Not counting the actual podcast content or topic, your listeners’ experience will primarily be determined by the overall sound of your mix. This includes your narration, the background music, stingers, sound effects, and even the ambient noise. This also including the volume levels (use equalizers!) of all the different frequencies of all the tracks you mixed together for the podcast.
With so many things to consider when mixing your track, there is tendency to sometimes neglect the tiny details that sets a well-made podcast from a poorly made one. Here are two simple tips that addressed commonly overlooked issues:
Review individual tracks – Sure, the overall sound of the mix is what you listen to in the end, but each individual track you add to your podcast affects the final track. Make sure you don’t miss the small sounds that may not be much but can prove to be distracting (i.e. muffled cough or sneeze) by muting the background sound and music while editing the narration bit, or whichever specific track you happen to be editing at the moment. You can do this easily if you are using GarageBand by choosing the “Solo” option, or just drag the volume of all the other tracks down if you are using a different software.
Center all tracks – I hate it when my earphones go haywire and I just happen to be in transit with no option but to listen to glitch sounding podcasts and music on just one earpiece. What bugs me more than this though is when I have to listen to a podcast that wasn’t properly so that the people speaking sound like one they are speaking on each side of my ear. This can be easily remedied by simply making sure that all the recorded tracks are centered (Set the Dial on the Mixer in the Center or to Zero, depending on the mixer/software you are using). This way, the sound will be coming out from BOTH earpieces and not from the left or right.
Image credit: Knight Digital Media Center