The Podcast Engineering Show
The Podcast Engineering Show
Chris Curran | Podcast Engineering School
This show focuses on the technical production of audio podcasts. Chris Curran chats with podcasters about their audio equipment, software and workflow to help you learn how to produce better sounding podcasts. You’ll also learn solutions to common audio issues as well as plenty of tips and tricks. By listening to this show you will gain a TON of knowledge and skills that will make a HUGE difference in your sound quality _and_ save you time! Subscribe/Follow today and start listening! Your host Chris Curran has a background in podcast production (Forbes, Dun & Bradstreet, J&J, etc) as well as music production (Sarah McLachlan, Jeff Buckley, Foreigner, etc). When he entered podcasting in 2012, he noticed that most podcasters (and producers) do not have a good understanding of fundamental audio engineering concepts, which sabotages the quality of their sound from the very beginning. This show, as well as Podcast Engineering School, helps podcasters and producers reach professional levels of podcast audio production.
245: Normalization vs Compression vs Limiting (With Audio Examples)
I define and discuss the differences between normalization, compression and limiting. Also the usefulness of each and when to use them. And I play audio examples! FYI, you can sign up to receive my Daily Goody posts in your email every day or a weekly roundup. Sign up here. Here are the plugins I referred to (by category): Compressors:  Scheps Omni Channel — https://www.waves.com/plugins/scheps-omni-channel CLA-2A — https://www.waves.com/plugins/cla-2a-compressor-limiter CLA-76 — https://www.waves.com/plugins/cla-76-compressor-limiter Abbey Road RS124 — https://www.waves.com/plugins/abbey-road-rs124-compressor#introducing-abbey-road-rs124-compressor Channel Strips:  Scheps Omni Channel — https://www.waves.com/plugins/scheps-omni-channel Focusrite SC — https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/bx_console_focusrite_sc.html SSL E Channel — https://www.waves.com/plugins/ssl-e-channel —OR— https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/bx_console_ssl_4000_e.html Upward Compression:  MaxxVolume — https://www.waves.com/plugins/maxxvolume MV2 — https://www.waves.com/plugins/mv2 Fabfilter Pro-MB — https://www.fabfilter.com/products/pro-mb-multiband-compressor-plug-in Neutron 3 — https://www.izotope.com/en/products/neutron.html Oxford Inflator — https://www.sonnox.com/plugin/oxford-inflator-v3 Vocal Riders:  Vocal Rider — https://www.waves.com/plugins/vocal-rider MAutoVolume — https://www.meldaproduction.com/MAutoVolume HoRNet AutoGain Pro MK2 — https://www.hornetplugins.com/plugins/hornet-autogain-pro-mk2/ DynaRide2 — https://www.tbproaudio.de/products/dynaride GainRider3 — https://www.tbproaudio.de/products/gainrider Outlaw — https://www.waproduction.com/plugins/view/outlaw POWAIR — https://www.soundradix.com/products/powair/ Limiters:  Pro-L 2 — https://www.fabfilter.com/products/pro-l-2-limiter-plug-in Scheps Omni Channel — https://www.waves.com/plugins/scheps-omni-channel CLA-2A — https://www.waves.com/plugins/cla-2a-compressor-limiter Focusrite SC — https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/bx_console_focusrite_sc.html SSL E Channel — https://www.waves.com/plugins/ssl-e-channel —OR— https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/bx_console_ssl_4000_e.html Pro-MB — https://www.fabfilter.com/products/pro-mb-multiband-compressor-plug-in Dual Stage Compressors:  Aquamarine 4 — https://www.acustica-audio.com/store/products/aquamarine Shadow Hills Class A Mastering Compressor — https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/shadow_hills_class_a_mastering_comp.html Multiband Compression: (great for people who move on and off mic a lot) Pro-MB — https://www.fabfilter.com/products/pro-mb-multiband-compressor-plug-in C6 — https://www.waves.com/plugins/c6-multiband-compressor Neutron 3 — https://www.izotope.com/en/products/neutron.html Ozone 9 — https://www.izotope.com/en/products/ozone.html Other Notes: If you ever have questions please reach out! The start date for the next PES semester is April 4, 2023 and then June 27, 2023! (fyi, the course is delivered once per quarter) If you’d like to share this show with any of your podcaster friends, feel free to send them a message saying, “Btw, here’s a show about podcast audio production you may find helpful” with this link: https://podcastengineeringschool.com/subscribe/ My smaller course for editors/producers who want more good clients: Getting New Clients at Higher Rates Let me know if you have any questions or need any help with anything, ~Chris
