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International Podcast tech question - USA to England -

Discussion in 'Recording' started by naboolio, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. naboolio

    naboolio Active Member


    I have a podcast that I've just started recording. The sound is terrible though. I understand that sound is the most important aspect of any podcast.

    Here's my question.

    I google hangout or skype with a friend who is 5000 miles away. I've been using my internal mic to record everything. It's pretty awful.

    I just tried to use a soundbar speaker and push my friends feed out through the speaker into a USB mic.... again this was pretty poor.

    I'm getting there...

    I want to record his voice, my voice, sound effects and pre recorded audio in one go. How do I do this?

    I read about sound mixers but have no experience in this field. I saw some apps on Ipad but again no experience. I got some advice about buying a good mic that would filter out any background noise...again I'm not knowledgeable here either. I was also told about using headphones and mic but then I was concerned my overseas friends voice wouldn't even be heard?

    I just want to be able to record his feed, my feed and any add on audio at the same time with a good quality output and recording so I can upload a nice sounding podcast.

    I'm looking to do this fairly inexpensively, but am willing to spend a few hundred dollars....

    Any advice is massively welcome!!!

    Thanks again.

  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Barney! How are you doing? Welcome.

    You've got a lot of issues here that will not happen in real time. The latency in transmission time, along with processing time, prevents you from any kind of real-time musical collaboration. You did not indicate whether this podcast is spoken word, discussion comedy routine or musical collaboration?

    If you are trying to utilize the internal sound card on your computer. Along with trying to add real-time sound effects, you can simply utilize the Windows mixer applet. This mixer applet has 2 modes of operation. The first window that opens from a single click is simply the master volume control. A quick double-click gets you the output monitoring mixer. From the file drop-down menu of this mixer, you can access the input mixing control. When you have the input mixing control window open, go back and double-click the Windows mixer applet and the original first output monitor control window will also open. Then on your desktop, you will have both the input mixer and the output mixer displayed simultaneously.

    You will see that on the input mixer, which is controlling your input sources, can be generally selected to stereo mix output, instead of microphone, only. And then when you have a player program loaded with your sound effects, you'd be able to click play and not only would you be recording your microphone while also recording the wave output, which would include your microphone. So one mixer is balancing what input, you will be taking along with the overall master volume and the other mixer, we'll be blending your selected sources for the output mix to the podcast. So an outboard mixer may not actually be required?

    If on the other hand you have some outboard MIDI keyboard device you are using. And just want to take the audio output from that? You would assign that to the line input on your computer sound card while your microphone is obviously feeding the microphone input. And you do you using your first double-click Windows monitor mixer, to balance the microphone and line input sources with your friends wave playback of his return to you.

    Sometimes people want outboard mixers for the additional versatility of multiple microphones and instruments to create a real-time mix to be podcast. Or you might feel more comfortable with an analog style, radio control room set up? Just remember, everything costs money. So why bother to spend if you don't have to unless you want to? If you are trying to develop some kind of musical sound from your multimedia microphone? Well, that's bad. Can you use it for singing? Barely. This is where a studio style USB microphone would come into play. But the output of that USB microphone, then would be the only thing that could be fed to the podcast. So that you are back to square one. And that means no sound effects coming from your computer, directly or external musical instrument output. It would just be that USB microphone. If on the other hand, you obtain external professional USB audio interface from your local music store, you will be extremely limited.

    With an external USB mixer, anything going into that mixer, connected to your computer, could then be streamed in real time. To get your friends conversation off of the computer, a bit of computer rerouting, which will be kind of tricky would be required. You would have to assign the computer wave out to computers own internal sound card. You would take the line output, then from the computer's sound card to a line input on the USB mixer. The output of the USB mixer would be assigned as the input source as if it was a USB microphone for a podcast. Your headphones would be plugged into your USB mixer then also. And this would be the necessary loop through to accomplish what you want to do. And Behringer makes exactly what you need. And it's cheap. 100% great for your needs. Then you will also need an external microphone to plug into the USB mixer. And I would recommend a SHURE SM58 with an additional foam pop filter as it is a fabulous announcer and musical recording microphone. It rejects a lot of extraneous noise and can compete with $3000 German microphones. And that's no foolin'! And with all of the above, you would take your musical instrument output into an additional line level input on your USB mixer. Eh, Vlad! You now have a radio station, quality control room, and your podcasts will be of that quality level.

    Former NBC radio talkshow engineer.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. naboolio

    naboolio Active Member

    Thanks! Wow...it's a little overwhelming. I have a mac also... so probably adds even more trouble!!

    I had a look at the Behringer website and it looks like they have something I could use for around $150. Which is cool.

    Thanks again for your help. I really appreciate it.
  4. naboolio

    naboolio Active Member

    Is this going to help?

    Amazon.com: Podcaststudio Firewire Bundle: Electronics

    Im not sure i can record my international friend on it tho......

  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    That package deal is certainly usable and adequate. It should pose no real issues for you to record your long distance friend. A mixer is a mixer, whether it is a USB or FireWire device. That also goes for Thunderbolt and USB 2.0/3.0 devices. The mixer does the job of combining and balancing your mix. That's all it's for. The included internal interface of USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt, simply indicates how fast the data can be bidirectionally transferred to and from the mixer. With the higher speeds, comes the ability to utilize the CPU in your computer for effects processing in real time. Because USB 1.1 can barely squeeze four channels of audio through its hose, in one direction. So obtaining a mixer with a USB 2.0/3.0, FireWire or Thunderbolt interface can provide for real-time functions, you can't do with USB 1.1 devices. So if you want to hear your compression, EQ, reverb and other effects in real time, you must have a mixer with the faster interface capability. They are not building of facts into these devices. But what they are building into them is the highest speed data transfer rates to allow them to rely upon CPU processing for real-time effects that can also be monitored from the mixer via headphones, speakers. And with much lower latency. No matter what, you're still not going to be able to musically collaborate with anyone on the Internet. That's because electrons can't go any faster than light, and with digital latency and processing, along with long distances, you need faster than light speed. And we don't got that yet. And it will never happen. If Einstein was actually correct. So don't wait on your purchases. Time will pass you by.

    Time has passed me by as I will soon be 57 years young.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  6. naboolio

    naboolio Active Member

    Bless ya

    Thank you!

  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Musical collaboration is of course possible, but not in real time. Great services like Box and others allow you to work from the cloud, within the cloud. So you could be transferring files back and forth in order to accomplish a musical collaboration long distance. We can't do this in real time, unless we learn how to bend space-time. Somebody needs to wake Einstein up and ask him how to do that. So I'm holding my breath and waiting.

    One, two, three, four, five gulp. HMMMM? Maybe not?
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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