Over the past 6+ years there has been a huge rise in people listening to podcasts as they commute to work, exercise in gyms or even multitasking at home. Podcasting is rapidly increasing in popularity due to its accessibility and wide range of genres. What makes podcasting great is anyone can do it and they can achieve fantastic results on a very low budget.
Podcasting is a fantastic way for students to practice and improve their speaking and listening skills through a fun and engaging multi modal format with an authentic audience. Podcasting involves students writing and planning a script on a predetermined topic so they are organised when it comes time to record. I believe podcasting is a digital literacy skill our teachers need to expose their students to. Podcasting is fun, engaging and a great way to include cross curricula content and digi tech skills.
Creating your own radio station or podcast on your iPad or iPhone has never been easier! Bossjock Studio provides everything you need to get started. Whether you're an expert or beginner there is something for everyone with its easy to use interface and professional features. Look no further as there is no better way to get started podcasting on your IOS device than with Bossjock Studio or Bossjock Jnr.
Developing a format for your podcast is a key to the success of your show. You need to consider a theme song or jingle you want to use at the beginning of your show. It creates drama and anticipation, it is also the first things your listeners hear so it can either instantly engage or disengage your listeners. Stingers or sound effects are important elements to any podcast they are used to fill the void or dead space between topics or a discussion. Garage Band for IOS and MAC are the "go to" apps to create theme songs and stingers.
Watch the brief walkthrough below;
A great way to improve your audio recording in noisy classrooms is to use a DIY sound booth. The sound booth pictured below is a simple box construction made from plywood and eggshell foam used to help with any reverb. The booth blocks any sound waves from reaching the microphone from the rear. The eggshell foam can purchased from shops like Clark Rubber. This is an inexpensive way to improve your podcast audio.
Audio Settings Explained
Ducking is the amount that the volume of the carts is reduced when you trigger the mic. The cart audio “ducks” under the audio of the microphone.
Amount is the amount by percentage the audio is reduced.
Attack is the speed that the Cart audio is lowered when you hit the mic button. Release is how fast the Cart audio is again raised to its original volume.
Cart Fades: we put automatic fades on carts so there are smooth transitions when you stop playing Cart early. The Cart Fades Time sets the amount of time for the fade out transition.
One of the great things about Bossjock Studio is that it supports a wide variety of accessories. I will discuss below some products from audio industry pioneers RODE as they are cost effective and sound amazing. I have added links to Amazon if you wish to proceed and purchase any of this equipment. How you want to roll this out in your classroom or school will obviously depend on your budget and purpose. I have two options below for you to consider. Each option will create one podcasting studio per two students with one iPad to share.
Option 1 is good if you want the flexibility to use the Video MicGo as a podcasting mic and a shotgun mic for film making or creating green screen movies.
- 1x Rode SC6 TRRS break out box
- 1x Rode Video MicGo microphone
- 1x Rode PG1 pistol grip
- 1x Rode SC7 TRS to TRRS patch cable
- 1x Audio splitter
- 2x Headphones
Option 2 is good if you want to create a podcast studio with the ability to do audio interviews on your iPad or iPhone.
- 2x 1k Multimedia iRig microphones
- 1x Rode SC6 TRRS break out box
- 1x Audio splitter
- 2x Headphones
The first accessory to consider if you are going to use Bossjock Studio or any sound recording app on IOS for that matter is the RODE SC6 breakout box. The SC6 allow you to connect two microphones for simultaneous recording and a headphone jack to monitor your recording on the fly. You can also use the headphone jack as an audio out option. Connect to a PA system or mixer to one of the mic inputs using a 3.5mm stereo jack and perform a live radio show using the features of Bossjock Studio.
The RODE VideoMic Go is a fantastic directional shotgun microphone with excellent sound quality. the VideoMic Go is compatible with iPad's, iPhone's, DLSR, GoPro's or any device with a 3.5mm stereo jack. The VideoMic Go is also relatively inexpensive. The addition of the PG1 Pistol grip provides a mount for the VideoMic Go. Allowing the mic to be handheld or fixed to a tripod, mic stand or boom pole using the 3/8" thread. You now have an awesome podcasting and video mic to improve the audio in movies shot on your IOS devices. The directional shotgun feature of the Video MicGo mic means that two students can comfortably sit around one mic to record their podcast. The Video MicGo is a really versatile mic and my preferred option because of it's dual purpose both podcast and video.
The Rode SC7 is also a very handy patch cable when doing any audio recording on an IOS device. The SC7 allows any mic including the VideoMic Go to connect to any TRRS compatible device such as iPads and iPhones. The SC7 needs to be purchased in addition to the cable supplied with the Rode VideoMic Go as it is not TRRS compatible.
Audio splitters are a great way to allow more than one person to monitor the volume during a podcast using headphones. This is particularly important when working in groups. You will need to use the SC7 Breakout box if you want to use a headphone splitter with Bossjock Studio. They are cheap and keeps everyone in the action.
A good set of headphones is essential for the production of a podcast. I recommend the Sony MDRZX110 as they are a cheap yet durable set of headphone suitable for use in a school. I have had a class set of these for the past 3 years and they can handle any rough treatment your students want to dish out. I also like the smaller cable length on these headphones, the less cord the less mess and tangles.
Other Accessories To Consider
The Apogee Mic is also a brilliant mic to use with any iPad or IOS device. It will provide a crisp sound to any recording. It is a bit more expensive but the results will be worth the extra money. Choosing this mic also frees up the headphone jack so you won't need the RODE SC7 break out box.
The iRig mic is also a fantastic and inexpensive mic to use with your iPhone or iPad. It is great mic for doing interviews or podcasting however you will need one mic per person when recoding as it is not a directional mic. You also loose the ability to use this as a microphone when creating films on your device. Where the Rod Mic Go can be used for both podcasting and video production as it is a directional mic with a wider audio range.
If you don't have the budget for all these extra accessories the Apple earbuds that come free with all iPhones are a good alternative as they have TRRS capabilities. You can tell if a microphone has TRRS functionality by counting the three black rings on the stereo jack. Traditional headphones or stereo jacks will only have two black rings. The rings seen on the end of a TRRS compatible device mean the following stereo left, stereo right and mic output.
The Rode Smart Lav+ is another option to consider for anyone looking to get broadcast quality sound out of their iPad or iPhone. This is also the perfect option for use in a noisy classroom. As these are a lapel mic you would need to supply one for each person speaking. The Smart Lav+ can be used for doing video interviews however you would need to purchase the SC1 TRRS extension cable.