- 1 Administrative Note
- 2 Introduction and Purpose
- 3 Basic Technical Considerations
- 4 Production Process Overview
- 5 Gather and Recruit Expertise
- 6 Theme
- 7 Profit Sharing
- 8 Staff to Recruit
- 9 Funding and Promotion
- 10 Technical and Other Resources
- 11 Additional Thoughts, Resources, and Information
- 12 Setup and Help Links
Between late 2017 and mid 2018, spammers took advantage of this Wiki's open registration system to add about 4 GB of spam to the Internet by spamming the ever living heck out of this Wiki. Therefore I've locked down registration and editing. If you would like an account, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. With said account, I will enable your ability to edit the content here.
Also if you're interested in such things, Malcolm Gin may keep a changelog on her/his/their/eir profile page. Possibly.
Introduction and Purpose
The idea of this wiki is to collect and archive advice, techniques, and tips for creating and producing podcasts and other audio programming in today's Internet, utilizing modern audio capture and editing software, and contemporary podcast publishing platforms.
Malcolm Gin, a budding producer, is helping compile these data and information for public use, along with other contributors.
Note also that this resource focuses in part on pay and compensation equity, so much of the advice will be annotated with notes to include guests and hosts and other staff in compensation, in negotiation, etc. We are pro-labor and pro-equity here, even if involving more parties in negotiations can complicate things, it's the good kind of complication.
Basic Technical Considerations
At the very beginning you must have a computer or access to a computer on which you can install software to capture and edit audio, and to process, convert, and publish the final form of your podcast to some server or podcast hosting service on the Internet.
So you will need a computer you can install and use applications on, and some kind of Internet connection. It doesn't have to be an always on Internet connection, but that would probably make your work easier.
If you are a primary host or will be recording on many of the podcast episodes, you should obtain a good microphone for capturing voice. You might also need a quiet space in which to record your podcasts. Or you might need to provide your podcasting hosts and guests with cheap but decent microphones by mail. Or send them a gift card and have them buy one and have it delivered to them, or however you handle your money.
If you don't have money, you may be able to apply for a grant to get money. It's not a promise, but a possibility.
More about specifics of these considerations to follow.
Production Process Overview
Your overall process to get podcasts to publication should roughly follow this track: (Note: Depending on the size, format, length, and frequency of your podcast, you may be able to fill most of these positions yourself, but it may help to think of the roles anyway, to make sure your planning is based on industry standards, and to make sure your planning is comprehensive.)
- Gather expertise
- Develop theme/conceit for one or more podcast(s)
- Figure out pay or profit sharing model
- Articulate it somewhere everyone can see (Transparency)
- Recruit (A producer or host may be able to cover more than one role, especially if your publishing frequency is low or slow):
- Producer (logistics and/or money)
- Grant Application Writer (obtaining money - OPTIONAL - depending on money Producer brings or other revenue streams)
- Sound Engineer (sets up audio capture, captures audio, edits audio)
- Director (sets and implements or enforces standards for show)
- Obtain funding (grants, donations, fundraising, etc.)
- Obtain resources you need to record a podcast (computer(s), microphone(s), noise management, people, other sounds and cues, paperwork, etc.)
- Be sure to have explicit consent paperwork for guests
- Get consent:
- For the conversation
- For publicity (that the conversation/episode will be publicized, and roughly or specifically, how)
- (optional) Editor is the editor and authority
- (optional) No pre-publication review (unless it's important to you to allow guests to review, but realize this will impact your schedule.
- Determine broadcast/release frequency
- Typically once every two weeks or once every month
- Factor in the work:
- Typically 10 - 20 hours of work to produce each episode, which includes scheduling episodes and reaching out (to recruit and manage guests, and to manage other logistics)
- Factor in the work:
- Typically once every two weeks or once every month
- Use technical resources to record a podcast
- Edit/combine any separate audio tracks and sound cues (if any) into a single podcast audio file
- Upload the podcast file to its hosting service on the Internet, and list it in various podcast subscription services (Google Play, iTunes, etc.)
Gather and Recruit Expertise
Leverage your social media and face to face contacts and networks to find good people to help run, host, and guest on your podcast.
You or your director, and likely your fundraiser/grant applier will probably want a theme for your show, so you probably should articulate and write this down, to help everyone work in the same direction, and to provide when fundraising and otherwise promoting and advertising your show.
Especially for justice-oriented podcasts, but also in many other contexts, profit sharing can be a good choice to fund and staff an early podcast. Later, if your business crosses predetermined or dynamically determined thresholds of profitability, you may want to retool your policy for handling funds and profits. But for early shows, one popular model is to pay parties involved in production equally from presumably small amounts of shared profitability or revenue.
Transparency can help assure every involved party that whoever is handling the money is doing so fairly. There are wrinkles to this that are legal, that change regionally, that depend on different laws in taxation and law, so you may want to engage an accountant and/or a lawyer. Our Wiki is not able to give you legal advice.
Staff to Recruit
These rough roles are special to creating and publishing a podcast. Like many other businesses, you or your group may also want to consider retaining an accountant and a lawyer to consult on financial and legal obligations. But the following roles are specific to producing and publishing a podcast. Depending on the length, format, and other considerations about your podcast, a single contributor may be able to fulfill more than one of these roles. For example, it's perfectly doable for a producer or director to also be a sound engineer, assuming they have the training and the skills.
Grant Application/Funding Request Writer
Funding and Promotion
Please refer to the Funding and Promotion page for more details.
Technical and Other Resources
Your technical goal with microphones and recordings should be to record either the entire studio or individual contributors with each microphone (each microphone representing an audio track) that you or another editor can later combine into a single audio track to publish as the podcast. Professionals manage this by having a single microphone adjusted to each person in the podcast, and by live-combining them into an output audio that goes to headphones that are monitors for each of the participants. You or your sound engineer should endeavor to make sure that the lulls in conversation are truly silent, so there's not a layer of noise on top of any music or other track you choose to run during the interview when combining all the audio tracks.
Selecting your Technology
- Technology Selection
includes info on:
Using your Technology
Additional Thoughts, Resources, and Information
Checklists and Questionnaires
Setup and Help Links
Old Main Page with notes on getting started with this wiki in general. Technical pointers and notes on how to access, edit, and update pages on the wiki, etc.