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Can You Produce a Quality Podcast on a Budget?

Can You Produce a Quality Podcast on a Budget?

OK, so we’ve discussed the headwork around preparing now time for a technical discussion. Ensuring your content is professional and engaging requires careful technical preparation and attention to detail. Here are the tools you will need to make your podcast killer.

Equipment

While high-quality equipment can elevate your podcast, you can still achieve great audio with minimal investment. Here are the essentials:

  • Microphone: If you’re using your phone, invest in a good external microphone compatible with your device for better sound quality. However, the built-in microphone can suffice for beginners.
  • Headphones: A pair of closed-back headphones is really helpful for monitoring your audio in real-time and catching any issues during recording.
  • Pop Filter: This simple microphone accessory helps reduce plosive sounds (like “p” and “b” sounds) that can cause distortion.

Additional gear to consider as you grow:

  • Sound Mixer: Useful for balancing multiple audio sources and achieving a more polished sound.
  • Portable Recorder: Handy for recording on the go or in different locations, offering higher quality than most phone recorders.
Software

Choosing the right software for recording and editing is important. Here are some FREE options:

  • Audacity: A free, open-source option that is user-friendly and powerful enough for most needs. (This is what I started audio editing on.)
  • GarageBand: Ideal for Mac users, this software offers a robust set of features for both beginners and experienced podcasters. I love this option as you can grow into the full feature model of Logic Pro when you outgrow GrageBand.
  • DaVinci Resolve: Known for its video editing capabilities, it also provides excellent audio editing tools. Similar to garageband, Davinci Resolve’s free model has plenty of great tools and is a smart starter video editor as if you begin to really love it you can find even more capabilities in the Studio version. I recommend this also becasue of it;s transcript tools. I often write these blog posts from audios I record then transcribe in Davinci.

If you’re recording on your phone, many devices come with built-in voice recorder apps that are sufficient for basic needs.

Before you start recording, ensure all your equipment is properly set up and tested. This preparation helps you avoid technical glitches and ensures a smooth recording process. Even if you’re using a phone, make sure your device is fully charged and in good working order.

Recording

Preparation is key to a successful recording session. Whether you choose to write a full script or just bullet points, having a clear plan will guide your delivery, see yesterday’s episode. Practice a few times to ensure a natural flow and smooth delivery.

Recording Tips
  • Speak Clearly: Enunciate your words to make sure your audience can understand you.
  • Steady Pace: Avoid rushing through your content. A steady pace helps listeners follow along.
  • Natural Pauses: Use pauses to give your audience time to digest information and to create a more engaging listening experience.
Editing

Use your chosen editing software to refine your recording. Key tasks during editing include:

  • Cutting Out Mistakes: Remove any errors or unnecessary parts.
  • Adding Intros and Outros: Include introductory and closing segments to frame your episodes.
  • Incorporating Music and Sound Effects: Enhance your podcast with background music or sound effects to make it more dynamic and engaging.
Quality Control

After editing, listen through the final version thoroughly. Pay attention to any remaining errors, audio inconsistencies, or areas that could use further improvement. This final check ensures your podcast is polished and professional before you release it to your audience.

By following these essential steps, you’ll be well-prepared to create a professional-quality podcast that engages and captivates your audience. Whether you’re using professional equipment or simply the voice recorder on your phone, investing time and effort in technical preparation, recording, and editing will set you on the path to podcasting success.

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How Can Joy Fuel Your Creativity?

How Can Joy Fuel Your Creativity?

As creatives, what we create originates from the depths of our hearts. Even God’s Word reminds us that our mouths speak from the overflow of our hearts.

When we examine the best works of our hands, we often find that the most beautiful creations flow not from a place of stress or anxiety, but from a heart brimming with joy and hope. This joy, particularly when grounded in an abiding relationship with God, provides a sense of fulfillment and purpose that truly fuels the creative passions we are called to pursue. While art should undoubtedly express the full range of our emotions, art that consistently lacks joy and hope can suffer creatively, becoming darker and less inspiring.

Nehemiah 8:10 reminds us that in our challenges and battles, the joy of the Lord is our strength.

For the Christ-centered creative, the joy we find in Jesus not only uplifts our spirits but also fortifies us, providing the strength and resilience needed to pursue our God-given creative passions. When our hearts are truly aligned with God and His joy, we find ourselves more open, free, generous, and willing to take creative risks as we build and create.

