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Making a GREAT podcast interview with Adobe Audition

How to make a podcast interview work…and get it recorded on a Mac in Audition

Until late last year, I hosted music radio shows. One of those three weekly shows was centred around interviewing leading and prominent guests from the jazz scene. Guests such as Kyle Eastwood, Clare Teal, China Moses and Leee John were just a few of the musicians who joined me for an informal natter. Many have told me they felt super relaxed and enjoyed coming on. As a host, I can think of no greater compliment. In this blog, I will run you through a few tips, if you are bringing guests on to your podcast & recording it in Adobe Audition.

podcast

Make it easy for them

This is key. If you want to land the guest, then it is on you to do as much of the work as possible. Try to email them a request if possible. It is more business like and less intrusive. On YouTube, you will normally find emails on the creators’ bio page. For other artists or guests, take a look at their website or Twitter. Keep your request brief, polite and pin sharp. Let them know what time zone you are in. This helps them factor when they would need to be available. Give them an idea of how long you’d need with them, and the sort of questions you’d be asking. Also, and of hugeimportance, tell them how you’ll host the interview, i.e. over FaceTime or Zoom for example. Another tip is to mention that you can record the audio your side if that helps. You are really looking for them to have as easy an experience as possible. Suggest some days or dates, and then leave it there. It is always worth politely asking if they can be in a quiet, recording friendly environment. My heart used to sink if I saw a guest sitting in their kitchen! I knew my work in post was going to be tough.

Be prepared

I cannot stress this one enough. Many guests mentioned that they felt so at ease. You will always, always get a better result if you have a relaxed guest that feels as if it is just a conversation between friends. This doesn’t come from luck, but the hard yards you put in before you are online. Check their website, Google their name, check YouTube for previous interviews. Use every resource you can think of. I would even check radio stations catch-up services to try to find old interviews. The more information I had, the better and more relaxed I felt. It also shows respect. They will know if you have come prepared, and trust me, it will matter. I used the Notes app on my Mac and had it open through the course of the interview. I would jot down the rough order I wanted it to run too. It was never scripted, but a clear, concise roadmap of how I wanted to run the interview.

Be visible

I used to record only audio without using video at all. What I started to learn was that the virtual face-to-face really helped. It breaks down a barrier and will feel so much more personal. But…make sure to warn them in advance. I would normally say “I will record the audio only, but use video on the interview…is that OK with you”?

Now to the tech part

So, you have your guest lined up, now comes the part that you don’t want to mess up! Capturing the interview. I am an audio snob, and it matters greatly to me. There are simpler routes, but I will tell you how I go about it, as I think it may help. First things first, set Zoom up to optimise its audio. I have attached some screenshots of my audio settings. This just makes for a better quality of conversation, simple as that. Make sure your lighting is good, and your background, clear & uncluttered. All of this just helps you to be portrayed professionally. The clever bit here, is getting the audio from Zoom into your DAW, which in my case is Adobe Audition.

A virtual interface

The way you’ll go about doing this, is to create a virtual audio interface. The best one I have found is Loopback. Again, you can see from my screen capture that what I have done is taken my input to one channel and then choose Zoom as the other audio input. Loopback is super simple to use, and once set-up, you’ll never need to think of it again.

With that set, it is over to Audition. The beauty of recording via a Loopback virtual interface is that you can now record the session as a multi-track. Of course, this will mean that you can now edit and EQ yours and the guests voices independently. Particularly if it is a male/female situation, this will be invaluable. De-essing and rolling off base etc will now be simple.

The session

Now, in Audition, you can set up your session as pictured. You will need to monitor your guest’s voice, but not yours. As a back-up, if your guest is willing, they can record the session in their studio and send you the file afterwards. Make sure you both make a large clapat the start of the session. That massive spike in the audio level, will give you a marker to line up the two tracks with if you are going this route. You can EQ, add noise reduction and match the volume of the two tracks after. When the session ends, I like to save it in at least two or three places. I lost an interview once…don’t make the same mistake.

Good practice

Once I have the podcast ready with my host, I would always send the guest, or their management, links to various places the final show can be found such as Apple, Spotify and Podbean. It is the best way to thank them for their time and input. Publicise it too. You have done all the hard work, so make sure as many people as possible know about it.

Concluding

Hopefully, you have found this useful if you are about to start recording interviews for your podcast. I have a few great guests lined up, so be sure to subscribe to Minus Sixteen. Having guests on is the best way I know to lift a podcast. The interaction between two people is hard to beat. Now you know how, go book some guests.

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Originally published at https://www.talkingtechandaudio.com/blog on May 04, 2022.

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I am only one of a whole host of writers here on Medium, the premium blogging site. It is such good value, and you can join below.

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