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The way of software and the internet today is toward making things easy for even the most casual users of the technology. Everything is moving toward software and techniques using templates. Templates allow the user to, basically, only need to know how to fill in the blanks (or overwrite what’s there) which makes what they want to accomplish much easier. I think templates are a great idea and I use the ones I have made to make my podcasts.
I make a couple of podcasts and have a couple of more in the planning stage. Using a template makes my job of editing and turning out my podcasts go much faster. I can make them either way — with or without templates — but using them makes things go a little faster, especially after I have decided on the type format I want to follow. (You see, I like to have a plan and follow it. It doesn’t mean I can’t bend it a little; it just means I have a type of map to follow.)
For the purposes of this article, I will be talking about using Audacity 1.2.6. If you don’t already know about Audacity, it is an open source audio recording and editing program that is free and it has a pretty fast learning curve to make it do what you want it to.
Now you may ask why I use the version 1.2.6 instead of the beta 1.3.7. Without going into a lot of detail, it is because it is the most simple and is fairly glitch free. (The newest version 1.3.7 is also good, but, has a lot more features and I don’t think they’re all necessary for the beginner.)
You see, I’m a firm believer in not spending more money than you need to spend for accomplishing the same ends. With what I am going to talk about today, you will find that you still don’t have to spend money to make your own templates for your audio productions (except for maybe the music). What you will have to do is learn, or become more familiar with, your free “Audacity” program and some recording/editing techniques. (Believe me, a little practice goes a long way to getting a good start.)
What equipment and software will you need to make your own templates? That’s pretty simple and straightforward. You will need:
- Audacity (an open source recording/editing program from www.sourceforge.net)
- A way to capture your voice (a microphone or recording device of some sort)
- Some original or “royalty-free” music
- Willingness to learn some simple recording techniques
- The ability to use what you know and learn from this and others
Okay, now that you know what you need, do you know where to get started?
If not, let’s talk for a moment about the technique to use to make an audio template. The purpose we want to accomplish is to make production much easier and less time consuming, especially when you do something repetitive.)
I’ll to be right up front with you. I am not going to go into a long winded discussion right now of how to use Audacity to make a template. I am going to tell you why and how I do it. On another day, I will offer a screen capture video tutorial (on using Audacity and making a template) available for simply leaving me your first name and email address or joining my soon to come membership site. (As I said, that is coming soon, so if you don’t want to leave me your info at that time, I will also be making it available for a small donation.)
So … let’s talk about this. In fact, just take a quick listen to the audio below. It was made with the same template I use for my “Just A Fan’s View” Nascar podcast. I made this short one to tell people I had moved from one website to another. (Just click the play button below)
“Just a Fan’s View” HAS MOVED TO ITS NEW SITE at www.justafansview.com
I actually use that template to make my podcast over at “Just A Fan’s View” and used it to slightly doctor that little audio file for the old site. I can tell you I can make my completed podcasts in one quarter the time now, (that is not counting the time it takes to write them. That has always taken more time time than I like to admit.)
Okay, now quick overview of why you should use a template.
If you think about making a podcast in a type of format, (or a planned form), then there is every reason why you should consider making a template for it. If you have heard some of my other discussions on this matter, you already know that I like a certain type of format. You don’t have to use that type format, but, you may want to have something similar.
Here is my simplified format:
- I use a statement of copyright for my programs because, although I don’t mind sharing information, I don’t particularly relish the thought of someone profiting from my hard work unless I want them to. In other words, I want them to ask permission
- I start off with music of some sort just because I like it. It can either fade out after 10-15 seconds or it can play as a musical floor beneath my podcast. (I have done both.) It adds so much to the presentation and besides, most people like to have either a musical beginning or some sort of multi-track concoction to either get the attention of their listener or give a signature, (so they know it is you.) If you don’t believe me, just listen to some other podcasts, radio programs and television shows.
- I use “Royalty Free” music for the same reason I make a statement of copyright. This is because I believe that the people that make the music deserve what they ask for it because they work hard to make it happen. There is no reason to steal from a person and there is a lot of “Royalty Free” music available. (At the end of this article I will tell you of a great source for some very affordable “Royalty Free” music.)
- I have a canned close that I can insert at the end of my talk or show. This is because I want people to remember who I am and where they can find me in the future. It is also where I can make verbal disclaimers of the material contained in my podcasts. (This protects me and the listener.)
- After a template is put together, all that remains is to add the latest talk or interview. If you have planned your template properly, this is merely adding the edited version of the file you want to use to a track in the template. Now, you may be moving a few items around so they fit better with the new track and the close, but that’s very easy, too.
That sounds simple … doesn’t it? Believe me, it is with a properly planned and constructed template. You will be amazed at how easily you can turn out your podcasts on a continuing basis.
There is no reason why you cannot learn how to make templates and use this process quickly and easily. Who knows, you may find you actually have more time to do other things.
Well, I’ll talk more about it next time, but, I mentioned I would tell you a great source for “Royalty Free” music. Click on this link,
and it will take you to the most affordable sources on the planet. Not only that but some other great things, too.
See ya next time …
©March 2009 – all rights reserved
Podcastnorm.com and Rusty Norman