Audio 101


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Presentation by Paul Parkinson on podcasting from PodCampUK

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Audio 101

  1. 1. Audio 101 Just what is this audio stuff anyway? This is a two way conversation. Don’t be afraid.
  2. 2. Who me? <ul><li>Paul Parkinson </li></ul><ul><ul><li>45 year old fat bloke </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcaster </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Co Founder and (ex)editor Podcast User Magazine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I sell stuff for a living </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Treasury and risk management software. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If you have trouble sleeping I can tell you ALL about it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google:“parkylondon” and you’ll find me </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Audio 101 – what we’ll cover <ul><li>Getting a good quality recording </li></ul><ul><li>Equipment you can use </li></ul><ul><li>Formats </li></ul><ul><li>Software </li></ul><ul><li>Distribution </li></ul>Do you want to add anything? This is a don’t be afraid bit… Speak up!
  4. 4. Getting a good quality recording <ul><li>It doesn’t need a bazillion quids worth of gear to get a good recording </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But all those knobs look cool eh? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Garbage in – garbage out </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Once it’s recorded it’ll take a lot to make a bad recording sound good. If you’re lucky. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Practice at home. Then practice again. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Become comfortable with your equipment before you do anything important with it. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Getting a good quality recording <ul><li>Suggestions: </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t get too close to the mic. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The closer you are, the more bass will be picked up and the boomier it will sound (proximity effect). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Too far and thinner and weedy sounds will be picked up best. Practice with your voice and mic. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stay at the same distance while you are recording </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use pop filters and/or spongies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>pops and sibilence (p-p-p and s-s-s noises) are annoying to listen to and almost impossible to get rid of afterwards. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most microphones have a directional response </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most mics have cardiod (heart shaped) or similar response and so will sound great if you talk at the end of it, and will get quieter as you move away from the on-axis position. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use (closed) headphones. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Helps you hear how you sound – so you can adjust accordingly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Closed headphones reduce the chances of feedback (open ones spill too much) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Check your levels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Too low and you won’t hear anything </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Too high and it might distort </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Getting a good quality recording <ul><li>Oh - I nearly forgot </li></ul><ul><li>One more thing… </li></ul><ul><li>Press record! </li></ul>No, really. You’d be amazed how many brilliant recordings have been lost because the record button hadn’t been pressed.
  7. 7. Equipment <ul><li>From the sublime… </li></ul><ul><li>A £1 mic from the Pound Store DOES work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’ll be noisier when handled than a “proper” mic but it’ll do the job </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Your existing PC can record audio </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But make sure it has a sound card! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A cheap portable recorder (e.g. iRiver) will do for outside. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Equipment <ul><li>To the ridiculous… </li></ul><ul><li>Microphone </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hiel PR40 (dynamic mic) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A fully loaded audio PC </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Carillon </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pro soundcard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MOTU 896HD </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A “pro” portable recorder </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marantz PMD 660 </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. File Formats <ul><li>WAV </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the format you listen to when you play a standard music CD </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>72 minutes on a standard CD </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MP3 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>compressed files at a variety of levels – many hours on a standard CD </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There are others – but not today! </li></ul><ul><li>WAV files are better quality but take up more space </li></ul><ul><li>MP3’s are generally poorer quality but are smaller </li></ul>Which one you use will depend on your set up and what you want to do with it afterwards. It’s a balance between the two. AC3 · Apple Lossless · ATRAC · FLAC · iLBC · Monkey's Audio · μ-law · Musepack · Nellymoser · OptimFROG · RealAudio · SHN · Speex · Vorbis · WavPack · WMA · TAK
  10. 10. File Formats <ul><li>MP3 – bit rates, sample rates </li></ul><ul><li>Sample rates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How many times a second the audio is examined </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>44.1KHz is the norm here – the same as Audio CD </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bit rate: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How many segments the audio is split into when it is sampled (the resolution) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Available bit rates are 32, 40, 48, 56 , 64, 80, 96 , 112, 128 , 160, 192, 224, 256 and 320 kbit/s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Red are too low – too much lost quality (podcasting) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blue are too high – files get too big (podasting) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Greens are Just Right. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But your results may vary. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. File Formats <ul><li>MP3’s have the ability to store additional information in the file. </li></ul><ul><li>Podcasters - </li></ul><ul><li>Use. The. Tags. </li></ul><ul><li>Please. </li></ul>MP3 – ID3 tags
  12. 12. Processing <ul><li>Processing is what you can do to an audio file. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Editing (ummm errrrr / music / clips) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adding Effects (applause, ping, echo, reverb) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Removing Noise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compression </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volume management </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You can do it with hardware or software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Let’s see about the software…. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Processing <ul><li>Software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Audacity ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Freeware </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Multi OS/Platform </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Saves to WAV natively </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LAME encoder </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CastBlaster </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Low cost </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All in One Podcast Recorder </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Links to Podshow </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cockos Reaper ( / ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shareware </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Uncrippled unexpiring shareware </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>($40 for normal use, free download) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fully featured audio editor and multitrack recording </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>iTunes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Excellent MP3 conversion and ID3 processing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Free </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Live, Cubase, Logic, Acid </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expensive </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of features (but do you really need them) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Distribution <ul><li>Podcasting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PodShow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Free but puts ads at the beginning and / or the end of your show </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Libsyn </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Small charge. No ads. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>iTunes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Free but you’ll still need to host the file somewhere </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Distribution <ul><li>RSS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A whole presentation about RSS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not from me… :-D </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Really Simple Syndication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pulling the information to you </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. RSS in Plain English