Mar 28, 2023
27 min
244: Ten Terrific Tips for Podcast Production
I overview 10 podcast production tips and techniques from recent Daily Goody posts Feb. 14 thru Mar. 9, 2022 (see list below). You can sign up to receive Daily Goody’s in your email every day or a weekly roundup. Sign up here. Daily Goody posts that I discussed in this episode: The Debate Over Editing Out Breaths vs. Leaving Breaths In How To Handle Clients That Won’t Heed Your Advice To Improve Their Audio Quality Using Pixels to Track Podcast Ad Stats? Here's the article I mentioned Reasons I Sometimes Use Volume Boost in My Podcast Player App RØDE Broadcaster (Microphone) What Equipment Do You Recommend for New Podcasters? Here's the post I mentioned: An Inexpensive Podcasting Equipment Setup to Sound Great Fabfilter Pro-DS, an Exceptional De-esser When a Remote Guests’ Internet Fails and They Disconnect Want Me to Dial-in Custom Settings for Your Voice? (EQ, Compression, Etc.) Editing the Timing Between a Question and the Answer Other Notes: If you ever have questions please reach out! The start date for the next PES semester is April 4, 2023! (fyi, the course is delivered once per quarter) If you’d like to share this show with any of your podcaster friends, feel free to send them a message saying, “Btw, here’s a show about podcast audio production you may find helpful” with this link: https://podcastengineeringschool.com/subscribe/ My smaller course for editors/producers who want more good clients: Getting New Clients at Higher Rates Let me know if you have any questions or need any help with anything, ~Chris
Feb 13, 2023
23 min
243: Ten Advanced Podcast Production Tips
I overview 9 podcast production tips and techniques from recent Daily Goody posts Jan. 19 thru Feb. 11, 2022 (see list below). You can sign up to receive Daily Goody’s in your email every day or a weekly roundup. Sign up here. Daily Goody posts that I discussed in this episode: Expecting a Plugin Preset to Do What the Name Says My Experience Opening and Operating a Brick and Mortar Podcast Studio for 3 Years – PES 230 When Editing Out Silence To Increase Pacing, Be Sure To… Loudness Range of Final Episodes – What’s Good and What’s Bad? The “White Glove” Service: Engineering Client Recording Sessions Remotely Using Cable Labels to Reduce “Spaghetti” Confusion in Your Studio Best Sounding Microphone Emulation *For My Voice* Using My Sphere L22 Microphone Gain Rider Plugin: DynaRide2 Should You Ask Remote Guests to Record Their Own Audio Locally? Best Recording Tip for Someone Who Speaks at a Soft, Low Volume [VIDEO] MaxxVolume Plugin for Podcast Production (Handy as Heck!) As I mentioned, here’s episode 225 where I used the Sphere L22 with the U47 emulation. Other Notes: If you ever have questions please reach out! The start date for the next PES semester is January 10, 2023! (fyi, the course is delivered once per quarter) If you’d like to share this show with any of your podcaster friends, feel free to send them a message saying, “Btw, here’s a show about podcast audio production you may find helpful” with this link: https://podcastengineeringschool.com/subscribe/ My smaller course for editors/producers who want more good clients: Getting New Clients at Higher Rates Let me know if you have any questions or need any help with anything,  ~Chris
Dec 19, 2022
28 min
242: Nine More Production Tips For You
