Group Podcasts

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With over 48 million different podcast episodes out there for people to listen to, you are probably wondering what is the point of starting one yourself.

Well, yes, there are a lot of podcasts out there right now, but there have never been more people listening to podcasts and there has never been a more profitable time to join the world of podcasting.

One of the biggest trends in the industry right now is to put together a group of presenters and host a podcast together. This way you can bring more perspectives to the table and have a bigger potential audience.

Let’s take a look at how to make group podcasts work and some of the best group podcasts on the market right now.

Group Podcasts: The Setup

If you are running a one-person podcast then you can get away with using very little equipment, if you have multiple guests or hosts then things get a little more complicated.

Mics

The first choice you will need to make is if you want to have guests share microphones or whether you are going to give everyone individual microphones.

The more people you have on the podcast the harder it will be to get good sound from one microphone, but the more microphones you introduce the harder it will be to mix.

Single Microphone

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Last update on 2022-09-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You will want to make sure that you get a high-quality microphone if you only want to use one.

Individual Microphones

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Last update on 2022-09-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are using individual microphones then you will want to make sure that you can keep them as close to each speaker as possible.

Wireless Microphones

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Last update on 2022-09-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The answer to your problem may be wireless microphones that can easily be fed into the same stream with minimal mixing.

Headphones

You will want to make sure that each person involved in making the podcast has their own set of headphones.

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Last update on 2022-09-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This will mean that they are aware of what the audience can hear and that they are also able to hear themselves.

Sharing feedback through headphones is an important part of making sure that your guests feel comfortable and you are all aware of the podcast’s sound quality.

Soundboards

If you are looking to use multiple microphones when recording group podcasts, then a soundboard is going to be an essential tool. It will allow you to blend microphone feeds seamlessly without having to compromise on your sound quality.

If you are looking to set your podcast up on a budget then you should look into purchasing the Zoom PodTrak P4 – this soundboard covers all the basics and does them really well. It’s a really intuitive piece of kit that you will be able to use with ease.

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Last update on 2022-09-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you have a little more money to invest into your recording setup then we highly recommend that you check out the Rode Rodecaster Pro Quad Bundle. This bundle comes with 4 mid-range microphones, 4 sets of wireless headphones, and a top-of-the-range soundboard. It has everything you need to record a group podcast.

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Last update on 2022-09-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How To Record Group Podcasts

The key to a successful podcast recording is being properly prepared – both in a practical sense (your equipment) and a mental one (topics, length of podcast, questions for guests).

Before your guests even arrive, you are going to want to set up all your equipment and test it. If you can, bring in a few friends and family members so that you can test recording multiple people at the same time.

When setting up, here are some things to consider:

  • Will the guests be sitting close enough to their microphones?
  • Will they have enough room?
  • Have you tested every piece of equipment you are going to use?

Once you are happy that your setup is correct, it is time to sit down and think about the structure of your group podcast.

Here are some things you should consider:

  • How long will your podcast be?
  • How long are you going to record for?
  • Have you chosen a host (if it is not you)?
  • Have you prepared questions for all your guests to get them talking?
  • Have you researched your guests in advance?
  • Do you have an overall theme for the discussion?

The better prepared you are, as the host, the more comfortable all your guests will feel and the more talkative they will be when you turn the microphones on.

Best Practices For Group Podcasts

One of the main differences between a good group podcast and a bad one is their ability to produce something that is comfortable to listen to.

Group Podcasts

Too many podcasts will feature multiple people talking over each other, badly balanced sound, or even vocal tracks that are out of sync.

To help you avoid these pitfalls, we have put together a quick guide to the best practices of a group podcast.

Choose One Moderator

Group podcasts turn into chaos when there isn’t a clear leader. The use of a moderator has been used by panels at conferences for decades, so why would you employ it for a panel discussion podcast?

Having one who can make sure everyone has their chance to talk and knows when they should speak will make everything run smoothly.

Avoiding Talking Over Others

This tip goes hand in hand with the last one. It is incredibly frustrating to try and follow a podcast that has more than one conversation going on at once, or when people are talking over each other.

It is best to wait until everyone has finished talking before you chime in.

Set A Time Limit For Each Topic

Group podcasts are really interesting because you can bring in people with opposing viewpoints – but this means that conversations can go on for a very long time without really getting anywhere.

Have your moderator set a time limit for each discussion, this will mean that people will be more to the point and hopefully more coherent.

Remember That Podcasts Are Listened To

When you have a group of people in the room it can be tempting to talk or joke about what you see. This can be annoying for the listeners.

It is also worth remembering that the audience cannot see your body expressions, so you need to make sure that you are making your points with your words and tone of voice alone.

Make Sure Everyone Is At The Same Volume

If everyone has their own microphone, then you are going to want to make sure that in the final recording they are all playing at the same volume.

It can completely ruin a listener’s experience if one feed is much louder than the others.

Examples Of Well-Done Panel Discussion Podcasts

Now that we have taught you how to make a great group podcast, let’s look at some of the best who you can learn a trick or two from.

Critical Role

In case you missed the leaks from Twitch a few months ago, Critical Role is a podcast where a group of voice actors plays Dungeons and Dragons together. The Twitch leaks showed that through Twitch alone, these guys have made $9 million.

If you are looking to see what can be done with a group set up then you need to have a look at the stage this team uses. They have 10 people at the table and the audio is incredible.

There’s No Such Thing As A Fish

There’s No Such Thing As A Fish has been around for nearly a decade now. It is a spinoff of the UK quiz show QI, where the show’s researchers share the most interesting fact that they have learned that week.

The premise is simple, but the success and sheet entertainment that this show provides is a testament to the power of personality in podcasting. People will listen to a charismatic person talk about very little for hours.

Not only are the Fishers charismatic, but they are also incredibly funny and interesting.

The Bugle

The Bugle began over 15 years ago before podcasts became hugely popular. Its concept was that it was an audio-newspaper. And its host provided a satirical take on the news and the concept of journalism all at the same time.

The original lineup was Andy Zultzman and John Oliver; they were also occasionally joined by their producers Chris and Tom. Since John Oliver started his own show (Last Week Tonight on HBO) Zultzman has kept the show going with a revolving cast of guest hosts.

One of the remarkable things about the Bugle is that they have hosted episodes with one host in America, one in Asia, and the producer in London. They push technology to its limits just to satirize politicians. Well, someone has to.

Summary

There has never been a better time to start a group podcast – with the rise in popularity of the format and the increase in equipment quality, the sky’s the limit.