Building a World-Class Podcast Studio from Scratch With Garry Kelly

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In this episode of Smarter Podcasting, we discuss the importance of video content, having a podcast studio as well as podcast editing, and how to create and promote a successful podcast.

Is It Worth Investing In Podcast Studio?

The answer is YES. Having a podcast studio contributes to Gary’s success today. Having a studio is the dream of every podcaster, including me. 

Gary’s journey in building his podcast studio is a long path filled with passion, strategic planning, and adaptability. ‘Gary Talks’ was the initial aspiration that led to the creation of this studio, and now, it plays a significant role in advancing his podcasting career.

Let’s see how it can help.

Acoustic Excellence

A podcast studio allows for control over the acoustics of the room. With carefully chosen materials such as acoustic carpeting, angled glass panels, and strategically positioned acoustic paneling, the studio becomes a controlled environment. 

This attention to acoustics ensures optimal sound quality, minimizing unwanted echoes, reverberations, or external noise interference.

Premium Equipment Integration

Having a dedicated podcast studio integrates high-quality recording equipment. From professional-grade microphones like the Shure SM7B to advanced cameras for video recording, the studio is your audio playground now.

Diversify Revenue Stream

Garry mentioned that by having a professional studio, he attracted business inquiries for studio rentals. This diversification of revenue streams is a valuable advantage for podcasters looking to monetize their content beyond traditional methods.

Enhanced Brand Image

A dedicated podcast studio adds a professional touch to the overall brand image. It signifies a commitment to quality content creation and demonstrates a podcaster’s investment in providing an exceptional experience for the audience. 

This enhanced professionalism can attract collaborators, sponsors, and a more discerning audience. You can also show your brand identities, like color, podcast logos, and so on.

Podcast Studio

Tips on Set-up a Top-notch Studio

  • Choose the Right Location

Select a quiet and controlled environment for your studio. Avoid areas with excessive external noise, and if possible, choose a room with minimal echo. Consider soundproofing measures, such as acoustic panels and bass traps, to improve audio quality.

  • Optimize Acoustic Treatment

Implement acoustic treatment to control sound reflections and minimize background noise. Use acoustic panels, bass traps, and diffusers strategically placed in the room to create a balanced and controlled acoustic environment.

  • Implement Cable Management

Keep cables organized to prevent clutter and potential interference. Use cable organizers, clips, or cable ties to manage and secure your cables neatly.

Choosing Podcast Equipment


When I first started, I just had a Blue Yeti, which is a condenser mic. There’s no right or wrong microphone, just suitable or unsuitable for the environment it will be used in. 

Dynamic microphones like the Shure SM7B or condenser microphones such as the Blue Yeti Pro offer superior sound capture, minimizing background noise and delivering crystal-clear vocals. 

Selecting the right microphone depends on the specific recording environment and desired audio characteristics:

  • When dealing with spaces that have excessive background noise or reverb, dynamic microphones are preferred for their ability to capture a warm sound when positioned closer to the source. 
  • In contrast, the studio setup at Gary’s podcast studio features condenser microphones to match the controlled acoustics of the space, ensuring optimal sound quality.


Closed-back headphones help prevent audio bleed and provide accurate monitoring. Sennheiser HD 280 Pro or Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are common choices.

Equipping a pair of podcast headphones for your guest also shows you’re a professional host.


Podcast Equipment

Selecting the right camera for your podcast is crucial to the visual appeal of your content. There are so many benefits when incorporating video assets into your podcast, which we’ll discuss in the following part. Firstly, let’s see how to choose your podcast cameras:

  • Purpose of Use

Identify the primary purpose of your camera. If you’re mainly recording static shots of a single host or a podcasting setup, a standard video camera may suffice. However, if you plan dynamic shots, consider cameras with advanced features.

  • Resolution

Opt for a camera with at least 1080p resolution for crisp and clear visuals. Higher resolutions, such as 4K, are preferable if you anticipate showcasing detailed scenes or plan to repurpose your content for larger displays.

  • Low-Light Performance

If your podcast often involves recording in various lighting conditions, prioritize a camera with excellent low-light performance. Look for a camera with a wide aperture lens and good ISO capabilities.

Recommendation: In his professional studio, Gary uses Shure condenser microphones and Blackmagic 6K Pro cameras. These high-quality tools allow him to capture excellent audio and video content. 

Incorporating Video Assets

There are many benefits when we record a video version of the podcast episodes. Although you may invest more in the equipment, having a video version gives you many advantages.

Reach wider audience

According to Gary, creating video assets from your podcast can help drive more listeners and engagement. In today’s social media-dominated landscape, video clips are the dominant form of content. 

Some tips on short clips:

  • Short and sweet: People are bombarded with content online, so attention spans are short. Short, engaging video clips (think 30-60 seconds) are perfect for capturing attention and sparking curiosity.
  • Visual appeal: Videos add a visual layer to your podcast, making it more dynamic and engaging. A well-chosen clip can pique viewers’ interest and make them want to hear more.
  • Platform-friendly: Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok are built for video. Sharing clips on these platforms can significantly increase your reach and visibility.
Video content

Diversification of Revenue Streams

Garry mentioned that by releasing full videos and social media clips, people could see his professional studio and then he attracted business inquiries for studio rentals. This diversification of revenue streams is a valuable advantage for podcasters looking to monetize their content beyond traditional methods.

Social media clips showcasing the studio attracted the attention of various businesses, including podcast producers and animation recorders. This exposure led to opportunities such as voiceovers for animations, podcast hosting by major companies, and use in advertisements. 

Content Repurpose

With a video version, you can recreate many other content, for example:

  • Social Media Clips: Clips, snippets, or highlights from video recordings can be shared on social media platforms, grabbing the attention of audiences who are more visually inclined.