I overview 9 podcast production tips and techniques from recent Daily Goody posts Dec.13, 2021 thru Jan.17, 2022 (see list below). You can sign up to receive Daily Goody’s in your email every day or a weekly roundup. Sign up here. Daily Goody posts that I discussed in this episode: Putting the Finishing Touch on Your Podcast Audio Before Publishing How Much Would You Like To Earn Producing Podcasts, $25k/year? $50k? $100k? Corey Marie Green, Author of The Podcaster’s Audio Handbook – PES 228 Get Fuller Sound by Manipulating Harmonics Do This Before New Years Day Urgent Advice for Any Podcaster Using a Blue Yeti Chris’s Goody Bag – PES 229 Do You Breakdown and Put Away Your Equipment After Recording, Or…? Brainworx bx_console AMEK 9099 Please Don’t Ever Use Your Computers Built-in Microphone for Recording Podcasts Riverside’s Noise Suppression Feature VIDEO: CLA-2A Compressor/Limiter Plugin (Waves) for Podcast Production Other Notes: If you ever have questions please reach out! The start date for the next PES semester is January 10, 2023! (fyi, the course is delivered once per quarter) If you’d like to share this show with any of your podcaster friends, feel free to send them a message saying, “Btw, here’s a show about podcast audio production you may find helpful” with this link: https://podcastengineeringschool.com/subscribe/ My smaller course for editors/producers who want more good clients: Getting New Clients at Higher Rates Let me know if you have any questions or need any help with anything, ~Chris
Nov 21, 2022
25 min
241: Barry Gary Providing Top-Notch Production Services to Organizations
Returning guest Barry Gary shares so many excellent tips for producing podcasts for companies and organizations. Barry is the host of The Louisville Cycling Podcast. He also produces other podcasts including Medchat and Parenting With You. Also, here is Barry’s first appearance on this show. Barry and I discussed many things including: Equipment: Shure SM7b, Cloudlifter, dbx 286s, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20, Yamaha monitors Apps: Adobe Audition, Riverside Processing: Compression, EQ Show development for clients Internal podcasts for clients Workflow changes: Stopped going on-site to record, and now does most of his editing in Adobe Audition now. NEWS: In case you missed it, I'm now publishing a YouTube video everyday here on the PES channel. Please consider subscribing. Other Notes: If you ever have questions please reach out! You can sign up to receive Daily Goody’s in your email a few times per week or a weekly roundup. Sign up here. The start date for the next PES semester is January 10, 2023! (fyi, the course is delivered once per quarter) If you’d like to share this show with any of your podcaster friends, feel free to send them a message saying, “Btw, here’s a show about podcast audio production you may find helpful” with this link: https://podcastengineeringschool.com/subscribe/) Let me know if you have any questions or need any help with anything, ~Chris
Nov 3, 2022
44 min
240: Running a Successful Podcast Production Studio with Zack Hanni
Enjoy my chat with Zack Hanni, owner and audio engineer at Sounds Like Soma in Philadelphia. He produces podcasts as well as music. We discuss podcast audio production in depth as well as the business aspects of being a podcast producer. Also check out his TikTok and YouTube channels. Also check out Zack's first appearance on this show. Ep. 40 HERE In case you missed it, I'm now publishing a YouTube video everyday here on the PES channel. Consider subscribing. Other Notes: If you ever have questions please reach out! You can sign up to receive Daily Goody’s in your email a few times per week or a weekly roundup. Sign up here. The start date for the next PES semester is January 10, 2023! (fyi, the course is delivered once per quarter) If you’d like to share this show with any of your podcaster friends, feel free to send them a message saying, “Btw, here’s a show about podcast audio production you may find helpful” with this link: https://podcastengineeringschool.com/subscribe/) Let me know if you have any questions or need any help with anything, ~Chris
Oct 13, 2022
42 min
239: Mistakes I’ve Made Producing Podcasts
