Production stuff

There have been comments on the production quality of the show, and while it’s not quite where I want it to be yet, thanks for the encouragement!!

Some have asked what the setup is, so I’d love to tell you all about my PowerBook, and the fact that everything is self-contained and all the nifty software I have running under MacOSX…

Thing is, I’m not using a Mac. I’d like to (really), but the $$ aren’t there to justify the investment. My lime-iMac G3 does sit on the studio desk (running OSX) and will be used for production notes & stuff, but it doesn’t have the ooomph to produce the show. So I’m using Gates-OS XP and a Dell desktop to do the dirty work.

In terms of recording equipment, I was in a good situation as we are using my home studio to record the show, so it wasn’t “What do we need?” it was more like “What don’t we need to use?”.

At first, I wanted to use everything, that’s what my music-recording background led me to do.. Then I started the “Do I really need this?” test on each piece… ending up with the setup we’ve used for the first two shows.

So right now, we’re using:

  • Shure SM-58 microphone (my mic from my live playing days)
  • AKG D-341 microphone (for AJ)
  • An 18 year old Radio Shack mixer, I wanted to use my 24-channel studio board, WAY more blinking lights, but that really would have been overkill.
  • a line cord from the mixer to the computer.

That’s it! Disappointing, isn’t it? I’m not using any of the outboard signal processing equipment for which I invested my hard-earned money. As the show progresses, I plan to bring some additional stuff in, like a phone-patch, or other thingies that may be cool.

Due to things like kids,work & life, AJ & I can only get together for a few hours a week at most, so we had to come up with a way to get as much recording done in the short time available. So, we record the show in semi-real time.. The talking bits are recorded straight through, I drop in the other stuff (tunes, fuzzy logic, intros & outros, etc..) during post-production (which I can do alone). If you’re familiar with voice-tracking (like many radio stations do now).. It’s kinda like that, but we’re not trying to pretend we’re local in both Montréal & Toledo.

The nice thing about recording this way is that we’re really free to talk about whatever we want, whenever we want. We don’t have to worry about fitting something into a 30min podcast, we just hit ‘record’ and go.

Once it’s production time, I sew the appropriate bits together in Audacity , and make the mp3 from there. I commute to work by train (about 90 mins/day) so I plop everything on my laptop and edit the show during the ride, unless I’m catching up on my podcast must-listen-to’s..

This of course, means some stuff doesn’t make it to the show.. Which is really cool because these good-yet-unused bits will make up our show during the upcoming festive season, or when one of us goes on holiday..

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3 Comments

  1. Jason says:

    Hmmm..we’re like Podcasting soulmates 🙂
    I also use a Dell, XP, and a Shure mic (but not for long.)

    Just wish I had a laptop with oomph…
    Hey, thanks for creating this backend. It’s nice to see everyone’s setup, and the trials they experience to get the show recorded and out to the masses.

  2. Anonymous says:

    OK, So I cant say anything about the set up – but the laptop seems questionable – no mention of it until the train ride!!

    Where did that picture come from?? Doesnt look like home to me

    Love ya

    Cat

  3. Bob says:

    The picture is in the studio, you just don’t recognize it because my desk isn’t hidden under mounds of paper & wires…

    Bob

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