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 Post subject: Equipment Suggestions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:22 am 
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So here's what we used for the first podcast.

Production
Interviews via Skype
-I recorded my voice during the interviews with Audacity, guests did the same
-Guests sent their MP3 to me (64Kbps since it is just voice) afterwards
-I synced and EQ'd the separate recordings to produce each segment

Final mastering and sequencing of the show was also done in Audacity, EQ'd again as best I could, and exported to MP3 with LAME codecs.

My equipment:
Lenovo Thinkpad laptop
cheap RCA headphones
cheap Gateway mic

I would like to improve the audio quality as soon as possible, but don't really want to spend $100 or more for a mic...

So, can anyone recommend a cheaper, good quality microphone? Is there a better (free or cheap) option for production software?

I know we have some audiophiles in here - so speak up! You know that the show can sound much better - tell me how!

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 Post subject: Re: Equipment Suggestions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:17 pm 
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http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Sputnik.html


nono just kidding, but it is a bad ass mic



do you need 1/4" or xlr ?


and what type of mic ?


Last edited by opticledilusi0n on Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Equipment Suggestions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:19 pm 
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opticledilusi0n wrote:
http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Sputnik.html


nono just kidding, but it is a bad ass mic



do you need 1/4" or xlr ?


um, 1/8"? Maybe a 1/4" with a converter would work - I'm plugging into a laptop.

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 Post subject: Re: Equipment Suggestions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:52 pm 
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pawn shops are your friend, I picked up a behringer xm1800s for like $10, and it's got pretty damn good quality. I've found some pretty favorable reviews.

a mic straight into a PC isn't always the best, but it works fine. My behringer mic came with a cord that ends up as a 1/4 phono, and with a mono 1/4 to mono 1/8 you could easily hook to PC. most laptops usually only have a mono mic in, sometimes a stereo line in as well. I'm lucky enough to have a mixer that accomodates my mic and has high and low EQ knobs.

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 Post subject: Re: Equipment Suggestions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:19 pm 
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From a pure mastering standpoint, and considering you are using Audacity, I'd seriously suggest using the Normalize filter. Audacity is a very decent tool considering that it's free.

Normalize takes a recording and evens out the levels so everyone is consistently the same volume. It doesn't really degrade the quality as much as a lot of the filters tend to do. For the podcast I produce we actually only 1 recording (on my computer) over skype and I could explain the entire editting process in a rather short paragraph. We don't even have very decent mics.

If you're curious as what it sounds like, just pm me and I'll send a link over your way. Don't want to post it here as I'd rather not look like I'm needlessly promoting myself.

You can make recordings sound fairly presentable with very little effort in Audacity. Just have to know how all the little tools work. :) The only reason I'd suggest getting a higher end recording program is if you want something a little more reliable (Audacity can very rarely corrupt files) or would like to do some more hardcore editting (like removing a background noise like a siren behind someone talking).

As far as equipment goes, I just use a Logitech Precision PC Gaming Headset. It's 19.99 at Amazon right now. If you really want to go cheap and still want some quality, I'd highly suggest the pawn shop suggestion BUT be sure to pick up a pop filter. Your levels peak far too easily without one, especially if you aren't controlling the tone of your voice all that well. You actually can't use one with the microphone I have, but if you go the pawn shop route and end up getting some type of mounted recording or studio mic, a pop filter should work fine. I haven't priced them in a while, but I can't imagine a pop filter costs all that much.

The only problem with the way I record is that since my headphones aren't technically "cans" the audio from them actually gets picked up in the microphone. If you can get some that close over you're entire ear you'll be far better off.

But yeah, in short, find a cheap, used mic with a pop filter and get some closed-ear headphones. If you have any mastering questions with audacity, just poke me via PM and I'll try to help in what way I can. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Equipment Suggestions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:02 pm 
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audacity is such a good program, I use it to record mixed sets, and amplify everything prior to exporting/burning.

I just picked up some sennheiser headphones, I'm pretty impressed after the first use. I'll see next week if I can cue anything up with a PA blasting behind me.

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 Post subject: Re: Equipment Suggestions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:27 pm 
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dsheinem wrote:
um, 1/8"? Maybe a 1/4" with a converter would work - I'm plugging into a laptop.


check musiciansfriend.com

some of the behringer stuff isn't terrible (not mixers, especially not dj mixers.... ugh)

some of the nady's are ok

but the best part of musiciansfriend.com is that usually if you don't like it, they'll let you send it back


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 Post subject: Re: Equipment Suggestions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:32 pm 
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ah good, more amateur rappers


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 Post subject: Re: Equipment Suggestions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:33 pm 
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http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/pr ... 41785#used

is this worth getting for the price? Or could I do better with something not marketed specifically to podcasters. It's on the pricey side- could I get something similar for closer to $50?

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 Post subject: Re: Equipment Suggestions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:31 pm 
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Quiet Flight wrote:
ah good, more amateur rappers


I don't rap. well, sometimes i freestyle for fun but i'm definitely not a rapper. On the other hand, even though i hate the title, I'm a pretty decent DJ.

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