LAUNCHPOD MEDIA BLOG

5 Ways to Improve Your Podcast Audio

Want to level up your podcast audio? Me too. In fact it is something that we are always working to improve and upgrade at LaunchPod Media. But over the last 3 or so years working on thousands of podcasts we have found a number of things that make a big difference. Being able to relay … Continue reading 5 Ways to Improve Your Podcast Audio

Want to level up your podcast audio? Me too. In fact it is something that we are always working to improve and upgrade at LaunchPod Media. But over the last 3 or so years working on thousands of podcasts we have found a number of things that make a big difference.

Being able to relay your story to your audience is one of the major points of having your podcast grow. Editing can be difficult, and make telling those stories even more challenging. There are many tools that can make this a lot easier, no matter if you are doing it yourself or collaborating with a production team. Outside of the technical side of podcast production, there are many best practices in producing your podcast that can make the listener more comfortable and engaged. 

Intros and Outros

15sec skep is very common in podcast listening applications.

Having a season-specific soundtrack is an awesome thing. Creating a unique intro and outro to your podcast literally helps form out the audible brand; literally answering the question of what your brand sounds like. However, outside of using consistent music that you are legally allowed to use, and that they are no longer than 10 seconds long. There is a very simple reason behind this, the main one being the skip buttons on your favorite podcast player.

Being able to skip 15 seconds is great you want to be able to skip past the 500th commercial for blue apron. However, if you want to make your downloads really count, then getting people to listen through your 10-second music and intro is considerably more reasonable. This mater because the way we currently count podcast downloads, and if your episode is too long it could be hurting you as well.

Narration

On of the highest marks of a well-produced podcast, like the ones they do at NPR is the fantastic narration. People are to walk people through a discussion with more context. Unless you have a fantastic production team like the one right here at LaunchPod Media then this may be a lot having to cut, paste, and rearrange extra audio during production. There is a way around this, however, and the guys over at the TMBA podcast give a great example of this. 

The TMBA or Tropical MBA ‘pod’ is basically a spoken blog post. They have top ten lists, guest posts, and interesting cutting edge information. The thing they do that really ups their already fantastic production value is the little pauses that they add into the 3/4 mark of their show. Often this pause is just one of the two hosts chiming in or adding a little extra to something in their conversation. Cushioned between two subtle sound effects and some music they break up the content without having to do those high-level narrations. Also adding a post-production intro like the Gary Vee Experience or afterthoughts like may of our podcasts are great ways that your show can help the whole episode seem more complete.

Ad Breaks

If your show is big enough, and you find it in our podcast’s best interest to do ad insertion (check out our friends at True Native then putting the ad in the right spot matters. Traditionally they are broken into 3 types Preroll, Midroll, and Post Roll ads. These types of ad insertions can be somewhat clunky is not added correctly. However, if you make sure your ad the right pauses or even read the ads yourself you can really make things more native and natural. 

We have found in our research that shows with advertisements done at the 3/4 point in their show are more effective. So Mid-and-a-half-roll may make your podcast just that much better. Which is what you want when you start taking on advertisers. 

Sound Effects.

The Rodecaster Pro, one of our favorite pieces of podcasting tech. It is easy to use and makes podcasting more accessible for the layperson. One of the fun options that can lead people into trouble is the sound effects. While seemingly benign sound effects can rip people out of the content that you want them to be absorbing. On the other hand, done in the right way it can add an element of interest and flavor. If you want to do it right here are some pointers:

  • If you have show transitions stay with eh same sound, it will become part of your brand, much like Tim Ferriss and his little transition sound. 
  • Keep the sound short and in the background, if it is part of a story, much like the guys in ImprovBroadway.
  • Be careful of sound effect volume
  • Use sound that people have heard before if you are trying to be sure, it will connect them to relatable content.

Volume

A while ago we did a survey of podcast listeners and found that one of the major causes of people unsubscribing from a podcast was quite simple. Volume. If listeners have to adjust the volume to hear a guest more clearly or transition form the music to the actual content more than twice, they will UNSUBSCRIBE. That means they will never listen to you again. 

Maintain volume levels between all your shows, this is more important the shorter your shows. If you are doing a 5min podcast you need to be more concerned with this than if you are conducting a 3 hour interview. Watch transition periods and watch for spikes in the audio. These will shock the listener. Another important element is what kind of sounds. You may actually use silence if you are careful, but don’t let the sound come back with a BANG!

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