(By Troy Price) Adam and the Ants. Gladys Knight and the Pips. Bob Marley and the Wailers. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Each of these named performers were made better by those in the background. You as a podcaster should think about what is going on in the background too.
You may subscribe to the unspoken directive that all serious podcasters should sound like a radio show. You make extra effort so that background noise (that would make listeners feel fully immersed in your show) is being filtered, leveled, or processed out. This anesthetizes the show for your listener and ultimately serves to your detriment.
There are shows that would be enhanced by background noise. Imagine a show about the life of a full-time mom or something family-centric that actually has the sounds of a busy kitchen or active playground that you can hear. What about a sports show with the bottles clinking and assorted cheers from a sports bar adding to the ambiance. Or don’t you think a podcast episode about finding great deals would be awesome if recorded while Black Friday shopping?
With that said, next time you schedule an interview, think about just going to a local coffee shop and placing your recorder on the table between the two of you and just talk (no headphones required). Keep that recorder with you in your pocket as much as you can. You’ll never know when a traffic jam or waiting room presents a time for you to share a moment of inspiration in real time. Or you could share those times of insomnia in the empty quiet of your house with your audience. And in these instances, what is going on in the background, as mundane as it may seem, will make you sound better.