Information Marketing Audios
Info Marketing Audios
If you produce info products, you’ll need to have the right tools. Tools for a number of different activities. I’d like to give you the tools that I use to do the various things that YOU might be doing now or in the very near future.
Before we get started with the various types of audio programs you can record, let me give you some ideas about the equipment you’ll need.
I use either the PMD 660 or 670 from Marantz. They are both rather pricey and run between $500 and $700. I like them because they record onto flash memory cards which are easy to use and virtually indestructible. The flash memory cards come in all different sizes and prices.
If your budget can’t handle these prices, then you can get some cheap handheld recording devices from Cannon or Olympus. They are meant primarily for dictation but will work well to record audio programs. Avoid using the built in mics in these devices, they use what are called condenser mics and sound awful.
Have NO budget at all? Then go with your computer. Just about every computer will allow you to record audio directly onto the hard drive using the built in mic that comes with it. Long term you won’t want to do this. The mics are usually pretty bad AND computer hard drives have been known to crash!
You’ll also want to record your programs in MP3 format. You can certainly record in a higher quality format, but it’s really overkill when you’re doing voice recordings. doing music recordings is a whole different story because the music spectrum is much larger, thus the need for a higher quality recording setting.
Within the MP3 format there are also various quality settings you can use. I would use one of the higher settings. Go with at least 98kpbs. The higher the “bit-rate” that you record at, the more space it will take up on your flash drive or recording device.
Recording in MP3 mode also makes it so you don’t have to convert the file to produce audios for sale on CD or for downloading on the web.
You’ll need some decent microphones no matter how inexpensive you decide to go in the other areas. I suggest you get some decent mics no matter what level you’re at. It’s well worth it. If you’re on a SUPER tight budget, you can make do with the built in mics in your computer. But, as soon as you have SOME cash to spend, spend it on mics.
I have a couple of hand held mics from Fender. I use the P51 model. I also have a couple of heavy mic stands that you can buy from any radio shack. If you’re trying to save money there, you can prop them up on whatever you have sitting around. Just make sure they don’t drop while you’re recording something.
Microphones are the first thing you should invest in when you have some cash. A decent hand held mic will dramatically improve the quality of your audio programs. For now, do NOT get lavalier mics (those which attach to your lapel). Good ones are very expensive and for most things you need to do they are unnecessary.
Audio editing software is something you MAY need and use as well. As for myself, I do NO editing. That’s right, NONE! It works for me because my audience is more concerned about content than fancy, well edited, programs.
If you do want to edit your audio, there a slew of programs available. As a MAC guy, I use iTunes and Garageband to produce all of my programs. There is a program called Audacity. It will work on both the Mac and PC programs.
There are three primary ways for you to produce audio programs:
1. Solo – Sit in a studio (or simulated studio) and record yourself talking
I’m not a big advocate of this method of audio production. Even the most skilled orator will have a hard time keeping the interest of the listener. I don’t recommend it except in very rare instances.
That being the case, if I were to record something SOLO, here is how I would do it.
Let’s assume first off that you don’t have the budget or the space for a high-end studio. In that case I’d recommend that you find a small room in your house or apartment and turn it into a temporary studio.
If the room doesn’t have carpeting, you’ll need to get some. If you’re going for CHEAP, you can always go down to your local carpet store and pick up a remnant. Make sure and get something that is relatively THICK. You’ll need the carpeting to deaden the sound and reduce “bounce.”
Grab some comforters and/or blankets and hang them up. I had a room in my last house where it had a bunch of shelving. I put the corners of the blankets underneath some heavy books. Just like with the carpeting on the ground, you’re trying to find a way to keep the sound from bouncing off the walls and creating an echo.
You’ll also want to grab small table to put your recording device and your mics on. Make sure the table is big enough to comfortably put both your mics and recording device on without a problem.
You don’t HAVE to do either one of these, but it will help your audio program sound better.
2. Interview Style
A VERY common way that people are producing audios are using the interview technique. For more information about how to do interviews more effectively, check out my program:www.ExpertInterviewer.com
Interviews can be conducted in person or over the phone. If you’re doing them in person, then follow the instructions for how to do a SOLO interview, but add a chair and a mic.
I have started using Skype to do audio recording. It’s a great program and usually has a very clear audio that results. It’s also FREE. Try it out by going to www.Skype.com and downloading it onto your computer.
You can also use www.FreeConferenceCall.com. They will give you a free line AND record your interview (or teleseminar) for free. Don’t ask me how they make their money, just take advantage of the service.
Just a quick note. If you do an interview, make sure and have your questions written down in advance. Provide your interview subject with the questions in advance. Be sure NOT to step on the other person’s lines. That means, let the other party finish before you start to speak.
3. Recording a Live Event
Recording a live event can be tricky. If you’re doing it for the first time, make sure and hire some experienced folks to help you.
If you have a small group, you can just sit around a table and pass the second mic around when people have questions.
With a larger group you’ll want to use what is called a MIXER. This will take in the audio signal and amplify it as well as “distribute” to any other devices you may want to send it to. This would include a computer, a Marantz unit, or any other recording device you might like.
Any further discussion of this process will get a bit too technical for this article, but feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I’ve also got a very knowledgeable contact at B&H Photo (the only place to buy all your equipment – www.BHPhoto.com). His name is Kendall Smith. As a friend of mine you can give him a call at: 800-952-1815 ext 2561. He will be happy to answer any questions you might have about equipment.
He’s a great guy and a tremendously knowledgeable audio “dude.” I paid him a few years back to come out an help me at a big event in Phoenix. He’s a musician and really knows his stuff.