Monday, 21 June 2010

Editing the Full Circle Podcast #2: Recording

Continuing the series of posts on how we record and edit the Full Circle Podcast...
 
(In case you missed it: Part One - Preparation)

Part 2: Set-up and recording.
The kit at my end in 'podcast central':

I use a Behringer C1-USB cardioid mike for that lovely BBC Radio-4 quality. It plugs directly into USB on the laptop and is phantom-powered through USB...

I have this on a semi-sprung mike stand - actually it's my old angle-poise lamp which I customised as a multi-mike stand. This is clamped to the window-ledge NOT the desk. That way I don't transmit noise and vibration up the mike stand into the mike. It's also fully adjustable for position.

Most importantly I have a pop-filter to catch those breathy sibilants and consonants that spike the audio waveform and distort the sound. I work very close to the mike so this is essential.

My pop-filter is home-made from coat-hanger wire with the foot of nylon-tights stretched over it (I didn't tell them in the shop what I wanted the tights for.) The pop-filter clamps to the stand with mini-clamps so I can adjust the position mike position.

My recording station is the Dell 6400 laptop. This is audio only, not video editing, so an Intel Dual-Core with 2 gig of memory is fine.

Conference Recording
We currently record the panel segments of the podcast every two weeks. The day and time varies according to when we can all get together.

As we are geographically spread, the panel segments have to be recorded using Voice Over IP. Until we find a more reliable alternative, that means Skype, with Skype Call Recorder.

So in order, I launch Skype Call Recorder, launch and sign-in to Skype, start the conference call.  Call Recorder kicks in and starts recording medium-high quality Ogg files in 16 kilohertz mono audio.

For Episode #8 we all recorded so I could splice 3 recordings together to get better quality. It partially worked.

The recording quality on Skype can be extremely variable; not only can skype be rubbish, but the participants broadband connection, ISP throttling and their own recording set-up impacts the sound. Drop-out and latency is my enemy.

I usually take pot-luck and resign myself to fixing what I need in the edit.

While we record I am on the lookout for a quirky, but relevant episode title, taken from the on-air comments.

[Next, the meat of the topic: editing!]  RC