The Christian understands that joy is not merely an emotional state but an abiding truth born from the fruit oof the Spirit within us. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.” Our joy and inspiration in the creative process rely on the Spirit of God living within us. Without the joy that comes from God’s Spirit, our creativity will ultimately lack vitality and depth, diminishing its desired impact.

When we create from a place of joy, our work not only uplifts and inspires others but becomes contagious, spreading positivity like a viral infection that transforms ordinary work into something extraordinary, as the Spirit of God inhabits it. However, when our hope diminishes and our joy wanes, our creative output mirrors that reality.

Albert Einstein recognized the playful nature that results from joy, stating, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” It’s in that playful spirit that we not only create smiles but also experience genuine joy in our hearts. Conversely, when that playful Spirit is absent, our creative endeavors can feel more like a burdensome process than a delight.

Therefore, let us stay connected and devoted to the Father, recognizing Him as the source of our joy. Let us remain in community with others who will encourage and support us. Such community is what the Orderd Chaos Club, when launched, will hopefully be. I would even recommend practicing gratitude, for training our hearts to be grateful helps us maintain a hopeful and joyful outlook on the life and the work we’ve been entrusted with.

The joy of the Lord is your strength today, Christ-centered creative. So go forth, be joyful, and create with joy.

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Will You Rise Again After Creative Setbacks?

Will You Rise Again After Creative Setbacks?

I started filming a documentary in January of 2023.
It’s still not done.
With this being the first feature length documentary I’ve taken on, I shouldn’t have been surprised that it would be wrought with so many challenges.

From the very first day of filming where I made some significant mistakes with starting and stopping my B CAMERA recording as I moved around the room shooting extra angles for the first interview.
That meant each and every one of those video files would need to be individually synced with the interview’s main video file. Never doing that again.

Then I experienced issues with making the mistake of using rechargeable batteries in the audio recorder. Never doing that again.

Next it was the after painstaking months of going through transcripts and piecing together the paper edit of the film. I discovered that all of my project files were lost. Frankly none of the raw footage was lost so I could always start over. But that means I would be starting over.

I say all this to say that no matter what you are undertaking when you’re new at it. When you don’t yet have the depth of knowledge or experience you should definitely expect challenges to be part of your journey.
Depending on the skill needed for the undertaking the learning curve can be quite steep.
Thankfully I’ve been around the block a bit with filming in general and thus I’ve been able to do what all of us must in scenarios like this. Bounce back.

Confucius says, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”

I’m not after my own glory but the glory of the Lord. I even believe that in the reset of this project the Lord did a reset on that truth for me as well. I stopped holding it so closely and tightly in my hands and instead am more ready and willing to simply give the film over to the Lord, entrusting God to dust me off and put me back in the fight.
And yet I still have a big role to play in this because God’s given me free will and the ability to choose.
In Galatians 6:9 the very first Bible verse I fell in love with after getting saved Paul says this

“Let us not become weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

What has God called you to create and what area has the Lord called you to put your hands to the plow and put in work?
Now if you haven’t already experienced falling, failures or bumps along the road they’re coming. You get to decide now as well as then what you’re going to do. Will you be one that pushes through deciding that you will not give up . deciding that they will not be weary in doing the good that God has called them to.

Will you be one that chooses to rise again and again or will you be one who immaturely receives the challenges of the journey as signs that God is not with them and that the anointing has left the work?
Trust me in this I’m not saying that God is in every work that you’re doing but I am saying this you don’t need the Holy Spirit to do the easy stuff.
Press forward as a Christian creative and create something that brings him glory.

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Is Failure a Reflection of Who You Are?

Is Failure a Reflection of Who You Are?

This week, the blog lost its first subscriber.

If I’m going to be honest, that’s disappointing, especially since it hasn’t been in existence that very long.
When I checked in on the subscriber list and I saw that lonely number one next to the amount of unsubscribers, it made me feel a certain kind of way.

