What? It never ends? Exactly. A craft requires effort and attention to detail. I remember reading somewhere, an 80 odd year old violinist was asked while he continued daily practice at his age. He responded: I’m starting to see some improvements.
There are so many areas we can work on in our shows. I would suggest taking one at a time. To that end I’ll go through the areas where the greatest improvements can be made, generally speaking.
Let’s start with ideas. A little bit esoteric, I’ll admit but an area which can make or break a podcast. Do you have a go to source for ideas? If you’re producing a history show, then primary sources are the go. But are there sources you were unaware of when you started that may be relevant now? Are you on top of the latest published material? These are the sorts of things that, over time, lead to improvements in the quality of your content.
If you producing a science based show are you across the latest research? Are there new blogs covering your topic? I use a tag list in WordPress to capture every new post with 137 different tags. They cover everything I could think of when I started the blog to keep across the people doing interesting things in the organic world. I started with about 75 and added new ones as they occurred to me. This might be a useful technique to consider. It’s not about stealing other people’s ideas but using them as inspiration. I would highly recommend it.
Now to mic technique. This is important no matter how much cash you’ve thrown at the actual mic. An expensive piece of kit used poorly will often give worse results than a cheaper one used the same way.
Things to think about before and to keep in the back of your mind while recording. Inbreaths in the mic range are annoying to listen to and time consuming to replace in editing. Keep your distance to avoid plosive “P”s from bouncing the mechanics/electronics into peaking the sound. Use a sound screen or maintain a distance where the plosives are not occurring yet the voice is. It’s a balance thing and varies with each mic. Fiddle and discover your sweet spot. On the diction thing, be aware of the possibility of sibilant “S”s. This is matter of annunciation and will take time eradicate if it’s a problem for you. It can also creep in over time. Listen to your own shows through their feed with new ears to pick this up.
Editing is a finesse thing that comes with practice. I discussed this a couple of posts back while addressing over editing. Your editing skills will improve with use. Look for shortcuts, look to how you’re going with the craft. Reflect upon your technique.
That’s probably enough to be going on with. Continually improving these areas will produce handsome results. Being aware of our own weaknesses allows us to fix them.
- We can always get better.
- Doing so one episode at a time will bring long term improvements.
- Work on one area at a time: Ideas, mic technique or editing.