Let me say it right off the bat: not every podcast needs a soundboard. But – every soundboard needs to find it’s podcast.
Take a deep breath and soak that one in for a moment
Ok. Here’s how I insert random sounds into podcasts I’m recording.
Pricing: Free trial / $49USD
Farrago from Rogue Amoeba makes it dead simple to play back sound effects, music intros or outros, sponsor background music, listener feedback, sad trombone noises – basically anything a podcaster could want to play to include in their podcast.
Here’s what I like about Rogue Amoeba’s Farrago for macOS.
Easy Clip Collection and Organization
I can take a folder full of audio I’ve collected for a podcast, a whole bunch of U2 quotes from interviews and videos over the years for example, and just drag and drop it on Farrago. Farrago will automatically distribute the audio clips across the app and assign a keyboard shortcut key for each clip for quick access.
Hit the “S” key and you’ll instantly hear Bono proclaim “A man should not look like his hair has been ironed.” Perfect.
You can rename the files once they’ve been imported, adjust the volume (2 options for volume levels), fade in / out duration, color of the clip, whether you want it to loop, solo (don’t play anything else while this clip is playing), allow it to be paused and resume, or only play once if pressed – so you don’t get Bono talking over himself, naturally. You can also keep notes on audio clips – i.e. “Don’t play this if your guest has had his hair recently ironed.”
Light and Dark Mode
Farrago has a great light (seen above) and dark mode option (seen below).
You can also use a MIDI device like a USB musical keyboard to trigger sounds with Farrago. I don’t happen to have one handy but something like this 32 key keyboard from M Audio would work just fine.
Audio Playback Choices
An important thing that Farrago supports is the ability to choose where audio playback is going to happen on your Mac. This becomes an issue when you want to use something like Ecamm Live to record and/or live stream a recording of your podcast to your millions (or 10) of fans around the world. So rather than only you hearing it in your headphones, you can send it to a Skype call and your live stream on Facebook, Twitch, or Mixer.
Note: If you’ve got more complex audio workflow needs, then picking up Rogue Amoeba’s Podcast Bundle is a great way to go: Audio Hijack, Loopback, and Fission are bundled with Farrago for $175USD in a package that includes pretty much everything you’d need to podcast on a Mac. Pair it all with Garageband that’s already on your Mac, Audacity (free, open source option), Logic Pro X (my personal choice), Adobe Audition, Hindenburg, or many other multi-track audio editors out there, and you’re a podcasting pro.
Farrago is a sound app, obviously, but it’s nice that Rogue Amoeba put in little touches like audio wav forms for each clip, as well as a playback indicator to show how long a clip has until it’s finished – as well as the time remaining. Love it.
Rogue Amoeba makes some might fine audio apps for macOS users. I can’t imagine where we’d be if that little amoeba hadn’t gone rogue all those years ago.
I’ve published a few Farrago related videos on my YouTube channel. These might help you decide if Farrago is right for you: