With the deadline for the World Nomads Travel Podcast scholarship creeping ever closer, it’s time to finish our series on producing a short audio feature. There’s a focus on the workflow and techniques which will help the scholarship applicant tell their story.

Technically, a podcast is audio or video delivered through RSS feed enclosures. Podcasts are made from short audio shows and this guide is a great resource to help budding podcasters along the way.

Before reading this, read:

Getting your stuff together

How do you import your interview into Garageband? Simply drag and drop your interview audio file below the track you’ve been recording. You’ll now see two tracks, one below the other and you can simply drag-and-drop to position them next to each other.

Before adding music, you’ll want to get both your interview and your “studio” recording at the same volume. For that, you’ll want to use the Levelator.

The Levelator

Export your sound file from the programme you’re working with as a .wav or a .aiff (.aiff and .aif are the same). Now drag and drop that file into the Levelator.

This baby can work magic on an audio file, especially where there are different people speaking. It attempts to make the entire audio file the same level and is remarkably successful.

Use the levelator to even the volume from all speakers.

After the programme’s finished you’ll have two files: podcast.aiff and podcast.aiff.output – the levelated output file will have brought everyone’s voices to the same level. This saves hours of time.

At this point, you might be ready to finish or bring your spoken work back into Garageband to add music.

Preparing to publish

Mp3 is the industry standard audio file, so finally convert your .aiff using iTunes or lame. With iTunes, you can change the encoding by clicking Advanced > Create MP3 Version. I normally mix to 48kb mono. This can be changed in Preferences > Import settings. Alternatively, the Lame mp3 encoder is a high quality encoder and freely available from Sourceforge. It’s an excellent all-platform solution.

Adjusting gain

Now it’s time to adjust the volume of your track. I prefer to use mp3Gain to do this. Once again, it’s a free cross-platform download.

The programme allows me to set a standard volume for all of my audio files ensuring I don’t blow people’s ears out or people’s speakers up (sorry Chris!). The settings I use are shown in the following screenshot.

macmp3-screenshot

ID3 Tags

Now your voice is ready to be broadcast around the world, but before we go there, let’s tidy up the packaging.

I hate downloading audio files, chucking them into iTunes and losing them. To make sure your listeners don’t have the same problem it’s important to set the correct ID3 tag for each one. This can be done easily in iTunes, but other software options include Multi ID3 Tag Editor.

To change ID3 information in iTunes, locate the file and open the information panel by clicking File > Get Info. Click on the “Info” tab and enter as much information as is helpful. Work your way through the different tabs: many podcasters add show notes into the “Lyrics” field.

It’s increasingly important to include an image as this is what shows when using iTunes’s Coverflow or list view, as well as on iPods and other mp3 players.

We want to wish everyone all the best with their applications for the WorldNomads Travel Podcast Scholarship! Good luck.

Part of this article are adapted from the original, published at the Traveler’s Notebook.

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