How To Incorporate Live Music in Podcasts: Instruments Of Inspiration

If you’ve thought about or created a podcast, it’s likely you’ve licensed music or created a custom track for your intro and outro music. 

Podcasts are an excellent way to build and engage audiences with conversations on relevant topics. However, you need rights to play your music on a podcast. Many creators get required licenses for commercial use to only use snippets or pieces of music.

But this poses another question: does the same apply if you want to feature live music? 

You may interview guests on your podcast and if you interview musicians or independent artists you may wantlive music to feature. Live podcasts may take a little more work to pull off, but they can be done. Here’s a way to incorporate live music in your podcasts and what instruments are best.


How Do You Make a Live Podcast?

Live podcasts are similar to radio shows, and you should aspire to record with an audience present. If you already have a podcast with pre-recorded episodes, live broadcasting may be a welcome change that can boost your ratings and engage more listeners.

When you record, it’s done in real-time, so anyone tuning in hears what you say as you’re saying it. It helps grow a more personal connection with your listeners because it makes them feel more connected to you, and it’s content you can easily repurpose once you record it.

There are different types of live podcasts where you may incorporate music, such as the following:

  • Interviews – a classic style, podcasts with interviews are popular because, with a collaboration, you’re able to bring in listeners from your own fanbase, as well as the listeners who are fans of your guests. Music-centered podcasts can bring in musical guests to perform their latest hits or breakthrough tracks.
  • Q&As – answer all of the burning questions that your fans have in a live format with this style of podcast. You can incorporate live music in your answers or use live music to transition topics throughout the episode.
  • News – another style of the episode is to provide your audience with news briefs, particularly if you have a podcast that focuses on the latest developments, trends, or the market.
  • Solo – you can make a style of the episode known as a ‘solo cast’ where you lead the episode without a guest. It’s an excellent way for budding artists or music gurus with podcasts to perform live. 

How To Prepare to Incorporate Live Music in Your Podcast

Equipment is going to be your biggest challenge when incorporating live music. Besides the instruments themselves, you should invest in some good audio equipment, including the following:

  • Microphones – you should have a microphone that works well for your voice and have one attached or close to the instrument playing live on your podcast. 
  • Pop Filter – the pop filter helps to keep clicks, pops, and other sounds to a minimum when you’re speaking, singing, and playing.
  • Headphones – a good set of headphones can help you quickly ascertain and make adjustments before you do your live recording so you know what your audience hears. They also work to ensure that your audio continues to work well during your podcast.
  • Studio Monitors – monitors can also help you hear how the audio sounds if you use them in tandem with the microphones and listen through the headphones.
  • Audio interface – these help your microphone’s sound without the need for a USB plugin to your computer, giving you more recording options and better sound overall.
  • Audio software – mixing and exporting the music is aided with software. Some free programs such as Audacity are useful if you’re on a budget. But if you’re incorporating live music in your podcast, it can be more helpful to invest in software with more effects options to help provide a better sound, like Apple Logic.

Instruments of Inspiration

Once you have your episode set and you know the live music you want to incorporate into the podcast, now you must determine the right instrument(s). Some of the best inspirational instruments that work well in live podcasts are anything with strings, including the piano/keyboard, guitar, ukulele, violin, or cello.

An excellent suggestion is playing some of the easiest piano songs on a keyboard as your tester with all your equipment in place, so you can listen to the playback and ensure the music sound works. 

You can incorporate more live music from artists and have instruments played together, such as a singer, guitarist, keyboard, and drums. But it’s vital to listen to the recording before you go live to ensure the sound is blended and mixed correctly.

Another good suggestion is if you plan to play any music as a cover from another musician or artist, ensure you get a public performance license and possibly a sync license. 

Sync licenses are necessary if you plan to stream the episode. Copyrighted musical works need licenses in place before you can perform them. This rule stands even if you’re performing part of a song or track.

Take your time developing your live music podcast, and make sure everything is in place before you launch. 

Real-time podcasts with live music can be welcome and beneficial for all content creators, offering extensive visibility for musicians and independent artists.

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