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Get Serious About Your Podcast With These 5 Upgrades
Episode 4023rd September 2021 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
00:00:00 00:11:07

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Evo Terra:

It's true that it's cheap to start a podcast.

Evo Terra:

It's also true that the best podcasters don't often podcast on the cheap.

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Getting serious about podcasting means selecting serious

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podcasting tools and services.

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Evo Terra:

Hello, and welcome to another Podcast Pontifications with me, Evo Terra.

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In just about every craft or trade, you'll find people selling

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and making picks and shovels, you know, the tools of that trade.

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Some of these tools are often used by people outside of the craft,

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where other tools and services are highly specialized and rarely used by

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anyone other than true professionals.

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And that's no different in podcasting.

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In fact, like most creative pursuits, there's been a blurring of the

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lines between the tools used by hobbyists and dabblers, and those

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used by serious professionals.

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Now, I feel like this episode is going to require two disclaimers

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from me right up front.

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Number one is this, using professional-grade tools and services

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does not mean you'll become instantly a more successful podcaster.

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You still have to master the craft.

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Number two, yes, it is possible to be a successful podcaster using standard

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consumer-grade tools and services.

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Again, this is all about mastering the craft.

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But at some point in your journey to becoming a better podcaster, you may

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discover that there's a better suite of tools and services that save you

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time and money in the long run that let you focus more on that craft.

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So with that, here are five upgrades, if you will, for tools and

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services used by serious podcasters.

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First, it's time to get serious about your DAW, your Digital Audio Workstation.

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Yes, I know you can do everything you need to do with the free tool that

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you're using, but I assure you there are massive, massive things you're

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missing out on by using that free or already-on-your-computer tool.

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Time-savings is the biggest one, also much better options.

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There are ways to make great audio you have not been exposed to because

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of the DAW you are using right now.

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Personally, I use Hindenburg, and I also recommend Hindenburg Journalist Pro.

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But there are other tools, lots of tools out there, Adobe Audition,

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Reaper, Logic, even Pro Tools if you want to go all the way to the top.

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I actually don't think the tool itself matters as long as it's a tool designed

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to do this at a professional level.

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And yes, I'll concede once again, that I know people who make

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great audio using free DAWs.

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I get it.

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But I don't know of a single advanced podcaster who took the time to

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learn an advanced DAW and decided to switch back to that free download.

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I'm sure that person exists, but I don't really want you to prove me wrong on here.

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Again, it's time to get serious about your DAW.

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It's also time to get serious about cleaning your audio tracks.

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I know it's super easy to grab a few plugins and stick them in

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your existing DAW and let them do all of the heavy lifting.

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But pre-cleaning your tracks before they go into your DAW has a major

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impact on the audio that I'm putting out now, both for me and for my clients.

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I know it sounds like a needless step, right?

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If you've got the plugins in there, why not let it all do it at the same time?

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But I promise you that, while it sounds like a needless step to you, it will

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not actually sound like that to people.

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The sound will be better if you clean your audio tracks before

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you put them into your DAW.

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Also, it does not take a huge amount of time.

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Not after you learn how to make the tool you choose sing.

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About 95% of the work I do with my tool of choice, which is iZotope

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RX, the standard version, takes me, with maybe five button pushes.

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Total time per track, I don't know, five minutes, ten?

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And that's only if I'm doing some real serious work on the cleanup.

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So I use iZotope.

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There's also Accsonus.

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There's Waves.

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There's a lot of different tools designed to clean audio

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before you put it into your DAW.

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Third thing, it's time to get serious about upgrading

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your recording environment.

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That, to me, firstly means acoustically treating the room in which you record.

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Moving blankets and pillows can only get you so far in this.

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I really like Audimute, the panels that they make for

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hanging on the walls are great.

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They're also not terribly expensive, but seventy bucks a pop can sure

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seem that way to many people.

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I judge no one buy their pocketbook, or my pocketbook.

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But it makes the room sound amazing.

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While you're thinking of treating your room, also consider upgrading your cables.

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You know, the things that you plug your microphone into?

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I know nine bucks for a twenty-five-foot cable is a smoking deal on Amazon,

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but that cable's not built to last and might be adding noise

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or glitches into your sound.

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They're not cheap, but I can't recommend enough microphone

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cables by KOPUL and Mogami.

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Very good stuff if they're in your budget.

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Again, not cheap.

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Number four, it's time to get serious with your communication tools.

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I know you're getting by right now with a mix of Dropbox,

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Google Docs, Slack, WhatsApp, Messenger, and probably even email.

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But seriously, I did that for the longest time when I first started my

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agency, and it's just crazy how much time you waste and how many things can get

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lost and how you're confusing clients and people that you collaborate with.

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I know you've got a good workflow right now, but only up to a point.

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I suggest making a commitment to try out a dedicated solution that minimizes

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steps and centralizes all activities.

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Personally, I like Basecamp 3, looking forward to Basecamp 4.

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It allows me to collaborate, communicate, and coordinate with my

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clients and the other people that I work with all in a single app.

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Also, you can get Notion, you can get Monday, there's ClickUp.

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There's a host of other services.

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Go through the feature sets of those.

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Watch some of the videos.

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Take the time to learn a new tool.

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Your life will be made that much better.

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Next, it's time to outsource.

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Seriously.

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Yeah, I know that it's very hard to turn a bunch of things over.

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I get it, especially when you've got to pay someone to do things that you,

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yourself, are perfectly capable of doing.

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I have been there all the time.

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But it really makes a lot of sense to start outsourcing so many facets

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of what you do with your podcast.

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Now, my first suggestion may not be the outsourcing you're thinking.

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I think the first thing you should think about hiring is an assistant.

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Yep.

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Someone that you can trust to do as much of the rote, day-to-day

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stuff that's pretty easy to do, but it's also pretty easy to screw

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up because, well, it's easy to do.

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You don't double check it enough.

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My second suggestion of a hire would be someone to master your episodes for you.

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No, no, not the editing, not the individual audio

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engineering, the mastering.

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You still will assemble the audio, put it all together, but then they

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come along and make everything, your voice, your guest's voice, your music,

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everything, sound great, crisp, and amazing, and where it should be.

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This makes a world of difference.

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Trust me.

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Now, again, I need to repeat those disclaimers I said at the beginning.

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Upgrading tools and services to pro is not a magic pill, and yes, people

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do turn out great podcasts all the time without any of these things.

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So your mileage may vary, but I strongly believe that upgrades like

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these will make it much easier for you to become a better podcaster.

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Now, if you got value out of this episode, or perhaps the entire

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miniseries I did this week on specific ways to become a better podcaster,

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you can return some of that value to me at the finally functioning

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podcastpontifications.com/support.

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On that page, you should find links to Buy Me A Coffee, some direct payment options,

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and even the way to give me some of that fancy new currency that's out there.

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There shall be no episodes from me on a Friday, which means enjoy your weekend.

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I shall be back on Monday with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

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Cheers!

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Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra.

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He's on a mission to make podcasting better.

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Links to everything mentioned in today's episode are in the notes

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section of your podcast listening app.

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A written-to-be-read article based on today's episode is available at

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podcastpontifications.com where you'll also find a video version and a corrected

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transcript, both created by Allie Press.

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Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.