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     Home »  Doctor Who: Podshock »  Podcasting Setup
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    Podcasting Setup Views: 7993
     Monday, October 10 2005 @ 03:13 PM EDT
    Hi there, I am a Doctor Who fan from way back, and I'm really enjoying hearing you all talk about the new series (although being in the U.S., I still haven't seen it).

    I listen to a lot of podcasts, and I really like the quality of the podshock audio.

    I've been thinking about doing some podcasting of my own, and I was wondering if you could post somewhere your podcasting setup...

    Thanks!
    Tim

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     Monday, October 10 2005 @ 08:45 PM EDT
    Hi Tim,

    Glad to have you on board and I am happy you are enjoying our little podcast.

    The setup we use for recording Podshock is nothing all that special, it basically consists of 2 Shure (SM58) microphones and 1 Sennheiser (E835 I believe, but I am not 100% certain now) microphone, an M-Audio MobilePre USB (pre-amp and audio interface), pumped into either an Apple Dual G5 PowerMac or G4 PowerBook in the US and in the UK it's either a G4 PowerMac or G4 PowerBook. Those are the essential hardware elements (outside of headphones, cabling, booms, etc.). I could go into the software side of it, but it would dependent on what platform you are using, Mac, Windows, Linux, etc... Basically we use Skype for calling out of the area (to the UK and/or anyone else not in the studio), record the local audio in GarageBand, record the audio from Skype, mix and edit it in GarageBand. We've done it other ways in the past, some which are easier in post production, but lack some the editing options and control. There are also different tools for encoding the audio to the Enhance Podcast AAC format and non-Enhanced MP3 format.

    It comes down to a hodgepodge of different software and hardware to finally create the end result that is distributed on the feeds and here on the site.

    Keep us posted on your podcast. Let me know if we could be of any further help.

    Oh, and don't let residing in the US stop you from seeing the new series. There are always other options... for example, if you don't want to wait for the new series to be broadcast here or for the release of them on DVDs here in the US, you can always get the UK versions of the DVDs (region 2, PAL versions)... they won't play on your ordinary DVD player and TV probably, unless you get a region-free system, but that costs money, you can always view the discs on your computer using software such as the VLC player (see the link in our Tech links in the Links section of our web site here).

    Good luck.

    Cheers,
    Louis

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     Monday, October 10 2005 @ 10:34 PM EDT
    Ah, that all makes sense to me. Thanks for the info, Louis!

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     Tuesday, January 10 2006 @ 05:07 PM EST

    Louis,

    I think the iLife '06 upgrade should make some of this stuff a little more seamless...

    Taras

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     Tuesday, January 10 2006 @ 09:47 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  tarashnat]
    Louis,

    I think the iLife '06 upgrade should make some of this stuff a little more seamless...

    Taras


    I am drooling for the upgrade... I will probably pick it up tomorrow. Though I am still unsure of all the new features of GarageBand 3... I saw the whole Keynote address (as usual) but the web site has been really slow all day today (because millions of people are trying to access it all at once)... In fact, as I write this message, I can not even access apple.com at all now.

    By Apple making podcasting so much easier for the average user, there sure to be a big influx of new podcasts popping up...

    Anyway, yes, the new version will probably allow for less applications to be used to process and edit and so forth. Just the ability to clean up the audio itself in GarageBand should be cool.

    I can't wait... I just hope it does not introduce any new limitations and I hope some of the old limitations of the software are either removed or expanded in this new version.

    Cheers,
    Louis

    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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     Tuesday, January 10 2006 @ 11:05 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  Louis] I am drooling for the upgrade... I will probably pick it up tomorrow.

    I am drooling as well. Especially over the MacBook Pros. I think I'll also pick up the iLife upgrade at the SoHo Apple Store tomorrow.

    Taras

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Wednesday, January 11 2006 @ 03:06 AM EST
    I too plan on stopping by the Apple store tomorrow (technically today, Wednesday) to pick up my upgrade to iLife '06.

    Tonight, I watched the Keynote for the second time... Yes, the MacBook Pro is drool-worthy to say the least. If my PowerBook was already in such great condition... I would think about upgrading it... but I can hold off... It still serves my portable needs. But since Steve stated that the entire line will be replaced with the new Intel Core Duo systems by the end this calendar year... I can't wait to see what's in store as far as what will replace the Dual G5 desktop tower system that I call my home-system today.

    Across the board, all the new offerings showcased today in the Keynote are very impressive. I can't wait to get my hands on GarageBand and iPhoto in the new iLife '06 package. It's funny, before I started podcasting, I would hardly ever use GarageBand... it was the least used app in my iLife suite... Yet now it is the most anxiously awaited app for me in the new upgrade to with it's new features.

    Cheers,
    Louis

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     Wednesday, January 11 2006 @ 04:57 PM EST

    They had none of the new stuff in the SoHo Apple Store, so I ordered iLife '06 online. Cry

    Taras

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     Thursday, January 12 2006 @ 03:32 AM EST
    [Quote  by:  tarashnat]
    They had none of the new stuff in the SoHo Apple Store, so I ordered iLife '06 online. Cry

    Taras


    Sorry about that... The Roosevelt Field Apple Store had plenty of iLife '06 in stock, but no iWork '06. They had the new packaged .Mac on sale too... But I already have that. So I picked up iLife '06 tonight and then figured I could just order iWork '06 over the net... This is because I want to get a copy of Keynote for a presentation I am doing in a few weeks. But when I opened up iLife '06 they included the iWork'06 in it as well, as a trail version for 30 days... so this works out well for me.

