Lord Admiral Card Club Blog

This weblog is a diary of the backstory to the Lord Admiral Radio podcast.

My Photo

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Anatomy of a podcast

We've published our April 24th show. Like most of our other shows it was done differently than previous episodes. This is because the total time it takes to do a show is still too long and I need to find a way to do this whole thing faster without compromising quality or content.

Quality is the tricky issue. Just when I think I have a piece of the setup down pat I start hearing blips or intereference. This past episode was a good example. I am still trying to track down the intereference we picked up.

This was how this week's show was recorded.

Part 1 - The Recording

I record my part of the show with a Samson C01 microphone.

The microphone plugs into Tascam US122.

For this week's show I had the Tascam plugged into my IBM T20 laptop via USB.

This week everyone was available via Skype - it is rare I can get anyone to my place to record.

I recorded Brent and Mark's section using Skype to Skype - each of them at home running the Skype software linking up with me. Mark's microphone is inexpensive and it comes out in his recordings. Brent's mic is a bit better and it sounded OK but we kept getting interference I can't put my finger on - some blips kept interrupting us. I could hear the blips out of the headphone from the Tascam so if the cause was in my setup it was somewhere in the mic/tascam/laptop.

Pauly and Joseph's sections were recorded Skype to Phone. That means I used Skype on my laptop to phone these gents on their phones. The sound was OK and I don't mind the drop in quality because these guys are being interviewed "from afar" and so the phone-sound makes sense.

The problem with Skype is recording the conversation is tricky. I've tried a few different ways and the easiest I've found is to patch the Tascam output into a second PC. This week it was directly into the Audigy on my desktop (in the past I've used Skype on the desktop and recorded on the laptop).

The desktop was running Audacity - which I have used as both my recording and mixing software until now. This week I only used it for recording.

Part 2 - The Mixing

Once all the segments were recorded and on the desktop I used Cubase to mix it all together. This was my first time using Cubase. I received the LE version free with my Tascam US122. Audacity was good for mixing and mastering - but Cubase is a true professional piece of software and it has a lot more power.

I must have spent four hours trying different sounds and methods when I mixed this week's show. I certainly didn't need all that time but I was enjoying using Cubase.

So, although our quality isn't perfect our show this week is out and I hope everyone enjoys it. I am proud of our work and grateful to all of our contributors.