Podcasting for Preachers: Recording

I started podcasting my sermons about six months ago, and since I have helped a number of friends set up their own podcasts. Rather than continuing to repeat the same info as other people ask, here is a guide: Podcasting for Preachers.

Ok, not just for preachers. Podcasting 101 for everyone. But the people who ask me about podcasting tend to be pastors or other church workers. And I'm a pastor.

Step 1: Record your sermon
There are a number of ways to record your audio, with two determining factors to consider: cost and quality. The least expensive solution is to record straight to your smartphone, using the built in microphone. If you do this, you will need an app like GarageBand or something similar. While this is the cheapest solution, it also produces the lowest quality recording.

I recommend getting a digital recorder. You can invest as little as $50 and as much as $500 on one of these, so do some shopping. I personally use a Tascam DR-05, with an 16 gig micro SD card (about $100 total).

If your digital recorder has a built-in microphone, you can use this to record your sermon. Set it on the pulpit, or somewhere that it can pick up your voice well, hit record, and there you have it. It will be better quality than just your phone, but still will have some imperfections.

For the best quality, run a line out from your sanctuary sound board, and plug it into your digital recorder. This will give you a nice, clean signal to for your recording. If you have a sound board with an output signal, this is the method I recommend.

My recording set-up.
Digital recorder plugged into soundboard
Step 1a: Edit your recording
Plug your digital recorder or phone into your computer, and move the file. Ta-da! You now have yourself an mp3. But once you have a recording, what do you do with it?

Some preachers may want to run it through a editing software. Using a program like GarageBand (Mac) or Audacity (PC) you can tweak your recording, run it through filters, or just trim it up some of silence and pauses. I have used Audacity to make a recording slightly louder or slightly quieter.

Many preachers / podcasters do not do this. It isn't necessary.  But if you find it helpful, the option is there.

Now you have a nice, clean, mp3. A digital recording of your sermon. How do you become a podcaster? Keep reading in part 2 - Podcasting for Preachers: Broadcasting.