I've worked on podcasts since the mid-2000s (yes, before they were a thing!), and I'd say that they now make up most of my regular work. Some of my regular podcasts have gone on to win awards, and I'm proud and honoured to have worked on many of them since the beginning.
I have 25 years' experience in studios working mostly on radio and podcast work, and can provide the complete job of recording, editing and mixing your podcast, or any of those services individually. Some clients book me for just the recording side, others for their post-production - I'm very flexible.
I have the ability to record podcasts and discussions on location, with up to five people on separate studio condenser mics. I use an eight-input recorder, and each mic has its own table stand and pop shield. It's essentially a mobile radio studio, and can achieve excellent results if used in a quiet room (hear the showreel below). Having people on separate mic channels means more flexibility when it comes to the final mix - in a nutshell it will sound much better than people sharing just one or two mics. I would confidently say that the podcasts I make are of broadcast quality, if recorded by me using my own microphones.
I also have a handheld stereo recorder for outdoor and roving recording. Ideal for recording on the move, or where a sense of place is an important element.
Remote recording is also possible. During the pandemic I used Cleanfeed for most of my work, and I have clients who regularly send me their own recordings they've done using Zencastr and Riverside.
Live show recording
For a couple of clients I record regular live theatre shows which are then turned into podcasts. I will liaise with the venue sound technicians on the night to get the best recording, and also use my own stereo X-Y mic rig to record the audience reactions (vital in a live show - it sounds dead with no audience!). In my experience I'd say that most venues don't provide ambient recording, and the on-stage mics barely pick up any audience sound. Again I'll use my eight-track recorder to keep elements separate for later balancing.
Editing and mixing
Once the discussion is recorded, I will usually send the client a copy of the raw recording so they can choose which bits to cut. Once I've made the requested edits, I'll then do a clean-up edit, where I remove 'ums', fluffs, mistakes, repetitions and pauses etc. so that it flows nicely. This is vital to keep the podcast engaging. Unedited podcasts are pretty dreadful, and (at least to me) become unlistenable within a few minutes.
I'll then do a speech mix, where I balance each mic channel in real-time. This gives it a much tighter and less 'roomy' sound, as you'll only really be hearing one mic at a time. I also use de-noise software to remove or reduce any noise on location, such as air-con etc., and loudness metering to adhere to any loudness or LUFS requirements clients' platforms may have. After the speech mix I can then add and mix any music or other elements you may require.
Finally, I'll generate a master file (usually an mp3), ready for upload to the client's preferred hosting platform.
Please note, as this is a podcast service I do not film or edit video. You are of course welcome to do your own filming!
I generally record in the London area only. I'm totally happy to travel further afield, but this will affect the price. I've previously recorded around the UK and abroad, and hold a British passport and a full manual driving licence and car.
The extracts are all location recordings by me in various places including a front room, an office, an old library, and a bookshop in St. Andrews. All extracts were recorded using my mics, except the live shows where the venue mics (normally the ubiquitous Shure SM58s) were used, in conjunction with my stereo X-Y mic rig for audience recordingExtracts: How to Fail: Phoebe Waller-Bridge; The Guilty Feminist (Zoe Lyons); Ex Libris: Val McDermid; In Good Company: Alison Roman; Ex Libris: Bobby Seagull (Deborah Peck); Global Pillage (Sarah Bennetto); How to Fail: Nigel Slater.
To keep things simple for people I tend to quote on a per episode basis rather than by the hour, and the price will be affected by whether it's recorded on location by me, how many voices, duration and various other factors. To give you a rough idea, editing and mixing for a single voice podcast can be as little as £100, whereas recording, editing and mixing a two-voice podcast would be around £250. Bear in mind, a full edit and mix of a multi-voice podcast will take most of a day to do properly. I try to keep costs low for my clients so I'm always happy to work towards a decent price.
You may well be starting out on your podcasting journey, so do feel free to get in touch and I can answer any technical questions you may have!
Some recent podcast work
Some unprompted comments from clients:
'...Chris was excellent, and if you could try to ensure that I could work with him again, it would be much appreciated.' Gail S, Advertising agency, London Complete audio production of radio ad
'Thanks so much for your hard work (again) on this series honey. We can't do it without you you know!' Elaine W, radio producer, London BBC radio comedy series
'Chris was great to work with, and the whole experience totally pleasant!' Vanessa D, Multimedia and interactive company, Symonds Yat West, UK Multimedia speech recording and editing
'Thanks so much for your diligence and a whole lot of patience too in getting all those jingles made [...] a huge round of applause from me and everyone here for all the work you've done.' Rupert W, studio manager, London Radio branding and idents
'I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. It sounds so great with the music - perfectly judged.' E.D., writer and journalist, London Podcast record, edit and mix
'I just wanted to say I think you've done a really good job. The voices are crystal clear, I can hear the audience well and the balance between the two is perfect.' Tom S, live comedy show director, London Live comedy show mix and record
'We were all agreeing how brilliant you are and also how helpful.' Jonathan S, business journalist and presenter, London Podcast recording and production
'You were amazing and saved the day on Wednesday. Thank you so much. Can't wait to hear the show.' Gillian D, broadcast producer, London Podcast recording and production
'That's great! Many thanks for the speedy turnaround!' N.L., multimedia project manager, Dublin Multimedia speech recording and editing
'Thanks for all of your help. It was a pleasure working with you!' Bill M, business software company, USA Speech recording for multimedia project
This sounds superb! I'm really thrilled with the brilliant work you have done. Thank you thank you! Ben H, writer and producer, UK Podcast record, edit and mix
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