I have done a couple of podcast episodes for Hacker Public Radio. It is a community based podcast where listeners are those who both listen and contribute in knowledge sharing about a topic that can be of interest for hackers. Most episodes are short like 10-20 minutes, but some are an hour. Mostly they are given under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license, which means that while you continue to retain the copyright to your show, you are allowing us (and everyone else) to use it provided we give you attribution and that we release it under the same license. Most episodes are done with one host only, but there is no limitation.

So when I do a pod episode, I come up with a topic I want to talk about myself. I prepare my talk. I upload the audio file together with show notes, title, tags etcetera.

Recording can be done in many ways, no need for any advanced equipment. A mobile phone is fully ok. I have done my recording with some level of additional audio quality. Here is how I have produced my first episodes:

I have prepared my notes with the Joplin note taking app.

My microphone is a Zoom H1n Handy Recorder. It is actually a high quality stereo dictaphone with batteries and memory card built in. But it can also be used as an USB connected microphone to the computer. For these shows, I have used the latter option and connected it to my Lenovo ThinkPad T460P laptop, running with Linux Mint Debian Edition operating system. The microphone is mounted on a small tripod stand and I have a soft fabric between the tripod and the table. Of course, Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS would also work fine.

I have recorded with Audacity software. I record in mono because HPR sends in mono. I sit in an ordinary room with a lot of soft materials on walls and floor that dampen the sound in a good way.

After recording I have done minor editing. I start recording and keep quiet for some seconds before I start to talk. I use those seconds in editing to reduce noice reduction in Audacity. After that I also normalize recording level in Audacity. I cut silence at the start and the end of the recording. I mute some sounds in the recording like repetition of words. Then I export the audio file in FLAC format and it is ready to upload. A lot more audio quality improvements can be done in Audacity. I have also considered to learn Ardour, another software which I believe is more complex and competent than Audacity. It can be fun, learning and good to improve audio more than I do. But it is absolutely not needed to do more, rather less, to produce an episode for Hacker Public Radio. The most important is to share knowledge with others.

Henrik Hemrin

28 April 2024 (minor edited later)

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