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Round Table Podcast Recording on Multiple Tracks

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Unregistered, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Hello Recording.org.

    I am trying to track down some information and this seems like a great place to start.

    I am trying to set up a podcast with some friends. We have 4 people.

    The goal is to have everyone on a microphone recording in a roundtable discussion where each person is on a separate track. We would like to all be recording the podcast at the same time. But for editing purposes and post we would like to have each person on a separate track.

    Lets assume we have an unlimited budget for this. (even though that's not the case). It seems very difficult in tracking down information on where to start with this.

    I have looked up information on Mixers. What we were thinking would be to set up a mini home studio with a mixer which takes in 4 Microphone inputs. And the mixer plugs in to the computer and we hit the record button on our audio software and it records 4 separate tracks. But it seems that because the mixer only has one input to the computer it is only sending one track?

    Can mixers take in multiple inputs and spit out multiple tracks?

    Other solutions we were looking at are microphones that record right to an SD card. And that everyone would have one of those (or 2 people might share one). Those tracks would be recorded separately and then we could put it all together in our software package.

    What kind of technical terms should I be looking at? Are there alternative solutions? The mixer seems so elegant, I'm disappointed it doesn't seem to work this way.

    Thanks very much for any help you guys can provide. Some sort of starting point to all this is great.
  2. RastaSean

    RastaSean Active Member

    Check out the zoom r16 and four dynamic mics like shure sm58. The r16 (now replaced with the zoom r24) has eight inputs and 16 tracks so it can record each person separately and be mixed down to a stereo track. The controller can also be connected to a computer and used with a DAW to act as an interface. This also runs on batteries and records directly to the SD card when used in stand alone mode.

    I would suggest obtaining some kind of headphone amp and four sets of headphones for everyone to have a pair. One thing the zoom r16 cannot do on its own is provide a special mix of a particular track but if you need to do that, you can use a small mixer.
  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    A more elegant (and still affordable) solution would be to purchase a compact mixer with Firewire- I suggest the Mackie Onyx 1220. This would provide you with the necessary interface to the PC or laptop as a recorder/mixer (which you'll need for the podcast, anyway). The 4 seperate mic channels each get fed to a seperate track in the DAW, where you'll be editing.
    The added advantage is that there are extra "stereo channels" on the mixer to bring in analog sources (music beds from CD/MP3 players and the like) if needed, and there are pre/post fader Aux sends on each channel to set up a monitor/phones mix.
    BTW, try to get 2 or more little SD recorders lined up (in time) when dumped into a DAW is a real PIA. Shure SM58's are really good vocal-range mics, and there really isn't anything better for less than their price ($100/pop). I have found that the Heil PR20UT ALSO works well for broadcast apps, and it has a more defined sound for spoken word, plus a bit tighter pick-up pattern. This is a good thing in your situation, where you want maximum isolation between mics and a minimum of "room sound" picked up. These mics are available from BSW at the same price as a 58. Of course, you can always go with the venerable E-V RE-20, if price is of no concern ($400/pop)..:)
  4. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    So the dude would have to have the computer, power, microphones, and Mackie Onyx 122 in order to do a podcast.

    Not sure how this is more elegant and I certainly wouldn't buy anything mackie.
  5. RastaSean

    RastaSean Active Member

    I guess elegant comes at the cost of complications and confusions. My setup does not require a computer interface during the recording but I'm not surprised a mackie snob is not pleased with the zoom since the zoom outperforms the mackie so easily.
    Of course any dynamic microphone would work but I good all around one that the op may already have is the sm58. I would recommend the re20 but I certainly wouldn't pay $200.
  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    First off, the OP stated:" Lets assume we have an unlimited budget for this"...He doesn't, but still...your suggestion wasn't the only one, don't get your panties in a wad, Rastaboy.
    BTW, I have a Zoom H4, it's great...for it's intended purpose- just like I'm sure the R16 is. You do any broadcast work? The Onyx is heads above in terms of headroom over what that little home recorder can handle.
    And as far as your snotty remark about the RE-20...That is THE standard in broadcasting and better quality podcasting...and if you can find me a few MORE to add to my locker for only $200, I'll gladly snap them up...
    Put that in your pipe and smoke it...
  7. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Hey Guys,

    First off I want to say thanks for the help! I'm hoping that you guys haven't killed eachother yet and might be able to help me along with a couple of noob questions.

    We're intending on buying a copy of Pro Tools for our project (yay for legit software). I've been using the software at home (cough under the table) to get used to the interface etc. Can this be used as a DAW? I've looked up digital audio workstations and these things are like hundreds of thousands of dollars to set up! While we're probably going to drop some cash on this project, we don't have enough to create a home studio!

    I also wanted to say thanks for the suggestions on the mics. The idea of going this way (as opposed to one mic in the middle of the room to pick up everyone) is so that we have control on the levels of each voice, but also that we eliminate the "room noise". We're gonna set up a couple of egg carton walls to help with some echo (for larger apartments), but we still want the ambient noise to be as quiet as possible.

    Lastly to clarify, both solutions (whether recording to an SD card via the Zoom r16 or the Mackie Onyx) record multiple tracks.

    In the zoom case, we record, put the sd card into the computer and out pops all the tracks associated with each input (mics in this case).

    And the Mackie plugs directly in to the computer and records via say Pro Tools on each input (mics) to an individual track.

    Thanks again for the tips and info!
  8. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Pro Tools IS a DAW...
    And the last time I looked, a computer is required to do a podcast, but maybe that's changed in the last few months...:)
    You're on the right track, just be careful about the egg carton thing, it's a fire hazard.
  9. Stiksandstones

    Stiksandstones Active Member

    Hello all, first post.
    I want to do something similar here to the op, but real quick, why does it seem some record their podcasts to the h4n, and not record the show to their computer?

    I had a h4n already from some video work I do, so I do have one...I was thinking to record the show to the h4n, but perhaps I should get a USB mixer and record straight to my Mac?

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