I’m recording the video version of this episode as well and making Facebook reels or YouTube shorts from it. By creating short video clips from your podcast episodes, you can capture the attention of potential listeners and entice them to tune in.

The Art Of Podcast Editing

The belief that a seamless recording eliminates the need for editing is a misconception that can hinder the overall quality and success of a podcast. There are some mistakes that you don’t know: filler words, background noises, and so on.

One of the challenges many podcasters face is the post-production process, particularly editing. Gary emphasized the importance of editing in podcasting to ensure high-quality content and maintain audience interest. He shared his own experience of spending hours editing his podcast episodes to create a polished final product.

Skipping the editing process is completely wrong:

  • Enhancing Content Quality

Podcast editing is crucial for refining and enhancing the overall quality of the content. It allows podcasters to eliminate background noise, correct errors, and ensure a clear, professional, and polished presentation.

  • Creating a Seamless Listening Experience

Editing plays a pivotal role in creating a seamless and enjoyable listening experience for the audience. It involves removing unnecessary pauses, filler words, or awkward transitions, resulting in a more engaging and coherent episode.

  • Capturing Audience Attention

In a competitive podcasting landscape, capturing and maintaining audience attention is vital. Editing helps fine-tune the content to be concise, compelling, and focused, preventing the risk of losing listeners due to unedited or disorganized material.

Therefore, editing is a crucial step in podcasting to ensure that the final product is engaging and compelling. 

Lastly, Gary encouraged podcasters to get started and not be deterred by the editing process. While editing can be time-consuming, there are resources available to help streamline the process. 

I usually use Descript as an AI podcasting assistant, so don’t miss these new features!

If you find the editing process frustrating and waste your time, contact me for editing services. Our mission is simple: to empower you with the tools and support your need to create exceptional podcast content that resonates with your audience.

Podcast Editing

Tips For New Podcasters

Remember, the key is to get started. You can refine and upgrade your setup as you gain experience and resources. Focus on creating engaging content, and the technical aspects will naturally improve over time.

In the last part, I and Gary gave some advice for beginners:

  • Start with a Good Microphone

Invest in a decent microphone for better audio quality. Even affordable dynamic microphones like the SMM 58 can deliver satisfactory results.

  • Consider Alternative Recording Spaces

Don’t feel confined to a traditional recording studio. Recording in a quiet car or creating an immersion room (a room with towels, mattresses, or duvets) can offer excellent acoustics.

  • Simplify with Audio Recorders

Use portable audio recorders like Zoom or Tascam. Connect your microphone via an XLR cable for simplicity.

  • Prioritize Sound Treatment

If possible, choose recording environments with good acoustics. Blankets over tables, duvets, or even a car can serve as makeshift sound booths.

  • Don’t Overemphasize Visuals Initially

Focus on audio quality, especially when starting. You can achieve great results without a dedicated studio setup.

  • Continuous Improvement

Understand that perfection isn’t necessary from the beginning. Successful creators often start at the bottom and gradually improve. Embrace a mindset of continuous improvement.

  • Use Available Resources

Make use of what you have. During challenging situations, like power outages or unexpected issues, be creative. Recording in a car, under a blanket, or in an improvised space can still yield excellent results.


Incorporating video assets into your podcast can significantly enhance its reach and engagement. By creating video clips for social media platforms, you can attract a wider audience and increase visibility.

Additionally, investing in quality equipment and sound treatment can greatly improve the overall quality of your podcast. Remember to focus on creating engaging content and continuously seek ways to improve your podcasting setup. 

With these insights from Gary Kelly, you can take your podcast to new heights and captivate a larger audience.

Garry Kelly

Garry: [00:00:00]

Introduction and Welcome

Garry: I do think just doing audio only limits your reach and potential because especially like a lot of people are on social media and the thing that dominates social media is video clips. So if you can in any way create video assets from your podcast, it will help drive people to actually listen to your podcast.

Niall: Welcome back to another episode of smarter podcasting. This is a show where we explore the world of podcasting. I share invaluable tips with you and really have engaging conversations with podcast experts and enthusiasts alike. I’m your host, Niall Mackay, the podcast guy. And in today’s episode, you really do have a special treat. , for any of you who are looking to learn from someone whose whole career has been producing professional content. So before I introduce my guests, just a quick reminder to subscribe, leave [00:01:00] a review, and most importantly, please share this episode with someone, you know, we will really, really benefit from that. And it will also mean a lot to me. So thank you for doing that. So let’s get into today’s episode.

Introducing the Guest

Niall: My guest is the managing director of GK media. And he’s not only a seasoned podcaster.

Niall: But I know a walled winning force in the Irish podcasting and media landscape. He’s going to share with you how to create and promote a successful podcast. That will really leave you inspired and also equipped with some new perspectives on how to create an amazing podcast.

Niall: He hosts a weekly podcast that I was fortunate enough to be a guest on recently, which focuses on personal and professional growth from people like myself who have achieved somewhat personal or financial success. And he has over 20 years, 20 years experience working as a [00:02:00] presenter, a producer, a tutor in the areas of film, television, radio, and marketing, which is all perfect for podcasting. Not only that he is fully qualified with the teaching council of Ireland to teach film and TV studies and read you and Seven production. This experience and knowledge have been pivotal in helping him and his company.

Niall: What were the over 50 clients on various different services from social media management to of course, Podcasting. So in this episode, his expertise will leave. You inspired and equipped with new perspectives on podcasting. So whether you’re a seasoned podcast, a budding enthusiast, or simply wants to know more about what goes on behind the microphone, this episode is just for you and welcome today to smarter podcasting.the managing director of GK media and the host of Gary talks. Gary Kelly. [00:03:00]

Niall: So thank you for joining me today, all the way from Sunny Ireland.

