Now we come to the main body of your audio podcast. I can’t really tell you too much about the body of your podcast. It is up to you, your subject matter and the format you decide to use with your podcasting idea. What I can tell you is that there are several ways in which you can present it.
The choice is naturally, up to you in how you want to present your information or interviews. I personally like a couple of ways. One is without a music floor and one is with. For those of you that are totally new to some of this, I offer this short explanation as my interpretation of a ‘music floor’.
A ‘music floor’ is some kind of music, usually instrumental, playing beneath your talking or reading of your scripted material. My musical choices are very likely going to be different than yours. Some of you really like to “rock out” and some of you are really into that “head bangin” stuff. Those are fine if that is your taste and choice. Others will choose “heavy metal” while still others will choose some more laid back types such as “easy listening”, “jazz” or even “classical.”
Any of these are reasonable choices because it doesn’t really matter that much what type you choose, but there are a few things to consider while you make your choices in types or styles.
One of the most important things to consider is to make completely sure that the music you choose is not overpowering what you say and the second most important is right there with it. If it distracts your listener from hearing or understanding what you are saying, you might as well just play the music because that is all they are going to hear anyway. It is important to remember that this is a ‘musical floor’ we are talking about. It is something you are going to walk on with your talking. It needs to be heard; it doesn’t need to stand out (except when you want it to.)
I will demonstrate a few of the ways available for you to present the body of your podcast. Please understand these are only examples and not limitations. I use these ways myself and I am comfortable with them. They are not unlike productions you hear on radio, satellite radio, infomercials, news updates and similar productions.
Once again, I remind those of you that might be reading this to check out the audio version of this blog. It is much easier to hear the things I am using as examples than it is to imagine them. (Besides, I will only be offering the examples in the audio version any way.)
First, I need to make one thing clear. If you are doing interviews, whether live or over the phone, it is probably better to not have a musical floor playing underneath you and your interviewee. It is my opinion that it will totally distract from the importance of what you and and your guest talk about. I’m not saying you can’t do it, I am merely stating my opinion in the matter. In fact, I already know that there are times when it can be used, but, it must be done properly.
There are some really good advantages to using a musical floor in your podcast just as there are good reasons not to use one. I intend to talk about some of these in upcoming articles, but for now, let’s move on.
The biggest reason for not using one is because it is distracting from what is being said. If you have music that is too active, too loud or overpowering it will definitely take away from the effectiveness of your production whether live or recorded.
In the following examples I will attempt to demonstrate what I am talking about in ways that will probably be somewhat exaggerated. I will use some of my previous podcasts and some examples I put together specifically for this purpose.
Let’s start off with an example of a transition from the opening to the body of the podcast and no music. This will be from episode #0022 and it just shows what it can be like with no music floor.
That’s what it can sound like when everything is working the way it should. The nice thing about this particular example is that it is a controlled environment and there is nothing that I had to contend with. There was no underlying noise to cause distraction. Even when I was making it I could stop and restart in areas that might have had some mistakes, minor noises or distractions. Although there are times I do have to interrupt recording because I live in the flight path to the international airport about five miles from where I live, it doesn’t happen often. It depends on which direction the wind blows from. Sometimes their pattern takes them a little south of me and sometimes they fly over us when they take off. This can sometimes make it very interesting, to say the least.
This next example is from episode #0029. There is actually a reason why I used the music on this one. I couldn’t use my usual recording area and I had to improvise in a another room of my house. Unfortunately, I didn’t have as much control over the noise environment as I would like and I had to find a way to cover some of the little noises that bothered me after I made the recording. I chose to take the easy way out and put in a music floor to make them unnoticeable. These minor distractions probably wouldn’t have bothered anyone but me but I wanted to cover them up rather than remake the entire recording. See what you think.
That demonstrates one of the good reasons for using a music floor. It is a quick way to cover up background noises that could normally be heard if it wasn’t there. The reason I used it was because I didn’t want to make the recording over again. Besides, the noises were probably only bothering me and it was a good time to experiment with a different technique.
I would like to take a moment to mention here that all of the music I am using for these examples is from “Mike Stewart”. You can get your own starter royalty free music spots by visiting his site and taking a look around. There is some great free stuff available just for signing up for his newsletter, I think. He is known as “the internet audio guy” and “the internet video guy”. Check him out (click here).
This next example is to show what it is like when the music floor is too loud compared to the voice over. As I stated earlier, if the music is too loud, it distracts the listener from hearing the message.
(Insert example 1)
Next up I will give you the same example except I have adjusted the music floor to a much better level. I think you will see what I mean as you listen.
(Insert example 2)
You see, we could go on and on with different examples, but I think you get the point. We could try different types of music, but the technique remains the same for them all. It is important to remember what the music is for. No matter what your choice in music for your music floor, if you follow good basic recording and mixing techniques as well as what I have mentioned here, you will have a great start in producing a great podcast. These things we have been discussing in the last three blogs can get you off to a very strong start in producing your own professional podcasts. All you need do is make sure your content is strong on a continual basis and you will find you are well on your way to a completely satisfying podcasting adventure.
See ya next time . . .