Live Streaming?

This is the process of recording a Facebook Live, Linkedin Live or on Youtube. This can also be done, usually in the field, directly into a storage device and then sending the unedited audio out into the world. The question to ask yourself is this: Why?

If you really want to show a sloppy approach to podcasting, disrespect your listeners and sound like you don’t know what you’re doing, go live to drive!

This is a bit harsh. There are some people who can do this and it is the most natural thing in the world. It’s when I find a “live to drive” thrown into a show’s feed, for no apparent reason that it jars. I heard one last month where a podcaster felt like they needed to go “back to their roots”. It was appalling. Echo on the track, variable volume as the mic and the mouth were at different distances from each other and the wonderful background noise of a car engine. The next episode the podcaster said something like: Well that was atrocious but I really enjoyed getting back to my podcasting roots.

As I say a disrespect for the listeners.

If you’re reporting from an event away from your usual recording space, let people know and they’ll usually be forgiving of sound quality issues. This is especially so if the content really matters. Tell them you’re subjecting them to it for your benefit and not so much.

If this is the only way you can capture a client reaching a goal then give the matter some thought prior to hitting the record button. A lavalliere or lapel mic might be a solution to capture the client’s experience as it unfolds. This would provide raw audio you could splice into some voice over or an interview in a controlled space. The possibilities are many. 

All that being said, please, please, please do some editing. This might not be possible if you’re on the road but it should be. “Do the best you can.”is always good advice.

Sometimes the audio is from an interview on things like Teams or Zoom. You may not be able to control the environment at the other end but you can discuss some audio options with the other party ahead of time. Try to record the cleanest possible audio you can and  again, tell your listeners when a change in audio quality is coming.

Some post production tools and tricks can tidy rough audio but nothing replaces good raw audio. Body noises, coughs and sneezes mostly, can be quite jarring to listeners. I discovered this while editing the other day. I knew the sneeze was coming, I knew where it was in the file and it still slapped my ear drums hard. Edit, every time, unless you’re such a natural you wouldn’t be reading this anyway. For the rest of us: edit!

Doing the best you can means respect for your listeners above all else.



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