Niall: Gary Kelly, how are you today?

Garry: I am great Niall. Thanks man for having me on your podcast today.

Niall: And thank you for having me on news. I’m very impressed, most of all, with your podcast studio, which I didn’t get to visit ’cause we did it online, obviously just similar to what we’re doing right now. But I, I’ve seen your Instagram reels and I’ve seen some of your videos.

Podcast Studio and Equipment

Niall: tell me more about your podcast studio and the equipment that you have in there and what you do to record your episodes.

Garry: Perfect. So anyone who’s watching this visually, the. Room I’m in at the moment is not our podcast studio. I’m in my man cave at home in Galway. and I thought actually, and the reason is it takes like an hour to an hour and a half to get across the city in Galway, which could be a 10 kilometer stretch. ’cause traffic is always crazy. But I thought it’d be interesting to even do the podcast recording here today. In my little man cave because this is where it all started for me back in 2011.

Podcasting Journey Begins

Garry: So I started podcasting [00:04:00] back in 2011. I was working full-time in radio. And I just felt that there wasn’t enough Irish music that was being played on the airwaves.

Garry: And I was in a band from the age of at 14 up to the age of 24, writing my own music and doing cover versions of Nirvana and Metallica and all that. And about three years later I started working in radio and I just felt that, all the big mainstream artists from America and the uk and were dominating the airwaves in Ireland.

Garry: And it wasn’t that I was, you know, a strong Irish patriot, banging the drums saying more Irish music, but I just felt that there was a lot of great Irish bands out there that just weren’t getting a huge amount of airtime.

Marker – insert “Podcast logo of : Organics Music”

Garry: So I set up a podcast called Organics Music, which was a monthly podcast, one hour long, featuring contemporary Irish music.

Garry: And I, every month I was doing an interview with an Irish musician. And I did that for about a year. And then I thought, well, look, I’ve gotten, nearly [00:05:00] a hundred thousand, listens or downloads. I should get sponsorship now. You know, someone should be paying me for doing this because it was taking, a good two and a half days, if not three days every month working on this. And. Podcasting was very new and it was even newer in Ireland and no one was, biting and chomping at the bit of getting involved in a sort of sponsorship format.

Marker – fade podcast logo

Garry: So I just felt, look, it’s a huge commitment. Maybe this thing won’t take off. And I parked it. To my detriment because it was growing at such a scale, you know, 13 years ago.

Garry: It’s amazing what it could be today. But I parked it and I really started getting involved in podcasting again around 2019.

Challenges and Successes in PodcastingMarker – insert logo of Just like in the movies

Garry: We were doing a movie show called just Like in the movies and everything was going really well, and we had just done a sponsorship deal with a cinema and we had organized a sponsorship with a, a beverage company as well, and we were going to fill The [00:06:00] podcast every week in a cinema over, I think it was a 24 week period, and suddenly COVID-19 came along and everything fell.

Marker -fade out

Garry: Cinemas closed, obviously for year and a half, two years. And then the footfall for cinemas at the start when they could open again was down 50% compared to pre Covid times. So budgets was tight, and that kind of just was kicked aside. During Covid, I was in this room and it was day two of lockdown in the country and I was getting itchy feet and I run my own, you know, media company and I didn’t know what the future held, and I just knew I needed to do something and stay busy and keep the mind active. So I started The podcast, which I do today,

Garry: called Gary Talks, and I started just, it was for my own, support and kind of confidence building.

Garry: I was doing interviews with people I. [00:07:00] In business, finding out how they were coping, what they were doing, what was their, you know, suggestions, goal setting strategies and so on to get through lockdown, which at the time we didn’t know how long it was going to go on for. So I was hearing my mancave and it just, it kept me sane. And after Covid, I. The show had grown and we were opening up into going into other areas of producing podcasts, but then others were asking us to produce podcasts for them. And there’s a very well-known comedian in Ireland called Tommy Tiernan, who podcasts. He has a TV show. He’s on a show called Jerry Girls, which people might see on Netflix.

Niall: I love dairy girls. It’s one of my favorite shows.

Garry: It’s brilliant and he tours around the world. You know, he’s done America and the UK and Ireland and so on. But we

Garry: were sharing an office together in Galway and because everything stopped for him, he couldn’t do standup shows. Obviously his TV show stopped. Dirty. Girls was stopped. The office that we shared, he [00:08:00] said, it’s all yours if you want it. And it was, it’s an amazing location. It’s the Heart Togo city center, but it was an old building. It goes back to the 17 hundreds. and I just thought, I think we need a modern building for what we want to do with the company, uh, and we want to build a podcast studio and so on.

Building a Podcast Studio

Garry: So we found a place just on the outskirts of the city, just off the motorway and. The idea of building a podcast studio was really for Gary Talks. And secondly, it was to get the movie podcast back again because I thought everything would just, start or continue on as it was supposed to be after lockdown. But obviously there was, you know, financial issues for a lot of businesses out there. So I had this brand new podcast studio, which I had, you know, I put in This acoustic carpet that costs a lot of money. It’s amazing how much just a good carpet can cost. I got acoustic paneled glass put in at a 30 degree angle where there was a window just, uh, because again, for those who don’t know, [00:09:00] you don’t want sound waves going in a straight line. You, you want them to be at different length where they’re bouncing. we put acoustic paneling all around us. And we got in like the, shore as the seven B microphones and, we got acoustic paneling put in at the top scene as well, creating like a 45 degree angle. Pumped a lot of money into it. And in fairness, one of the guys who worked at me in the radio station that I worked in full-time from around 2007 to 2013 and then worked part-time up till Covid, he helped me build a studio as well. But I had this amazing studio and I said, okay, so I’m just, I built this just for my podcast but from actually doing the videos, ’cause we would video Gary talks and initially what we were doing is we were just putting up clips of what we were videoing on social media.

