Podcasting is the combination of two technologies: an audio file, such as an MP3 file, and a delivery mechanism. The most widespread delivery system is iTunes, but anyone can produce a podcast and publish it themselves. Podcasts are most simply understood as downloadable radio programs.
MIT Tech currently has some nice tutorials and introductions to podcasting:
Podcast Production Tutorials:
There are multiple programs that are useful for producing podcasts, Garageband and Audacity are the most well known and intuitive for audio editing. For tutorials on other audio editing and recording programs see Scholarship Technology’s Audio Recording tutorial.
Audio Editing in Audacity:
- Download Audacity from: audacity.sourceforge.net/download. The download option you choose depends on what kind of computer system you have (Windows or Mac).
- After downloading Audacity to your computer, open the application.
- At the top, you will see the following tools to help create a recording:
- After creating a recording, you may want to delete a section, because of a long pause at the end or the beginning of the recording.
- Select the selection button in the toolbar.
- Click and drag your mouse to the part of the recording you want to cut out as seen below. The selected region will have a darker background than the non-selected region. To listen to this section, press on the spacebar.
- To extend or contract the selection, click and drag the mouse to the area you want to extend or contract to.
- Click on the delete or backspace button on your keyboard to delete the section. If you made a mistake in the trimming, in the main toolbar, click Edit >> Undo Delete.
- In addition to deleting a section of the recording, you may also split and time-shift clips of the recording in order to get rid of long pauses. After selecting the region where you want to split the recording, in the toolbar, click Edit
- >> Remove Audio or Labels >> Split Delete: to remove the selected region without shifting the following audio.
- >> Remove Audio or Labels >> Split Cut: to remove the selected region to the Audacity clipboard without shifting the following audio.
- >> Clip Boundaries >> Split: to separate the recording into two clips.
- >> Clip Boundaries >> Split New: to move the selected region to the same position in a new track at the bottom of the project.
- >> Clip Boundaries >> Detach at Silences: to clips at either side of absolute silences.
- >> Paste: to paste from the Audacity clipboard into a vacant space on the recording.
- >> Join: to merge clips together, getting rid of the splits.
- In order to move clips around independently, click on the time shift tool , then drag the clip to spot desired. You may also move a clip between two others if there is enough space made for the clip. In the picture below, the top clip does not fit between the two bottom clips, thus the bottom clips need to be time-shifted.
- After editing the recording, you may save the entire project from Audacity by clicking in the main toolbar, File >> Save Project As. The format of the file is an aup (.aup).
- To retrieve the mp3 of the recording, go to File >> Export, and choose the MP3 Files format.
Audio Editing in Garageband:
- GarageBand comes downloaded on most MAC computers, the new version download for mac is available here. PC users should opt for audacity instead of Garageband because Apple does not have a PC download of Garageband. If PC users would rather use Garageband instead of Audacity, 2nd party groups have developed PC versions of Garageband, just know that these PC versions are not licensed by Apple.
- Open Garageband. Create a new podcast project. If you already have a file you’d like to open with Garageband to edit click “Open Existing File” to select the desired file. Files that are opened in Garageband using this option will be available only on a single track, so you cannot isolate existing audio tracks using this option.
- After naming your project, track view will appear. The preset for podcast projects opens with three tracks: two voice tracks and one “jingles” track.
- To record audio on a track, select the track you want the audio on, and click the red button next to the time-read on the bottom to start the recording. When done recording click the red button again to stop recording. The recording will appear on the upper track and can be clicked and dragged on the timeline and to different tracks. You can edit the volume on a specific track as well as audio panning.
- To add music tracks to your project either use the integration with iTunes to add a track from your iTunes library, or select a track from Garageband’s loop library. These musical tracks can either be laid out on a new track, or added to the “jingles” track. The track volume can be adjusted the same way as was explained for voice recordings. To toggle between the Loop and iTunes libraries in the media browser (Right column of screen). Click and drag selected music or loop track and place onto the timeline.
Loop Library: iTunes Library “Media Browser”:
- To cut audio select the track and time signature of the area you want to cut. Go to “Edit; Split” and delete by selecting the “Split” area of audio you want to cut and hitting “delete” on your keyboard. To hear audio playback on the timeline hit the “spacebar” to play and pause audio.
- Once you are finished placing and editing your audio tracks in Garageband, export to iTunes by “Share; Send Podcast to iTunes” Set the Album name, artist, iTunes playlist you want your podcast to save to, the type of podcast (musical, spoken, ect.), and whether you want the export to itunes to convert the Garageband file to AAC or MP3. Once this information is entered, hit “SHARE” to send your podcast to iTunes.
- iTunes is the most well known distributor of podcasts but for self-publishing podcasts there are other options.
- Soundcloud will host 2hrs of audio for free per account. Soundcloud uniquely allows users to leave comments at specific time signatures on an audio file. You also have the option to download audio files off soundcloud, which makes it a great option for publishing podcasts. Soundcloud files are also very easy to embed in blog posts.
Helpful Podcast Exercises: