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Kiwanda Kiwanda is offline
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Default Recs for office podcast studio?

Hi folks-

I've been reading the group for a couple of years and have built a
modest basement studio based on your collective wisdom, in which I
record a basic rock ensemble just for kicks. Now I've been asked to
help produce a podcast for work and need some advice about gear and
software on a budget. The podcast will be recorded in less-than-ideal
conditions (likely in an office or small lab space and in the field
occasionally) and will most likely never require more than two mics.
I've looked at packages sold by Swee****er and BSW, but thought I'd
come to you for advice on the following:

--softwa considering N-Track, Kristal Audio, and Audacity because
I've used them (esp. N-track). Others?

-mixer/preamp/interface: I use an Echo card and outboard mixer at
home, but was thinking something like the M-Audio Fast Track Pro (or
similar USB interface) would be easier/cheaper/more portable for work

-mics: I have a variety of Chinese LDCs, a couple of SM58s, and a set
of drum mics at home...no idea at all what to use for simple voice
recordings on a budget though. Cardioid dynamics? I'd like a pair for
$200 or so if possible.

-mic stands/booms: for desktop use

-portable field recorder: a flash-based unit like the Edirol R-09?

-anything I've overlooked? (not counting things like monitors, cables,
headphones, etc. that we have already)

I'd like to get this all set up for $1500 or so if possible.
Everything has to be simple enough that I can quickly train college
students and non-technical faculty in basic operation (I'd do the
editing/production or train a student), and it has to be portable
enough to store quickly when not in use. My guess is that it would be
used perhaps once a week for eight months of the year, possibly less.

Any advice you can offer would be most welcome.

regards,

Derek

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Arny Krueger Arny Krueger is offline
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Default Recs for office podcast studio?


"Kiwanda" wrote in message
oups.com...
Hi folks-

I've been reading the group for a couple of years and have built a
modest basement studio based on your collective wisdom, in which I
record a basic rock ensemble just for kicks. Now I've been asked to
help produce a podcast for work and need some advice about gear and
software on a budget. The podcast will be recorded in less-than-ideal
conditions (likely in an office or small lab space and in the field
occasionally) and will most likely never require more than two mics.


One of the hidden agendas related to podcasts seems to be that they are
coded down to incredibly low bitrates. This means that SQ as we know it is
endangered at best. A number of the podcasts I've heard lately were so
mangled in the encoding step that captured audio from online videos sounded
better. My point being that spending beaucups moolah on SQ is probably not a
rewarding idea.

I've looked at packages sold by Swee****er and BSW, but thought I'd
come to you for advice on the following:


--softwa considering N-Track, Kristal Audio, and Audacity because
I've used them (esp. N-track). Others?


Audacity is more than adequate for the task at hand, and is freeware.

-mixer/preamp/interface: I use an Echo card and outboard mixer at
home, but was thinking something like the M-Audio Fast Track Pro (or
similar USB interface) would be easier/cheaper/more portable for work


If you really want portable, why not get a Microtrack?

-mics: I have a variety of Chinese LDCs, a couple of SM58s, and a set
of drum mics at home...no idea at all what to use for simple voice
recordings on a budget though. Cardioid dynamics? I'd like a pair for
$200 or so if possible.


While it is not my favorite, SM58s are *the* classic vocal mic.

-mic stands/booms: for desktop use


Whatever.

-portable field recorder: a flash-based unit like the Edirol R-09?


-anything I've overlooked? (not counting things like monitors, cables,
headphones, etc. that we have already)


I'd like to get this all set up for $1500 or so if possible.
Everything has to be simple enough that I can quickly train college
students and non-technical faculty in basic operation (I'd do the
editing/production or train a student), and it has to be portable
enough to store quickly when not in use. My guess is that it would be
used perhaps once a week for eight months of the year, possibly less.


Any advice you can offer would be most welcome.


You really don't have to spend a penny, I don't think.

All you really need is some way to match your SM 58s up to the line input of
your computer. Small Behringer mixer, Audio Buddy or Rolls MP-13 anybody?


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Kiwanda Kiwanda is offline
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Default Recs for office podcast studio?

On Apr 19, 8:54 am, "Arny Krueger" wrote:
"Kiwanda" wrote in message



You really don't have to spend a penny, I don't think.

All you really need is some way to match your SM 58s up to the line input of
your computer. Small Behringer mixer, Audio Buddy or Rolls MP-13 anybody?


Thanks Arny-- good advice. But the operative word here is "your," in
that I don't want to use my personal gear for the work project. Since
I have a budget to draw on, I guess I want to know what would be the
best route for these circumstances. A pair of SM58s, and a MicroTrack
might be just the trick-- and less than 1/3 of my budget --so I'll put
them on the list of possibilities.

regards,

Derek

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Richard Crowley Richard Crowley is offline
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Default Recs for office podcast studio?

"Kiwanda" wrote ...
I've been reading the group for a couple of years and have built a
modest basement studio based on your collective wisdom, in which I
record a basic rock ensemble just for kicks. Now I've been asked to
help produce a podcast for work and need some advice about gear and
software on a budget. The podcast will be recorded in less-than-ideal
conditions (likely in an office or small lab space and in the field
occasionally) and will most likely never require more than two mics.
I've looked at packages sold by Swee****er and BSW, but thought I'd
come to you for advice on the following:

--softwa considering N-Track, Kristal Audio, and Audacity because
I've used them (esp. N-track). Others?


Something easy to train people to use properly.
Some fancy multi-track application intended for
music production may be overkill and a training
nightmare. For just "tracking" (doing the original
recordings with amateurs), you might even consider
something nice and simple like "Total Recorder".
www.highcriteria.com Price is up to $17!
Then you can edit/mix/convert with whatever software
you like best.

-mixer/preamp/interface: I use an Echo card and outboard mixer at
home, but was thinking something like the M-Audio Fast Track Pro (or
similar USB interface) would be easier/cheaper/more portable for work


I agree that a USB-based solution is most flexible.
OTOH, you can plug a "computer mic" right into
the mic input connector. No muss, no fuss. For
"podcasting" it is sufficient quality, IMHO.

-mics: I have a variety of Chinese LDCs, a couple of SM58s, and a set
of drum mics at home...no idea at all what to use for simple voice
recordings on a budget though. Cardioid dynamics? I'd like a pair for
$200 or so if possible.


As Arny observed, the quality of most "podcasts" makes
almost any $5 "computer microphone" sufficient. Don't
go overboard. A rugged utility dynamic like one of those
Shure SM things seems like plenty good enough to me.
OTOH, those Shure SM things are likely attractive targets
for theft by garage band hackers. I would try a cheap
$5 "computer mic" before commiting to anything worth
stealing.

-mic stands/booms: for desktop use


If you have a fixed location in your office, folow the lead
of radio stations who use those articulated arms. I have
bought several of these from a guy on eBay and they are
good. He always has several available. Name: "cdpeddler"
An example of a current item is eBay # 290105416542
$40

-portable field recorder: a flash-based unit like the Edirol R-09?

-anything I've overlooked? (not counting things like monitors, cables,
headphones, etc. that we have already)

I'd like to get this all set up for $1500 or so if possible.


You should be able to assemble 2 or 3 of them on that budget.
(assuming you already have the computer, etc.)

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Arny Krueger Arny Krueger is offline
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Posts: 17,262
Default Recs for office podcast studio?


"Kiwanda" wrote in message
ups.com...


Since I have a budget to draw on, I guess I want to know what would be the
best route for these circumstances. A pair of SM58s, and a MicroTrack
might be just the trick-- and less than 1/3 of my budget --so I'll put
them on the list of possibilities.


There's a tendency for podcasts to be coded at *really low* bitrates. One
common artifact of that kind of encoding can be a lot of splattering of
sibillants and crisp sounds. IMO, better to moderate them then encrust them
with a lot of trash. Now the SM58 has a lot of that kind of coloration, so
you might want to do as much low pass filtering as you can get away with,
and still not have a dull-sounding file. Audacity has a FFT filter that
implements the frequency response curve that you draw.

A funny sidelight - my Microtrack came with a copy of Audacity. Given that
Audacity is freeware, I didn't exactly get a big thrill. ;-)

OTOH, if this means that M-Audio is funneling some cash to the deserving
parties who are developing and supporting Audacity, then it would make me
feel a little better.


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