New iOS Podcasting Workflow

Since I began podcasting in 2006, I've been using a variety of methods to record audio, both in the studio and remotely.

I use Macs exclusively and my experiments have included full simultaneous multi-track recording in Garageband using a Firewire mixer, to simply using a conference phone and a pocket recorder to capture phone interviews.

I finally settled upon Audio HiJack Pro for both local and remote recording as the software enables me to capture both sides of a Skype conversation in a single audio file.

This setup worked great for years with only minor hiccups. Finally, a few weeks ago, I had some weirdness occur in this setup and I lost an entire 90-minute episode.

For whatever reason, the Skype connection dropped. We immediately reconnected and everything sounded fine during recording. However, when I played the file back, the audio coming from the studio mics from that point forward was completely garbled. (My caller sounded fine, which was even more strange.)

Sure, we had a good conversation - in fact, it would have been a great episode -  but I wasted everyone's time by not having a better solution for monitoring the audio.

Fixing It

To say that I have a few gadgets in my studio would be a gross understatement so I decided to take stock of my gear and pull together a simple, reliable method for capturing local and remote audio.

Here's the result.

Video Rig Updated to include FujiFilm Finepix HS10

Click to EnlargeI love my Kodak Zi8 just a little bit more than my Zi6 for one simple reason: the audio input jack.

It helps create a simple, lightweight video rig for interviews that I like to get at conferences and events. Using my Zoom H4 portable audio recorder as an audio mixer, I can connect a couple of mics using the XLR jacks and connect them directly to the Zi8 using a standard 1/8" stereo jack.

Click to Enlarge 

The only downside to this setup is the width of the shot - in close quarters it's too tight, requiring me to occupy lots of precious space on exhibit hall floors.

I've tried to counter this with the addition of a wide-angle lens adapter. While it does indeed widen the shot, items on the outer edges can be blurred which makes your interview subject look terrible.

For example, check out this video of FanFeedr Chief Revenue Officer, Ben Lar Marca being interviewed by Craig Calder:

Making Skype Comfortable

I use Skype. A lot. Not only do I use it as my office phone, but I use it to record remote callers for podcasts, so the quality needs to be really good. The best way to accomplish this is usually with a good USB headset. Usually. I've gone through more USB headsets than I… Continue reading Making Skype Comfortable

The Strategies and Tactics of Show Prep

Unlike Kris and Betsy, for most of us, life isn't show prep. It's actually real work. I have some basic concepts that I consider during show prep, production and post-production. I want to minimize post-production. It's a time suck and some people can really get obsessive about it (ahem...). You want to produce the best… Continue reading The Strategies and Tactics of Show Prep

How to Create Great Media at Conferences and Events

Conferences and other events can be great opportunities to connect with thought leaders in your industry and create buzz around your attendance while you're there. One way to do this is to capture audio and video interviews with influentials while you're there and post them in your blog, web site, podcast or on YouTube and… Continue reading How to Create Great Media at Conferences and Events

“What’s wrong with Vinnie from Lawn Gyland!?”

These guys have forgotten more about the game of football than I'll ever even understand. You can listen to them on the BlogTalkRadio Fantasy Sports Channel.(Yes, I work for BlogTalkRadio and no, I really don't follow football - but it's still pretty cool to have a video like this on WSJ.com. I'm impressed with the… Continue reading “What’s wrong with Vinnie from Lawn Gyland!?”