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  1. Le flux RSS n'est pas une notion propre à l'univers du podcast. C'est certes lui qui vous permet, quasiment en temps réel, de recevoir des notifications dans votre appli lorsque les podcasts auxquels vous êtes abonnés publient de nouveaux épisodes. Mais c'est aussi lui, bien avant ça, qui vous tenait (et vous tient toujours) au courant des derniers articles, actualités ou vidéos de vos sites favoris. Et ce sans même que vous ayez besoin d'en consulter les pages web. Mais commençons par le commencement : derrière ces trois initiales se cache un sigle signifiant Really Simple Syndication, qu'on pourrait traduire par syndication vraiment simple. Si cette précision ne vous aide pas, notez que Wikipédia définit la syndication de contenu web comme "une forme de syndication dans laquelle une partie d'un site est accessible depuis d'autres sites". La même page renvoie d'ailleurs à la définition d'un produit RSS : "une ressource du web dont le contenu est produit automatiquement en fonction des mises à jour d'un site". C'est là tout l'objet du flux RSS. Sur le papier, il s'agit d'un simple fichier texte XML contenant à tout le moins un titre, une description et une URL, le tout encadré de deux balises <rss> et </rss>. Mais si vous y regardez de plus près, vous allez vite constater qu'il s'agit d'une technologie aussi discrète qu'essentielle. Pourquoi ? Parce qu'elle permet la récupération automatisée des données et nouveautés d'un site (ou d'un podcast), et donc leur intégration à un autre site ou logiciel. Pour faire court, il n'est plus nécessaire de consulter le site lui-même pour découvrir ses mises à jour : celles-ci viennent directement à vous. Pour un podcasteur abonné à une plateforme d'hébergement comme Podcastics, le flux RSS s'apparente donc à une newsletter qui s'écrit toute seule. En publiant un nouvel épisode, le podcasteur remplira comme il en a l'habitude les champs Titre, Description et tutti quanti disponibles dans l'interface de Podcastics. Comme par magie, celle-ci se chargera alors de mettre à jour les informations en question (appelées métadonnées) dans le flux RSS du podcast... et les auditeurs de l'émission en prendront connaissance presque instantanément en se connectant à leur appli favorite. Car à l'autre bout du flux, un agrégateur est naturellement nécessaire pour convertir le XML en HTML, et in fine pouvoir se tenir au courant de toutes ces mises à jour. Un auditeur fidèle de podcasts aura donc recours à une appli comme Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts ou Podcast Addict, ou encore à une plateforme d'écoute comme Deezer ou Spotify. Toutes feront apparaître les nouveaux épisodes et mises à jour de votre podcast dans les instants qui suivront leur publication sur votre plateforme d'hébergement. Simple comme bonjour, ou comme RSS ! Précision importante : le flux RSS ne "contient" pas votre podcast Les fichiers audio de votre podcast restent hébergés sur un serveur, que ce soit par vos propres moyens ou par l'entremise d'une plateforme d'hébergement. Le flux RSS, lui, en contient toutes les autres données essentielles : nom, description, jaquette, tags etc.
  2. Podcastics is mostly about making your life easier as a podcaster. However, while we give you all the services you expect from a decent hosting platform, i.e. accurate and detailed stats, quality audio players, an appealing website and an RSS feed, there still is something we cannot help you with: podcast editing. It is a crucial postproduction step. It may seem dull, but it takes creativity as it marks the birth of your podcast, so take your time and work on your sound quality. Your audience will then enjoy a comfortable experience and see you as a “professional” podcaster. Cleaning the tracks, arranging them, editing them, equalising your sound, adjusting the volume, picking a background music, adding sound effects… Whatever your style and the amount of editing required by your podcast, this phase can take hours even for a short episode, so you might want to have it done by a professional editor. Be careful: editing is not just about cleaning, cutting, and assembling your tracks. The goal of postproduction is to shape your podcast your way, to give it a bit of your personality, and this is why it might be better for you to do it, or at least to be fully involved in it. If you want to do it yourself, here are a few Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) that might help you bring your ideas to life, tailor them for broadcasting and maximize their potential for listeners! If you are looking for a professional editor, get in touch with Morgan, who wrote this article. Morgan is a composer, sound designer and sound engineer. He is also the founder of Studio Module and he helps agencies, brands and freelance creators find their audio identity and make their podcasts – or basically any audio-visual content – from editing and sound designing to final mixing. Audacity & GarageBand, the basics Audacity is a free open-source software. It is available on Windows, Mac and Linux. It is very useful for beginners, as it is free of charge, can work on several platforms and features advanced processing functions. The interface is not very user-friendly and takes time to be understood but don’t judge the book by its cover! It has a lot to offer and works very well. You can find more in our article about podcast editing via Audacity. Have a look, it might be very helpful. GarageBand is a Mac default software and can be download for free on iOS. It is made for amateur musicians and therefore features basic processing and audio editing functions. It embeds copyright-free synthesizers and musical loops, which is useful because it intuitively gives musical atmospheres to your projects. However, it is not very accurate when it comes to editing and master controlling, and export options are quite limited. If you want to learn more, have a look at this very good video tutorial: Our tip: what is fun at first should not get boring over time. Podcast editing takes time, energy and even a bit of money. From the beginning, try to look ahead and ask yourself: “How much time can I spend on editing in the long term?” Your answer will rely on your publication rate and on the software you use. Keep in mind that investing only a few dollars at first might eventually result in a huge gain of efficiency, comfort and time. Hindenburg: simplicity, fluidity, comfort Hindenburg Journalist is available on Windows, Mac and Linux for about $100 (€85). It is specifically made for podcasters and radio journalists and makes editing easier so you can focus on storytelling. It features “intelligent” functions, such as automatic volume equalizing, as well as a smart and handy single-button compressor. It relies on a simple interface to optimize the organization of your files and sequences, so you have a clear overview of your projects. The Pro version (€350 / approx. $410) features many advanced functions, such as an automatic noise attenuator and a multitrack Skype call recorder, but the basic version is complete enough to satisfy demanding users. You can use the 30-day free trial to make up your own opinion. Reaper, a little thing gone big Reaper is available on Windows, Mac and Linux for only $60. This cheap, light, stable and powerful software is the secret ingredient of many sound engineers. Though it is not expensive enough to be seen as a pro software, it features a very thorough interface that is much like what big studio machines have to offer (except for the slightly unappealing look of the integrated plugins). A large collection of videos is available online to help you learn how to use the software depending on your needs. Adobe Audition, what a pretty interface! Adobe Audition is available on Windows and Mac, but also with the Adobe CC license or as a standalone software for about $25 per month. It is obviously Adobe’s audio editing application, which is quite like they do with Premiere for video editing. Audition features a very futuristic and professional interface which is very intuitive for simple cuts and volume adjustments. For a more advanced use, you may need a bit of training. Note that the click and silence detection algorithm happens to be very useful on long format files, while the noise attenuator is easy to use and effectively cancels continuous noises (like those of fans, for instance). ProTools, the all-time classic for major recording studios Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Studio One, Cubase... All these professional DAWs are alike. Editors try to stand out by making nerdier interfaces, integrating a few different tools, and setting different pricing scales. But in the end, they all feature integrated effect modules, synthesizers, and specific rhythm boxes. They can also be customized with external plug-ins (effect modules to be added to the software) for audio feed modification. It opens the door to a wonderful world where you might get lost once you are familiar with your new software. It is available on Windows and Mac, but you will have to pay at least $350. As a conclusion, let’s sum things up… Audacity and GarageBand are the best if you are not familiar with audio editing yet. Hindenburg is getting more and more popular in the radio/podcasting world, as it does not feature most of the functions that are basically made for musicians or engineers. Finally, Audition, Reaper and all pro DAWs are the most effective and creative tools, but you might need some training first. Besides the videos displayed in this article, you can find online trainings and video tutorials on the editors’ websites as well as on YouTube.
