KDHX Podcast Guide
- 1 Introduction to Podcasting with KDHX
- 2 General Guidelines for Programs on podcasts.kdhx.org
- 3 Promo Production
- 4 Content Guidelines
- 5 Tips toward building audience on the Podcast Platform
- 6 Some good resources for better understanding the Podcast Platform
- 7 Technician Guide
Introduction to Podcasting with KDHX
Podcasting has become one of the best ways to build audience for in-depth informative types of programming, and is THE vehicle for getting content to the listeners who want it most. It is a highly successful method of building community around a topic, and providing richer and more engaging information to your audience.
Something to consider is how you as host are a big part of what the listener is subscribing* to. Your personality, expertise, connections to the content, and ability to inform are key to the ability of the program to build audience. Some of the tips and guidelines below reference how you'll handle this best on the platform.
(*subscriptions to KDHX podcasts are FREE, by the way, but encouraging your audience to support KDHX and converting listeners to supporting donors is still an important facet of producing your program)
General Guidelines for Programs on podcasts.kdhx.org
AUDIENCE FOCUS TIPS
- Aid your listeners by providing text for the show titling and show notes prior to recording each episode in a new LibSyn draft. Writing this in advance is good practice, will assist your recording technician, and will be a part of your general preparation for the introduction, interview and, and closing
- title: should be AP Style, 5-8 words (max 80 characters) - short, catchy, snazzy. Ideally as a headline that includes guest, and topic
- description: should contain a program synopsis with searchable keywords, and all of the information that listeners may want to dig deeper into the topic - include links, images, and anything else that will serve to complement the podcast
- Introduce self as host at beginning (and end) of podcast
- Introduce topic and guest with credentials: "The focus of this episode of the program is [topic]. My guest is [guest name], [credentials, and/or position at organization they represent]"
- Give framework and/or tease content to be discussed later in the program
- Minimize fluff - get to the heart of the material quickly
- Give follow up links to reference materials that are listed in the show notes - use of show numbers will simplify this
- Outro - call to action! ask your listeners to do something - subscribe, re-post, etc
- Include KDHX Community Media identifier sample phrases:
- Opening?: "From KDHX Community Media in St. Louis Missouri, this is [show name], the podcast that...[super short show description]"
- Ending: "[show name] is a production of KDHX Community Media in St. Louis, MO, brought to you by the generous support of our listeners. I‘m [host name] - thank you for listening."
Episode specific promos should be :15 in length, and will run for two weeks after the podcast publish date, unless the podcast produces weekly, in which case the promo will be swapped out with each new episode. (we won't air two promos for the same show at the same time).
The basic format and shell for these episode specific promos should be as follows, but can vary to include highlight snip audio or Q&A:
Example Script A
- Intro: "Hi I'm (host name), host of the KDHX Podcast (show title)"
- Nut: describe current episode guest and topic in one sentence
- extra: if time allows insert :05 clip of highlight statement here
- Wrap: "you can find this episode and subscribe to (show name) at podcasts.kdhx.org"
Example Script B
- Intro: "In the latest episode of ________ we talk to _________ about __________ )"
- Nut: "[:05-:10 soundbite, or a one sentence summary]
- Wrap: "Find this episode of ______ and more at podcasts dot KDHX dot ORG."
KDHX production staff will help to record and produce these promos, and will proceed to slotting them for air as soon as the podcast episode is published.
(pertains to: Collateral, Collectors, Tangazo, Break a Leg, and Campfire - other pods will handle per agreed to specs)
Podcasts are typically intentionally casual. The intimacy is lost if it starts sounding same-same or too formal. Talk directly to each individual listener, and be yourself.
Make the podcast as long as it needs to be - did the "story" get told? were all of your audience's potential questions answered? Don't over edit, don't shy away from being creative, and expressing your personality. Edit away any trainwrecks, but don't over edit - keep some rough edges to keep it real.
We'll probably want to use some introductory music, and immediately follow with what’s in this episode, teasing content that will keep them listening. Do not use music that you or kdhx doesn’t own or have rights to use in download. Seek royalty-free music if you use any.
During record, a consistent audio level from host and guest is key - maintain similar distance from mic throughout, and technicians will compress, normalize and master.
Avoid breaks and throw-to-messages - there won't be a break in the podcast Avoid use of "88.1 fm" - instead use "from the studios of KDHX in St. Louis"
Episodes should be numbered, and the channel should lead with a very strong episode.
- numbering allows you to reference previous shows within the show in an easy to find manner - e.g. "if you'd like to know more about Prop B from last year's election, check out Collateral Damage episode #26"
- consider beginning show anew with the first episode, as podcast subscribers will often go back and listen to an entire season of content to feel "caught up"
Avoid time sensitive content and keep it evergreen by excluding these types of phrases:
- event promo e.g."X event is coming up on X date"
- references to the weather (ok to use as setting/context, but avoid if not relevant to this episode’s content)
- references to day of the week and time of day - "yesterday," "tomorrow," "tonight" or "today"
- references to the date, unless relevant - e.g. the episode was recorded the day of a significant event, and the ramifications are being discussed
- "this week" (depending on frequency of production)
Tips toward building audience on the Podcast Platform
- Build relationship with your audience by including personal information that you are willing to use in this context - enough that reminds that you are a person and not just an info source.
