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how to podcast

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Stiksandstones, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Stiksandstones

    Stiksandstones Active Member

    Hello all,
    I need help with what equipment to get to do a podcast.

    3 guys, in home studio.

    We will interview guests via Skype, sometimes in studio

    I want to be able to play sound bytes, music intros, sound effects during the show

    I'd love to have each mic record a separate track, so I can have isolated sound clips of the things they say...for the future.

    I just got some shure 58betas tonight from Craigslist, I have a h4n, what else do I need, mixer I assume? But debating on the USB types, I read somewhere to record to the h4n, because the on board computer sound card will not sound good?

    Please help, I've tried looking all over the web, and nothing is clear cut for what I want to do.
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    So you want to record 3 people at the same time on separate tracks.
    You have three mics or 1 and one H4n? or?

    What is your budget?
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The H4N can record 4 channels at 24-bit to its memory card, but when using it as a USB audio interface, I've not found a way to get more than 2 channels at 16-bit, even with the latest Win7/64 driver.

    When recording 4 channels, you would use its stereo pair of built-in mics plus two external mics (your Beta 58As) via the XLR inputs. Beware that the available gain before excessive noise is not huge on the H4N XLR inputs, so you would need to position relatively low-output dynamic mics like the Beta 58As quite close to the talkers.

    As an alternative to the built-in mics, you could use an external domestic-standard stereo mic with "plug-in power" via the 3.5mm jack. Going this 3.5mm route would probably lose you a little in audio mic quality, but you might see improvements in both sensitivity (over the Beta 58As on the XLR input) and positional directivity (over the H4N's stereo pair). Your Beta 58As are not suitable for the 3.5mm connection, but with appropriate 3.5mm jack wiring, a pair of mono mics such as clip-on lavaliers could be made to work.

    One thing you could consider is something like a Shure automixer, which automatically selects whichever mic input has a talker on it and presents that on a mono output. This could be connected to one of the H4N's line jack inputs. I have the SCM810 in my hire stock, which is an 8-channel version, but there is a 4-channel unit as well. They come up from time to time on Ebay pretty cheaply. The SCM810 gets used mainly for conferencing work, but for a chat show, you would have to train your speakers not to talk while others are talking, which may be very difficult.
  4. Stiksandstones

    Stiksandstones Active Member

    3 people chatting it up...the separate tracks is not mandatory, I just think it would help me pull bits of their dialogue for funny sound bytes, to be used in the show later on....but again, not mandatory.
    I want the hardware I need, not really looking at cost, but it is just a podcast, so don't need to get silly with purchases. I may not even use the h4n, I just already own one.
    I have 3 mics.
    From what I can gather, the Alesis multimix seems like a good choice for a mixer, the USB one? But I've heard I shouldn't record to the computer? Why? Does the audio suck that bad when brought in to computer?
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    In the light of your later post, I think you would be better off not trying to use the H4N but getting a low-cost 4-channel interface for the computer. The TASCAM US-600 or the Akai Professional EIE (which looks geeky, but probably works OK) would do the sort of thing you want, and you could have the Skype dialogue routed via the outputs of the interface.

    No real reason why you shouldn't be recording to the computer, but it would need to be a pretty fast one to cope with the internet traffic and 3-4 channels of recording simultaneously without major hiccups. You could split these functions across two lower-powered computers.
  6. Stiksandstones

    Stiksandstones Active Member

    That us600 would do what a mixer would do, only I would not get the effects, eq, and compression or preamps?
    But... I can do all this in software?
    Why do many of these podcast gurus say to not record to the pc?
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Your calling for a "mixer" and also "separate tracks" are not directly compatible at this level, although the Tascam has a built-in monitoring mix function. The computer software can also do a simple mix and send it back out again with only a small delay. A basic hardware mixer may have compression and other effects in the main mix path, but the effects are not going to be applied to the direct outs of individual tracks. This is assuming it had the capability of recording anything other than the main mix.

    The interfaces I mentioned have pre-amps, and would give you un-mixed individual recorded tracks, but with no effects, as you correctly pointed out. The effects could be applied when you came to editing out the bits that you wanted to keep or re-broadcast or whatever.

    I'm pretty sure the podcast gurus would want you to have a computer dedicated to podcasting and not tax it with recording as well. The tasks can be split, but, of course, you would have to use the soundcard output of the internet computer to listen to what was being Skyped to you and take that into one of the interface channels on the other computer if you wanted to record it. The audio interface on that computer would be responsible for reproducing a mix output for sending on to the remote Skype end.
  8. Stiksandstones

    Stiksandstones Active Member

    Well, I'm more confused than when I read those pod how to sites....shouldn't be this hard eh? Guess I'll keep plugging away.
    If anyone has a good how to site to list...let me know.

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