  3. 1 – Recording properly A quality recording is key for a good final outcome, so get familiar with your device and find the right settings before you start. Save your files in .WAV format (not compressed) – you will end up with an mp3 indeed, but you’d rather have a high-quality file when mixing. Go for 44.1 or 48 kHz sample rates (audible frequencies would be lost with lower sample rates) and for 24-bit deep audios (it is better for detail and dynamism). Use one microphone per speaker, with a stand or a tripod that would be high enough for the microphone to be in front of their mouths – you will then avoid the noises resulting from holding the microphone. Depending on your microphone, consider using a windscreen or an anti-pop filter to protect it from plosives (“p”, “b” and “t” that send air in the cap). Finally, record each participant on separate tracks. Use your earphones while recording and give some to your guests as well if you can, just to hear if one of them is too far from his/her microphone or if a strange noise disturbs the session. Be careful: the output volume (in the earphones) is nothing like the input volume (microphone), so keep the output volume low enough. The gain of the microphone cannot be set by ear; you must check the input signal of your recorder or interface. Adjust the microphone properly and speak normally. Slowly turn the gain up so the signal reaches about -16 dB. Set your own microphone first, then do the same with you guests’ by making them talk – they can introduce themselves as a warm-up, for instance. Here are the two golden rules to keep in mind: The microphone input signal should never be over 0 dB; Leave a space the size of your hand between your mouth and the microphone, and move as few as possible. 2 – Having a good listening device Before editing your sound, make sure you can hear it properly. To have a good overview of the outcome, you should work with quality speakers or earphones. You will then be more efficient and make the right postproduction choices. The human ear can seize 20 to 20,000 Hz-high frequencies, so try to pick a device that covers this range, and choose “studio” or “monitoring” devices, as they do not bring any color to sound (unlike general use devices that may intensify some frequencies, either on purpose or because of cheap composition). If you use speakers, place them right, i.e. at ear level and equidistant from each other. Finally, use a reasonable volume, i.e. no higher than human voice, to protect your ears and avoid ear fatigue. 3 – Normalizing/maximizing the volume of a sequence Normalization is modifying the overall amplitude of a sequence based on the level of its highest peak. So, if I normalize it up to 100%, my sequence’s volume will be increased so its peak reaches 0 dB. It is an interesting process through which you can intensify a sequence while staying under the 0 dB mark, which leads to digital distortion and to an unpleasant signal saturation. While mixing, keep an eye on the many measure levels, such as VU meters, RMS or LUFS, as they show you the intensities you have to deal with, so you can control and mix them as good as possible. Here, Adobe Audition shows you how to normalize a sequence, both in percentage and decibels. By normalizing up to 100% or 0 dB, the amplitude of the sequence is increased until its peak reaches the highest level, i.e. 0 dB. 4 – Lowering the peaks through compressors and limiters On your interface (see our article on editing software), you can see a wave which shows that sound energy is not linear as a voice never keeps the same intensity. There are ups and downs depending on the words and sounds, so the volume of a conversation is never the same. To optimize the volume, you can lower the highest peaks (so that they never get higher than 0 dB) and then increase the overall volume of the sequence. It reduces the dynamic (the gap between the highest and lowest bits) and, consequently, the listener will not have to constantly adjust the volume. Compression should be seen as a top-to-bottom move that reduces the intensity of the peaks – sometimes radically – when they are too high. We say “compression” when this move is slow and gradual, and “limitation” when it is more extreme. For instance, if I want to divide any bit higher than -12 dB by 2 (a 2:1 ratio), the peaks will be brought down to an average volume, and I will then gain a few decibels on the overall volume of the sequence (through normalization). In the end, I will only have to manage the speed of the attack and of the release to find the right spot between a natural sound and a controlled amplitude. Here is the same sequence before compression, after compression and after a -6 dB normalization. We see that compression has lowered the peaks, so we could increase the overall volume afterwards. 5 – Cleaning your takes Once you have controlled and adjusted the sequence level, go through it in search of flaws to erase, such as long silences, heavy breathes, mouth noises, throat clearing, “erms”, mumbling or speech mannerism. In the future, you will work harder on your elocution to make this step easier. Try to sound as natural as possible though. When you cut a sentence, make sure your tone remains the same – we often speak louder when we resume where we stopped. Sometimes, a slight hesitation is better than a big cut. Finally, keep an eye on the rhythm, as some silences can either be meaningful or highlight an emotion. During this cutting phase, your aim is to get rid of the unpleasant or useless bits. 6 - The Denoiser, a noise attenuator The Denoiser reduces the amplitude of the disturbing frequencies. It works well with ‘continuous’ noises, like a CMV noise, a computer fan blow or an electrical buzz – in other words, the homogenous atmosphere of a room. However, it is not (at all) effective on crowd sounds, schoolyard noises, your neighbor’s washing machine racket or a fire truck siren. This tool is made to lower the disturbing frequencies, not to erase them totally – it actually generates an unpleasant subaquatic effect if you use it too much. Most Denoisers ask the user to define a “trace”, i.e. a sample bit with the disturbing sound only, to cut it off the sequence. It might be interesting to start your recording session with a few seconds of “silence” to have a clear trace of your room. It will then be easier to lower it down when editing the overall sequence volume. Here, you can tone a blowing noise down on a track with Adobe Audition’s noise reduction. 7 – Mixing: balancing various audio sources Mixing is about bringing coherence to the file, to make it a realistic, comfortable, and pleasant audio scene. If the result is fine, the listener will barely notice any technical issue; no microphone sound, no mixing flaw… so no need to turn up the volume! The goal is to find a harmonious volume between all audio sources, from start to finish. Voices, introduction, interviews, music and audio excerpts should match. When mixing, you should tone down the loudest source rather than toning up the quietest. If you use an audio or musical excerpt, make sure it is not louder than the voices. The easiest and simplest way to do so is to play both sequences simultaneously, to fully tone down the track you add, and then to tone it up progressively until both levels sound equal. 8 – Adjusting equalization (EQ) An equalizer controls the sound distribution on the bandwidth. We can adjust bass, medium, high, etc. The aim is to get a result as accurate as what you hear. Placing your microphone right means no equalization as the result will be realistic; however, placing it wrong – or using a bad microphone – means having to work on the signal as your voice will be altered. If the microphone is too close to your mouth – it is often what we do when the echo is strong or when there is a background noise – you will get a sensation of unpleasant proximity, i.e. too much bass and medium-bass. You can lower or cut off frequencies that are under 50 to 120 Hz, or when such low frequencies generate unpleasant “pops” on plosives. Likewise, some microphones might be either too sensitive on high frequencies or miss some of them and fade the sound. You can slightly twist frequencies from 6 to 12 kHz, depending on the tone, either to “add air” or “make the voice shine” – be careful, though, as the result might be unpleasant and tiring. This step needs extra care because your ear might get used to the sound and lose its markers over the process; for instance, boost the high of your mix for 15 seconds and you will miss them once you tone them back down. The key is to work with a reference sound, i.e. a professional podcast the sound of which you like, and compare it with your own mix every now and then. This curve shows the frequencies of a woman’s voice on a graphic equalizer. 9 – Toning down “hissing” frequencies through a De-esser Some sounds (‘sss’, ‘tss’, ‘fff’) might generate an unpleasant hissing, i.e. a concentration of energy in high frequencies. Some voices or way of speaking “hiss” more than others, but this might be emphasized by your microphone or the way it is placed. A De-esser is a compressor that only works on a specific frequency range. You set its width and its height depending on the voice tone – usually around 12 kHz. Like every compressor, you set the threshold from which it works; so you start up from 0 dB to progressively scan the sequence down until it finds and cancels hisses. Once again, be careful: you don’t want to twist or fade the sound; the aim is only to lower the unpleasant highest peaks. Compare the outcome with and without De-esser to find a balance between natural sound and controlled signal. Ableton Live’s De-esser (the yellow line on the histogram): frequencies around 6 kHz are divided by 3 (3:1 ratio) as soon as they go above -15.2 dB (the horizontal blue line). 10 – Improving the overall volume You may have noticed that the volume of your latest episode, once uploaded on Podcastics, is way lower than that of your favorite podcast. It is too low, your voice sounds like a background noise, the listener must turn it up to the max. Obviously, this comes from the mixing step and the overuse of compressors and limiters. As mentioned above, the aim of the compression step is to control the highest peaks to increase the overall volume of the sequence while avoiding saturation. It should be done (parsimoniously) one sequence after the other, track by track, as well as on the “Master” track – the track that receives all your mixed tracks. This is where the sounds are finally “cemented” to make a whole. There should not be much left to do, i.e. there should no longer be too many uncontrolled peaks that might cause saturation. To get rid of the remaining few, you should use a limiter (or a radical compressor) as an ultimate safety net. The limiter will help you add a few decibels to the overall volume while blocking the peaks over 0 dB (or less, you can adjust it). Be careful though, the outcome may sound “crushed” – it is why this step comes last, after level adjustment and compression setting. Once again, use a sample track to see if you must tone things up or down. For years, music studios fought a “loudness war” to see who would be the loudest. It is over now; everything sounds “crushed” and broadcasting platforms have set new standards. To sum things up, we control the level of the digital signal (dB Full Scale or True Peak) to prevent it from saturating, but also the level of “perceived” volume (dB LUFS – Loudness Unit Full Scale) through a measuring plug-in (iZotope Insight, dpMeterXT2, etc.). The usual standard for podcast is around -16 dB LUFS. The new European Broadcast Union R128 standard measures the “perceived volume” and is about to be implemented by the most important streaming platforms. It recommends a final volume set between -23 and -16 LUFS – a unit of measurement that means "Loudness Units referenced to Full Scale". Sound level analysis plug-ins (here TB Pro Audio’s mvMeter2) help you visualize the peaks and volume variations more accurately than with the level meters integrated to DAWs. Now it is up to you! If you have further questions or just want to work on the sound quality or musical layout of your podcast, you can get in touch with me or ask Studio Module. Big projects start with quick chats!