Benefits of Video Assets in Podcasting

Garry: And then after a while I realized, actually I should just release the full video as such. But the clips that we were putting up on social media. People were seeing that and then they were approaching us saying, oh, your [00:10:00] studio deluxe class, can we actually hire it? So we’ve had like, , voiceovers for feature animation recorder in there.

Garry: We’ve had companies from the Middle East, that would be big podcast producers having guests come in, in using it. We’ve had it used for like Aldi adverts, , some of the top podcasters from Ireland. Who are living in the west of Ireland are coming and using it on a weekly basis. So it’s brilliant.

Garry: And we produce, as I said, podcasts for other clients. So we would be mobile and go on the road to maybe their premises or go to Dublin, but sometimes they would come into our studio as well. So it’s amazing from just having little social media clips, put up on the various platforms that are out there, how that can actually generate a bit of business towards, uh, your own.

Niall: I think it’s the dream for most podcasters. ’cause let’s be honest, most podcasters are independent podcasters like myself. I’m here at home, I’ve got some good equipment, but I’m still at home. It’s the dream to be in a studio and I actually, I. Got access to a studio here in in Saigon, in Vietnam, and I [00:11:00] did one recording there and it was just incredible.

Niall: You know, it was amazing. We had the sound engineer, they gave me it for free. They weren’t even wanting any sponsorship. It was just, they were a new brand breaking into the podcasting industry and they were like, we want you to come along and we’re gonna put you on the app and blah, blah, blah. And then lockdown covid happened.

Niall: Just similar. Same thing. I think the company went outta business. I’ve never heard from them again. I’ve never heard of the app. I got to do one episode in the studio and that was it. So, when I’ve seen your studio, that’s why it’s the first thing I bring up. I’m supremely jealous. And if I was in Ireland, I would definitely be doing it too.

Niall: It’s something that I’m thinking about doing here in Saigon, but like you mentioned there, it’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of investment. Uh, I need to do a lot more work into seeing if it’s worthwhile. And that was gonna be my next question. After everything of the, hardship, the financial input into creating it, now you’ve got all this business out of it.

Niall: Has it been worth it?

Garry: I haven’t done up the numbers to see how much I’ve spent to how much money it has generated. I just love the [00:12:00] home that it has become, to be honest with you, for podcasters, I mean, like I had Shenae Cassidy, who’s a director of marketing for Galway Races, which would be a huge festival here that takes place in Ireland every year, and she was a guest on Gary Talks and she loved the studio so much that. The Go Races actually did a video podcast series with us then last summer. and we’re in talks again about doing it again in 2024, which is during that video series we had like all the top jockeys and trainers coming into our studio, uh, to record. So like you know, there’s been a few kind of celebrities or famous faces even. You know, something that I loved was the current Galway football manager is a man called Ric Joyce. But I remember when Ric was playing as a player for Galway. And you know, you didn’t even have to be into football growing up. If your team, if your county team was in the All Ireland final and they won, you got the day off school the next

Garry: day.

Garry: That’s how important [00:13:00] it was to support. But it was really cool to see someone who I idolized when I was like really young. You know, in kind of in my early teens to see them now coming in, uh, to my studio and recording. And, you know, there’s little moments like that where it’s like, well, this is cool. Like I’ve built this and these are the people that are coming in. So yeah, I’d say probably overall, you know, we have gotten a return, because as what we would do is we can record a podcast, but we can edit a podcast, we can video it so we can edit it as a video. We can create social media clips for people. We can do transcriptions of it. We can, set them up with a podcast channel and, so on.

Garry: So like the HSE, which would be the National Health Organization in Ireland, we produce podcasts for their health and wellbeing department on a weekly basis. So we would either have them come to our studio or we go to Dublin, or Cork or whatever, record in batches. So we might do three or four podcast recordings that day, and then we’ll come back [00:14:00] to our own studio. We’ll edit them, we’ll create social media assets for them, transcripts, maybe blogs, newsletters from each episode and so on. Upload it, schedule it across the podcast platform to put it on YouTube’s, podcast platform as well. So, it’s a great thing to get into where you can scale up other services.

The Power of Editing in Podcasting

Garry: So because I, I do think just doing audio only limits your reach and potential because especially like a lot of people are on social media and they think that dominates social media is video clips.

Garry: So if you can in any way create video assets from your podcast, it will help drive people to actually listen to your podcast. And again, you might hear someone’s name and you may not know who they are, but if you see an image of them, you’re like, oh yeah, I know that person’s here. I’ve seen them before somewhere. I’ll go and listen to that, you know?

Niall: Oh, a hundred percent. And so similar trajectory here at Seven. Million Bikes podcast. So this podcast is called Smarter Podcasting, but we [00:15:00] as a business, we’re called Seven Million Bikes podcast. And started out, yeah, just doing audio. I. For people. And now it’s just changed, like even this year’s changed so much.

Niall: Doing more video editing and what we, when we talk to a new client, it’s all about, like you said, like creating different assets. So the main asset is the video. And then from there we take the audio, then we take the short form content for the social media, then we can do blog posts and everything like that.

Niall: And that’s, a great way, like you said, to get noticed because what the way I explain it to people, so I watch almost on a daily basis, . a closer look by Seth Miles, you know, the, the talk show host in America. Uh, I’ve never once watched a full episode. I can’t even get it, obviously, where I am, but on a daily basis, I just watch the short content.

Niall: And And so I try to explain to people that even if somebody never listens to your podcast, they’re still consuming your content, even if it’s a ten second reel or a 60-second reel or reading your blog post. So it’s all about building your brand and your authority and your leadership. Which doesn’t necessarily mean somebody needs to sit and listen to [00:16:00] a whole hour or a whole half an hour of your podcast.

