New Podcast kit has arrived…

We’ve recently been looking at updating our podcasting hardware with some new microphones. Follow a recommendation from Mr Whitaker (our chief audio tech guru/guinea pig) my kit has just arrived.
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This is a Behringer C-1U Studio Condenser Microphone with a Chord SM02 Studio Shock Holder, all mounted on a suspension boom scissor arm. When recording, I will also mount a pop screen on this mic.

Hopefully this will further improve our recording sound quality –Β we will be rolling this out to the Welsh Wizard in due course…

4 Comments on New Podcast kit has arrived…

  1. So the dulcet tones will just get richer…!

    (And if nothing else, it’s a new toy to play with.)

    Cheers

  2. Dave Blood // January 16, 2016 at 09:06 // Reply

    Nice! I’m not a big fan of Behringer, but in your situation, it’s a decent choice.

    You guys took a big step up in audio quality last time you did a gear upgrade, so this should be even better.

    Keep in mind, there are many factors that affect the end result’s audio quality. The equipment is only one of them. How you talk into the mic makes a big difference. Neil, you tend to have harsh sibilance (the high sss sound) so you might try talking “past” the mic, to the side, instead of straight on.

    Next, the audio you get from Skype or other software you use for remote presence is what it is. Not much you can do about that. But it’s compressed audio, which you then compress again when you make the final mp3 file – and that’s never a good situation. Not a lot you can do about that. BUT: The Secret Cabal podcast has excellent audio. They have 2 remote guys and the editor has them send him the raw wave file and edits that in, instead of using the Skype audio. It’s significantly more work, but that is one of the best sounding podcasts ever.

    Finally, the settings you use to make the final mp3 file are important. I mentioned this before, and you made a change, and it helped a lot. I’m not saying this needs work, just that you need to keep it in mind. You might edit the podcast, and it sounds great, then the mp3 compression might bring out problems the raw wave file didn’t have.

    Audio compression is a problem for everyone. The only real solution is to use a high bitrate on your mp3 file, but then your final file is bigger, which means bigger downloads, and more bandwidth costs. Finding the sweet spot is also time consuming.

    The podcast sounds much better than it did when I started listening in 2013. Making it even better is an exercise in money, time and effort. Do you put that effort into sound quality, or content quality? Ah, the dilemmas of a podcaster in 2016. πŸ™‚

    • fleetfootmike // January 28, 2016 at 22:40 // Reply

      Given the headaches of recording generally, we’ll probably stick with recording Skype at least short term πŸ˜€ Especially since for interviews we can’t rely on the interviewee being tech-savvy or possessed of nice kit (although one upcoming interviewee does own a nice Zoom recorder and offered to record their end without being asked!)

      I have, however, taught Neil how to use some of the nicer features of Audacity like noise reduction, which has helped πŸ˜€

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