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Podcast Basics

This is a brief tutorial on creating an intro to a podcast using Audacity.

Podcast Basics: photo of man recording a podcast on a laptop

Earn Your Pocasting Badge!

If this tutorial looks helpful to you and you want to earn your SkillShops Podcast badge, you can enroll in the Podcast Basics SkillShop (link below -- open to all Cal Poly Humboldt students, staff, and faculty). The guide here is for people outside of Cal Poly Humboldt who want to follow along but cannot enroll in the SkillShop.

Sample Intro

The resources in this tutorial will help you learn some techniques for creating an intro to a podcast using multiple audio clips. This tutorial shows how to use two free audio editors:

  • Audacity, a free and open source audio editing program with free downloads available for Mac, Windows and Linux computers. Audacity is also installed on campus computers and library laptops.
  • BandLab is a free digital audio workstation (DAW) that is designed for creating music, but is also great for other types of audio projects like podcasts. BandLab is web-based (works on Mac, Windows, and Chromebooks) and has apps for iOS (iPads & iPhones) and Android.

Pick one -- to follow along with this tutorial you can choose either Audacity or BandLab but do not need to learn both.

Yeah, But Which Should I Choose?

Audacity (free and open source)

  • Full-featured: Audacity has all of the tools and features you need to create a professional-quality audio project.
  • If you have a computer (desktop or laptop) you can download it to, it's hard to beat -- and it's completely free!
  • There are a lot of tutorials online.

BandLab (also free!)

  • Great for collaborating
  • Web-based, so it's a good option if you don't want to or can't install a program on your computer.
  • It works on phones, tablets, and any other type of device that can pull up a webpage. You can start your project in a computer lab on campus, continue on your phone on the bus ride home and then finish it up at home on your laptop.
  • It's also great if you are interested in learning how to record or compose music.
  • It doesn't have all of the bells and whistles that Audacity has, but their desktop program, Cakewalk (Windows computers only), is and is also free to download and what you learn with BandLab will somewhat transfer over to using Cakewalk, if you choose to level up your skills.
  • BandLab has some very helpful tutorials and guides, but they are oriented toward creating music, so they don't always match up with the steps you need to create a podcast.

More Than One Way

There is more than one way to do pretty much anything when working an audio project. This overview shows a few techniques but doesn't cover all of them. You may want to use one or more of the techniques in a different way or use different editing software. The basics covered in this example will be applicable in other situations and with other software. The specifics may be different, so you may need to search for more tutorials on YouTube for your particular software or tool.


If you are comfortable with using media editors and want the super-quick version of this tutorial, skip to the end for the playthrough that is a demonstration of putting all of the steps together with Audacity into a 5-minute video.

The Video

This video play list is a walk-through of all of techniques shared in this tutorial. You can watch all the videos here or watch them in parts along with the accompanying text on the following pages.

Creative Commons CC BY license logos: two circles, one with CC inside and the other with a person icon.
This guide is licensed under a CC BY license.
All content by Tim Miller unless otherwise noted.