Niall: You can still build all of that through all these different means, and so it can be really a really effective way.

The Impact of Social Media Clips

Garry: Yeah, and even just talking about video clips there, there’s uh, , two particular clips on the Gary Talks TikTok page, and collectively they have, a half a million views.

Garry: There you go. 500,000 views.

Garry: The two of them together, uh, which don’t match the podcast listens, but the amount of comments on them and how much

Garry: Those little kind of 62nd clips, the content of them, how they’re relatable to people, how they’re, you know, they’re important to people. You know, one of them is a night nurse, and. You know, she, she talks about how, some of the more difficult deaths she witnesses are young mothers.

Niall: Hmm.

Garry: Uh, and a lot of the comments are people who lost a mother, uh, when they were young.

Garry: Or it could be a, woman who is a mother at the moment with young children and, is battling a, a disease at the moment, is challenged by one, living with one. and it’s [00:17:00] heartbreaking some of the comments, but it’s also, it’s great that, you know, content like that is put out there and it’s relatable and people can connect with it and, you know, maybe get a little bit off their chest and so on.

Garry: So they may not listen to the full podcast and that’s fine, but they still found something of benefit in that maybe 60-second video clip that they saw. And I think also just mention the editing, which I know you, you, you do Niall.

The Importance of Editing in Podcasting

Garry: Uh, you know, unfortunately some people don’t get into podcasting because they’re so put off by the post-production side of it, editing, which is another craft in itself.

Garry: It’s, I often say it’s like learning how to drive. It takes a lot of effort. We can all kind of sit in front for microphone and, and do a bit of waffling, but it is hard to edit. But there are, you know, it’s important that there are people like yourselves out there that can actually carry people through That next stage, not to just say, oh, I’m not gonna do it because I don’t know how to edit or I don’t want to edit. There is the support out there for people. [00:18:00] So if you want to start podcasting, just start.

Niall: Hmm. Well, it’s funny what you said about the, your first podcast. You were working on it for two or three days and it was so similar. I mean, when I started out, I didn’t do it for the longest time. ’cause somebody asked me, they said, oh, how long do you think you spend? I. On your podcast, so I, I wrote it all down, including, you know, booking the guest, which just the communication with the guest.

Niall: Then the guest comes in, you talk for half an hour, like, we had a chat before we started this podcast. Then you have a chat afterwards, so that might be, they might be there for two hours. Then you’ve obviously got, so then the recording. Then the editing, then the promotion, all of that stuff. And I added up and I was like, I think about eight to 10 hours at least for one episode.

Niall: And when I did that, I was like, that’s a whole day’s work and I’m doing this on top of my full-time job just for myself as a, this is my hobby. And so that really blew me away. And so now the kinda the tagline on my website is at the moment, save frustration and time. Because that’s now where I come in because [00:19:00] I realized I learned how to do these skills, which was editing, and I realized how long it took to do all of that.

Niall: And so that’s now where we want to help people, just like you said. But people who wanna make a podcast or already have a podcast and then they realize, oh man, this takes up way too much time. And then, so that’s where we come in. We can save you the frustration and the time. And I absolutely love editing for me.

Niall: And you, you know, the same as well sometimes. The original audio, the episode can be pretty bad. It will be lots of mistakes or lots of filler words. The person ums every two seconds or they finish every sentence with, you know, or, um, the audio quality might be really bad. And I, I get the biggest buzz of I. Taking something that’s sound that can, in the raw format is quite bad, to be honest and producing something. And I’ve had people listen back to it and they go, wait, what? How did you do that? Like, I don’t, I remember what happened and it was terrible. Like, how did you put that together? And it’s like, yeah, that’s the, the magic of editing.

Niall: And then, you know, we’re getting to the point now where I work, one of my clients is actually, [00:20:00] it’s my favorite. It’s a narrative podcast. So

Niall: you know, I create a narrative out of the story. So I’ll, I’ll literally move parts of the. Story of this, the recording, and I always make sure we have like an uplifting ending and I add music to it and it’s again, if you listen to it, you would just think like, that was the, this person was recorded and said it exactly in that order.

Niall: But I’m like, when I share it with my wife, I’m like, listen to this. Like I changed all of this around to, to create this story. So it’s the biggest buzz.

Garry: That’s brilliant. Yeah, and I, you know, it’s so important. To edit because there’s a lot of podcasts out there that people just record it and then put it out there, and it’s pretty horrific to listen to and they don’t realize. And to put it in perspective for people, Tommy Tiernan, who I mentioned earlier, I set him up with his podcast, Tommy Hector and Tisha, a couple of years ago during, mid Covid. And their first audio recording, the first episode recording, I think was about three hours. And the episode that one dealt [00:21:00] was 45 minutes. Now this is a man who’s been in the entertainment industry for decades. He’s done TV shows, standup, where you know, he, and so as Hector, they know how to put a show together, but still they were able to chop off over two hours.

Garry: From their first episode to get it. Right. Now they’re better because they’ve been doing it for a few years now on a weekly basis that I’d say probably they might only lose 10% of the recording because they’re getting slicker at what they’re doing and they have a good chemistry. Now, the three of them together, I.

Garry: But you know, that’s the reality. You, edit to get it as good as it can possibly be. And if, you’re listening to one of your own podcasts and the mind starts wandering, you’re thinking about, oh, you know what? You have to put on the shopping list, uh, for your groceries this week, that’s when it’s time to stop plane and start cutting out.

Garry: Because if you’ve lost interest, your audience have also lost interest.

