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Podcasting: Sound Booth

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General Information

Click the icon below to learn more about the basics of sound recording

Microphone icon

Microphone Audio Micro by IO-Images, used under CC0

Ready to Start Recording?

Click the icon below to book a recording session or consultation

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Calendar Dates Schedule by IO-Images, used under CC0

Frequently Asked Questions

Click the icon below to learn the answers to some of the most commons questions about the sound booth

Person and question mark icon

Person Missing Person by IO-Images, used under CC0

A Note on Policies

Reservations are limited to four (4) hours per day, per person. Click on the links in this box for more information; in addition to these policies, the studio is subject to the same terms and conditions outlines in the University's IT Policies. The Sound Booth policies are subject to change without notice.

Information on Recording

The Basics

Blue Yeti Microphone       Blue Yeti Pattern selector

Blue-microphone-2740 by Scott Ritchie, used under CC BY 2.0                            Blue Yeti Pattern Selector

Recordings today use microphones, audio interfaces, and a computer program. The words and music made into a microphone are converted into an electronic signal and are then carried through a cable into a computer program, which reads and understands the signal as the sound made. Because it can understand the signal, your computer program is then able to play back your sound and allows you editing capabilities.

What are Polar Patterns?

Different microphones can pick up sound from different directions. When considering which microphone you might want to use, it's important to consider where you or your subject should be in relation to the microphone. The Sound Booth at Irwin houses two microphones that can detect and record various sounds from different angles, but it's important to recognize what kind of sounds you'll be recording so you use the appropriate microphone.

Polar Patterns chart

Take note of the setting symbols, which you can select on the back of the Blue Yeti microphone.

Understanding Mic Specifications                                    What are Polar Pickup Patterns?


Zoom UAC-2 USB Audio Interface

This links the computer to sound inputs/outputs, allowing them to "talk" to one another for recording and playback purposes.

  • 2-in/2-out SuperSpeed USB 3.0 audio interface 
  • Two combo balanced XLR/TRS input connectors accept both mic- and line-level signal
  • Two balanced TRS output jacks for connection to amplifiers or self-powered speakers
  • ¼" headphone jack with dedicated level control

Blue Yeti Multi-Option Condenser Microphone

This microphone allows choice among three polar patterns, or the direction(s) from which it picks up sound:

  • Omnidirectional: ideal for recording orchestras; picks up sound from all around the microphone
  • Bi-Directional: ideal for interviews; picks up sound in the front and back of the microphone
  • Cardiod: ideal for podcasts, interviews, and music; picks up the sound directly in front of the microphone

Audio Technica AT 2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

  • Cardiod: ideal for podcasts, interviews, and music; picks up the sound directly in front of the microphone

                             Blue Yeti microphone Cardioid microphone

Click on the images for more detailed views.

Recording in the Sound Booth

The Solo Show/ Monologue

  • Benefits: You don’t need to rely on anyone else to record your episodes, and you’re building a reputation as the authority on your subject. The podcast is also exclusively yours, so you can make calls on sponsorship and monetization. And you don’t need to split the profits with anyone.

  • Challenges: Perhaps the most intimidating style of show for the beginner podcaster. One of the biggest challenges of the solo show is getting over the feeling that you’re ‘talking to yourself’ and realising that you’re actually talking to the listener.

Co-Hosted Show

  • Benefits: A great way around the ‘mic fright’ or recording alone is to chat on the show with someone else. If you find the right co-host you have someone to bounce off, debate, or even mock (don’t be too mean!). Some co-hosted podcasts have great chemistry between the presenters. This can create a great listening experience.

  • Challenges: Not only do you need to set aside time to record, but that time must also be suitable for your co-host. There’s also the question of ownership: who’s podcast is it, do you split any future income 50/50? And what happens if your co-host loses interest or becomes unavailable in the future?

Interview Show

  • Benefits: Talking to your heroes. Doing an interview show gives you the opportunity to have a chat with someone you’ve always looked up to. On top of this, your guests will have their own audiences who may listen to the interview and end up subscribing to your show. If done right, you can really grow an audience this way.

  • Challenges: Interviewing is a skill that you’ll need to hone through practice, so don’t approach the A-listers in your field straight away. You’ll need to constantly find and approach potential guests, schedule interviews, and rely on others to show up (in person or digitally). You also need to rely on technology (like Skype) to work properly 

Other Formats

Roundtable: One regular host and a number of guests, talking through one specific topic

Documentary: A narrator walks you through a range of interviews, conversations, and on-location clips to paint a picture 

Docu-Drama: A mix between drama and documentary. Offering learning and info, but in an entertaining way 

This information is from

"How to Start a Podcast: from why, to what, to how" banner

Click the photo above to explore, a website that describes all the essentials of starting and maintaining a podcast.

Planning Your Podcast

  1. Consider what your podcast is for
    • Why do you want to create a podcast? Answering this question will guide the content of your podcast and help you stay motivated
  2. Consider who your podcast is for
    • The Podcast Host recommends visualizing your ideal listener. With this "person" in mind, consider how they might respond to your podcast. Are they interested? What do they hope to gain from your podcast? These considerations keep your podcast on task and assists you in creating content.
  3. Consider why people will listen to your podcast
    • How do you provide value for your listeners? Can you come up with 10-15 potential episodes? It's just as important to draw new listeners as it is to retain listeners.
  4. What is the name of your podcast?
    • The name of your podcast sets the tone for your show. Also remember that you'll probably reference your podcast title often, so it should be something that flows easily.

Plan Your Episodes

  1. How long will your podcast be?
    • A short episode is around 15 minutes and a long episode is anywhere over an hour. Most often, the ideal length of a podcast is the length of an average commute (around 20-45 minutes). Once again, consider who your average listener might be and how long they might listen to your content.
  2. How often should you release episodes?
    • Remember that people operate within schedules. Releasing an episode consistently will help build your listener base, as they will (hopefully) build your podcast into part of their weekly schedule.
  3. Naming your episodes
    • The key here is searchable and descriptive. Make it clear in your episode titles what people will gain from listening to each podcast.

More Information

For more resources and ideas, check out, a combination "performance space, an open editorial session, an audition stage, a library, and a hangout." Transom is administrated by Atlantic Public Media (APM), a non-profit organization which aims to serve public broadcasting--everything from program production to distribution-- through training, creative support, and experimental approaches. To get started on, first check out their Getting Started page, learn about techniques, or browse the ideas archive.

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Using Garage Band



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Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937

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