Thursday, July 18, 2013

Podcast upgrades!

Well it's been a long time coming but my goal of having a portable podcast recording studio is finally coming together. Ever since myself and Shannon started The Whostorian, I've constantly wanted to improve the audio, to make it the very best that I can.  I'm finally getting everything squared away.
The original setup was my Toshiba A500 laptop  2 Logitech ClearChat headsets and recorded using Adobe Audition. It was that simple, or at least you think it would be. The first thing I learned about recording with the Logitech sets was that they were omnidirectional and picked up almost everything in the environment. I learned more than I ever wanted or needed to know about audio editing, and then some. How to take out echo, how to take out background noise, how to clean up voices. Way too many hours put into what was gonna be fun.

Soon the hunt began for new recording hardware. I spent a month looking at reviews of different microphones, comparing notes on features, USB vs. XRL inputs, learning about unidirectional and omnidirectional and the word cardioid. What ended up being the best and most economical choice was the Snowball Microphone by Blue. It’s USB, it’s plug and play, there’s no extra software to install and it works with almost every recording program you can think of. At the time I found a deal where I was able to pick up three of them for about half price, so I spent $150 instead of $300.

My faithful Toshiba A500 laptop was replaced a few months ago when I won a $1000.00 shopping spree from Staples (fill out those surveys). I got a new Toshiba L870 and a Yeti Pro Microphone by Blue  a good Sony Headset and a Behringer Mixer. I have to say I'm really, really impressed with the Yeti Pro. The first podcast that Shannon and I recorded blew us both away. But I wasn't finished and I'm not finished.

Today I added the next pieces of the puzzle, a second Sony Headset, a Belkin Multi Headset Splitter and an Audio-Technica AT2020 microphone. I now have two mics of awesome quality and I'm still building. By September I'll be adding another AT2020 and getting some good quality boom mic stands with shockmounts to better set the mics and prevent unwanted vibrations. 

I'm going to keep on building until I'm satisfied I think, and I'm never satisfied. It's all going to be the base setup for The Whostorian Podcast and I'll be offering the use of the equipment to friends who podcast and want a better sound. I'll also be using it for a video cast that I'll be doing, two or three of us sitting at a table with the mics talking like a radio booth setup, captured on a webcam. Barebones setup for a video podcast but it looks good and sounds good.

That's about it for now.

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