This week’s activity takes you through the steps of starting up a podcast at home

In recent times, podcasting is something that has really taken off online, and one of the reasons for this is that it’s relatively easy to get started at home.

While podcasting isn’t necessarily directly linked to theatre, a few people have expressed an interest in our recent podcast with our Co-Artistic Directors, and wanted to know more about how it was created, so we’ve put together this blog post to help.

Things you need

A good quality microphone will really help you to get a clear sound, and there are now lots of USB-friendly mics that you can plug into any computer available for less than £100. One complication you might find, is that the lockdown has caused some shipping delays, so if you don’t have one already, it might be harder than usual to obtain one just now.

But the good news is that it’s not necessarily essential, because what’s even more important than the equipment you’re using is the space that you’re recording in. What you really need is a quiet, contained room without too much background noise.

If you’re close to a busy road, for example, you might want to stay away from the windows nearest to it in order to avoid picking up traffic noises. The structure of the room itself will also make a difference. In bigger or more high-ceilinged rooms, you might find that you have more echo to contend with.

The best way to choose the best space to record in is to experiment. Try recording yourself speaking in a few different places, then listen back to see if you notice a difference in the sound. Make sure you listen using headphones, since your laptop speakers might not give an accurate idea of how something would sound to someone listening via an app on their mobile phone, for example.

Next, you’ll want some editing software. Audacity is free to download and pretty user-friendly, so that’s what we use to make ours.

Finally, make notes! Speaking to yourself into a microphone isn’t the most natural thing in the world, and you’re not used to it, you may find that you fumble and forget things if you try to do it off the cuff. So, make a plan and write down what you want to say before you say it. You don’t need to stick to it rigidly, but it always helps to have something to refer back to. Remember, this is just audio, so no one can see you looking!

And if you do make a mess of things, go back to the last time you paused and start again. You can cut the bit you got wrong later, and no one will ever know!