    I haven't checked out everything yet... I mostly played with iPhoto and GarageBand... and I am very pleased with both so far.

    BTW, I did not see any new iMacs with the Intel Core Duo at the Apple store yet... or at least they were not labeled as such, I didn't actually go to each one and check it out...

    Cheers,
    Louis

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     Friday, January 13 2006 @ 08:03 PM EST

    I got my iLife '06 today! I probably should have gone in the evening, instead of during my lunch hour on Wednesday... oh, well. I'll see how everything works, and finally take a close look at Garage band.

    Taras

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     Sunday, January 15 2006 @ 01:14 AM EST
    [Quote  by:  Louis] I haven't checked out everything yet... I mostly played with iPhoto and GarageBand... and I am very pleased with both so far.

    BTW, I did not see any new iMacs with the Intel Core Duo at the Apple store yet... or at least they were not labeled as such,

    I am playing with GarageBand a bit now, and am liking it a lot. I bought a mic and a desktop mic stand to hook up to an old mixing board (a Radio Shack SSM-100) and feeding that via an iMic to my dual G5 tower. I really like the way GarageBand is set up in this version. I haven't really used the previous versions much, but can see myself playing with this one.

    I don't think the stores will have the iMacs until later in the month.

    Taras

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     Sunday, January 15 2006 @ 03:33 AM EST
    Cool Taras!

    Thanks for your submission using the latest GB... I've toyed around with the newly upgraded GarageBand, but the real test will be when we put together our next podcast. I am hoping that making the Enhanced version will be easier, I just hope everything I was able to do previously is included...

    Good work once again on your Big Finish audio review...

    Cheers,
    Louis

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     Sunday, January 15 2006 @ 04:45 AM EST

    Thanks, Louis!

    The new GB makes creating an enhanced Podcast a breeze. At least for the tiny snippet I made. The one thing I couldn't figure out is how to get an image into GB without getting it into iPhoto first... well, I guess that is what tutorials and manuals are for.

    I've listened to almost the whole range of Big Finish's audio range over the last 13 months, when I got my first batch from one of the mail order firms here in the States. I liked many of them, and only disliked a few. But that could be a topic for another thread.

    Well, I just salted the sidewalk for the snow... time to finally hit the hay.

    Taras

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     Monday, January 16 2006 @ 09:25 AM EST
    [Quote  by:  Louis] I've toyed around with the newly upgraded GarageBand, but the real test will be when we put together our next podcast. I am hoping that making the Enhanced version will be easier, I just hope everything I was able to do previously is included...

    So Louis, how does GB3 compare to the previous version in putting together Podshock 21? Any quirks? Or was it so easy, that you was able to get this episode out first thing Monday morning with no problems? Smile

    Taras

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     Monday, January 16 2006 @ 04:10 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  tarashnat]
    So Louis, how does GB3 compare to the previous version in putting together Podshock 21? Any quirks? Or was it so easy, that you was able to get this episode out first thing Monday morning with no problems? Smile

    Taras


    Actually, for this episode (#21) several pieces of our setup had changed. Ken is using a new microphone (which I don't have the specs for now, but it is a real nice professional studio mic), and I am using different software to capture James' audio feed as well. The most significant from my perspective for post-production is the new Podcast Studio within GarageBand 3 now. Overall, no real major road blocks were encountered. Obviously, there was some road bumps on just learning exactly how all the new features work together.

    Just to see how well it worked, we tried out the new iChat capturing featuring built into GB3 now... It only works with an audio conference (it won't grab the audio from a from a video conference), and even though we already had tracks set up to record myself and Ken, it ignored those and set up a new track automatically for me and one for James who was conferencing with, and excluded the others -- which may have been fine if I was the single host of the show or I was doing an interview with someone alone... but I didn't like the fact that it automatically excluded other recording tracks.

    If you choose to save with an "iLife preview" option (new to this version), it will create a mix-down each time you save your work, which for a long podcast such as ours, takes a loooong time to save because of the mix-down process. Next time, I will forgo this option.

    There is no way to process and filter one audio region, you have to do the whole track or nothing... I wish there was a way to just modify regions within a particular track.

    The option to export the finish audio as an AIFF to iTunes is now missing (at least in the Podcast Studio). Previously I relied on this to create the MP3 version so I can compress to MP3 from a loss-less source.

    When editing the Enhance Podcast features (chapters, chapter artwork, URLs, etc.) there is no option to use previous chapter's entries. So even if the next chapter uses the same artwork, you have to re-import the same file for that chapter. The same goes with URLs, chapter titles, etc.

    Perhaps some of this will be addressed in future updates or upgrades. We shall see.

    It was nice to edit the audio and the Enhance Podcast features all within the same application. Though it is still a time intensive process.

    Overall, I am pleased with it... It is definitely a move in the right direction and is addressing a big need for podcasters.

    Oh, the ending product... the final mix-down seemed to have a more consistent audio level, but I think I hear a slight distortion... I will have to do some comparisons to be sure.

    On a final note, I may have seemed a bit quiet in this episode (21), that was mostly because due to all the new pieces in our setup this week, I was carefully monitoring everything and making adjustments on the fly while recording... So unfortunately, in hindsight there was much I wanted to cover and add to the discussions in this episode, but my attention was a bit divided.

    Cheers,
    Louis

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