  4. 1 - Bien enregistrer Pour avoir le meilleur résultat final, il faut avant tout réaliser un bon enregistrement. Prenez donc le temps de bien connaître et régler votre matériel avant de vous lancer. Enregistrez au format .WAV (non compressé) – certes le format final sera du mp3, mais un fichier de meilleure qualité est préférable au mixage ; 44.1 ou 48 kHz en fréquence d’échantillonnage (en dessous on perd une partie des fréquences audibles) ; 24 bits en profondeur (pour le détail et la dynamique). Prévoyez un microphone par personne, avec un pied ou trépied assez grand pour arriver face à la bouche - ceci afin d’éviter les bruits de manipulation du micro. Aussi, selon les micros, bonnette ou filtre anti-pop pour protéger des plosives ("p","b","t" qui envoient de l’air dans la capsule). Enfin, enregistrez chaque invité sur une piste séparée. Écoutez au casque pendant l’enregistrement, et si possible proposez-en un à vos invités. Vous pourrez ainsi réagir si quelqu'un parle trop loin du micro, ou si un bruit dérange l’enregistrement. Attention, le volume de la sortie casque n’a rien à voir avec le niveau d’entrée des micros : laissez le volume du casque à un niveau relativement faible. Le gain d’un micro ne se règle pas à l’oreille mais en contrôlant son signal d’entrée sur votre enregistreur ou votre interface. Positionnez bien votre micro puis parlez à un niveau normal. Montez progressivement le gain pour que le signal oscille autour de -16 dB. Réglez d’abord votre micro puis faites de même avec chaque invité, en les faisant parler (demandez-leur de se présenter par exemple, cela servira d’échauffement). Deux règles d’or pour refermer ce chapitre : le signal d’entrée d’un micro ne doit jamais dépasser 0 dB ; laissez la taille d’une main entre la bouche et le micro et bougez le moins possible. 2 - Avoir de bonnes écoutes Pour travailler sur le son, encore faut-il déjà bien entendre. Avoir de bonnes enceintes ou un bon casque, pour avoir une bonne idée du résultat final, c’est le point de départ pour travailler efficacement et faire de bons choix en post-prod. L’oreille humaine répond aux fréquences de 20 Hz à 20 000 Hz. Choisissez donc un produit qui couvre cette bande au maximum. Ensuite, optez plutôt pour du matériel "studio" ou "monitoring" qui ne colore pas le son, au contraire du matériel grand public qui va gonfler certaines fréquences par choix, ou par économie. Si vous travaillez sur des enceintes, il vaut mieux bien les positionner : à hauteur des oreilles et à égale distance de l’une et l’autre. Enfin, travaillez à un volume raisonnable, pas plus fort qu’une voix humaine : cela protège vos oreilles et évite la fatigue auditive. 3 - Normaliser / maximiser le volume de sa séquence La normalisation est une fonction qui va modifier l’amplitude globale de ma séquence en se basant sur la valeur de son plus haut pic. Si je normalise à 100 %, le volume sonore de ma séquence va être augmenté jusqu'à ce que sa plus haute crête atteigne 0 dB. C’est donc un processus intéressant qui permet d’augmenter l’intensité sonore d’une séquence, tout en étant certain de ne jamais dépasser 0 dB, synonyme de distorsion numérique et donc d'une saturation désagréable du signal. Lors du mixage, on prend l’habitude de garder un œil sur ses différents niveaux de mesures : VUmètres, RMS ou LUFS, pour voir avec quelles intensités on doit composer, dans l’objectif de les contrôler et de les faire cohabiter au mieux. Ici Adobe Audition propose de normaliser une séquence, en pourcentage ou en décibels. En normalisant à 100 % ou 0 dB, l'amplitude de la séquence sera augmentée jusqu'à ce que la crête la plus haute atteigne le niveau maximal : 0 dB. 4 - Atténuer les plus haut pics de niveau : compresseurs et limiteurs Sur votre interface (voir notre article sur les logiciels de montage), vous constatez sur la forme d’onde de votre séquence que l’énergie sonore n’est pas linéaire. La voix n’a pas toujours la même intensité. Il y a des pics et des creux selon les mots et les sons. Bref, le volume de la discussion est plus ou moins élevé selon les moments. Pour gagner en volume sonore, le jeu va consister à réduire les plus hauts pics de volume (afin qu’ils ne dépassent jamais 0 dB) lorsqu'on augmentera ensuite le volume global de la séquence. Par la même, on cherche à réduire la dynamique (l’écart entre les passages les plus forts et les plus faibles) pour éviter à l’auditeur de devoir ajuster sans cesse son volume d’écoute. Il faut voir la compression comme une action du haut vers le bas, pour diminuer l’intensité des plus haut pics - de manière plus ou moins radicale - dès lors que ceux-ci dépassent un niveau donné. On parle de compression lorsque cette réduction est légère et progressive, et de limitation quand elle est plus extrême. Par exemple : je décide que tout ce qui dépasse le seuil de -12 dB doit être divisé par 2 (ratio 2:1). Cela va ramener les plus hauts pics à un volume moyen et me permettre ensuite de gagner quelques dB sur le volume général de la séquence (en normalisant par exemple). Il ne reste plus qu’à gérer la vitesse d’attaque et de relâchement pour trouver le bon compromis entre sonorité naturelle et amplitude contrôlée. La même séquence avant compression, après compression et après normalisation à -6dB. On voit que la compression a diminué l'amplitude des crêtes, permettant ensuite de relever le niveau général de la séquence. 5 - Nettoyer ses prises Une fois le niveau de la séquence contrôlé et ajusté, traversez votre séquence à la recherche de défauts à supprimer : des silences trop longs, des respirations trop fortes, des bruits de bouche, raclements de gorge, "euh", bafouilles ou tics de langage... Vous aurez rapidement envie de travailler votre diction pour avoir le moins de travail possible lors de cette étape. Attention toutefois à garder un résultat naturel. Sur les coupes au milieu de phrase, le ton de la voix ne doit pas sauter bizarrement (on parle plus fort lorsqu'on se reprend). Aussi vaut-il parfois mieux entendre une petite bafouille plutôt qu’une grosse coupe. Et enfin, attention au rythme : certains silences peuvent avoir du sens, ou souligner une émotion. Cette phase de coupe vise à délester le contenu de passages inesthétiques ou inutiles. 6 - Atténuateur de bruit - ou Denoiser Le Denoiser permet d’atténuer l’amplitude de certaines fréquences gênantes sur un enregistrement. Cela fonctionne assez bien contre les bruits "continus" : le souffle d’une VMC, un buzz électrique, le ventilateur d’un ordinateur - bref l’ambiance diffuse et homogène d’une pièce. Cela fonctionne moins (voire pas du tout) sur un son de foule, une cour de récré, la machine à laver des voisins ou les sirènes de pompier. De même, l’outil vise plus souvent à réduire les fréquences gênantes qu’à les faire disparaître totalement. D'ailleurs, s’il est trop poussé, on entend un effet subaquatique assez désagréable. La plupart des Denoiser demandent à l’utilisateur de définir une "empreinte", un passage témoin avec uniquement le son gênant, pour pouvoir ensuite le soustraire de la séquence. C’est pourquoi il peut être intéressant de commencer votre enregistrement par quelques secondes de "silence" : cela permet d’avoir une empreinte du son de la pièce afin de l’atténuer si besoin lors du travail sur le volume général de la séquence. Sur cet exemple la réduction de bruit d'Adobe Audition permet d'atténuer un souffle présent sur une piste. 7 - Mixage : équilibrer les différentes sources audio L’objectif du mixage est de proposer un ensemble cohérent, une scène sonore réaliste, confortable, agréable à l’oreille. Un bon résultat doit faire oublier toute intervention technique à l’auditeur (micro, mixage... jusqu'au support d’écoute). Il s’agit donc d’avoir un volume sonore régulier entre les différentes sources sonores et tout au long de l’épisode : les voix entre elles, l'intro et l’interview, la musique et les extraits sonores s’il y en a. Au mixage, il vaut toujours mieux baisser le niveau du plus fort que monter le plus faible. Si vous diffusez un extrait sonore ou musical, assurez-vous que le niveau ne dépasse pas celui des voix. Technique simple et efficace : faites jouer les deux séquences en même temps, baissez complètement la piste à intégrer puis remontez-la progressivement jusqu'à ce que les niveaux vous paraissent égaux. 8 - Ajuster l’égalisation (EQ) Un égaliseur (ou equalizer) permet de contrôler la distribution d’un son sur la bande de fréquence. On va donc pouvoir rajouter ou enlever des graves, des médiums, des aigus... L’objectif premier est d’avoir un résultat fidèle à ce qu’entendrait l’oreille. Un bon micro bien placé ne nécessitera pas d’égalisation, car le résultat sera réaliste. Avec un mauvais placement et/ou un mauvais micro, la voix sera déformée et on devra retravailler le signal. Si le micro est trop proche de la bouche (c’est souvent le choix qui est fait quand la pièce résonne ou qu’il y a du bruit de fond), on va avoir un effet de proximité : un surplus de bas et le bas-médium. On pourra essayer d’atténuer ou couper complètement les fréquences en dessous de 50 à 120 Hz. On coupera aussi ces fréquences graves si l’on entend un "pop" désagréable sur certaines plosives. À l’opposé du spectre, certains microphones pourront être trop sensibles aux aigus, ou au contraire en manquer et ternir le son. On pourra donc venir jouer légèrement sur les fréquences entre 6 et 12 kHz, selon le timbre, pour "ajouter de l’air" ou "faire briller" la voix. Avec parcimonie toutefois car le résultat peut devenir désagréable et fatigant. À cette étape il faut faire attention : l’oreille s’habitue très vite et perd ses repères. Écoutez 15 secondes votre mixage avec les aigus surboostés et ils vous manqueront dès que vous les enlevez. La solution : travailler avec un son de référence (un podcast pro dont vous aimez le son) et faire des aller-retours entre cette piste témoin et votre mixage. Ici la courbe de fréquence d'une voix de femme sur un égaliseur graphique. 9 - Atténuer les fréquences "sifflantes" avec un De-esser Certains sons (les "sss", les "tss", les "fff") peuvent occasionner un sifflement désagréable à l’oreille : une concentration d’énergie dans les hautes fréquences. Certaines voix ou manières de parler "sifflent" plus que d’autres, mais le phénomène peut aussi être accentué par le microphone choisi ou son positionnement. Un De-esser est un compresseur qui va agir uniquement sur une certaine plage de fréquence. On règle cette plage, plus ou moins large, plus ou moins haute selon le timbre de voix, autour de 12 kHz en général. Comme un compresseur, on doit régler le seuil à partir duquel il va agir. On va donc partir d’en haut à 0 dB et descendre progressivement jusqu'à ce qu’il commence à fonctionner quand on entend des sifflantes. Une fois encore il faut être parcimonieux : le but n’est pas de déformer le son, de le ternir, mais simplement de freiner un peu les plus grands pics d’aigus qui sont désagréables à l’oreille. Comparer le résultat avec et sans De-esser pour trouver le bon compromis entre son naturel et signal contrôlé. On voit ici l'action du de-esser d'Ableton Live, représentée par la ligne jaune sur son histogramme : les fréquences autour de 6kHz sont divisées par 3 (ratio 3:1) dès qu'elles dépassent -15.2 dB (ligne bleue horizontale). 10 - Avoir un meilleur volume sonore général Vous avez peut-être remarqué que le volume de votre dernier épisode, une fois mis en ligne sur Podcastics, est bien plus bas que votre podcast préféré. Le son est faible, on vous entend loin, on doit mettre le volume à fond. Il n’y a pas de secret : cela vient de l’étape du mixage, et particulièrement de l'utilisation de compresseurs et de limiteurs. Comme on l’a vu, l’étape de compression va permettre de contrôler les plus hauts pics pour pouvoir augmenter le niveau sonore global de la séquence, sans jamais saturer. Il convient de le faire (avec parcimonie) séquence par séquence, piste par piste, mais aussi sur la piste "Master" : la piste qui reçoit toutes les pistes de votre mix. C’est ici qu’on va mettre la dernière couche de "liant", qui va finir de "coller" les sons les uns aux autres, et les faire appartenir à un même ensemble. À cette étape, il ne doit pas rester beaucoup à faire, c’est à dire qu’il ne doit pas y avoir trop de pics incontrôlés qui feraient saturer le mix. Pour ces derniers, on va utiliser un limiteur (ou un compresseur assez radical) comme dernière barrière de sécurité. Le limiteur va nous permettre d’augmenter le volume général de plusieurs dB en stoppant tout pic qui dépasserait 0 dB (ou moins, la valeur est souvent réglable). Mais attention le résultat sonore peut vite sonner "écrasé". C’est pourquoi il vient à la toute fin, en complément d’une bonne gestion des niveaux et de la compression. Encore une fois ici, on peut s’aider d’une piste témoin pour savoir si l’on doit sonner plus fort ou moins fort. Pendant des années, les studios de musique se sont livré une guerre du volume (ou "loudness war") pour sonner plus fort que la concurrence. Aujourd'hui on en revient car tout sonne "écrasé" et les plateformes de diffusion commencent à s’accorder sur des standards. Pour faire simple, on contrôle le niveau de signal numérique (dB Full Scale ou True Peak) afin de ne pas saturer le signal ; mais aussi le niveau de volume "perçu" (dB LUFS pour Loudness Unit Full Scale) à l’aide de plug-in de mesure (iZotope Insight, dpMeterXT2…). La norme qui semble s’installer dans le podcast étant autour de -16dB LUFS. La nouvelle norme R128 de l'European Broadcast Union est une mesure du "volume sonore perçu", en phase d'être adoptée par les grands acteurs du streaming. Elle préconise un volume final entre -23 et -16 LUFS - son unité de mesure qui signifie "Loudness Units referenced to Full Scale". Des plugins d’analyse des niveaux audio (ici mvMeter2 de chez TB Pro Audio) permettent de visualiser les crêtes et les variations de volume, de manière plus précise que les indicateurs de niveaux intégrés aux STANs. Maintenant c'est à vous de jouer ! Mais si jamais vous avez d'autres questions, ou plus simplement si vous souhaitez travailler la qualité sonore ou l’habillage musical de votre podcast, n’hésitez pas à me consulter et à faire appel à Studio Module. Les grands projets commencent par de petites discussions !
