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engineerdoug

Audio Questions

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I feel like I should start a thread regarding audio related thoughts and questions.

I want this to be a collaborative effort from those who are already producing podcasts as well as those of you who would like to take a crack at it. My knowledge on the subject lies more on the professional end, but there are plenty of users here that are making pro-sumer podcasts that are created with only a Macbook.

I'll start the thread by listing my set-up. Feel free to detail what equipment YOU are using.

4 Shure SM7B's
Soundcraft EPM 8 Mixer
Pro Tools 8 with an 2-Channel MBOX
2 ART Headphone Cues and bunch of Sennheiser Headphones

And again, if you have any questions, ask them, and hopefully I or another qualified podcaster can help you!

E.D.

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My set-up is pretty low-rent. I use a PC (I know, lame) and a Blue Yet USB microphone. That thing is sweet.

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4 AKG Perception 120's (a low end condenser, good for the money)
Peavey - PV-6 mixer
Behringer 4 mini-amp (headphone amp)
A random collection of crappy headphones
Audacity (free)

You can hear what it sounds like here http://bobanddancast.com

It's not the lowest of the low setups, but it's not too expensive either. I'm pretty interested to hear about other people's setups.

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I use the AKG Perception for my rap tracks. It's a pretty good low-end condensor. The podcast sounds good dude. Do you do any compression to the overall file?

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Engineer Doug, I use Audacity. I don't have much money to put into my 'cast and Audacity's free. It's never let me down, really. Is there any better freeware out there I should check out?

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Sometimes 1 or 2 Blue Snowball mics, sometimes a Blue Yeti, sometimes a combo of both kinds. 1 Mac Powerbook w/ GarageBand. Sometimes for minisodes or a location recording, 1 Snowball and 1 iPad.

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1 Snowball and 1 iPad sounds dirty.

Audacity is great. I remember the original incarnation Cool Edit. I used to record all my track on it back in High School. It has some great built-in effects, and let's you do some pretty powerful 2-track editing.

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I started with a Blue Snowball, white MacBook, and Garage Band. I've added the Blue Yeti and just got a new iMac - still using Garage Band.
Either mic with the MacBook will still be an on-the-road setup, however I also purchased a Blue Mikey 2 for a more portable solution. The only downside is that, although it works on my iPhone 3GS, it won't work on any newer models. So if I upgrade, I'll probably keep the 3GS for use with the Mikey.
All but one of my podcasts have just been me, and the other was the Blue Mikey. I had it on the wrong setting and it was pretty hard to hear. I used Audacity to boost things up so it was at least listenable.

Still experimenting, but I don't think I need anything more at this point.

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The snowball is 58$? Holy shit that's cheap.

Is everyone here compressing their tracks? If you don't know what compression is, it's the overall leveling of the audio file. It's function is to turn up soft things, and turn down loud things creating a level audio track. It's one of things where you don't want to skip over, and you don't want to overdo the processing.

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I often check B&H Photo (www.bhphotovideo.com) for items. Right now *they* have the snowball at $61.63 and the Yeti at $99.99. I used them as a price match for my Yeti locally. I ordered my Mikey 2 from them for the same price it is now: $49.99.

I haven't done any compression, but I'm still learning to work with Garage Band. I know there are a lot of things I can be doing that I haven't figured out yet. I'll look it up and maybe try it with my next one.

I still need a pop filter.

One thing that drives me nuts as an audio podcast listener is when someone takes a big drink of something and swallows on the mic. Kevin Pollak does this often, and it makes it hard to listen. It wouldn't be as bad on a video podcast as it would coincide with watching him take a drink. But just hearing it is distracting.

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I only use compression when I have to. If it's just myself and my co-host, then I tend to forgo compression. We know the range of our mics and stay within that range. When we have guests, we compress. There's nothing more frustrating than someone with bad mic technique.
It's also worth saying that if you're using a room mic, or people are sharing, compression is a must.

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Question for those using the Blue Yeti USB Mic: Have you just podcasted with it, or have you recorded music as well? I'm interested in getting one, but I want a mic that can work for dialogue as well as some bits with my guitar.

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Am I alone in using Soundtrack Pro? We have lots of sketches and contributions from people all over the place so the levels are atrocious until I punch up all the tracks individually. I'm awful at using Pro Tools but I really should get to grips with it I guess. I just like the easy access to sound effects and loops in Soundtrack Pro. Every so often we throw in a bunch of stuff recorded on iPads via Samson Metor Mics.