It was tapping into the people pleaser in me, the insecure me, and the version of me that wants to create something that every person that engages with it will passionately love.
The reality is, with every single creation, there’s essentially a handful of different responses. There’s variations of yes, variations of no. And then variations of wow. And of course, we’re going for the wows. But what happens when you get the no’s?
It definitely goes in my box that seems to continually be growing called failures. And here’s the truth that I think we all need to hold on to today.
Failures that remain in your box can be lessons that you learn from. You can choose to pick up the box and open it and educate yourself with its contents in the same way that people would use a textbook.
However, if failure becomes a coat or a badge of sorts, it becomes something that you walk around with, that you carry as a part of who you are. And that is an unhealthy place.
Failure should never be received as a scarlet letter or a personal identifier, but simply an event. And the beauty is we can learn from events. We can grow from events. We can’t learn and grow from parts of who we are.

 

So it’s important that we keep failure in an educational box and not in that wonderful little transparent part of our wallet that holds the ID. Failure is not who we are.

Don’t do the work of the enemy and receive failure as an internal reality. It is through internalizing failure that we end up doing the worst service of all to ourselves: Extinguishing hope.
Christ-centered creatives, we must recognize our hope is in Christ. That any failures are not personal, are not permanent, and are not pervasive. And if each of those are not true, failure is something that we can learn and recover from.

But the moment it becomes personal, we believe the failure to be who we are. The moment it becomes permanent, we believe this failure to be something that we can never change. And the moment it becomes pervasive. We believe that every aspect of our reality is a failure.

So no matter if the failure you’ve experienced is losing a subscriber, finding someone giving you a “no” to your creation, losing a huge client in your business, or finding that your business needs to close…

Remember this, it’s not personal. It doesn’t reflect on who you are at your core.
It’s not permanent. This is something that there is hope for change. Things that have ended can be reborn. You can grow beyond this.
And it’s not pervasive. This is verifiably a singular event.

As you continue to learn and grow, you can be sure that there will be other places where you fail. But don’t ever receive the lie that you are a failure.
And hey, an appropriate response to this could be to subscribe to the blog LOL. Sorry, I couldn’t help it with the shameless plug.

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Creating Family Space

Creating Family Space

Joyous shouts.
Brisk wind blowing in the 70-degree air.

Smiles and a pair of spinning wheels attached to a long pair of handlebars. This is the scene on this Wednesday evening, the day prior to my birthday, sitting outside while my son, Matteo enjoys his scooter. It’s the simple beauty of moments like this that I don’t stop and absorb enough.
I spend so much time and energy being a content creator of all kinds. I create podcasts, blogs, websites, films, and songs. But what I feel like God has been calling me to this year is not content creation as much as creating space.

The understanding of creating space has always been something that I’ve struggled with. Because where I see space, it’s something that I just fill up with other things that help me move the ball further down the field. Usually, when I think about creating space, I’m thinking about giving myself margin, allowing space to rest, just like you leave space on the edges of a piece of paper as you’re writing. That is the same thing that God encourages us to do with our lives – create space on the edges and not live everything up to that line.
But even more than that, this year God’s made it clear that I need to create space not just for rest but space for family. Now I have a certain amount of time set aside in my calendar to make sure that I am present with my family. But the truth is, even in those times that I’m present, there’s still so much of my mind that isn’t present. That is off mentally creating, doing the next project in my head, thinking about the next blog, thinking about the next podcast episode.

I was watching something this past week about Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns and the way that he’s been trying to prepare, I think, to start the season. And they said something that I had not thought about. One of the reporters reflected on being impressed about the way Deshaun is taking mental reps with the first team. That means that he’s not out there throwing passes and getting actual practice going, but he’s thinking through the process as they’re doing this whole simulated play.
And that makes me think, while I’m getting time, creating space for my family, how much of that time am I spending taking mental reps for the other things that I know I want to accomplish? While I’m sitting here with my son, even right now, I’m recording this blog. While I sit on the couch and watch a show with my daughter, sometimes I’ll be thinking through the next episode, taking mental reps of what I’ll record next.

I don’t think that I’m alone in this issue, especially amongst fellow Christian creatives. When you marry purpose with creativity, it oftentimes feels like a constant barrage of creative thoughts moving things forward towards that purpose. That’s the chaos that I often recognize in my mind, which is crying out for God to bring order.
And this, I believe, is a part of how God is wanting to bring order in mine and in your mind. Through creating space, not just physically, but mentally.

Are you giving your mind space to rest, space to engage truly and intentionally with those that you care about? Space to focus on your relationship with God? Don’t just go through the motions. Don’t just sit in the room. Don’t just do the thing, but ensure you create mental and physical space to do and be all that God’s called you to be today.

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