Today I’m going to discuss some mistakes I’ve made producing podcasts. Microphone: In this episode I’m using my Electro-Voice RE320 microphone plugged into my Neve Portico II channel strip (using compression, EQ and a bit of saturation). The same microphone you see in my daily short videos here. I mention a recent hiking experience I had where a guy who saw my shirt (which says Ask Me About My Podcast) and asked, "What's your podcast?" And then immediately added, "JUST KIDDING!” We all laughed and he didn’t ask again so I didn’t mention my podcast at all. HA Mistakes I’ve Made Producing Podcasts: I published one of my client’s episodes with 30 seconds of silence at the beginning. The client alerted me and I fixed it immediately. During an online recording session, after a participant dropped off and then returned, I forgot to press record again in Squadcast, but of course I was recording a local backup which I ended up using (though it was a bit of a pain because all participants were mixed together in the backup recording). NOTE: Squadcast fixed this issue a long time ago. On an in-person recording session I forgot to hit record and realized it after about 5 minutes so we had to start the episode over again and sort of feign authentic enthusiasm when redoing the intro. I've mixed audio on my monitor speakers while mistakenly using the calibration profile for my headphones. Untold inaccuracies using processors too aggressively, or not aggressively enough — Compression, de-noise, de-plosive, EQ, etc. Other Notes: If you ever have questions please reach out! You can sign up to receive Daily Goody’s in your email a few times per week or a weekly roundup. Sign up here. The start date for the next PES semester is January 10, 2023! (fyi, the course is delivered once per quarter) If you’d like to share this show with any of your podcaster friends, feel free to send them a message saying, “Btw, here’s a show about podcast audio production you may find helpful” with this link: https://podcastengineeringschool.com/subscribe/) Let me know if you have any questions or need any help with anything, ~Chris
Sep 21, 2022
19 min
238: How To Handle Loudness Properly in All Stages of Your Podcast Production Workflow
NOTE: In this episode I’m using a Sennheiser e835 microphone into my Portico 2 channel strip and using these plugins in post: KIT BB N105, Shadow Hills Class A Mastering Compressor, Saturn 2, and Aquamarine 4. Here's the summary of what I discuss on How To Handle Loudness Properly in All Stages of Your Podcast Production Workflow: Record all raw tracks at a healthy level (not too low or too hot) Set all raw tracks to the same LUFS before bringing them into your DAW. (I do this at the end of my cleanup phase after I remove background noise, plosives, hums, and other blemishes) Use Compression and/or MaxxVolume/Vocal Rider to compress/tame the loud parts as well as boost the lower volume parts. (NOTE: This step will effectively amplify any background noise, so be sure to absolutely minimize the background noise before pressing record!) Adjust the overall level of each participant so they all sound good compared to each other. (as part of your mixing phase, where you can also use other processing like EQ, saturation, etc.) After rendering the final episode audio, process this file so it adheres to the “unofficial” loudness standards of podcasting: -19 LUFS for mono episodes, or -16 LUFS for stereo episodes. Other Notes: If you ever have questions please reach out! You can sign up to receive Daily Goody’s in your email a few times per week or a weekly roundup. Sign up here. The start date for the next PES semester is January 10, 2023! (fyi, the course is delivered once per quarter) If you’d like to share this show with any of your podcaster friends, feel free to send them a message saying, “Btw, here’s a show about podcast audio production you may find helpful” with this link: https://podcastengineeringschool.com/subscribe/) Let me know if you have any questions or need any help with anything, ~Chris
Sep 8, 2022
26 min
237: Max Flight and Your Mid-summer Podcast Re-evaluation
