Starting Your Own Podcast

I started podcasting in 2005.  I've had lots of folks over the years ask how I make my shows.  I try to offer the highest quality show for my listeners.  Podcasting has been one of the most-rewarding parts of my career.  I'm thrilled and honored to have so many loyal listeners.  However, I would LOVE to see more people online creating great podcasts, like YOU!

Since starting the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast in July 2005:

  • The show has had over 9,000,000 downloads (as of December 2013)
  • #1 downloaded Celtic Podcast online
  • Won Best Podsafe Music Podcast in the 2009 and 2010 Podcast Awards in 2009
  • Regularly one of the Top 40 music podcast on iTunes
  • Receives over 100,000 downloads each month
  • Syndicated on three terrestrial and eight internet radio stations, at the end of 2012
  • Hosted by award-winning Celtic musician, Marc Gunn
  • Marc Gunn also hosts Celtic Christmas Podcast, Pub Songs Podcast and co-hosts Renaissance Festival Podcast
  • Marc Gunn was nicknamed “The Celtfather” by The Signal Podcast and “The Godfather of Celtic Music Online” for his overwhelming support of independent Celtic music.

For New Podcasters

A podcast can take up a lot of time and energy.  So if you're just starting out, I suggest you keep your expenses to minimum.  Audacity is a free program for the PC.  You can get a decent USB microphone or about $30.  If you're on a Mac, try Garageband.  I haven't tried it, but I assume you might even be able to record the entire podcast on you iPhone.

Home Podcast Recording Equipment

Here is home recording equipment I use to make my podcasts

A preamp isn't necessary. You could instead just get a USB Microphone.

USB Microphone

Or even better, get a portable digital recorder. Then you can record anywhere, or directly into your computer. I do a lot of interviews and sometimes record shows on the road. Then I bring the recorder back to my computer for mixing.

Other Good Recording Programs

 

How I Make My Shownotes

I receive quite a few submissions each month to the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast.  Each submission includes information about the artists including their URL, a brief description, and where their music is available for sale.

I copy that info into a text file, and transfer each new MP3 submitted to my iTunes library.

Next, I create a playlist in iTunes.  I listen to each new song that is submitted and decide which song to feature.  I drag that MP3 into my playlist and add the band information to my shownotes.

Then I organize the files.  I start each show with an instrumental.  The first set of four starts with an instrumental, followed by a vocal, followed by an instrumental, followed by vocal.  I try to keep that format throughout the show, but since I don't get that many instrumentals submitted, it usually becomes more vocal by the end of the show.  The third set is the Celtic rock or contemporary Celtic music set.

I repeat that process until I have about 48-52 minutes of music in the playlist.  That includes all but the last song of the show.  Then I record the show.

When everything is mixed in place (see the next section), I see how much time is left on the show.  I pick the song based on how much time is left so that the show comes out to be about 60 minutes long.  Then I add the final song to the playlist and the shownotes and record the information about the song.

Finally, I add all the notes to the WordPress blog on the website.

How I Record the Podcasts

When I'm on the road, I record directly into my Zoom H4n as a WAV file (better sound then recording straight to MP3).  I then transfer the WAV file to my computer for editing.

At home, I record with AKG C3000.  That plugs into my PreAmp which goes into Adobe Audition.

Next, I edit the vocals while inserting MP3s into the mix.

I add a little Dynamic Processing to the vocals: 1.81:1 Compressor Above -30dB and 1.19:1 Expander Below -30dB.

Then I Normalize (also listed as Match Volume in Audition) all of the music files.  When those are normalized, I listen for a nice balance between vocals and music.   I mixdown the entire audio file, add ID3 tags and save.

Finally, I convert the file to an MP3 and upload it to Libsyn (my audio host).