Your Ultimate Guide to Recording and Transcribing Podcasts

Nowadays, there’s a podcast for everything — whether you're into education, news, true crime, or entertainment, you’d be hard-pressed NOT to find a podcast that sparks your interest.

Podcasting has established itself as a highly-effective platform for disseminating information and providing entertainment. Compared to video, it's easier to produce. What's more, podcast content can be transcribed and rehashed into written format, making it perfect for use on blogs, newsletters, and social media. 

This makes podcasts more accessible to those who are hard of hearing, or perhaps prefer to read rather than listen.

In this article, we’ll share with you our best tips in recording and transcribing podcasts so you can get the results you want even with a modest setup. Read on to find out:

  • The best way to record your podcast
  • How to improve the quality of your podcast
  • What software you should use
  • How to export your recording to a file

How to Best Record Your Podcast

The key to recording a quality podcast is with thorough preparation. Before you start, make sure that you have a plan or script. Your audience won't want to listen to discussions that feel unstructured and lacking in clarity. 

Like a good book, a podcast should have the right elements and proper pace to make it easy enough for your listeners to follow and understand. If your podcast features multiple voices, ensure that each speaker has their own separate recording channel. This helps with leveling individual voices, so no one is louder than the other. Software with multi-track recording features is available and simple to use (more on this below).

Make sure your participants have good-quality headphones during the recording process. This will cut your editing time down, as you'll be able to hear yourself and adjust automatically. Try not to judge the sound of your voice too much - no one likes what their voice sounds like in a recording!

Do vocal warmups to prepare your voice. It might sound silly, but this will help eliminate any nerves or embarrassing voice cracks that may arise during the recording.

Improving the Quality of your Podcast

While the topic and content of your podcast are important, the sound quality is also an essential factor to get right. Having the right equipment can make or break a podcast. There's nothing worse than having a great script prepared, only to have your listeners question if it was recorded in an alleyway. 

Start with the right hardware

There are plenty of affordable equipment options available to make your podcast stand out. Investing in a good quality microphone and headphones can put you at a serious advantage in the podcasting world.

If this is your first time recording a podcast, you may consider using the built-in mic on your computer. It's a decent starting point for low-budget, hobbyists.

Other options for microphones include a USB microphone (ones that connect directly into your computer), a dynamic microphone (designed to focus solely on your voice), or a condenser microphone (professional standard, can record multiple speakers). 

Wearing headphones will help you during editing. There are many types of headphones on the market, so consider things like budget, portability, and comfort.

Control the environment

Here are a few more tips for improving the quality of your podcast: 

  • Record in a small, quiet room. Before recording, listen to your environment. You can then identify and eliminate any unwanted sounds. 
  • Turn off any electronics that may be creating a humming noise.
  • Record in a room with carpet and soft furniture to absorb unwanted sounds. Consider recording underneath a blanket. 
  • Avoid fidgeting during the recording.
  • Pro-tip: record the room tone. This helps during the editing process by offering a consistent tone.
  • Ensure your microphone is at the same height as your mouth and keep that same distance throughout the episode for an even sound. 
  • Constantly monitor your volume levels. 
  • Be mindful of loud breathing.

In short: sound is king. It's important to make sure the sound is crisp and clear. It will also help later when you want to transcribe your podcast with Transcribe. 

Easy-to-Use Software to Record your Podcast

When selecting which software to bring your podcast to life, consider things like editing features, tech support, price, and how the file saves.

Here are some software options we recommend:

  • Audacity (free and easy to use).
  • Adobe Audition (a subscription-based software for professionals).
  • GarageBand (a popular option for Mac users).
  • Hindenburg Journalist (a good option for professionals needing to edit multiple speakers).
  • Logic Pro (an upgrade for Mac users needing something better than GarageBand).
  • Restream (free plan available with plenty of features).

How to Export your Podcast to a File

All of the above-mentioned software can export your podcast into a compatible file. The software offers easy instructions on how to do that.

Typically, it's as simple as clicking 'Export'.

Most podcasters will save their file as an MP3, the most popular option. Other file options for podcasts include M4A and WAV.

Transcribe supports all popular audio file formats, including the ones listed above.

Why Transcribe Your Podcast Using Transcribe?

Once you have your podcast recording saved as a file, use Transcribe to convert your speech into text. Transcribing files to text can be a time-consuming process. Thankfully, in 2021, converting audio into text transcripts is much easier. 

We offer two transcription modes: automatic and manual. 

Automatic transcription

To save time, we recommend using our automatic transcription service:

  1. Select automatic transcription mode. Automatic transcription works best with clear, well-recorded audio (see above for how to improve the quality of your podcast). You can then edit the file, or export it into a Microsoft Word file.
  2. Upload your podcast. There are several customizable options.
  3. Download your podcast transcript.

Manual transcription

For manual transcription mode:

  1. Select "self-transcription" mode.
  2. Select the podcast file to be transcribed. Our self-transcription editor interface provides an integrated editor + media player.
  3. Slow down the audio and transcribe it. You can slow the audio or video down, listen to it and just type along. 
  4. Transcribe the podcast audio using Dictation (for when you get tired of typing).
  5. Use Templates, auto loop, and foot pedal features to help.
  6. Export your podcast transcription.

Read a more detailed how-to article about transcribing audio here.

Take the Hassle Out of Recording and Transcribing Podcasts

With Transcribe, you can easily transcribe your podcast for blog posts, social media pages, or and websites. You can even upload a video of your podcast and have subtitles available for your YouTube Channel.

Transcribe is an AI Transcription Software that helps convert and transcribe audio to text. By using our transcription software, we save thousands of hours for podcasters everywhere, getting your content out into the world quicker and easier.

Still have questions? Contact us.

About this Guide

This is an attempt to build the definitive guide on various topics related to dictation, transcription & recording.

This guide is maintained by Transcribe, a professional and easy-to-use transcription software that helps you convert audio and video to text automatically.
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