  5. Simplifier la vie des podcasteurs : c'est avec cette ambition que Podcastics a été imaginé et conçu. Mais si nous vous proposons tous les services que vous êtes en droit d'attendre d'une bonne plateforme d'hébergement (des statistiques précises et détaillées, des lecteurs audio qui en jettent, un site web en guise de vitrine et bien sûr un flux RSS), il reste un terrain sur lequel nous ne sommes pas en mesure de vous accompagner : le montage de votre podcast. Cette étape de post production ne doit pas être négligée. C'est lors de cette phase de travail, qui peut s'avérer fastidieuse mais aussi très créative, que votre podcast va prendre vie. Le soin que vous y accorderez vous permettra de vous démarquer avec un son "pro", d'offrir à votre audience un meilleur confort d'écoute et de véhiculer auprès d'elle une image sérieuse. Nettoyage des pistes, organisation et coupes, égalisation des niveaux, volume sonore général, habillage musical, ambiances sonores... Selon le style de votre podcast et le niveau d’édition que demande votre projet, cette phase de montage peut facilement représenter plusieurs heures de travail pour quelques minutes d’épisode final. Peut-être souhaiterez-vous donc confier cette étape à un professionnel. Dans de nombreux cas toutefois, il ne s'agira pas seulement de toiletter quelques passages, de réaliser des coupes et d'assembler des morceaux. À travers ces heures consacrées à la post production, vous allez avoir la possibilité de façonner le podcast à votre image et de lui insuffler une partie de votre personnalité. Un argument qui, à lui seul, peut justifier que vous ayez envie de prendre en main cette étape ou à tout le moins de vous y intéresser davantage. Si tel est le cas, nous vous présentons aujourd’hui plusieurs stations de travail audio-numérique (STAN, ou en anglais : DAW pour digital audio workstation) qui vous permettront de donner vie à vos idées, de les préparer à la diffusion et de maximiser leur potentiel de réception ! Si vous souhaitez confier cette étape à un pro, n'hésitez pas à contacter Morgan, l'auteur de cet article. Morgan est compositeur, designer sonore et ingénieur du son. Avec Studio Module, il accompagne des agences, des marques et des indépendants sur la création de leur identité sonore, de leurs podcasts - et plus généralement de leurs contenus audiovisuels - de la phase éditoriale au mixage final en passant par l'habillage musical. Audacity et GarageBand : la base Libre et open-source, Audacity est disponible sur Windows, Mac et Linux. Ce logiciel présente des avantages considérables pour débuter : gratuit, multiplateforme et avec des outils de traitements avancés. Son interface n’est pas super "user-friendly" et demandera un temps d’apprentissage, mais cela ne doit pas tromper sur la qualité des outils sous le capot, qui globalement font le job. Nous avons d'ailleurs consacré un article plus complet aux principales étapes du montage d'un podcast avec Audacity. N'hésitez pas à aller y jeter un œil pour une première prise en main ! Installé par défaut sur les Macs, et téléchargeable gratuitement sur iOS, GarageBand est lui destiné aux musiciens amateurs, et donc doté pour cela des fonctionnalités de base de traitement et de montage audio. L’avantage est qu’il embarque des synthétiseurs et des boucles musicales libres de droits, qui vous permettront de créer des ambiances musicales de manière assez intuitive pour vos projets. Il peut toutefois manquer de précision dans l’édition. De plus, ses outils de contrôle du master et ses options d’export sont limités. Si vous souhaitez creuser le sujet et que l'anglais ne vous rebute pas, nous vous invitons à jeter un œil à ce très bon tuto vidéo : Notre conseil : ce qui représente lors des premiers mois un plaisir ne doit pas devenir au fil du temps une corvée. Le montage d'un podcast nécessite du temps, de l'énergie et parfois même un petit investissement financier. Dès vos premiers pas, tâchez de voir loin et de vous projeter : combien de temps suis-je prêt à consacrer, sur la durée, au montage de mes émissions ? De la réponse que vous y apporterez dépendra votre fréquence de publication, mais aussi le choix du logiciel auquel vous aurez recours. En gardant toujours à l'esprit qu'un investissement de quelques dizaines d'euros vous fera bien souvent gagner de l'efficacité, du confort et in fine du temps. Hindenburg : simplicité, fluidité, confort Hindenburg Journalist est disponible sur Windows, Mac et Linux au prix de 85 €. Spécifiquement orienté vers les podcasteurs et journalistes radio, ce logiciel promet à ses utilisateurs de simplifier le montage pour se concentrer sur le story-telling. Pour cela il intègre des fonctionnalités "intelligentes" comme l’égalisation de volume automatique, et un compresseur aussi intelligent qu'appréciable à un seul bouton. Son interface allégée permet une organisation efficace des fichiers et des séquences, donc une vision claire de ses projets de montage. À noter une version Pro (350 €) qui intègre un atténuateur de bruit automatique et un enregistreur multipiste d’appels Skype, entre autres fonctionnalités plus avancées. La version de base présente cependant suffisamment d'atouts pour convaincre la plupart des utilisateurs exigeants. À tester gratuitement durant 30 jours se forger son propre avis ! Reaper : une petite qui a tout d'une grande Reaper est disponible sur Windows, Mac et Linux pour la modique somme de 60 $. Peu onéreux, léger, stable et puissant, ce logiciel est le petit secret coupable de nombreux ingés sons. Il n’est peut-être pas assez cher pour être considéré comme pro. Pourtant son interface très complète n’a rien à envier aux grosses machines de studio, si ce n’est le design un peu rebutant des plugins intégrés. Pour l’apprentissage, une large collection de vidéos (en anglais) vous permet de butiner progressivement selon vos besoins. Adobe Audition : une interface qui a de la gueule Adobe Audition est disponible sur Windows comme sur Mac, soit dans la licence Adobe CC soit en standalone pour une vingtaine d'euros par mois. Il s'agit bien évidemment de l’application de montage audio d’Adobe, dans la veine de Premiere pour la vidéo. Avec son interface futuriste, très pro, Audition s’avère assez intuitif pour des coupes simples et des ajustements de volume. Pour un traitement plus poussé, il faudra acquérir quelques notions. À noter : un algorithme de détection des clics et des silences, hyper pratique sur des longs formats ; et un atténuateur de bruit simple et puissant pour estomper les bruits continus, comme les ventilateurs par exemple. ProTools : l'outil historique des grands studios d'enregistrement Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Studio One, Cubase... Toutes ces STANs professionnelles sont comparables. Les éditeurs tentent de se démarquer par leurs interfaces plus ou moins geek, leurs outils intégrés et différentes politiques tarifaires. Mais toutes embarquent des modules d’effets intégrés, et des synthétiseurs et des boîtes à rythme maison. Aussi, toutes permettent l’ajout de plug-ins externes (des modules d’effets que l’on charge dans le logiciel) pour modifier les flux audio : un vaste et merveilleux monde dans lequel vous pourrez aller vous perdre une fois que vous aurez votre nouveau logiciel bien en main. À découvrir sur Windows ou Mac à condition de passer à la caisse : comptez 300 € et plus. Conclusion : si on devait grossir le trait... Audacity et GarageBand seraient les plus accessibles pour une première familiarisation au montage audio. Hindenburg se développe récemment sur le secteur radio et podcast, et épargne l’utilisateur de beaucoup de fonctions plutôt orientées musique ou ingénieurs. Quant à Audition, Reaper et les STANs pro, ils seront les outils les plus puissants et les plus créatifs. Avant de vous lancer néanmoins, mieux vaut acquérir quelques notions. Pour apprendre, vous trouverez sur YouTube et les sites des éditeurs des formations en ligne ou des vidéos tuto complémentaires de celles présentées dans cet article.
