hum occurs when two or more circuits with unequal
voltage share a common electrical ground. This noise can easily be remedied by
plugging all equipment into a single wall outlet. You can effectively plug several devices
into a multi-outlet strip and plug that into the wall, but you should refrain from plugging
multiple pieces of equipment into multiple wall outlets.
If electrical noise persists, try the following strategies:
Use balanced cables, especially for cable runs longer than six feet.
Use cables that are well-shielded.
If possible, keep power cords and audio cables separated. If separation isnt
possible, cross the cables over the cords at a 90 degree angle.
Check CRT monitor, power brick, lighting or other potential sources of
interference by turning them off, one at a time until source of noise is identified.
When the trouble spot is located, try relocating the source away from your
Recording a Podcast
At this point, Im going to show you exactly how we record an episode of CareerChat.
Your hardware and software might be different from the tools we use in our setup, but
most of the techniques and concepts Im going to describe will be applicable to your
By now you should have decided on your goals and the format of your podcast. In
addition, you should have investigated and purchased the necessary recording
equipment and recording software to bring your project to life. You should also have a