So you’ve taken a big step in your podcasting journey – you’ve booked studio time to record your podcast at a professional podcast recording studio! Wow! How exciting! Recording your podcast at a professional recording studio will help take your podcast to a whole new level…From perfect acoustics to high-quality equipment, recording your podcast episodes in a professional recording studio will seriously elevate your audio.
Which is amazing, right? But besides all these benefits, recording in a professional recording studio, especially the first couple of times, can also be a little daunting…
You want to make the most of your time at the studio just and get the best recording possible. In short, you want to maximize your studio time.
So, how do you do that?
You turn to the experts for help, that’s how.
We’ve interviewed three podcast industry pros to give you that insider info you need to help you get that amazing recording and have the best time doing so!
But first, a little background info on our interviewees…
First up: Carli van Heerden
Carli is the Founder and CEO of We Edit Podcasts. Having been in the industry for over 8 years, Carli is passionate about the podcasting industry. Carli got involved in the industry initially through podcast production, and through perseverance and determined hard work, has turned We Edit Podcasts into a well-respected Podcast Production Agency. Carli loves building lasting relationships with her clients as well as her team, and together, they strive to deliver excellent podcasts and continue to drive the industry forward.
Get to know Carli a little better by checking out this post: An Interview with Founder and CEO Carli van Heerden.
Next up: Brad Friesen
Brad is the Head of Business Relations at We Edit Podcasts. A man of many talents, he’s the go-to guy for new clients, signing them up to the right editing and production packages for their show.. He’s also got skills in the studio as he has previously fulfilled the role of engineer and host at a podcast studio..
A fun fact about Brad…Brad’s favorite podcasts come from the cold case and true-crime category. Now, that’s not that unusual. But his reason definitely is! Brad swears there’s nothing better than a classic Cold Case or Forensic Files podcast episode to help you drift off to sleep! Some of his top picks are Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia, Hunting Warhead, and Darknet Diaries.
Finally, we have: Jamie Bower
Jamie is the Community Manager over at the Podcasters Platform. He’s the face of all the courses available on the Platform, and he’s also the host of his own podcast, Healthspiration. So he is very familiar with studio recording. (He’s also sharing some pretty hilarious TikToks, many of which are set in studio.)
Jamie loves learning new things, and he is super passionate about helping people understand who they are and what they’re capable of. And he loves being in the podcasting space because of how podcasts can empower the individual to create and bring value to others.
Want to learn more about Jamie and find out what the Podcasters Platform is all about? Check out this post: Introducing Jamie Bower Community Manager of The Podcasters Platform.
With the introductions taken care of, let’s move on to what you’re really here for, how to maximize your studio time.
Let’s dive right in!
Straight out of the gate, what are your top three tips for maximizing studio time?
Carli: Tip #1: Come prepared! Do all your prep work ahead of time, even do a run-through. Tip #2 applies to when you have guests on your show – give your guest the questions or topics you’d like to cover beforehand so that they also have the opportunity to prepare. By doing this, you ensure that your audience gets the best content possible! Tip #3, always allow for buffer time/green room time for all the tech checks that need to happen before the recording starts.
Brad: I only have one tip as I think this is the best tip I can give: Don’t arrive at the studio just when your session is due to start! Getting the headphones on, doing the tech checks, and all the prep for the actual recording can take several minutes, so if you only show up at your allocated time, you’ll already be behind schedule. Most studios allow for a buffer time before a session for getting set up as well as for packing up. I always recommend that podcast hosts take advantage of this extra time so that they can get as much as possible out of their time in the studio.
Jamie: Whether you are doing a podcast or shooting a video making sure everything is checked and double-checked beforehand keeps you from having to say “just one sec” before any recording takes place. Those “quick fixes” and tweaks can eat up a lot of time. So always give yourself time before your session is set to start to do those. Doing this in a rush means that there’s a good chance that something gets missed, or the levels are not quite right. And this can negatively affect the final quality of your recording. Not to mention it just looks unprofessional. And you definitely don’t want that!
That’s some great advice! And leads very nicely to my next question: What are some of the other things that could be done beforehand so that studio time is maximized?
Carli: I would highly recommend doing a practice run-through of your episode at home before stepping into the studio. I also think it’s really helpful to determine your “cut” signals beforehand. That way, you can just keep on recording, rather than constantly stopping and starting in studio, as your signals will make it super simple to cut those sections out during editing.
Brad: A great idea is to have your sponsor spots and ads, and any intros and outros already written up prior to getting in the studio. You can then just record these super quickly, and you’ll be way more efficient with your studio time.
Jamie: Have a game plan coming into the studio. What I mean by this is know exactly what you will be doing and what you want to achieve. That way, you can have your materials prepped and ready to go for when you hit record. Oh, and if you’re bringing your own camera, etc. to the studio, make sure the batteries are charged! Trust me, there is nothing worse than showing up to record a video and the camera batteries are dead.
Now, what are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve seen people make during their time in the studio?
Brad: Being too fidgety! When recording with a headset on, you’re not always aware of some of the noises you may be making. It’s a good idea to find a good, comfortable position before recording, and also to stay a consistent distance from the microphone. You should also turn off cell phone ringers and avoid using click-pens when in the studio!
Jamie: Other than showing up on the wrong day (don’t ask!) I think the most common mistake people make is not taking ownership of their time and their responsibilities. When you come into any studio, whether that be your own or one you are paying for, you need to be the one who drives the productivity and pushes the recording to the finish line. Own your space, own your show, and make it happen!
Great advice! Can you tell us one thing podcast hosts or guests should do that they’re probably not doing?
Carli: It’s super important if you’re having a guest on an episode, to prep them as much as possible beforehand, especially if they’re not used to being behind a microphone. A great way to do this is to give them some tips for how to mentally prepare for the interview, as well as a cheat sheet of some recording do’s and don’ts. You could also give them some pointers for finding their “podcast voice”.
Brad: Use your post-production opportunities to their fullest! What I mean is that you should rather put your focus on really engaging with your content, the conversation, and your guest, instead of focusing on trying to run a seamless interview. You can always edit out awkward pauses, clarifications, or side discussions. Remember, editing is your friend!
Jamie: Take extra measures to eliminate those background noises. The microphone never lies!
We’ve heard how important it is to be prepared before recording, what’s the best way to do this?
Carli: I think it’s really important for hosts to focus on making their podcast episodes more conversational, which helps them to really engage with the audience. If you visualize yourself having a real conversation, and not just reading off your notes, your audience will be able to connect with you as well as with your content.
Jamie: Drink a glass of water, get comfortable, and be confident.
Now, tell us, are there any areas in the recording process that could be handled differently?
Brad: Sometimes, hosts and their guests spend too much recording time on small talk or “catch-up” conversations. My suggestion is to always make sure you connect with your guest before your scheduled interview so that you can really maximize your time in the studio.
Jamie: I think a lot of people focus on the technology and think that’ll make up for the lack of quality in the material of their show. Obviously sounding great is important and shouldn’t be overlooked but double down on adding the most value to your audience.
Are there things a podcast host could do to get a better recording?
Carli: As you prepare for a recording, incorporate a few transition phrases, statements, or questions into your notes or outline. These really help the conversation flow a lot better and help you move naturally from segment to segment.
Jamie: Find a good editor! And do everything you can to eliminate background noises.
Any other “insider tips” you’d like to share?
Jamie: Look the part. I think a lot of podcasters think that because their show is audio only, they don’t need to take care of themselves. It may just be me, but when I have showered and look presentable, it makes me feel more confident and I’m able to communicate in a better way.
Oh, and bring a bottle of water with a straw to drink from!
Last question, what’s something no one tells you about recording in a studio?
Carli: Practice makes perfect! You don’t have to get it all right the first time! And hearing your voice the headphones can be daunting! So try and get used to your voice by doing practice recordings at home. This will also help you find the best tone and energy for your voice.
Brad: It’s ok to be nervous with a producer in the room. And it’s okay to make mistakes! Remember, you don’t have to get it all recorded in one take, that’s the beauty of editing!
Jamie: It can get smelly! For real, take a shower before you come, and don’t skip out on the deodorant!
Thank you to Carli, Brad, and Jamie for sharing that expert insight into maximizing your in-studio podcast recording time! But even if you’re not quite ready to book a session just yet, these tips and tricks are not limited to professional studios – they’ll help you get a better recording from wherever you podcast. Try putting them into practice the next time you get ready to hit “record”, and you’ll definitely hear the result!