Here you will find resources to help students create podcasts and resources for instructors in the creation of podcast assignments. This includes preferred podcasting software and hardware, tips and tricks, storytelling and narrative, and open access resources for sound effects and music. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact Ryan Rabie, the Digital Initiatives and User Services Librarian.
Software & Hardware
Audacity – Audacity is recommended and is a free, cross-platform, and open source audio editing software. It works for Windows (7/8/10), MacOS, and Linux operating systems, and can be found pre-installed on the Library’s loanable Microsoft Surface Pros.
GarageBand – GarageBand is easy to use and free for anyone who owns a Mac computer, iPad or iPhone. While Audacity is preferred, GarageBand is a great alternative. Please note: there may be some compatibility issues when posting to the web.
Adobe Audition – Adobe Audition is available at Weldon Library, in the Map and Data Centre. This is an excellent program to work with that has plenty of tutorials available for free online. This is a paid program and access is limited on campus.
Blue Yeti Microphone – Huron Library now offers the Blue Yeti Mic for same-day loan. Easy plug-and-play feature for MAC and PC, the Yeti allows you to focus on your work instead of setup. Perfect for podcasting and group recordings, this mic has four different recording modes: omnidirectional, cardioid, bidirectional, and stereo. If you have any questions at all, or need help with setup, please ask Library staff for help.
Podcasting Tips and Tricks
- Izotope: Podcast Production: 10 Tips for Great-Sounding Audio – This is a great resource that goes over how to create better sound for your podcasts. I highly recommend you give this one a read before you start recording.
- The Podcast Host: How to Start a Podcast: Every Single Step – Great resource on helping you get started. Outlines step by step each stage of starting a Podcast including: planning, naming, episodes, format, recording, producing, and publishing.
- NPR Training: Audio – This site has a series of guides to help you get starting on mixing audio, starting a podcast, the importance of storytelling, and more.
- Podfly Academy – This YouTube channel has 10 lessons on podcasting basics, from equipment and setup to audacity tutorials to finding royalty free music, this series covers the whole process.
- Mike Russell – If you plan on using Adobe Audition, this YouTube Channel has plenty of tutorials to get you started. There are also tutorials on creating your own sound effects, along with other audio recording tips and tricks.
Storytelling & Narrative
- Jessica Abel: Out on the Wire – A great resource on the importance of storytelling and narrative. Check out her podcast for inspiration on creating a narrative for your podcast episodes.
- How Deep Do You Need to Go With a Podcast Script? – If you are just getting started on your script, check out this article on creating scripts for podcasts. It goes pretty in-depth and even gives some visual examples.
- Show Notes – These resources explain the importance of “show notes” to go along with your podcast to not only show your listeners the resources you’ve used, but also add addition details such as imagery, timestamps, the show outline, or guest bios.
- Medium: How to Develop a Storytelling Podcast – and Finish It! – This article outlines the process behind creating a narrative for your podcast episodes.
- Learning Solutions: Script Writing for Narrative Podcasts – Another article outlining the narrative process behind script writing. This one also features an outline of approximate word count needed to reach fifteen, thirty, and sixty minute episodes.
- NPR Training: How Audio Stories Begin – NPR lists out some excellent steps for creating an audio narrative for your podcast.
Open Source Sound Resources
These resources offer you royalty-free music and soundeffects to be used in your podcasts. They are high quality, and all fall under either the Creative Commons No Attribution Required license (CC0 1.0) or the Creative Commons Attribution Required license (CC BY 3.0). Some will require you to create a free account, while others do not.
- Freesound – This should be your first stop for any soundclips/bites you might be looking to add to your podcasts. It is a collaborative database that only houses sounds that are offered under the Creative Commons License, No Attribution Required (0/1.0) and Attribution Required (3.0). You will need to create a free account in order to download sound clips. Click here to view Freesound’s full licensing agreement.
- SoundBible – Offering 1000s of free sound effects/clips that are royalty free, under the Creative Commons Attribution Required (3.0)/Public Domain works license. No login is required for this one.
- FreeSFX – FreeSFX offers over 4000 individual sound effects files and over 800 music tracks, all under the Creative Commons Attribution Required (3.0) license. You will have to create a free account in order to download, but browsing the sounds does not require a login.
- 99Sounds – Community driven and free of charge, everything found on 99Sounds is under the CC0 license. What makes 99Sounds a bit more unique is that it offers sounds under its “artist series,” meaning each package was made by a member of the community. Whether you are looking for out of this world sci-fi sounds, fantastical ambience loops, or simple percussion tracks, 99Sounds has you covered – no login required.
- SoundGator – SoundGator offers all of its sounds under the CC0 license, and is quick and easy to navigate. This resource does require you to register in order to download tracks.
- Silverman Sound Studios – Royalty free music distributed on the Creative Commons License Attribution 4.0 license. Under the Royalty Free Music section you can easily find any style of music you are looking for by clicking on any of the tags listed at the top of the page – no login is required, but you must attribute the work.
Looking to create a podcasting assignment for your course? Dr. Stephanie Bell of York University has made her course efforts open and available to all. Take a look at how Dr. Bell has structured her assignment, as well as all the resources she has put together for instructors. Examples of work from the past two years are also available, giving plenty of examples of what a typical episode consists of. The section labelled “Show Blogs” also details each group’s efforts and what they thought of the assignment.
Dr. Bell is an Assistant Professor in the Writing Department at York University. You can find her on Twitter @booksnook if you’d like to ask her any questions directly.