Making a Podcast Roadmap and Choosing the Right Equipment
Finding a way to make life easier, through all the stresses people are faced with these days, is like a golden ticket to a chocolate factory.
These stresses – whether from COVID-19, the political season, or furloughs and unemployment – can make it difficult to focus. If a person is unemployed, searching for a job is a full-time gig, and if they are getting ready to vote, sifting through political ads and social media posts may raise one’s blood pressure. Even with all these things, though, life and tasks must be completed. Turning to technology, there may be an answer.
Software programs like Asana allow individuals or teams to break down complex tasks into simple actionable items, and then track them from start to finish.
According to an article dating back to 2000 on Healthy.net, by Donna Farhi, Asana is translated for yoga practitioners as “pose” or “posture,” but broken down even further, it means “comfortable seat.”
When a software package is named for posture, it is easy to understand how it can help a person stay on track with their tasks.
Anyone can sign up for a free account at www.asana.com, though for a fee of nearly $10 a month, the entire suite can be unlocked for individuals.
When a person initially signs up, they are presented with all the features, which is a pitch toward purchasing the full suite. After so many days, the account will switch back to basic.
If someone were to plan a podcast, Asana could be a platform to track every task.
From a birds-eye view, putting together a podcast is intimidating, especially when a person has never done one before. First there is the topic, and the research that goes into the topic. Then there is the equipment to sound professional, how to write a script, interview people, use audition to splice things together, post the podcast to hosting platforms, and then promote the cast using social media.
All these tasks could be broken down into categories like research, pre-production, production, and postproduction, and then assigned to individuals and given due dates, using Asana.
When everything is laid out, whether on paper or in a computer program, a roadmap begins to form, and the task at hand will not seem as overwhelming, especially when due dates are assigned in bite-sized bits.
PC Magazine reviewed Asana in early 2020, and the writers of the review, Jill Duffy and Ben Moore, said, ““This online team collaboration tool specializes in workflow management, but it also handles the nitty-gritty of task management with aplomb.”
Preliminary Podcast Research:
If a person has never put together a podcast, figuring out what type of equipment to use can be just as overwhelming as figuring out how to plan the podcast out.
Danielle Directo-Meston wrote an article for Rolling Stone in September to help people who are just starting to dabble in the podcast world, as COVID-19 has them at home more than normal.
Directo-Meston explains how a USB microphone is great for people who do not plan to have guests and just want to produce the podcast using a laptop. The alternative is to use an XLR microphone, which produces a higher quality and can accommodate scenarios where there are multiple people talking.
Directo-Meston also detailed the differences between a condenser microphone and a dynamic microphone. A condenser microphone is great for studio-recorded podcasts and can capture the richness of vocals. On the downside, condenser microphones can also pick up a lot of background noise. Dynamic microphones, on the other hand, are more directional and can block out the background noise using technology like carotid dynamics, which are more sensitive to sound at the front, less on the sides, and do not pick up noise from the rear.
Three microphones are recommended, ranging anywhere from $35 to $169. The FIFINE USB Condenser microphone uses carotid technology and connects using a USB connection. For anywhere between $99 and $129, the Audio Technica ATR 2100X-USB microphone can be plugged in using USB or XLR, uses carotid dynamics, and has a headphone jack on the side to allow the user to monitor sound levels. The Audio Technica microphone came with the best reviews.
Finally, for $169, the Rode NT-USB condenser microphone is another option that can provide professional audio quality, according to Directo-Meston, and was made for recording vocals, music and singing.
“Low quality equipment can either make or break even the most compelling content, as otherwise interested listeners might be distracted by background noise,” Directo-Meston said.
Duffy, J. and Moore, B. (2020) Asana Review | PCMag. Retrieved November 01, 2020, from https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/asana
Farhi, D. (2000) What are Yoga Asanas and Why Practice Them? – Healthy.net. Retrieved November 01, 2020, from https://healthy.net/2000/12/06/what-are-yoga-asanas-and-why-practice-them/
Directo-Meston, D. (2020) The Best Podcast Microphones 2020: Top USB Recording Mics for Vocals – Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 24, 2020, from https://www.rollingstone.com/product-recommendations/electronics/best-podcast-microphones-1061917/