Podcamp Pittsburgh 3- Audio Techniques

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12 Techniques to improve the audio in your podcast.

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Podcamp Pittsburgh 3- Audio Techniques

  1. 1. Professional Audio Techniques Taking your Podcast to the next level By David Fisher (aka Tibbon) Twitter: @Tibbon 1
  2. 2. 12 practices to improve your audio (Mostly in the studio) Twitter: @Tibbon 2
  3. 3. aka.Your Podcast Sucks (well, just the audio) Twitter: @Tibbon 3
  4. 4. Who is this guy? • Guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, cello • Engineer: Taylor Barefoot Productions 2003-2005 • Music Business Management: Berklee College of Music 2006 • Jazkarta, 2007-2008, @natea’s company • GamerDNA, 2008-Present Twitter: @Tibbon 4
  5. 5. I am not covering: • Content • Distribution • How to push the record button Twitter: @Tibbon 5
  6. 6. 3 Instant Takeaways #1: Subscribe to a FREE subscription of TapeOp Magazine: http://www.tapeop.com/ 6
  7. 7. Global Crisis (Joke) Youtube Blip Attempts at ‘going viral’ Global Warming Videos Number of Poor Quality Audio Productions Twitter: @Tibbon 7
  8. 8. Ask questions Twitter: @Tibbon 8
  9. 9. Problem Solving Twitter: @Tibbon 9
  10. 10. Audio is Important! Twitter: @Tibbon 10
  11. 11. You will lose listeners! Twitter: @Tibbon 11
  12. 12. Quality? Twitter: @Tibbon 12
  13. 13. Quality • Clear • Noise-free • Natural • No distractions Twitter: @Tibbon 13
  14. 14. Examples of Quality • Howard Stern Show • NPR • TED Talks • Most Revision3 shows Twitter: @Tibbon 14
  15. 15. Examples of Poor Quality • Totally Rad Show • Problems: • Boomy • Too much room sound • Distracting noise • Sounds like recorded in a garage Twitter: @Tibbon 15
  16. 16. Where do consumers listen? • Mostly on headphones (65%) • Often on laptops (15%) • Sometimes on full range speakers (~10%) • Occasionally in the car (~10%) • All numbers are estimates* 16
  17. 17. 1) Quality Mics last a Lifetime • Mostly Condenser Mics • Dynamic Mics to Consider; SM-7B, RE-20 • Some bargains, but you get what you pay for • Beware of cheap ‘tube’ mics • Use Proper Technique, be mindful of proximity effect Twitter: @Tibbon 17
  18. 18. 1a) “Other” Mics • Shotgun Mics- Capture sound from a distance • Lavilier (Lav) mics- Often with wireless packs • Combine well together Twitter: @Tibbon 18
  19. 19. Shotgun Mics 19
  20. 20. 2) Use a Hardware Compressor • Optional! Software works too • Control Dynamics, Makes Sound Fuller • Does it right the first time, better workflow • As a downside, difficult to use in the field Twitter: @Tibbon 20
  21. 21. 2a) Channel Strips are cool • Combine hardware preamp, EQ and compressor • All-in-one package • Great values, again you get what you pay for Twitter: @Tibbon 21
  22. 22. 2b) Lunchboxes are cooler! • Modular chassis that allow you to insert module units such as a preamp, compressor, eq, etc. • Power connections/Chassis all in one • Save money, space, and ease of portability • Downside: No low end setup. Expensive but great value Twitter: @Tibbon 22
  23. 23. 3) Preamps Matter • Preamps amplify the signal level of the microphone to line level • Built in preamps are sometimes fine, but high quality external preamps are great! • All do the same thing, but like different methods of heating food all yield slightly different results • Don’t go overboard • In short: Most sound cards are insufficient Twitter: @Tibbon 23
  24. 24. 4) Treat a room • Acoustic treatment doesn’t make a room quieter or eliminate noise. • Do not over-deaden • Listen to this room. • Close Mic’ing technique will help overcome some room issues Twitter: @Tibbon 24
  25. 25. Takeaway #2: Two cool forums: Gearslutz (http://gearslutz.com) & Harmony-Central (http://acapella.harmony-central.com) 25
  26. 26. 5) Workflow is King • Use a Patchbay!!! • Do it right the first time • Have extras of common items onhand (microphones, cables, pop filters, mic stands, headphones) • Software only matters for workflow • Keep your workspace clean Twitter: @Tibbon 26
  27. 27. 6) Get a second set of Monitors • One ‘full range’ set (Mackie, Genelec, Dynaudio, Yamaha) • One ‘consumer’ set (NS-10, Auratone, Computer speakers) • One high quality set of headphones, use while recording. • Monitor controller/switch, headphone distribution Twitter: @Tibbon 27
  28. 28. 7) Use Popfilters • Helps with spacing from the microphone • Helps with Plosives • Clean them after sessions • The metal ones work better (Inside tip: can be found cheap if you look around) Twitter: @Tibbon 28
  29. 29. 8) Do Not Overdo Anything • Excessive level line gain (normally means bad gain staging) • Never Over-EQ (generally indicative of another problem) • Excessive gating and compression also is bad. • If anything is turned all the way up, you’re likely doing something wrong Twitter: @Tibbon 29
  30. 30. 9) Use Room Tone • Record room tone with all mics open, but no audio for 45 seconds • When you cut out a mic, replace it with its room tone. • Do not “Gate” audio. It makes things sound choppy. Replace with roomtone if you do this • Use Noise Reduction only if needed. Quiet the room, not the recording Twitter: @Tibbon 30
  31. 31. 10) Mix into a compressor • Use a high threshold, low gain makeup, fast attack, slow release, high ratio compressor (20:1) to mix into • You can even use two compressors (one more as a high ratio limiter, one as a low ratio compressor) • There are some good plugins for this, such as the Sony Oxford Inflator or the L2. Just don’t overuse it Twitter: @Tibbon 31
  32. 32. 11) Don’t Re-Compress Mastered Audio • When flying in audio for intros, do not re-compress/limit/eq the pre-mastered audio • It’s like cooking your food twice and simply makes it sound bad • This applies specifically to the compressors mentioned in step 10! Twitter: @Tibbon 32
  33. 33. 12) Find a good Audio Equipment Dealer! • Allows borrows/returns easily and without issues • Provides helpful problem solving • Truthful and doesn’t oversell • All equipment costs the same; Do not shop on price! Twitter: @Tibbon 33
  34. 34. Do Not: • Clip the signal • Record from a built in computer/camera microphone • Record unprepared 34
  35. 35. Takeaway #3: Tour a studio 35
  36. 36. Questions and Answers Time! • David Fisher • tibbon@gmail.com • Twitter: http://twitter.com/tibbon 36
  37. 37. Thank You 37

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