There's loads of editing involved cutting out mistakes or cutting in alternative takes. And some of the sketches have one person playing multiple takes (ala PFT) so there's a bit of donkey work getting that to sound good.

Oh and I record lots using a Zoom H4N and a bunch of random mics plugged into it. The Zoom H4N is magic and I totally love it, especially for remote records. I'd love an actual studio or space - we recorded a bunch of episodes in random locations like a foyer of a teacher training college.

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I love Soundtrack Pro. Although I don't have a podcast, we use it for recording and editing voice overs for animation. I never really was able to rock Pro Tools either.
Our Setup is:
Macbook Pro
Mbox
Studio Projects B1 for vocal recording
Audio-Technica AT8035 Shotgun for instruments and onsite recording
It's a pretty basic setup with the one exception being the cardboard box lined with foam. The mic goes inside, you can record with little to no room noise.

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I find STP crashes on me a lot so I was hoping it would be a bit more robust in the new updated Final Cut Studio. Sadly it's been folded into Final Cut X. So it's now a toss up between Logic Pro and Pro Tools. Anyone have any preferences or pros/cons?

Thanks

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As someone looking to fundraise for the necessary equipment to get my own podcast up and running, I was wondering if posters would be kind enough to post estimates of the total costs of their setups. I've heard the $400-600 range thrown around (I think by Marc Maron and Jesse Thorn), and I'd like to know how that compares to the low-cost setups y'all are using. Also, if anyone has info regarding costs beyond just the hardware and software involved, that would be greatly appreciated. I'd be more than happy to relocate that discussion into another topic if that's more appropriate, but I thought I might as well check here first.

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Well you can spend £0 (assuming you already have a laptop) or £1000. The Collins and Herrin podcast - a massively popular podcast in the UK is recorded on a budget of £0 and is just folks talking. Obvious if you have more ambitious audio that won't work. I think you can get by with a Zoom H4N and the editing software that comes with - it's a great mic and you can expand on it/use it as a base for your recording work quite easily. I have no idea how much they cost where you are but the are worth it. So that would be .... £300 give or take (is that US$500? Maybe?).

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I personally use an Audio Technica AT2020 USB mic. Snowball mics are good, but I always felt goofy using them. The AT2020 looks like a proper mic and has great sound. You can get them on B&H for about $100 I believe. Of the other two guys on our podcast, one uses a AT2020 as well, and the other actually uses a decent dynamic mic, and it works surprisingly well.

All three of us are hundreds of miles apart from each other, so we do a Skype call and each of us records a track of just our audio using Audacity. Then we export to mp3 and put the files in a dropbox folder for whoever is going to edit the show that week. For editing we use Adobe Audition.

Audacity is great if you have some people on Macs and some on PCs. I have both, and have tried Garage Band and Soundtrack Pro for editing and I hated it. I like Audition so much better.

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I finally bit the bullet and got a Zoom H4n and two Shure SM48s. Now I just have to create some more content.

I use Audacity.

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Hey dudes!

 

I've been shopping for equipment for my upcoming podcast and need some advice on some accessories. So far I have:

 

5 Shure SM58s

Behringer 1204FX Mixer

and I'm going to buy a Tascam DR40 digital recorder

 

I was able to get all those for about 65% of cost via eBay.

 

My question is about pop filters and mic desk stands. Are there any pop filter brands/models you suggest? I've seen a few online that are very affordable but have mixed reviews.

 

As for mic desk stands...I've seen some stands in the $15-30 range new and I've also seen stands being sold separately as bases and mounts for 3 to 4 times the cost. I'm trying to keep overhead low and would appreciate some advice on a good stand.

 

Thanks for bearing with my questions! Excited to get everything together and start recording.

 

L

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My question is about pop filters and mic desk stands. Are there any pop filter brands/models you suggest?

 

If you're going budget, you can literally make some popper stoppers out of pantyhose and wire coat hangers. They don't look very professional but they get the job done just as well!

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If you're going budget, you can literally make some popper stoppers out of pantyhose and wire coat hangers. They don't look very professional but they get the job done just as well!

 

Very interesting alternative!

 

I don't mind buying them. Just mainly wondering if there is a particular quality that separates the $15-20 brand names I've seen from the $5 anonymous unbranded options on eBay.

 

Also wondering if mics, mixer & digital recorder are all the components needed to record. Some things I've read also discuss an interface to connect the mixer to a laptop but unsure if that is needed.

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