How Podcast Guests Can Avoid Annoying Low-Quality Audio

Many of the practical SaaS founders I interview every week have never been on a podcast before. Only a few are podcast pros.

Here are the 5 things I recommend to these founders to avoid low-quality audio quality on their side that will be distracting to listeners.

  1.  Use a good podcast microphone. I use a $79 cardioid mic and it works great.

    You don’t need a fancy $300 microphone, but you do need something better than your built-in mic or the Bose headphones that are fine for Zoom calls. Those will sound hollow and thin and unclear relative to my voice on the podcast.I use the Audio-Technica ATR2100X-USP microphone that is popular with many big podcasters. It’s a cardioid mic with a 2-foot listening radius that doesn’t capture sounds from farther away, including leaf blowers outside.

    If you are going to do podcast interviews or record videos, just get a decent mic and you’ll sound pro enough. We’ll hear what you say better.

  2.  Buy a cheap boom arm with a shock mount.

    It’s a problem when founders have a decent mic but it sits on the desk in front of them. You can literally hear the thumping on the desk when they move around or type. Every phone buzz shows up too. I can’t edit out the annoying bumps when my guest is speaking.A boom lifts the mic off the table and a shock mount (the basket thing at the end of the boom) limits the thumping. These are cheap too.

  3. Find the best position for your mic in front of you.

    My mic works best when it is pointed up at an angle in front of me about a handswidth away from my mouth, just off to the side. Too close in front of my mouth catches all my hard P’s and breaths, too far away sounds thin. I help founders quickly adjust their mic placement and it really sounds better.

  4. Shut off your alarms and notification sounds. Please.

    Just be in a quiet place with no background talking, phones ringing, or other noises, as much as you can.

  5.  Turn up your energy a little when you start.

    You’ll quickly find a comfortable groove in podcast interviews where you both sound natural and energetic, but it usually doesn’t begin that way. So start off with a smile and bring some extra energy.I used to hear distracting echoes from my guests’ hard walls and floors, but now I can fix most of that using simple audio repair software.

    I also edit out the most distracting noises and ahs and ums, repeated sentences, and our chatter. I can’t edit out “likes” and “you knows” when my guests are talking.

The Practical Founders Podcast is audio-only right now. Recorded has a whole ‘nother set of things to think about. Next year.

It’s amazing to me that I have a quality, global radio show that I record, edit, and distribute all on my own.

I don’t need a professional studio or costly equipment or audio engineers.

But I do need more than my Bose headphones and Zoom to sound good enough.

FYI – I currently use, Libsyn, Garageband, Levelator, and Izotope RX 10.

What mic do you use now?

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