Returning all-star guest Max Flight helps me cover 17 ways to re-evaluate your podcast this summer, and we also discuss Max's latest podcast production workflow, equipment, software and more. Max has been producing aviation podcasts since 2008: Airplane Geeks (now over 700 episodes!) The UAV Digest (looking at unmanned aircraft or drones) Check out his main site — http://thirtythousandfeet.com/ He was previously on episodes 20 and 39 of this show Check out his equipment, software, services and more below... We discuss these 17 ways in which you can re-evaluate and improve your show this summer: Update your goals Change the format Start using chapters Personal focus on eliminating verbal crutches. (A short duration of intense focus will provide years of good results) Change and/or add equipment Sell old equipment Treat yourself to that mic you've always wanted Sound absorption and diffusers Add a new segment Cover new yet pertinent subject matter topics Publish in video format as well Publish better shownotes Revamp your marketing Evaluate the shows overall effectiveness Hire a VA Bring on a cohost Decide to end your show??? Perhaps decide you want to become a professional podcast engineer/producer and earn a great living producing podcasts for clients - from home?! And here's a lot more detail on Max's production: Big changes since PES 20 and PES 39 mostly involve a simplification of the signal path: Skype and cohost multi-enders replaced by Riverside.fm Behringer mixer (still going strong since 2009!) replaced with MixPre The MixPre handles all mic pre-amplification Sound clips and pre-recorded segments played through Riverside, replacing an iOS soundboard Backup recording is handled by the MixPre Current equipment: Sound Devices MixPre-6 Also use a MixPre-3 Gen 2 for field recordings Zoom H5 for field recordings, too Heil PR40 Sennheiser MD46 interview mic Dell XPS 16 and MacBook Pro 15-inch, 2018 model, 2.9GHz i9 32 GB laptops Audio Technica ATH-M50x headphones Yamaha HS5 monitors Software: Riverside.fm (was Skype then Squadcast) Hindenburg Journalist Pro Audacity (yep!) iZotope RX 8 Advanced ID3 Editor for tagging Services: Media hosting: Blubrry and Libsyn Website hosting: Bluehost and SiteGround Notes from Max: I'm retired and traveling more which makes weekly podcast production a bit more difficult. Biggest current problem: At the home studio I mix/master with my Yamaha monitors, which I love. I can't master properly with the Audio Technica headphones when traveling. Other Notes: If you ever have questions please reach out! You can sign up to receive Daily Goody’s in your email a few times per week or a weekly roundup. Sign up here. The start date for the next PES semester is Sep. 13, 2022! (fyi, the course is delivered once per quarter) If you’d like to share this show with any of your podcaster friends, feel free to send them a message saying, “Btw, here’s a show about podcast audio production you may find helpful” with this link: https://podcastengineeringschool.com/subscribe/) Let me know if you have any questions or need any help with anything, ~Chris
Aug 9, 2022
1 hr 21 min
236: Nine Tips for Podcast Audio Production
I overview 9 podcast production tips and techniques from recent Daily Goody posts Oct. 25 - Dec. 10, 2021 (see list below). You can sign up to receive Daily Goody’s in your email every day or a weekly roundup. Sign up here. Daily Goody posts that I discussed in this episode: What is Mastering in Podcast Production? Musicians Can Fund Their Music Careers by Earning $50-150 Per Hour Producing Podcasts From Home Name One Song That Sounds Amazing/Perfect to You AKG K 240 MK II Stereo Studio Headphones Background Noise Is Exacerbated by Compression SplitEQ from Eventide 3 Different Categories of “Noise” to Avoid When Recording Podcasts One Participant Using a Condenser Mic, the Other Using a Dynamic Mic Do You Feel Hurried or Chill When You Edit Your Podcast? Other Notes: Podcast Services Mastermind Workshop ($199) - A one day immersive and collaborative in-person event designed to build & grow your service based business! Full explanation of the program HERE. If you ever have questions please reach out! The start date for the next PES semester is Sep. 13, 2022! (fyi, the course is delivered once per quarter) If you’d like to share this show with any of your podcaster friends, feel free to send them a message saying, “Btw, here’s a show about podcast audio production you may find helpful” with this link: https://podcastengineeringschool.com/subscribe/) My smaller course that I mentioned: Getting New Clients at Higher Rates Let me know if you have any questions or need any help with anything, ~Chris
Jun 30, 2022
30 min
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