How recording too loud can destroy your podcast

One of the worse things that can happen is for your podcast recording to sound like a hot mess. Imagine after you’ve recorded your interview, saved it, only for the audio to sound way too loud. Even when you turn it down it doesn’t fix the problem.

What can you do at that point? Not much. That’s because if the audio is recorded too loud and distorted its impossible to fix. All you can do is record it over. 

Not to worry though as there is a way to fix the problem from the beginning. How you do this? Turn the volume down when recording. Here are some tips you can apply today to improve your podcast recordings.

Before you start to record do a test

Don’t make the mistake of jumping in before doing a test. Working in media has taught me this valuable lesson. Imagine talking to a guest, after the fact you realise you weren’t recording. It has happened to me a few times and doing a quick check can save you headaches later. 

If you’re recording on your computer check your levels. Check the level of your microphone and that of your guest. Make sure it is moderate in case you or your guest gets excited. This is the best way to prevent distortion.

Another test you can do is to adjust the levels after you start recording. To do that have your guest say something and adjust your levels before you actually start. You can always delete that part later. 

Listen to the recording through headphones

While doing the interview check in your headphones how you sound. It is a good practice to catch problems early so you can make adjustments. How you do this is easy, slip on the headphones and take a quick glance at the levels in your software. If there is an unusual spike turn the levels down.

What you’re trying to avoid is being caught up in the interview and forgetting to check what’s happening. You might be enjoying the conversation and your audio starts to distort or sounds funny. But you found out after you have finished. 

Set moderate levels. 

The last thing is to ensure you set your recording levels at about halfway on your audio interface. You might be tempted to turn the volume to the max don’t do that. 

You want your levels halfway because it gives you room to get excited. You don’t want to worry about distortion. And it’s a good practice to record at a moderate level.


How the story ends for you is that you test everything before you record. Watch the recording in your headphones and set your levels. This gives you a quality recording to edit.

3 Podcasting formats you can try

When you decide to start a podcast one of the things you’ll need to decide is, what format you’ll use for your show. With the multitude of options available, I’m going to share with you 3 options you can try out and find the one that works for you.

Narration bite

This format is popularly used in broadcast radio. This is where the host narrates the story and they insert sections of the interview, or bites as they call it. This is to supplement telling the complete story. For podcasters, this means writing out what you want to say and transcribing the interview for the sections you want to use. 

The drawback with this format is that it’s a lot of work. Both in pre and post-production. It involves doing the interview, writing your script and editing the show after you record your podcast episode. Entrepreneur magazine’s “Problem solver” podcast comes to mind with this format, the BBC also uses it a lot with their documentaries. 

It’s a format you can use to get really creative with your episodes in post-production. But keep in mind it’s the most time-consuming.

Interview style 

This format is the easiest of all 3. You have a guest, and you ask questions. Once you are finished you can edit the interview, keeping what you want and deleting the rest. In the post-production, all you need to do is an intro, and outro for your show, and add the interview in the middle and you’re done. You can knock out multiple episodes weekly this way.

The drawback with this format is a boring guest. If the interviewee is boring when talking about his or her subject area, then the show can drag on and is then hard to listen. If the guest is engaging and excited about the subject, then the interview can be easy to listen to and fun for your listeners. It will also be easy to edit. 

Persons who use this format a lot include “story brand” podcast by Donald miller, “online marketing made easy” podcast by Amy Porterfield and Dave Ramsey.

Lone Ranger Style

The last one is the lone ranger. This is where you are talking about your area of expertise. You can also have a co-host. All throughout the episode you talk about or teach your thing. You answer questions, teach stuff and it’s just you.

This format takes a lot of prep work but its also easy to maintain with a system. If you have lots to share, you can record each response on the go, and that can save you plenty of time in post-production work.  

“Side hustle school” podcast,marketing school” by Neil Patel and ProBlogger use this format. You can listen to the suggested podcasts to get an idea of how the final show sounds. Try them out and get your podcast started.