- Find the fun in what your doing, consider the possibilities of really connecting people with the info they want. Use your enthusiasm to encourage interest.
- Encourage listeners to subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or by using the RSS feed link on the podcasts.KDHX.org show page
Some good resources for better understanding the Podcast Platform
- Pat Flynn gioves good advice opn building audience and good content practices for your podcast's success: http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/how-to-start-a-podcast-podcasting-tutorial/
- The Podcast Answerman, Cliff Ravenscraft - http://podcastanswerman.com/learn-how-to-podcast/ -a lot of technical info, but a good source for general info
- Set up the room: make sure there are enough microphones and adapters, test the microphones, set them up at an optimal position for guests, and make sure there are enough chairs
- Before starting any programs, reboot the computer
- Get information from the host: host email, guest email, other relevant information
- Confirm that both Programs 1 and 2 are on
- Turn the mics on and bring up the faders to the red zero line and adjust accordingly. A good way to do so is to ask the guests to pronounce and spell their own name into the mic
- The levels should be going back and forth between the green and red on the meter.
- An optimal range is 3 below into the green and two above into the red
- We'll record the interview in WAV (16bit, 44.1) format using Audio HiJack. Click on the Recorder block to alter file settings.
- Start and stop recording using the red button at bottom left.
- Take edit notes in Textedit/notepad, or on paper. Listen for quality of speech and ideas.
- Make notes about any questions you may have about content, or anything that you didn't understand as stated - reasons for trouble could be due to pronunciation, distractions (coughs, laughs, etc), or perhaps the host and guest didn't explain the topic thoroughly enough for the un-involved listener.
- Help clarify what might confuse the audience NOW, by having the conversation and requesting re-records of things you'll need in edit.
- If there is need for retakes on any passage, make sure this happens prior to altering board settings. Its a good idea to get all content in the can in one sitting, so that audio quality is consistent throughout.
- Click here for more detailed info on using Audio HiJack
- Once recording has been finished, the raw .wav file should be visible on your desktop. (Rename it now if it does not yet contain date, podcast title and guest name.)
- Use the spacebar to preview the audio file, scrolling thru to assure that the file is complete and the audio expected to be there is intact.
- BACKUP the interview recording to the server, placing this copy in the root of the Podcast's folder. This is a temporary safety, and will allow the engineer to return to the post process later if needed.
- NOTE: Never leave the studio with data on the desktop. You should copy the recorded interview file to the server in all cases, even if you intend to immediately begin working on it.
- Next, you will need to create a ProTools folder that will contain all data for your podcast.
- Open up ProTools and create a new local session (.WAV, 16-Bit, 44.1 kHz)
- The ProTools folder should be saved to the desktop using the same naming convention - date (in year-mo-da format), podcast name and guest name.
- Drag your recording into the Audio Files folder inside the ProTools folder and then move it into the clip list in ProTools. From there, you can drag the clips into the central edit work area (in grey).
- Review the audio waveform, scanning for any abnormal peaks, and adjust them if necessary using the gain tool in AudioSuite
- AudioSuite --> Other --> Gain
- Lower by 3 decibels at a time
- Make audio levels consistent with compression/normalize routine using ProTools - this should be your last step before mixing
- Finalize podcast by mixing introduction music and end bumper music into speech content
- So you finished editing your Podcast and Promo, but now you need to store it away. You will need to find the Broadcast and Podcasts alias on the server.
- Once you have found the alias, look for the podcast that you were working on, and from there you can find the archives for that show. Drag and drop the Pro Tools folder into the archive and you're done!
- name episode including show title, date of record and guest or topic:
e.g. "2015-03-16 Break a Leg Brad Schwartz.wav"
- generate an mp3 of the final podcast, and add metadata using iTunes
Convert to mp3 in iTunes using these specs:
spoken word shows: stereo bit rate = 192kbps (will be cut in half as mono), sample rate: 44.1kHz, channels: mono music programs: stereo bit rate: 256kbps, sample rate: 44.1kHz, channels: stereo DO NOT use Variable Bit Rate (VBR) - should be CBR (constant bit rate)
NOTE: recent updates to iTunes have eliminated the 'right-click" option for doing the Convert to MP3 step. Here's how to handle that now:
Add ID3 (Metadata) / tagging the mp3 file using "get info" in iTunes - data that is embedded in the mp3 itself. Most important iTunes info:
Artist (and Composer, if desired) = Host name with basic credentials Album and Grouping = Show Name Album Artist = "podcasts.kdhx.org" Comments = 150 char description of the program (or this episode?) Track Number = episode number Artwork -> please embed channel art on each (KDHX Podcast Artwork)
Posting to your channel at LibSyn
LibSyn login link: https://login.libsynpro.com/kdhxtra
Here are the steps for adding new content to LibSyn:
Using a draft allows you to work with a partner producer to generate new podcast - one person creates and uploads the mp3 and saves as draft. The other updates the draft title, description and other particulars, and then to proceeds to publishing.
NOTE: do not attempt to work on the same draft at the same time to avoid data / lost effort.