As part of our ‘How To’ series of articles/videos, I will discuss the steps to starting your own podcast. Here at SwiftCase we are committed to producing informative videos and podcasts on a weekly basis, and here is what we have learned on our journey so far:
Sound quality is of the utmost importance, and after some research the microphone that suited our needs seemed to be the Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone. It has a variety of settings for a number of applications, but the omnidirectional setting, adjustable gain, high quality sampling rates and low noise were all key in our decision.
However, if you just want to get started and don’t have a large budget...
Phones record 4k video now without breaking a sweat, use high quality algorithms to block out noise and can have stereo microphones installed. You can get lens attachments dirt cheap that allow wide angle views if you want to get the whole room in shot. The capability of these devices is far beyond what was employed professionally even a decade ago.
However, if you want finer control over exposure/depth-of-field/low-noise you may want to think about a semi-pro DSLR by Panasonic/Canon/Nikon etc... We use a couple of Canon 6D’s at the moment, and though they are not high res 4K, the ability to control the white balance and ISO settings means the output is more reliably achieved.
This is even possible on your phone. If you only use one phone camera then there’s not really much editing you need to do in terms of camera angles, so some judicious cuts should suffice. If you want to switch camera angle to the person who is speaking then a little more magic is required.
Both Final Cut Pro X (Mac) and Adobe Premiere Pro (Windows and Mac) offer automated multicam clip production. If you include the external microphone sound file then the application automatically syncs the video to the audio and all you have to do is click a button to switch between angles. This is the secret to efficient and painless editing of clips with multiple camera angles and external sound.
YouTube is the defacto standard for this as it is free, unlimited in terms of space and access, and can be monetised. Other platforms like Vimeo are an option but can often require some form of subscription to access professional standard options.
The key takeaway here is that you should get started and solve problems as you come across them. You already have a ‘good enough’ device for podcasting, in fact the device in your pocket is good enough to create a feature length film. There is no point waiting until you have access to the best possible gear, as the most important feature of a podcast is the content itself. If that is not good enough then the only way to make that better is practice.