  6. RECORDING QUALITY: THREE THINGS TO LOOK AT When you record a podcast alone at home, or with your friends gathered in the same room, there are only two main elements to take into account in terms of sound quality: your equipment (especially your microphone) and your environment. Recording in a big room is not appropriate, just like recording with your windows open or next to a fridge. But remote recording, especially with more than one guest, raises many problems. Each participant must choose the right microphone and environment. This situation is easier to deal with when you record a casual group podcast rather than when you interview a special guest; indeed, it is easier to demand or recommend things to a friend who is likely to feature in several episodes rather than to someone you barely know and who will be there just once. Either way, here are guidelines to keep in mind: When it comes to sound quality, a microphone is always more important than a recording software. If you can, give your guest a decent microphone. If you can’t, remember that a smartphone often provides a better sound than a cheap microphone on a computer. As the environment chosen by your guest is as important as yours, advise him to choose an appropriate room, i.e. not too big and with no interferences. When it comes to remote recording, the quality of the internet connection is more important. There is no easy solution if your guests have a poor connection; fibre optic or not, try to use a wired connection rather than WiFi. If possible, ask your partner not to watch Netflix nor any kind of bandwidth consuming stuff. RECORDING YOUR OWN SOURCE: THE BEST SOLUTION It is not easy of course, but it is the most appropriate option to get a perfect sound quality. It might be hard to impose on a guest for an interview though. However, for a group podcast, it is the solution to try before going for anything that would be more comfortable but less efficient. How should you do? Ask the participants to download a recording software, ideally the same as yours – it will be easier to help them. Audacity is free, GarageBand is perfect for Mac addicts, Hindenburg is great for perfectionists… There are many options. Once they have their software, all participants must record the sound of their own microphones. It is a great responsibility, as there can be technical flaws; so, during the conversation, they must keep an eye on the software to make sure the recording works properly. Don’t panic though; usually, this process goes without a hitch – as long as your partners are well prepared. Once the recording phase is done, each participant must save its track and export it under the same format (preferably WAV). Then you use a file transfer software, like Dropbox, to collect the tracks and store them in one single file. Perhaps there will be gaps between some of the interventions, but these are details you can fix in one or two clicks. OTHER SOLUTIONS: A REVIEW OF REMOTE RECORDING SOFTWARE You want to have one guest or more on your show but you don’t feel like asking them to download any software and do not want to impose any rule. No problem: there are platforms that might be very useful. Squadcast: specifically tailored for remote podcast Squadcast is very user-friendly: it takes a few clicks for the host to start a session; he/she gets a link he/she sends to his/her guests, and that’s it. No software needed; the whole process is online. No need to sign up either, the shared link is enough. What next? Squadcast records every participant on separate tracks that are automatically saved on the cloud. Once the session is over, the host downloads the files in his/her favourite format – either WAV or MP3. To be honest, the sound quality is very good. That’s it for the pros, let’s review the few cons now – they are not that bad, really: Squadcast sessions can only gather a host and three guests (so 4 participants max.) It does not feature video recording It works on most browser except for Safari It works on Android smartphones but not iPhones And as quality is not free (except for the 7-day free trial), it costs $9/month for the basic pack, which features only 2 hours of recording over the month. If you want more, then it costs $17/month for 5 hours, and $38 for 12 hours. Zencastr: no charges at all Like Squadcast, Zencastr records all participants individually and stores the tracks on Dropbox or Google Drive. The platform can sometimes be very slow, though these temporary technical issues (sometimes your precious files get lost) seem to be solved now. How is it better than Squadcast or any other platform? Well, it is totally free. You can host sessions with two guests max and record up to 8 hours/month, free of charge. If you want an upgrade, you must pay $20/month; the $20-pack includes WAV files instead of MP3. Zoom.us: the best for video conferencing Zoom was not made for podcasting at first, but for video conferencing, it is why you cannot record audio files with the free pack. However, the platform – like StreamYard – is interesting for live video streamers. Like the platforms above, Zoom does not require any software, as it works through a shared link. Each participant records his/her own track, which is stored and shared to the host through the cloud; Zoom woks on smartphones as well. The sound quality is not that good with the default settings, but it can be improved with customised settings. The point is, if you don’t mind video podcasts, there are better solutions for you, especially as the entry pack costs about $17/month for 1 GB on the cloud (for MP4 or M4A files). In other words, Zoom is not very competitive. Cleanfeed: more features, more expansive Broadly speaking, Cleanfeed is quite classic; the host shares a link to his/her guests, no download needed, a web browser is enough. Files are stored in WAV and they are easy to collect. All these services are free of charge and unlimited in terms of time and connections. The problem is that your chat will be recorded under one single file. If you want to record several tracks simultaneously, Cleanfeed happens to be more expansive than most platforms (about $33/month, and $20/month for the “discount” offer). It is expansive indeed, but the platform will treat you with the greatest of care; it will delete echoes, provide you with higher sample rates and even control the volume and the mixing. It is up to you to see if you need such services. Ecamm Call Recorder: for Skype lovers Here is Ecamm Call Recorder, the perfect platform for Skype addicts and Mac users. You can record each participant on separate tracks. It is not the best solution in terms of sound quality, but it is perfect for occasional interviews. Craig on Discord: a multitrack recording bot You have read our bit on Skype addicts, but you are more of a Discord user. No problem, Craig has come to your rescue. However, note that tracks are recorded by default on the server, so you cannot be sure of what you get in terms of sound quality, especially compared to home recording. Ringr: as if you were together… really? Is it true, or just a commercial promise? Well, make your own mind up with the samples available on the Ringr website, or… try the platform for free for a month. If you like it, it costs $7.99/month for unlimited calls and storage, on both computers and smartphones. The only limit is that files are only available in Mono MP3… and there is no multitrack. If you want a “studio quality” with separate tracks, it costs $18.99/month. You see, you are spoilt for choice. There is no perfect solution, it all depends on the type of podcaster you are, and on your priorities – quality sound, video features, low budget, etc. Do the same as for the choice of your equipment; collect opinions on the internet, especially from the podcasting community, and compare them. Remember that most platforms offer free trial for a predetermined period (a week, a month, etc.) so you can explore all their features. So give it a try!
  7. Roughly said, podcast is the meeting of someone who has something to say with someone who wants to hear it. But single people know it: meeting someone is hard, and you must put yourself forward, be open to people, be willing to listen, etc. To sum things up, you must stand out from a crowd full of womanisers looking for something you want too. Well, the situation is – almost – the same for podcasters. SHOWING YOURSELF IN YOUR BEST LIGHT: A MATTER OF QUALITY Do you remember the dad in Gremlins? You know, that guy who struggles to become an inventor? Well, this eccentric and inventive man makes a pocket bathroom, an automatic egg-breaker, a fruit peeler-squeezer, a rotary fly-killer, and a smokeless ashtray but, funnily enough, all those inventions remain unsuccessful, either because there is no demand, or because they do not work, or even because they bring no added value. That’s how it works: in terms of marketing, good content sells better than bad content. The first thing to know about good content is that you won’t be its sole advertiser; an army of listeners will help you by recommending your show to their families, their friends and their co-workers, so convincing a listener is a victory because he/she will turn into your ambassador over time. Studies prove that the best way for a podcast to become famous is by word of mouth. Transmission by word of mouth is both a free and very effective ad, but it takes a lot of work. You will have to achieve what most budding podcasters dream of, i.e. creating a high-quality content in both substance and form. To be up to your ambitions, you will have to invest time, energy and even money. Of course, you can make a podcast without spending money, but you will see that investing money might be the best way to save time and energy. A perfect form Let’s take sound quality for example. It is vital; you must be a podcast listener yourself, so you know it: among the shows you follow, are any of them interrupted by background noises or bathroom echoes? Prick up your ears and you will hear none. Perhaps you have already come across podcasts with a poorer sound quality on your favourite app, but the truth is that you have not listened to them for more than ten seconds. Maybe you would have loved the content if you have kept listening a little longer, but like most listeners, you have not given a chance to these podcasts, or maybe we should say that the author has not tried hard enough to convince you. Do not make the same mistake! Every little detail counts to charm your audience, and a perfect sound is your top priority. Choose the most appropriate environment to record your show and, more importantly, buy a decent microphone. Contrary to what most people think, there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars to buy a high-performance microphone. You will find more tips and tricks to help you finding your gem in our article on podcast microphones. Contrary to what you might think, a podcast quality is not just about what you hear. If you want to charm a wider audience, you also need to make a good looking content. How, you ask? It’s simple: design an eye-catching cover to arouse curiosity, as the audience usually sees a podcast before listening to it. Your cover (or avatar) will attract listeners, who will then stay on your podcast and perhaps play an episode, so you should be creative and convey your podcast’s identity through your cover. Style, colours and typography are very important. An original background You might know it already: it is easier to reach new listeners with original content rather than with something people have heard a million times. Let’s take 2020 for example; a podcast on how to deal with quarantine is fine, but fifteen or thirty is boring as hell. Of course, making something new does not necessarily mean dealing with new topics. There are tons of podcasts on cinema, TV series or sports that are different from one another. But if you want to be among the best-ranked shows, i.e. the ones with the widest audience, you must find that little extra to make a difference. It can be a matter of tone, of concept, of guests, etc. If you have time for that, then you can carry out quick “market research” to spot the podcasts that are like yours. By doing that, you will avoid quite common mistakes, i.e. choosing a name that is already taken or doing what has already been done. Listen to those shows. What is right with them? What is wrong? Why are some so popular on Twitter while others struggle to bond with their listeners? Your launch strategy might depend on those answers. Funnily enough, if you are planning to make a podcast on a niche subject, your job will be easier. You will not necessarily have to find a strong concept to begin with; it is easier to be among the best-ranked podcasts of your specific category and subcategory on platforms like Apple Podcasts, whereas radio replays hog the best spots of the most popular categories. In other words, it will be more realistic to aim for the top as you will have fewer rivals, plus it will be easier in terms of visibility. Don’t go by appearances: choosing a niche subject will not drag you down. Arnold and Willis have proven it: the world is made of diff’rent strokes. Search your favourite podcast app, you will see there are successful podcasts on all topics, be it beer, wine, American football, pastry, solicitors, etc. Of course, it reaches insiders first, but with a bit of imagination and consistency, you can charm a wider audience. French podcast Passion Médiévistes is the best example: it was launched in 2017 by Fanny; she invites Master’s or PhD students specialised in the Middle Ages to talk about it. History lovers are not all into this specific period, and even those who are do not necessarily listen to every episode on that topic. Despite all that, this podcast gets thousands of views every month. As for all podcasts, it is due to various factors: a strictly followed publication schedule, interesting guests, crossovers with other podcasts, etc. Over time, Fanny has diversified her subjects and angles of attack; she has launched Passion Modernistes, for which she interviews modern history students, and Vies de Médiévaux, each episode of which ends with the story of medieval characters who deserve to be known. She has even created Super Joute Royale to subjectively rank the kings of France, century by century. With this strategy, she has reached new listeners beyond academics and history lovers. This specific example may not apply to all subjects but keep in mind that podcasts that sleep will never rise. Use your imagination, be creative, be original, and never give up! OPTIMISING YOUR PODCAST’S SEO Your regular listeners will follow you through their favourite podcast app but newcomers won’t. People can discover a podcast through word of mouth (see above) indeed, but they are more likely to do so through the world’s best friend on the Internet: Google (or any other search engine). Yes, SEO is the best way to reach new listeners, hence your podcast name, the titles of your episodes and their descriptions being so important. Being a good writer is a key to success! “SEO” stands for Search Engine Optimisation and it is crucial; to optimise it, you need to stuff your podcast descriptions with tons of keywords related to your subject. Here are a few tips taken from our related articles: The name of your podcast: be as creative as catchy; an original, creative or funny name (a play on words, for instance) may make it easier for you to bond with your