Sound Design for a Podcast

How to Create a Sound Design for your Podcast ?

After recording your podcast, the world of post-production unfolds for you. 

The post-production allows obtaining a podcast ready for broadcasting by applying several treatments such as de-rushing, mixing and sound design !

This last step turns out to be crucial to offer an immersive sound experience for your listeners.

In this article, we will give you some keys to understanding how to use sound design in your podcast conception.

I- Enhance your Podcast Thanks to Sound Design

II- Make your Brand Heard with Audio-Branding


🎵 I – Enhance your Podcast Thanks to Sound Design


What is Sound Design ?

Sound design is a term that refers to the conception and work on the sound. It is a relatively vast field that encompasses both the creation of sounds (eg: for devices and vehicles), the way to mix instruments or the assembly of different sound elements.

In the case of podcasts, this consists in using sound elements (music, sound effects) and applying sound effects (voice filter, playing with the spatialization of the sound) in order to enhance the podcast rendition.

Here’s an example (L’histoire des Girondins de Bordeaux) :

NB: It is important to keep in mind that sound design is a profession in its own right, combining creativity and technicality, this article only lists some recommendations. 


Why Take Care of your Podcast’s Sound Design

Imagine a movie without music and sound effects. It would surely be flat and not very immersive ! It is the same for a podcast. Especially since this media only solicits one sense (hearing) !  So, it is convenient to take care of your work on sound to offer a high-quality experience.

A well-thought-out and coherent sound design make the difference by dynamizing the podcast and by captivating the listener. It adds an extra dimension to the production and offers a real immersion to the listener.


What Sound Elements Should you Use to Enhance your Podcast?

When listening to a podcast, the use of music and sounds allows us to escape and totally change the setting. The immersion is done by adding sound elements that will support and extend the story.



The first idea that comes to mind when we want to design our podcast is to add musicIf you have the rights to it, it can be a powerful carrier of emotions within the recording.

  • In the case of a narrative podcast, it will attract the listener’s attention and make him enter a particular universe
  • In a conversational podcast, the music will set the mood and support your theme.

The idea is to use music as a “sound layer” that will support your message and the atmosphere (or emotion) you wish to convey.


 “Sounds Effects”

Just like in the cinema, sound effects have an important place in the podcast.

Discreet as footsteps, glass tinkling, or background voices, they are yet very important for the immersion of the listener. In narrative podcasts, they are essential to ensure a full experience.

Another type of sound effect that adds value to your podcast is the musical comma. This is a very short melody that will allow you to make transitions within the podcast. In addition to this function that allows you to move from one theme to another, it allows you to assert your sonic branding. This element is particularly useful to give rhythm to your conversational formats.

  1. Bruitage - Clavier d'ordinateur 2:46
  2. Bruitage - Voix de foule 2:06
  3. Bruitage - Fontaine 0:12

What Techniques Should be Used to Improve the Voices?

The voices are the most important elements of the podcast. During the post-production phase, it is important to “improve” them in terms of quality via the mix. But we can also give them an added value, through some effects.


Audio Panning

With stereo technology, we have access to a new space, the sound space.

More concretely, we can hear elements more or less in our left, right, or middle ear.

Using audio panning can make sense in certain formats, especially narrative ones.  This process can be used for certain sound effects, for example, to follow the movement of a vehicle (we can imagine the siren of an ambulance going from our left ear to our right ear). It is therefore an interesting effect, which requires a certain amount of creativity.

In addition, there is now a new method of spatialization that is more complex but incredibly immersive, it is called 3D sound (or binaural sound). The video below (made by Radio France) will teach you a little more about it.

Voice Filters

It is possible to modify a voice by skilfully combining several sound effects (e.g.: reverb, saturation, pitch, …). You can then give a particular atmosphere to the vocal tracks for certain passages. (for example : a retro side to support a passage of historical narrative). This is a particularly effective process to boost the atmosphere of your podcasts in narrative format. (You can hear an example of a voice filter in the demos in the intro). 



Used particularly in the cinema in visual form, the fade can also be sonic. The cross-fade is used as a transition in a podcast. The volume of a track gradually decreases, while the volume of a second track gradually increases.

It is possible to apply this process to make a transition between two speakers or to introduce a piece of music for example.



🌟 II – Make your Brand Heard with Audio-Branding

The podcast is a great tool to promote your brand. By integrating an audio branding approach, you will be able to create your own universe. Sonic branding will reinforce the impact of your series and will create a bond between your brand and the listener.


What is Audio Branding ?

It is the discipline that consists in developing a brand’s sound dimension by creating its own sonic branding. The goal is to create a unique, distinctive sound universe. In other words, the idea is to develop a sound identity, directly attributable to your brand.

With only 20% of brands having sonic branding, it becomes a way to stand out.

Moreover, by using a sonic branding that is consistent with your brand image, it is possible to reinforce the impact of your communication. According to a study by the University of Leicester, brands increase their memorization by 96% with audio marketing.


Why Have Sonic Branding in your Podcast Series?

Using unique sound elements that correspond to your brand’s image ensures that you have a recognizable and distinctive signature that will be repeated on multiple occasions throughout your podcast.

By developing your brand on the audio dimension, you can communicate your brand universe and immerse your listeners in it. It is important to know that music (like any language) conveys a lot of information about your brand. It is essential to convey your brand into music to develop a sonic branding that is consistent with the image you want to send out.

Finally, having an introductory credit, a few audio commas, and an end credit ensures coherence in the sound system of your episodes.


Audio Branding Elements in a Podcast

In a podcast, the audio branding elements are the opening credits and the musical commas. In addition, the voice is of course a central element of your audio identity!

The opening and closing credits are 15-second pieces that introduce the series and give it a remarkable sonic branding.

Inserted between 2 steps of your episode, the musical comma is a short transition that gives rhythm and dynamism to your scenario.

These elements are closely linked and must be absolutely coherent in order to convey a true sonic branding.


Use Case with Bordeaux Podcast 

It seems logical for a podcast platform to take care of its sonic branding, through sound elements that identify it.

For Bordeaux Podcast, this meant a complete design, with introduction and end credits, musical commas, and a 30-second music track.

After filling out the brief, Bordeaux Podcast was able to translate its brand identity into a sonic branding thanks to the Getasound form. The platform was able to indicate its brand personality (modern, serious, accessible) and the desired musical universe: electronic, hip-hop, with a slight “chill” side.

  1. Bordeaux Podcast - Générique d'introduction William Robertson 0:25
  2. Bordeaux Podcast - Générique de fin William Robertson 0:09


With this joyful atmosphere, Bordeaux Podcast gives the image of an accessible service all by remaining serious. William Robertson also includes sound effects, as requested, at the end of his piece, with the sound of glasses, the signal of the Bordeaux tramway, and unintelligible voices.

Finally, to complete the identity of Bordeaux Podcast, musical commas, derived from the opening credits have also been created : 

  1. Bordeaux Podcast Virgule A William Robertson 0:04
  2. Bordeaux Podcast Virgule B William Robertson 0:03
  3. Bordeaux Podcast Virgule C William Robertson 0:06

It is therefore thanks to these elements of sonic branding that Bordeaux Podcast asserts its audio identity. It is recognizable to its faithful listeners, and accessible to new listeners.



👉 In conclusion :

Sound design is essential to offer a podcast that fully exploits the power of audio ! By applying some good practices explained in this article you will be able to :

  • Support and boost your content by giving it an extra dimension.
  • Make your brand heard through a well-thought-out sound identification.


Entust the sound design of your podcasts !

Reinforce your brand image with a customized sound design.

Personalized sound creation

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