Niall: Yeah, and I’ll just finish up on this topic with one a, a really funny story. One of the podcasts that I [00:22:00] edit, and it actually is, similar to that Tommy Telan first episode. It takes the most amount of editing, and, they’re fine with that. They, they’ll send me maybe two and a half hours worth of audio and it will come down to about an hour and a half, which is generally like, they want, like, their episodes are quite long.

Niall: And so it’s the most work I’ve ever done on a podcast. Like I actually got back to them and I said, I think I’m doing about 900 edits an episode. It took that much because they wanted so much done to it, like every breath had to be removed, every, every tick, every noise. And so I, this process is more streamlined now.

Niall: It’s not 900, but at one point I was like, I think in two and a half hours I’m doing about 900 edits, so really well edited. Great, great podcast. It gets massed. Thousands, tens of thousands of listeners, and then somebody wrote in, they read out the story and they said, oh, we’ve got a podcast too. And it’s just like yours.

Niall: We don’t edit either

The Art of Podcast Editing

Niall: .

Niall: I, I, I, at first I was so offended. I was like, wait, [00:23:00] what do you mean ? This podcast isn’t edited? But then I, you know, I felt good that it, it still has that feeling that when people listen to it, it sounds like it’s not edited, which I was like, 900 edits went into making this podcast episodes. And so the, the host did correct them.

Niall: They were like, oh no, this podcast is absolutely editing. We couldn’t put it out without that, without Niall. But, yeah, that was, that made me laugh. So my,

Garry: I think that’s the.

Niall: Yeah. Right. I felt I, at the end of the day, I was very, very complimented.

Investing in a Podcast Studio

Niall: So I wanted to ask, you’re talking about the investment in the studio.

Niall: If you’re in Ireland, how much does it cost to rent your studio?

Garry: so there, there’s different things you can do. One is you can just come in and record audio only in our studio. So that kind of, it starts off as a hundred euro for the first hour, and then after into the second hour it’s 50 euro. But if someone is coming in on a regular basis. We obviously do a

Garry: better rate for them, there is that ongoing collaboration. [00:24:00] If people then want to come in and have maybe. A wide shot of themselves and their guest. studio facilitates up to three people. speaking, you know, we can do a wide shot, that’s another rate. Or people might want a camera on every guest.

The Power of High-Quality Cameras

Garry: So we have a black magic six K Pro cameras. So the quality of them is

Niall: Wow. Yeah,

Niall: I’ll bet.

Garry: When you shoot in six K as well, it gives you those options of really cropping in quite tightly and you still keep it at full high definition 10 80 p uh, if you’re just putting it out on the likes of YouTube or something like that where, or Facebook where you just wanted a 10 80 p. So that allows a lot as well.

Garry: And some people, they just want all those assets afterwards, the audio and the video clips. And they might have their own in-house production team that’ll put it together. Others will want us to do the editing for them as well.

Niall: mm-Hmm.

Garry: So it all depends really on what they want from us.

Niall: Yeah, and that’s something that I’m looking at starting here in Saigon as well. It is similar thing. [00:25:00] You can, there’ll be a rate for just audio. There’ll be a rate for just one camera rate for two cameras and and so on and so on. At the moment, I record some video for clients just using an iPhone. I use my iPhone 10, but it still has 4K.

Niall: And they, they’re just needing that wide angle with the two guests. Sometimes they’ve had three guests and the, quality is, unreal, you know, is ’cause it’s 4K, which is great. So that’s my other upgrade I’m, gonna make this year.

The Evolution of Podcast Equipment

Niall: So talking about equipment I. Talk me through. That’s, I’m, a big nerd now on equipment.

Niall: I get, excited about equipment. Tell me what you’re using right now, uh, what you started with. ’cause I don’t know if this is what you started with. You said you started in your mancave. Can I tell, talk me through the equipment that you started with and then you mentioned the black magic camera and the Sure.

Niall: So then, then tell me what you’ve upgraded to

Niall: more about in the studio.

The Journey from Mancave to Professional Studio

Garry: So, I suppose I started the podcast in here, in this room, which is my man cave, which is upstairs in my house. It’s more like a, a, an attic room. And it’s ideal in terms of acoustics [00:26:00] because everything is thrown in here, suitcases, uh, and all that. So it, it, it, it’s really good for sound absorption. And it’s also, it’s, it’s, it’s a slanted ceiling. The worst room to record a podcast in is a . Is a perfect square room because sound waves are gonna be all hitting at the same, uh, wavelength. So because that the ceiling is slanted at a 45 degree angle, it gives a much better sound as well. So the room is packed with rubbish because unfortunately, the man caved becomes the storage room, uh, when you’re living in a house with three other women. But it also, it’s great for sound so. I started off with this Samsung G Track, which I’ve recommended to people over the years, but I can’t seem to find it anymore. Uh, it doesn’t seem to be, easily available. the Yeti mics though are pretty good as well, so it’s just a

Garry: simple You

Niall: disagree with you on that.

The Great Blue Yeti Debate

Niall: I gotta jump in right there.

Niall: So I.

Niall: well, I wanna under, I wanna know, because you know more than me. I, I mean, I can admit that freely. So I want to, once I tell you my story, you can tell me why you think the [00:27:00] Blue Yeti is good. been recommended since the beginning, since I started podcasting.

Niall: And my first mic was the Blue Yeti ice. So it’s a condenser microphone, picks up the whole room. It was good for, you know, the beginning, working in between me and a guest. And I did that thing. I was just recording. Oh, I’m still recording at home. I also want to add, I am in the worst room. Eva for a podcast.

Niall: I have like big windows, shiny floor. I’m into Asia, so we don’t have carpet in Asia, it’s just tiles. but I rely heavily as a, anyone who listens to me will know. I rely heavily on studio sound from Descript, which will take their audio and make it sound great. And I’m using pretty decent dynamic microphone, so it kind of helps with all the terrible things about this room.