audience. It is most podcasters’ favourite choice. Don’t rush headlong though; it might not be as fun and charming, but if you think about it, a more down-to-earth name might get better results on Google or Apple Podcasts. The titles of your episodes: once again, be straightforward! These titles should give a clear and accurate clue on what your episodes are about, as well as they should optimise SEO (and so give you better chances to be found by potential listeners). You should then avoid long titles (as the last bit would be cut on some pages), or at least try to put the most important words at the beginning. The descriptions: here you should give as much information as possible on your podcast topic. Think about the keywords your listeners might search on the Internet, then put them in well-constructed and complete sentences that cover all the themes you deal with. And if you quote brands, famous people, events, books or films in your episodes, don’t forget to mention them in your descriptions, as your audience will then be more likely to find you in the Internet jungle. Most podcasters do work on their episode titles but tend to neglect their descriptions, and it is a huge mistake as it may have severe consequences in terms of SEO. Seriously, you can’t imagine how many listeners came to their favourite podcast thanks to the good use of a keyword or a tag. Once this meticulous work is done, Podcastics helps you with an automatically generated internet website for your podcast; all the information you provided are formatted to optimise SEO. Podcastics is a precious partner that will help your podcast make a name for itself. OPENING UP TO PEOPLE: MAKING YOUR PODCAST EASY TO FIND There you are: your podcast looks good, it is original, you follow a strict publication schedule, your intros and outros are perfect… But you struggle to build a community (or it is not as big as you wish it were). Don’t give up! You have broken the back of it, i.e. making a high-quality podcast, and now comes step 2 of your world conquest. You experienced it while quarantined: you can’t meet people by staying at home. So you need to meet potential listeners wherever they are, be it on podcast platforms, on social media, on forums, or on other podcasts. There are various compatible tools to help a meticulous podcaster forge precious links with his happy audience, so don’t overlook any of them! Use all podcast platforms Podcastics makes it fast and easy for you to feature on all platforms (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Deezer, Stitcher, TuneIn, etc.). You need variety, as it is absolute nonsense to ask potential listeners to use another platform to listen to your podcast. They should make no effort to discover your podcast so you need to be everywhere, and say it to your audience, of course. But it is not over; broadcasting your podcast on every platform is useless if you are not visible. On the most popular platforms, such as Apple Podcasts, there are rankings for each category. They are generated by algorithms that are kept secret but that seem to be driven by one important feature: the users’ opinions and the publication interval between them (the more maximal rates in the shortest timeframe a podcast gets, the better its ranking). You should then ask your listeners (at the end of your episodes, for instance), to leave you a five-star review and a positive comment on their favourite app. As these rankings are category-related, choose “your” category wisely. As mentioned above, some categories and subcategories (Culture and Society, for example) are an open field for the most popular radio show replays. If your main theme fits in, perhaps you should go for seemingly more confidential but actually less competitive subcategories. You can change it later anyway, as categories can be modified whenever you want. Be active on social media Social media are the best way to grow your audience. Podcast enthusiasts are both young and over-connected, according to the Havas-CSA study introduced during the 2019 Paris Podcast Festival. Here is the Identikit of typical podcast listeners: Here is another interesting stat: 90% of podcasts make 90% of their audience figures over the four days following publication. It shows how crucial it is to reach many people as fast as possible. Through social media, you can tease for your next episode (the day before publication, for example) and, most importantly, you can share it several times over the few days following its release. You can even share it any time it seems appropriate, like when its main theme happens to make the news. If we had to rank social media in order of importance, Twitter would come first, then Instagram, and finally Facebook. Twitter is where most podcasters gather. The best thing to do would be to follow as many accounts – directly or indirectly – related to your theme / universe as possible. Most accounts will then follow you back and their fanbase will become an asset when you advertise your next episode. There are more and more podcasters on Instagram too; its growing popularity makes it an important media, though it is more for a visual kind of use. So why not share a few behind the scenes pictures there? Facebook is not very podcaster-friendly because it is hard to gather followers from outside your circle (at least for free). However, for a few dozen dollars, you can buy targeted advertising (i.e. directed towards specific age groups and interests) for your posts, and grow faster. It might also be interesting to join mutual aid groups for podcasters, like the one created by the Podcastéo community for French podcasters. Finally, keep in mind that whatever your favourite social media is, pictures and videos catch more attention than text alone. There are many tools that may help you with that. Here are our favourite two: Quozio, through which you can insert a quote taken from your latest episode in a picture; Headliner, which is Podcastics’ favourite in terms of video clip making, as it helps you promote a few extracts from your shows. It is especially useful when it comes to convincing people to download your new episode! Being active among the podcasting community Don’t be surprised, but most podcast listeners are podcasters themselves. They even are those who talk the most about it, so your first listeners, except from a few relatives of yours, will be podcasters, and the best way to grow your audience is to invite one of them once in a while. There are many good reasons why such peers, especially when they deal with the same topics, are great guests. First, they already have a good equipment, so no need to explain how technical and contextual things work. Second, their own communities will be pleased to discover your podcast after this featured episode. It is up to you to make the most of this kick-start, by: Asking your guests to promote the episode through their own social media (though they usually do it by themselves). Tagging them in your posts related to this episode. Promoting, in the future, your guests’ important news by sharing your featured episode again. Of course, it is not a one-way move. You need to be involved in other podcasts’ lives by reacting to their news and asking if you can join as a guest in the future. It is common for podcasters to feature in many of their peers’ shows, and such collaborations help them grow big on Twitter. In a broader sense, get involved in the podcasting community; get in touch with specialised magazines, attend the podcast-related events, and, of course, promote your show by talking about it whenever you can. You can even print flyers and make goodies in that sense. For instance, Podcastics staff members were impressed by all the goodies designed by Cyrille to promote his podcast (Mes disques à moi) on the Pod Village of the French Radio Fair, a few months ago. You can tell that it works by the fact that is still a vivid memory for us today! Finally, before you start, make sure your show features in podcast directories! Spamming journalists: a bad idea We started this article with an analogy on how we meet people. Let’s get back to it. On a dating website, your attempts do not necessarily pay off. Don’t worry, it is the same for everyone. But when it comes to failure, there are two types of people: those who move on, and those who try three, five or even ten times. Don’t be one of those. If you feel like your podcast brings added value to its field, fair enough. You can try to get in touch with a journalist through Twitter or Linkedin (always better than an email); he/she may be interested in your subject, but be careful, these people get hundreds of emails every day, so target the right person and don’t spam him/her if he/she does not reply. Showcasing your podcast through a website and/or a teaser A website is a crucial tool to promote a podcast, especially if your episode descriptions are accurate. No need to harp on about the importance of SEO, keywords, and all that. Just note that Podcastics can provide you with an easy-to-manage full website with advanced social media features. You will find all the information you need in our article on podcast websites; they are the best way to interact with your audience. You can also use an efficient teaser! There is nothing better to promote a film or a TV series, is it? Well, it’s the same for podcasts! People who randomly come across a podcast do not tend to press Play, but if they watch a two-minute spot that sums things up, they will definitely go for it. You just need to make sure this teaser features the essence of your podcast (a quality sound, a short introduction, a clear synopsis and catchy extracts). If your host is good 😉 this teaser will appear on top of your podcast page on every platform! DEVELOPPING LISTENING SKILLS: WHAT DOES YOUR AUDIENCE WANT? Knowing your current audience is the best way to target new listeners. You should not write information sheets about them of course, it is not about their hobbies or sexual preferences, but you should take their opinion and advice into account. Some podcasts even indirectly include their audience in their shows. Analyse your podcast statistics Your podcast stats should not only be a cause for pride or frustration. Do not only analyse them to feel better, brag about it to your co-workers or feel sorry for yourself drinking a whole bottle of wine. When used properly, your stats can help you improve the length and themes of your episodes. When and how do people listen to you? Is it in the morning, on their way to work, with earphones? Or is it in the evening, in bed, with their partner? What are the trendiest topics? Are your intros catchy enough to kick-start the rest of your episodes? Our article on podcast statistics will give you an idea of what Podcastics can do in terms of stats. You have had a glance at it already? Well, let’s focus on two specific tools: The comparison of your episode launches. Quick reminder: 90% of podcasts make 90% of their audience figures over the four days following publication. It is therefore crucial to reach many people as fast as possible. If your latest episode starts slowly, it is unlikely to get a miraculous second wind a few days or weeks later. Use this comparison and adapt your launch strategy accordingly; we would recommend to give it your all on social media during this short but precious launch window. The heat map. This map shows the most active hours of your podcast over the week, and as we have included the publication days and times, it will be easy for you to spot the most intense periods in terms of engagement. It is up to you to use it. Surveying your audience and getting them involved An emotionally involved listener will definitely stay by your side and talk about your podcasts to his/her circle. When several listeners give a similar opinion, consider their advice if you can. Some pitfalls may not occur to the key player, i.e. the podcaster himself. If several people underline the same problem, be it about style or content, they must be right. If people do not react to your episodes, use social media to ask your listeners what they think. Do not only look for praise, and make them understand you are open to criticism. Finally, take time to nominally thank the listeners who have helped you one way or another. Canadian podcast Distorsion always quote one of the five-star reviews they have got on Apple Podcasts. Another interesting move: they pay “a round of beers” to one of the listeners that has helped them through Patreon; first, they recommend a beer, and they talk about it with the listener once he/she has tried it. On a different note, French podcasts 2 Heures de Perdues and Super Ciné Battle have set an active dialogue with their listeners; the former use a film suggestion – taken from a five-star review – to choose their episode topics, while the latter ask people to send an email with lists of films that are debated later on air. Follow the feedbacks from the podcasting community If you are about to start a podcast on violin, then go through all the forums and Facebook groups of violin players, then talk about your podcast in each one of them, asking for people’s opinions and criticisms. If one of your episodes deals with violin across ages, then do the same thing with historian communities; if it is about violin in Indian music, then turn to people who are into this culture. Being proactive will help you raise precious advice on how to deal with these subjects, and, just like having special guests on your show, it will help you reach a new audience that would not have heard about your podcast in the first place. Of course, it works for all podcast themes, so do not start a podcast on violin or flute if you are not into it 😅 What about making shorter and more frequent episodes? We can’t say it enough: you are totally free to choose the duration of your episodes. Freedom is the essence of podcast, so you can make three-minute episodes and switch to four-hour shows if you want, just like you can adapt your publication schedule to your daily life before doing it for your listeners. However, you should make episodes people will listen to from start to finish, so they need to suit your audience’s habits and life. Most studies agree that if you want to make the most of your episodes, they should not be more than an hour-long. The previously mentioned Havas/CSA study even shows that it should not last more than 30 minutes: By shortening your episodes, you will see that you can increase your publication rate. No need to be a genius to sort out that shorter episodes take less editing and time. You can also use a single recording session to make a series of several episodes. Remember that there is no better solution to improve your audience figures than giving your listeners more episodes; it is why daily podcasts are more likely to win the audience’s loyalty than weekly or even bi-monthly podcasts. Experiment, invent, listen and… work hard! As you can see, there is no magic spell to grow your audience. You just need to go step by step and make consistent efforts. Try some of the tips mentioned in this article, but, more importantly, observe the podcasting world carefully. Why do some shows gather thousands of listeners every week? What do they do better than you? Use their good practices as a path to follow while keeping in mind what makes a good podcaster, i.e. creativity, consistency, self-sacrifice, etc. Keep in mind that growing your audience is a matter of time, not days. Good Luck!
