Image: Classic old radio 1960s or 70s style by Robert Ashworth. Feel like you can up and leave your city/town/shack for Chicago and ...Read More
Image: Roberts Revival Radio by Seb Lee-Desisle, CC generic 2.0 / via Flickr.
ALTERNATE TECHNOLOGIES, PRACTICE AND STUFF
Ahoy! Hope that the week of editing your work has treated you well. This week I thought we’d talk serial podcasting and different ways to record. Let’s kick off with by chatting to someone who has a real-life podcast in the making. Phill English is a writer, podcaster, science man and friend of Writers Bloc. We decided to talk about his podcast, Tim and Phill Talk About Games – and then we realised that we both have patchy reception in our respective cities, and that to organise a simple phone interview across states, we’d have to look at other options.
YAY TECHNOLOGY. We had a chat over Skype, which if the internet is kind to you will produce totally a-ok audio for broadcast (I’ve recorded both straight to my computer and into a studio computer, using Adobe Audition, before). I'm flagging here that I sound very far away, because I did not use my USB mic and just spoke straight into Skype on my desktop. Whoops! Have a listen to how Tim & Phill Talk Games is made, and Phill's advice for young’uns looking at podcasting:
THINKING OUTSIDE THE RADIO-BOX
One thing that you notice the more you delve into DIY podcasts is the variety of ways people record their voices. As Phill said, his work gets made through the use of a Mumble server, with podcasting mics at both ends.
These are some of the broad categories of podcast-recording methods, but hey, feel free to think of a zillion more:
- Recording straight into a professional studio and editing together later.
- Recording using a server like Mumble to hook people up in real time without delays.
- The magic that is Skype
- Speaking into a USB mic that’s connected to your computer and surrounded by egg cartons/studio foam.
- Recording straight into an iPad/phone/Macbook/zoom recorder/portable mic.
You have choices/you can control your life.
Podcast mics are a pretty good idea.
You can buy them from electronics places like JB, or from Amazon etc. There are a trillion reviews of different types out there, and the Blue Yeti is, as Phill says, pretty bloody popular.
I’ve also used a Samson Meteor mic for recording into a desktop (it is very adorable). These types of mics plug into your computer via USB, meaning they are super easy and will stop you sounding like you are recording inside a locked magician’s trunk. So there’s that.
NOTES ON EDITING, POLISHING AND PRACTICE
As Phill mentioned, if you embark on any kind of speaking project that involves more than one person, you’re going to need a certain amount of practice to get it right. With that in mind, it’s probably one hundred times better to record something you’re interested in, or something that you’d be thinking about even if you didn’t have a podcast project, because looking around at ALL OF THE OTHER options might make you a little bit insane.
Growing your podcast audience will probably also take a bit of time, which is probably an excellent thing, because if we’re talking about this as a ‘growth process’, then maybe you’ll look back and be delighted that your audience wasn’t huge when you were just figuring stuff out.
A word on the magic of free editing software.
Garageband is the obvious editing choice here, because if you have access to a Mac, surprise, you have it! Just like the U2 album you never wanted, except much more functional. Confession: I don’t use Garageband as my go-to editing suite. It’s super useful when you’re starting out and it’s available on every apple device, so it’s a great tool for this project – but if you have the time to Adobe Audition, or have access to free editing software Audacity, that’s excellent too.
Audition is a tricksy program that, like a lot of the Adobe Suite, has dictionaries written about its use.
Let’s recap Garageband basics super quickly, because some of our contributors have been fighting with it this week. I know this is kind of unhelpful, but basically, any direct question you have about this program, you can ask the internet for advice - this sounds dumb, but it is actually how I learned to use most of this software. There are thousands of tutorials, Youtube videos and advice from Apple.
To import a file:
You want to find your recording and drag it into Garageband, into the big open space for tracks.
Then you can start editing. Move your cursor over the bit of audio. The following bits are where you get started:
Split a piece in two: Edit > Split
Delete a piece: Edit > DEL
Cut a piece out to place it somewhere else in the recording: Edit > Cut.
Over the next week I'll link to some draft pieces and we'll bring it all together next Friday with some final tips. Email your Qs to us @ reviews[at]thewritersbloc.net.
You have until November 14th to get your pieces to us, and we have one more week of learnin', so check back here next Friday. You can find all the criteria and the recipe for success in week 1, here. Those .wav files get pretty sizeable, so share them with our email, firstname.lastname@example.org, via Dropbox. Good luck!
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Photo: Radio Debian by Alosh Bennett, CC Licence Attribution 2.0 generic. This is part III of Writers Bloc Makes Podcasts with All the Best. ...Read More