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How We Record Sermons for the Audio Podcast

We’ve been recording messages and distributing them in mp3 format for quite some time now. Our old site (no longer in use, but holds archives) is BibleJourney.org and we now post sermons at Bethel’s site and distribute them via podcast.

There are a lot of ways to do this, and many may be more efficient or better from a technical standpoint, but this is the method we’ve found to be easy-to-follow and reliable.

1. We use an mp3 player for recording.

There are a ton of mp3 players on the market, but the one we use is a Creative Zen Mozaic. The reason for this (over other mp3 players) is simple: It has a 1/8″ port for a line-in recording. So we run a line out (tape out – RCA jacks) to the mp3 player and record the service. It’s a few simple steps and nobody has do do anything once it starts recording.

2. We use Total Recorder to edit the message.

No, there isn’t any software that will improve a poor sermon once its delivered – sorry. But Total Recorder Professional from High Criteria Software allows us to open our .wav or .wma file from the Zen Player and edit it. We trim off everything leading up to the start of the sermon, and trim everything after the closing prayer. We’re left with just the sermon, and with Total Recorder we can save it in a middle quality mp3 format, great for the web.

3. We upload the sermon to our WordPress-powered church website.

Our Ministry Assistant takes that finished file, uploads it to our web site’s hosting server, then creates a post in WordPress that contains the file as an attachment using the WordPress Audio Player plugin. It allows us to simply specify a few tags and creates a nice, visually appealing audio player.

sermons

4. We use Feedburner to create the podcast.

With Feedburner we simply take the url of our WordPress category under which sermons are stored and insert it into Feedburner. In our case, it’s http://www.bethelbentonville.com/category/sermons/feed. We make a few tweaks in Feedburner and it handles the rest, such as grabbing our attachments (the mp3 audio file) and making them available via the podcast, which people can find in the iTunes store, or they can use the actual link with their own software.

That’s it. It’s a lot more simple than it seems. We also have the capabilities with Total Recorder of scheduling our recordings and going straight to PC, skipping the mp3 player altogether, but P. A. systems can be problematic with this and we have conflicts anytime we want to play audio from the computer and record at the same time. Besides, with the mp3 player, the sermons become portable. Someone could effectively grab it after church, take it home, and handle this in their spare time on their home computer.

Have fun with it, and if you run into problems, I’m happy to help – just contact me.