  8. As a listener, you may have never wondered how you could access a podcast in three clicks from your smartphone. Well, this is a question you must be able to answer once a podcaster. Podcasts do not appear out of the blue on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podcast Addicts and Google Podcasts, you know. All these platforms rely on an RSS feed, which is like the lifeline of your podcast. Any time a new episode is published, it appears automatically on the listening software to which the RSS feed was sent. But how does a simple audio file turn into an RSS feed? Well, it is simple: it is made by a host; not only will it make room for your files on the web, but it will also provide you with this precious feed. When it comes to hosts, there are two options: Free of charge or cheap solutions: if you are clever enough, you will save money but will not enjoy quality extra services. Charged solutions (such as Podcastics😞 they are both simple and comfortable. After all, managing a podcast is very time-consuming and exhausting, so you don’t want to be in charge of hosting as well! FREE (OR CHEAP) HOSTING: A DO-IT-YOURSELF SOLUTION No need to be a podcaster to know that there are many options to host your files (be they audio or not). Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc. The list goes on, services are legion, and they all share one common feature: you can drop and share your files with the world from the cloud. You can also use Archive.org, which is a bit different; it is an online library that hosts your files for free if you agree to make them available for all users. Finally, you can use a web server for just a few euros. For instance, you can subscribe to OVH for $1.99 to $11.99 including all taxes per month. Be careful though, all subscriptions are not the same; the $1.99 pack only gives you a 1Go disk space, so it will be full after a few episodes only. You should play safe and pay at least $3.99 per month; you will have 100Go available. All these solutions are mainly made for podcasters with IT skills. Once your files are hosted, you have to create your RSS feed by yourself: either you do it manually if you know your stuff in program writing, or you use a feed creation software. Of course, once you are done with these obstacles, note that you will not have access to the services offered by specialised hosts, i.e. statistics, audio players, social media features, etc. This is why Podcastics have designed an unrivalled subscription: the Premium pack. You stay in charge of hosting (you can do it for free, with Archive.org for example) but can use all Podcastics services, such as podcast import and management, RSS feed creation, a website with social media features, cool audio players, detailed statistics, etc. And all this for just $4 per month (while the Pro pack costs $8 per month and includes hosting). SPECIALISED HOSTING: CHARGED BUT COMFORTABLE When it comes to hosting, budding podcasters often think of SoundCloud first, which is funny, because it is mainly made for musical content makers. Hence its platform being quite inappropriate for podcasting services. Indeed, there are many companies specialised in podcast hosting online, such as Acast, Libsyn, Blubrry and… Podcastics of course. All these platforms provide you with various services that are more complete than SoundCloud’s, plus their fees are quite similar. On Podcastics, the Pro pack, which includes podcast hosting, costs $8 per month. It features the import and management of your episodes, as well as a customisable website, audio players designed to be shared on social media, accurate stats, social media features that will help you bond with your audience, etc. But Podcastics is more than that. It is about simplicity and comfort. You may not realise it yet, but being a podcaster is very time consuming and tiring. So, if you want to enjoy your new life as a podcaster, focus on what counts and let us take care of the rest. Just like Buzz Lightyear, Podcastics takes you to infinity and beyond! It may seem taboo, but sometimes, podcasts stop. When that day comes, it raises hosting-related questions: should you unsubscribe and deprive your audience of your episodes, or should you keep your subscription and pay high charges for something you do not need? To solve the problem, Podcastics has invented a brand new Archive pack. For only $5 per month (an active podcast costs $8), you can keep all your episodes online and use our features (website, audio players, stats, etc.); if you ever feel like recording new episodes again, you can switch back to the Pro pack in two clicks. What else?
  9. As far as podcast hosting is concerned, there are two main solutions: either you do it yourself or you use a specialised host. If you go for the latter option, the platform you will use (either Podcastics or one of its rivals) will create your RSS feed. On the other hand, if you want to do it yourself, you must make your RSS feed through a text editor. It is quite hard, to be honest; if you don’t know what an RSS feed looks like, there you go: What is the use of the RSS feed? Podcasts do not appear out of the blue on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podcast Addicts and Google Podcasts, you know. All these platforms rely on an RSS feed, which is like the lifeline of your podcast. This feed contains the main details of your show, i.e. its URL, its description, its cover, etc. Therefore, any time a new episode is published, it appears automatically on the listening software to which the RSS feed was sent. The purpose of this article is to share a good deal with you, as Podcastics can create your RSS feed simply and for free. How, you ask? Well, just pick our Free pack. Among the four Podcastics subscriptions, it is the only one that does not feature podcast hosting… but also the only one that is free of charge. If you want to manage the hosting of your podcast by yourself, the Free pack gives you an RSS feed (and a turnkey website) and takes a thorn out of your side. Once your RSS feed is created, Podcastics gives you an RSS address that you will only have to send to the platforms on which you want to broadcast your show. Once the feed is approved by such platforms (Apple Podcasts for instance), the episodes of your podcast will automatically be added to your account and will then appear in the apps used by thousands of potential listeners… and all that for free! Thank you, Podcastics!
  10. You may have noticed that it is not easy to be in constant interaction with your listeners. More often than not, they do like your show but do not feel like reacting or commenting. Obviously, even social media have their own limits, so you need a decent website to liven your podcast up between episodes. Podcastics make your website user-friendly. Your episodes are automatically uploaded upon publication and your Twitter feed, if previously registered, is updated live. We also put forward your RSS feed, your Facebook page, your email address, and your Spotify page. In other words, the most relevant data appear so your website becomes a crossroads for your audience. Your web page remains fully customisable though: you can choose the colours and the display of your cover, you can open comments and rating to your audience for each episode, you can create a top-list of the most popular episodes, you can display your audience-related stats, etc. Podcastics is your home so we will not tell you how to paint your walls, nor deny you the right to tear down a wall! By the way, if you know a thing or two when it comes to computers, you can even register your customised CSS so your website reflects your whole work. A BRAND-NEW TOOLBOX Once your cocoon suits your taste and personality, you must make the most of it. Your website is shaped like a blog so you can post articles, either to tease your next episode, to make a huge announcement regarding your podcast, or to show pictures of your latest recording session. This space is yours; to help you customise it, the text editor features many functions, such as automatic integration for YouTube and Vimeo videos, or Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts. Oh, you want more! Have a look at our emoji catalogue then! “Hey dude! That guy keeps bragging about his emojis but what about the social media functions he talked about three paragraphs before?” Well, there they are: not only can your audience rate and comment on your episodes, but they can also react to your articles. If you want to arouse interaction, you can even add polls to your posts. Those who decide to subscribe to your podcast or to an episode will receive notifications, so they stay tuned to your news and the debates you have raised. Not to sound cocky or anything, but a Podcastics-generated web page is like a Greek agora, a toga-free Roman forum, or even Hyde Park’s Speakers’ Corner… live from your couch! Audience put aside, teamwork is often the key when it comes to podcasts, and you may have a crew of speakers or pundits behind you. Podcastics give you the opportunity to help them get involved even more by giving them special rights. You remain the one in charge of your subscription of course, but your partners may be given access to your podcast stats and may be allowed to post articles on your website. It is a perfect tool to arouse a healthy emulation among your teammates!
  11. 1. Pick a subscription pack Your adventure as a podcaster starts here, on our “Create a podcast” page. You can pick the subscription pack that suits your needs and expectations among those available on Podcastics. We have broken the back of the work for you by listing the details of each pack here. Let’s assume you need a complete package, i.e. a subscription including podcast hosting, a website, statistics and audio players. Then go for the Pro pack! 2. Create an account You have picked your favourite subscription pack. If not done yet, you must create a Podcastics account. To do so, you need to give us several details, such as your username, your email address, and your password. Well, it is the same for any internet website. Easy, right? 3. Create or import your podcast Now let’s get down to business! Once you have your pack and your account, you are left with two options: either you Import an existing podcast or you Create a new podcast. Of course, the Import option only works for already existing podcasts, i.e. those that already have an RSS feed, several episodes, etc. In other words, it is for those who had a life before Podcastics. However, if your audio files are still waiting for their first listeners, then go for the second option, i.e. Create a new podcast. 4. Fill in the details of your podcast Now you should name your podcast! You have been thinking about your show and its structure for weeks; you have been working on a title, you have been designing a cover. And that’s great, as these are details you must register – a sexy title, a striking subtitle, an accurate and catchy description, an attention-drawing cover, etc. You also need to categorise (and maybe subcategorise) your podcast, determine the presentation order of your episodes, add your social media, etc. It is like making your podcast’s ID card. 5. Add episodes This is already the last – and most important – step of your Podcastics debut: transferring and hosting your episodes on the platform. Don’t panic, it’s all going to be fine. Here is the page you will end up on if you have followed the four steps above: It’s not very scary, is it? If your first episodes are ready (in mp3 or mp4 and max 300MB), the rest is only a formality, especially if you have read our post on the written presentation of your episodes. For those who still have to record their episodes, no worries! Our Help section is full of tips and tricks. You should start with our articles on how to pick the right microphone, and on the basics of recording and editing on Audacity. After that, come back to us! You will be as eager as excited to upload your audio files. Even though we are used to it, the birth of a podcast remains a moving event for us!
  12. Free pack: no charges, basic functions Yes, you can access Podcastics’ basic functions for free. Of course, this starter pack does not feature podcast hosting, podcast stats and audio players. However, you can import and manage your podcast, and enjoy a few extras, such as: A website featuring your podcast details and all your episodes (you cannot customise it nor write articles). Exposure to Podcastics users, who can receive notifications and subscribe to your podcast. To sum things up, the Free pack is made for podcasters who use another hosting solution and want to get used to the Podcastics interface. So have a go! It is free and we are sure you will feel good with us! Premium pack: $4, main features, no hosting If you already use a hosting solution, you still can enjoy the main Podcastics features for no more than a Happy Meal’s worth. And as you are too old for a Happy Meal (let’s be honest), there is no need to hesitate. Podcastics’ Premium pack includes a customisable website featuring your posts, your most relevant stats, reviews, rates, and comments. It is the best value for money in terms of services; you will enjoy comfort and open new perspectives as a podcaster. Pro pack: $8, a complete offer including hosting For those who want to add hosting to Podcastics’ services to centralise everything on a single platform, here is the perfect pack. Unlimited storage and bandwidth, support from Amazon’s powerful servers: our Pro pack will not let you down. And here is the icing on the cake: our Content Delivery Network (CDN) will distribute your audio files throughout eight locations over Europe and North America. It will bring you closer to your listeners, who will not have to wait for your podcast to load thanks to a fast-track service. For inactive podcasts, Podcastics has designed an Archive pack that will keep your show online for cheap. It costs only $5/month and uses the same features as the Pro pack, including its high-performance hosting. But nothing is permanent of course: if you ever want to upload episodes again, you can switch to a Pro or Max pack in two clicks. Max pack: high-speed hosting Here is a pack tailored for those who need the best for their podcast, those who want to drive the Rolls Royce of hosting and whose financial means equal their ambitions. The Max pack provides you with extremely high speed all over the world by distributing your audio files throughout 35 locations. Except if they live in places like Siberia or Patagonia, all your listeners can enjoy your podcast without running out of patience, be they in Asia, South Africa, or Brazil. That’s as good as it gets!