Niall: But I use the blue yi. The sound quality wasn’t great. It broke after about six months, which I still have it in a coupled, and I’m just praying one day that it somehow comes back to life. I don’t know why I can’t bring myself to throw it away. But then a lot of the clients I work with, they use the Blue Yeti, which, I know it’s got [00:28:00] different settings. The one, like I was talking to one yesterday and you can set it to the OID pickup, which is just meant to pick up in front. But I just always find anytime I edit a podcast for anyone who uses a Blue Yeti, it just picks up so much background noise that even when I turn on studio sound with the script, it still sounds terrible.

Niall: And one of my clients, I’ve just got her to sell her Blue Yeti and she got a new. Sure, no, she got the road microphone just, just this week. so that’s my take on the Blue Yeti and I’ve read about them that they are overrated and they get recommended too much. Why do you recommend the Blue Yeti?

Garry: So I’ll backtrack a little, and I never did like the Blue Yeti before, but I have done podcasts with people in the last year who have blue Yetis. Where before up, up to maybe a year and a half ago, I’d be like, oh no. But actually the quality has been perfect. I haven’t had any issue at all. And that could be down to they have the settings right on their mic or that they have good acoustics [00:29:00] in the room that they were recording in. definitely anyone that I’ve worked with the last year who has a Lou Yeti microphone, it has been fine. But I do agree, like the Blue Yeti was out when I got the Samsung G Track. I went for the Samsung G Track ’cause I’d borrowed different mics off different people and tried them out.

Garry: And the Samsung G Track for me far outweighed the Blue Yeti. but I suppose what’s good about the Blue Yeti is it’s. relatively cheap,

Garry: but you know, if you want to get a good, good microphone, look at the people who’ve been making microphones for decades, like Road Sennheiser. Sure. You know, you’re not gonna go wrong.

The Importance of Sound Quality

Garry: Getting a microphone from the likes of them, you know, dynamic microphones, which you’re using are great if there’s too much space around you and you want to get a nice, warm sound. So

Garry: when we’re doing Yeah, when we do recordings for the HSC, like I’m going up to offices in Dublin That are not set up for podcast recording. I use dynamic microphones. It’s only in our studio that we use the condenser microphones because [00:30:00] they match the studio setup that we have. So again, you know, if you do have too much space around your, or, you know, tile floors, tile walls or whatever, you know, having a dynamic microphone, the only difference is you just gotta get in that bit closer. But you get a lovely warm sound from a dynamic mic. And when we started off doing the film. Podcast, we were using SSM 58 dynamic microphones because we were getting a lovely warm sound recording it in our office in Galway City. and what we were doing then in terms of, uh, filming was, uh. We’re using DSLR cameras to video, uh, and they’re great, but A-D-S-L-R camera not switches off recording mode after 30 minutes. Uh, and the reason for that is there’s two types of taxes, so it’s a cheaper tax if a camera is considered a photograph. Camera. In other words, a camera’s mainly for taking photographs. So if a camera records for more than 30 minutes, regarded as a camcorder, and it’s a different T and it costs more. So [00:31:00] that’s why D SLOs stop recording after 30 minutes. It’s grand if you have someone around who can rotate the room and keep recording and, and so on, uh, hitting the record button every 30 minutes for you and you’re doing a multicam edit. But it was just, it was a little frustrating. So then when we set up the, the podcast studio.

The Transition to Video Podcasting

Garry: We went from dynamic mic phones to what we’re using in our old office in Galway City to the shore. Condenser mic phones. got three of them in now, and the reason for that is, uh, like we could have gotten four. There’s this room around the circular table for fourth, but it’s a small enough room, and I was having this decision of do I want a big room or a small room? There was only one room there available within kind of the studio space that we have because we have a big green screen built outside in another room that’s floor to ceiling for doing other video pieces for people. I just thought, you know, a smaller room, you’re going to get better acoustics than you are with a larger [00:32:00] room. I. Because even in the radio station there was Studio One, which was really big, and you’d have live music taking place in there. And your Studio two, which was small and cozy, and there was a beautiful sound. So I was always drawn more to a smaller room. So we just set up three mics in there and there were condenser. I. Um, and we use the Scarlet, so you’re getting a nice clean sound before it’s going in recording. Then on your computer via Adobe Audition as a, a multi-track recording. And as I said, we put paneling on the wall and we put, uh, these heavy, panels as well up at the ceiling facing down to 45 degrees. Put in an acoustic carpet, put in an acoustic panel at the window at a 30 degree angle. and initially we were recording on 5K GoPro cameras. Uh, so I. Three of them. So one was doing a wide, one was on the guess or guess, but the fact that it was 5K again, I could crop in to an individual [00:33:00] if needed. And I had the other 5K GoPro on me. They were good, but they stopped pretty much recording after about an hour because we had, I think, I think it was a. Whatever SD card that we had in it was big enough. It might’ve been 64 gigabytes. It was just running outta space after an hour recording in 5K, but they were also getting really, really hot. So I was working off the battery and I could power them up. Again, I was, afraid that I would just completely burn them up because they were roasting hot after being recording in 5K for about an hour. ’cause really there isn’t a fan system in them, like you’d get in the bigger cameras. And then I just had this notion of maybe getting in a good. Broadcast quality camera. And when the Galway races gig came up, I said, okay, I’ve invested in the studio. And it’s not only the podcast studio, as I said, there’s the green screen studio we have as well in the other room. I said, I’m gonna invest further again in the podcast [00:34:00] studio and I’m going to get in. A six K black magic camera, which has a fan built in so I don’t have to worry about them heating up. They are broadcast quality because they wanted these podcast videos to be played on the big screen at the Goway races.

