The Importance of Audio Quality to your Podcast
Imagine turning up to the cinema after hearing great reviews for a film only to find out that the video quality is the same as a phone camera from 2003 would produce. You’d be pretty disappointed to say the least.
We should have the same mentality around podcasts too.
One of the biggest turn offs when I listen to new podcasts is the quality of the audio. Within the first few seconds it’s possible to tell that the audio has been recorded badly and if so then I’m out.
This isn’t because I might have a higher threshold as I produce my own show and work with others — it’s because quality audio reveals that the show was created diligently and should be taken seriously by listeners.
Let’s run through why high quality audio is important and how you can achieve it with your show too.
Why is Audio Quality Important?
Take a listen to some of the top-ranked shows on iTunes or Google Play. What do they all have in common?
They all sound like they’ve been recorded well with a consistent standard in audio quality. Dialogue is clear and without distractions, sound effects might be tastefully used, and music is appropriately where necessary.
High quality audio doesn’t distract you from the content of the show, it welcomes you in and thus you’re able to enjoy listening, learning, or being entertained.
How to achieve high quality audio
You might think that achieving a high quality sounding podcast starts with recording. You’d almost be right. Before you even press record, it’s important to make sure the environment you record in is as controlled as possible. This is the first thing you should do. It’s no good having the best microphone and the most eloquent guests if you’re recording with a window open next to a building site. You also don’t need the ‘best’ microphone either. The best microphone is the right one for the job at hand. If you’re recording an interview at home over Skype, a microphone that costs less than £100/$100 would work for you in a controlled environment.
The best microphone is the right one for the job at hand.
After recording comes what is often the most time consuming part of the process — editing.
You probably get frustrated hearing hedging, pauses for thought, or sentence restarts when you listen to podcasts, and your audience will likely be the same too. Cutting them from your interview can be time consuming and arduous, but the investment in time or hiring a podcast editor can make the difference between a well recorded conversation and a great sounding, memorable interview.
Remember, high quality audio shouldn’t be something to strive towards, it should be the standard. It’s a sign that you take your show seriously, so your listeners should too.