  13. Perhaps you are the mastermind of your crew, hence your teammates always relying on you to manage the website, upload episodes and analyse the stats. Well, Podcastics is here to make things change, as it has all you need to keep your hand on your show while entrusting some tasks and responsibilities to your partners. But let’s start from the start, i.e. the birth of your podcast on Podcastics. You have created an account on our platform, you have just picked the best subscription for you, and you have either created or imported your podcast following our five-step guide. Now you should register or update fundamental elements, such as your podcast description, its cover, its web site, and its authors. Obviously, authors are our conversation topic here; Podcastics helps you promote your partners by managing authorisations and potential client accounts. Managing authorisations Even though you are the leader of the project, you do not have to manage all by yourself. On Podcastics, you can promote your teammates to Admin, Manager and Analyst: The Admin has the same superpowers as the podcast owner but cannot delete the podcast nor manage the subscription. The Manager can: modify the podcast details (but not its authorisations); add, modify, and delete episodes; access stats, RSS feed (without managing the links to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.), audio players (but not their customisation options), the website (without customising it either), etc. He/she can also add, modify, and delete posts, but cannot manage monetisation options. As for the Analyst, he can only access the podcast stats. Managing client accounts Usually, the podcast author and its manager on Podcastics are the same person. However, it is not always the case; perhaps you are in charge of the edition of a client’s podcast yourself. In this case, you only need to ask your client to create (it is easy and free-of-charge) his/her own Podcastics account. You will then register this account in the author box, so its name appears instead of your own name on the podcast website. If you ever write a comment on the web site in the future, then it will display the client’s name. It will be the same if a comment is posted by another Admin or Manager. The little extra: When an episode is published, and if your contributors own a Podcastics account, you can register their names or nicknames in a specific field, and mention their respective roles (host, pundit, special guest, etc.). The team members will then appear on the episode web page, and the visitors will be able to send them a private message.
  14. Leonardo da Vinci’s words were central to Podcastics’ range of podcast audio players. No need to be a computer guy to make the most of them. You will see for yourself: they are easy to embed and perfectly tailored to all uses. PODCAST AUDIO PLAYERS The Extended player: the best way to integrate content in a web page It is Podcastics’ default player, i.e. the one you will find on your podcast’s web page. It features all the sharing functions (email, download, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Deezer, Stitcher, etc.) you can set through Podcastics’ manager. It also features the episode description, its publication date and the social media links you have listed in the “Information” tab (the “i” icon in the top-right corner). Like all Podcastics’ audio players, it is fully compatible with smartphones and tablets. The Extended player is a complete player that will prove very useful. The Playlist player: an episode list and a search engine The Playlist player follows the same format as the Extended player and also features the list of your episodes. This list shows your podcast’s seasons and episode numbers, as well as their duration and publication date. On top of the episode list, there is a search engine that will help you find any word from the presentation sheets of your episodes. It is hidden by default; you just need to scroll down your episode list to see it. Handy, isn’t it? Podcastics has added little extra regarding integration; if you copy-paste the URL of your podcast’s web page in one of your posts or in a comment, the playlist will display; if you copy-paste the URL of an episode, then the extended player will display, as if by magic! The Light player: be a featherweight! If you need to integrate many players to a page full of content, then you need the Light player. It features the main buttons required to play your show; it also features a link to your podcast’s web page as well as an Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts button (depending on the platform you use). The Cover player: promote your imagery If you are really proud of your podcast’s cover, then the Cover player will be perfect. Like the Extended player, it features sharing options and the Information tab. The Wide player: the ultimate player Your podcast’s cover will be displayed in a wide format, and you can browse your episodes too. It is made for wide pages! CUSTOMISING YOUR PODCAST AUDIO PLAYER Of course, you don’t have to stick to a grey background; a wide range of colour is available for fully customised players. You can choose: The background colours of your players; The text colour; The link colour; For the Cover player, you can customise the playing order (chronological or reverse chronological) of your episodes. For the Cover and Wide players, you can even select the position of the cover (top, centre or bottom): Finally, if you really are into IT and can encode style sheets, you can even customise your CSS for total freedom! In other words, whatever your needs, Podcastics has the perfect player for you. If you have registered your podcast’s Patreon or PayPal page, the “Support us” button will automatically appear on your player. That’s another thing you won’t have to care about! EMBEDDING YOUR PODCAST AUDIO PLAYER You want to embed one of your audio players in your web page? It is very easy: the Podcastics manager features many customisation options and automatically generates an HTML code you can paste in your web page. We told you: Podcastics audio players are a piece of cake!
  15. Former French president Jacques Chirac once said: “Statistics is the third kind of lie.” This quote derives from Mark Twain’s just as negative words: “There are three kind of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” One thing is for sure: neither Jacques Chirac nor Mark Twain were Podcastics users, as they would have never said such hard things. Yes, that’s right. Podcastics (Podcast + Analytics) as a name happens to perfectly embody this concept: since the very beginning of the project, we have been focusing on our statistics module. Why you ask? Well, because audience-related data is not just made to flatter podcasters’ egoes. They must be thorough enough to help them understand their audience and adapt their strategies to their viewers’ habits (i.e. the publication time of their episodes or the topics covered). Such data might as well be completely accurate to make it easier for a podcaster to find sponsors. Data accuracy is not everything though. As you might want to draw lessons from your statistics, they must be well listed and easy to read. Join Podcastics and you will experience a great flexibility when it comes to highlighting the most relevant statistics to you. All podcasters do not rely on the same data. Sometimes, one person’s needs evolve over his/her podcasting career. Therefore, we make it easy for you to see general data as well as episode-related stats. You can also get time-filtered stats so you can see your best days, weeks, months, etc. Podcastics will manage to give you the most relevant display based on your preferences thanks to: A “contextual” date filter: depending on the selected episode, the date range will automatically change so it remains in line with your selection. An “intelligent” display: depending on the selected date range, your stats will be displayed on an hourly, daily, or monthly basis. Here are a few screenshots of the platform so you can figure out what Podcastics has to offer in terms of stats. No matter the data you pick, the questions remain the same: who are your listeners and what are their habits regarding your podcast? WHAT IS A play? Before we get to the point, let’s answer a crucial question, behind which lies another: how do we measure a play? The stats registered on Podcastics are IAB certified. To put it in a nutshell, they rely on the access to an audio file. A play starts as soon as a listener accesses one of your audio files, be it via an app, a web player or direct download. However, to generate reliable and coherent stats, the listening stats undergo many processing steps: Robots and browsers are filtered out When a single episode is watched several times from the same device in the same place over a 24-hour period, it is considered as one listening A listening is only taken into account from the first downloaded minute. This point is sort of irrelevant as most audio players automatically download more than a minute to store the audio file in their memories. All IAB certified statistics are reliable and homogeneous. This certification is also used by podcast advertising sales agency to count advertising campaigns and pay podcast editors. Number of plays How many people listen to my podcast? It is obviously what new podcasters wonder, so much that they spend days or weeks frantically refreshing their stat pages only to be happy when they see the figures change. If you are one of them, please note that Podcastics refreshes the stats every five minutes. We set on this interval so that you can give your F5 key a little rest. Once again, here are a few pictures of our audience-related graphs and what you should know. Plays per episode Two things about the above graph: The green line represents the listening average depending on the selected time unit (here, months) If the selected episode had been released only a few hours earlier, the stat display would have been automatically adapted to show an hourly graph (see below). In other words, if Podcastics was seating in the back of your car on a holiday trip, it would definitely not ask “are we there yet?” every five minutes. Now let’s imagine you want to see your podcast performance overall, all episodes included. There would be several options. Overall plays Maybe you are sad to see your podcast publication rate has slowed down lately. Well, our overall listening curve will lift your spirits: The graph showing your podcast performance episode by episode gives you another perspective. Finally, thanks to our ranking, you can easily spot the best performing episodes since your show started: A high-performance search engine Your latest episode reached thousands of listeners and you can’t get enough? Let’s travel back in time to check how well you did a few years ago and you will see how far you have gone since! Just type in one of the key words mentioned in the title or the description of the episode you are looking for, and our search engine will dig out this treasure at top speed. Comparing episode performances on their launch These few pictures give you a quick glance of what Podcastics has to offer. Why should you have to wait for weeks to see if your latest episode performs better than the previous ones? Wouldn't you like to be able to compare these stats from the very first week of publication? Spoiler alert: we can do it. The blue curve is for your latest episode, while the other two curves stand for the two previous ones. Thanks to our search engine, you can quickly select any other past episode to get a more relevant comparison, for instance if your latest episode deals with a topic you have already talked about in another show. THE BEST PERFORMING DAYS AND HOURS Podcastics may be proud of its statistics module, but we do not rest on our laurels. Our developers keep working to make things easier for you and answer needs you did not even know you had. Now is time to introduce our brand new feature: the heat map. The heat map shows your podcast activity You get it: Podcastics’ heat map helps you spot your podcast’s performance peaks over the week. It is a great way to understand your listeners’ habits so you can adapt your strategy for when you launch next episodes. The heat map is cool, isn’t it? We like it too, so much that we have decided to make it available for our best podcasters, that is to say… all of them! Yes indeed, this extremely useful map is included to all the Podcastics packages comprising statistics analysis. Last but not least: it comes with two other displays of your podcasts’ best performing days and hours. SOURCES OF LISTENING Now that you know when your fans listen to your podcast, don’t you wonder how? By correlating both answers, you might be able to picture the face of a focused thirty-year old man driving back from work, or that of a breathless woman on her early morning jog, both of them listening to your anecdotes, jokes and tales. The first of the three semicircles below is definitely the most interesting as it is about listening device. You may notice that users’ habits evolve very quickly. The latest Havas/CSA study on native podcast, introduced during the 2019 Paris Podcast Festival, shows that listeners are mostly on the move (60%), alone (76%) and use earphones (79%). Obviously, these data may significantly fluctuate from a podcast (or a topic) to the other. As for the other two semicircles, here they are. They are related to platforms and players: You have no idea how many players there are as far as podcast listening is concerned. Podcastics exclude none of them, even if it means exploring the depths of the Internet. No matter the player used by a listener who wants to listen to one of your episodes, a listening will be counted. And if you really do not want to spend time analysing our wonderful semicircles, our analysts do it for you and provide you with the most relevant information: WHERE ARE YOUR LISTENERS? Finally, as it is always a pleasure to see people listen to your podcast in Malaysia or South Africa, Podcastics give you a world map of your statistics. Let’s be honest: you may have more listeners in Texas or Ohio than in Nicaragua. So, as we do not want you to mistake a very pale blue for a bright white and then miss the rare bird, this map will always come with a full list of the countries and their listening rate, no matter how small they are. Statistics and bikinis: much of a muchness We opened this article with Jacques Chirac’s words, let’s close it with another Aaron Levenstein’s quote: “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” Once again, we have chosen to prove our dear Aaron wrong: Podcastics shows everything and has nothing to hide!
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