Garry: They were also on racing TV for horse racing fans. That’d be a big TV station. So I wanted to provide them with the best video quality I could. Uh, and they can be plugged in so they can work off the electrics. You’re not worried about battery dying on you halfway through. So that’s what I did. I invested in three Black Magic six K Pro cameras.

Garry: So that was the next step up.

The Constant Pursuit of Improvement

Garry: And every time we finish a series of Gary Talks, which might be, you know, 10 or 12 episodes, and we might do 10 seasons a year, I always have a meeting with my team afterwards and say, okay, what can we do better? So at the moment, we are Developing the studio, uh, a little bit more.

Garry: So there’s been a lot of constantly playing [00:35:00] around. Constantly trying to improve and make it look better. Which is funny because it started off as a podcast studio where my only concern was audio, getting

Garry: into good panels, good microphones, the Scarlet and all that. and now because we’ve gotten that, as perfect as as we can now I’m looking at trying to make it visually, look as good as possible and having the best visual equipment that we can.

Niall: It is crazy ’cause I, I’m an old school podcaster. To me it’s audio. I hate it when somebody says, I have a podcast. And what they mean is they have a YouTube channel. But, uh, I’m, I’m now embracing it because it is the future of don’t have a podcast. If it’s only on YouTube, it has to be audio.

Niall: But if you have a video as well, I will. I will give it to you. You have a podcast. but visuals is the future. YouTube and TikTok, as you mentioned and, and things like that.

Advice for New Podcasters

Niall: Before we wrap up, for someone listening who’s thinking. This is way too much for me. I just wanna start my podcast or somebody who’s quite new to podcasting, looking at their equipment, and [00:36:00] one thing I’ve learned from other people is you just always look to improve.

Niall: Like you said, you’re meeting with your team once a year and I, I, I’m, my videos right now are not great. I’m looking to improve my camera. I’m always looking to get better and I’m, I’m not perfect. And it sounds like you’re pretty similar, just always slightly improving. And

Niall: I think we go all the way back to the beginning.

Niall: You were talking about people not podcasting because the editing takes too much. Much. I think a lot of people don’t podcast or don’t do a lot of things in life because they’re perfectionists and they want it to be perfect first time and not realizing that most successful creators started off way at the bottom and and slowly get up.

Niall: Like Tika White T didn’t start making Thor, he started making independent movies and worked his way up. So for someone who is just starting or wants to improve, what are your top tips for microphone sound treatment for somebody in the beginning? Go.

Garry: so just get a good microphone for yourself and even like going back to the Yeti conversation, you can get a good dynamic SMM [00:37:00] 58, which is even cheaper than The Yeti, but I suppose it depends on how you want to record. So you could record directly into an audio recorder, like your Zoom or your task cam, so you know, you connect via an XLR cable and your microphone. And to, even simplify it, you can get great acoustics sitting in your car. So you can sit in your car in a quiet area and you will get amazing acoustics. And a, a good example would be, I remember one time we had someone come into our studio, Kilkenny, which be maybe two and a half hour drive from Galway, and they were coming to our studios to do a podcast recording. And as I was driving to the studio, I noticed that the streets had no lights and there was an apple green, which is a fuel station. They had no lights on, and it was o only a couple of years open. I was like, that’s weird. And then I got to the studio and I realized all the electricity in that area of Galway was gone, was down. And I had this person driving two and a half hours to do a podcast recording. And the city was gridlock as well because people were [00:38:00] trying to go get back home or whatever where there was electricity. But we agreed It was cool enough that we agreed to meet downstairs in the basement of a car park, and we sat in my car and we recorded the podcast in the front of my car with one microphone and a Zoom recorder, and the quality was amazing. can also record great audio quality if you have an immersion at home. So again, that’s room that’s just full of towels and mattresses or duvets or anything like that. Again, I know people during Covid who were recording radio shows and immersions recording radio shows in their bedroom with a blanket over their head. Don’t worry about the visuals if you don’t need to. Yeah.

Niall: I think, that’s an Irish phrase, an immersion. I have no idea what that is. I mean, I can guess from what you said, but if you wanna explain what you mean by an immersion.

Garry: Yeah, so the immersion room is the place where we have a big boiler and you turn on the immersion switch, which will heat up the water in your house, and you [00:39:00] make sure you turn it off after an hour max. Or your electricity bill will be sky high and there’ll be arguments galore in the households. Other people might have gas or oil or look, this house is being built now, which are a rated and under floor heating.

Garry: And you know, thankfully, things are more sustainable and environmental friendly and so on. But the immersion was that small little room upstairs in the house where you turn on a switch to heat up the water. It was like a big, massive of kettle, and all the towels were put in there and so on. But the acoustics were excellent.

Niall: That must be a very Irish thing. I’ve lived all over the world and I don’t think I’ve ever heard of an immersion room

Garry: Okay. Okay.

Niall: Well, let’s leave it on that ’cause that’s a great tip, and it’s something I’ve read from the beginning. I’ve even said to people, you know, you could put a blanket over a table and record under a table.

Niall: I, I know people that record it in their bed under a duvet and things like that.

Niall: And these, so these are easy tips to get started. So the thing I always say to people is just get started and go from there.

Garry: a hundred percent. Yeah, absolutely. Niall.

Niall: Gary, this has been [00:40:00] awesome. Thank you so much. Make sure you go listen to Gary Talks, wherever you get your podcasts.

Garry: Thanks a million Niall. look, it, I think we really kind of kicked off when, you were a guest on the show there, back in 2023, and we’ve kept in touch on social media and so on, and continued success with all that you’re doing, and it was an absolute honor and pleasure chatting with you today on the show.

Niall: Thank you very much, Gary. Cheers.

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