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Four Person Podcast Recording

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Jason Jenkins
Four Person Podcast Recording
on Jan 25, 2015 at 4:35:30 am

I've got a gig recording a weekly podcast for two to four people each time. I'm starting off with equipment that I already have or could quickly get ahold of. The plan over the next few weeks is to get them set up with their own equipment and train them to use it, then move to an audio-editing-only role.

What I've got for the first podcast is four inexpensive omni lav mics running into a 4 channel mixer and outputting to a Marantz digital audio recorder. For the the future, I'm looking at something like the Roland/Edirol R-44 which is a mixer and recorder. Simpler than having two pieces of equipment.

As far as the mics go for the future, what would you suggest? They are not worried about high end quality and don't have a huge budget. The recordings are taking place in a typical conference room. Ease of use is paramount when they are running the system themselves.

Would it make sense to have a headphone splitter and put them all in headphones while they record? Somebody has to monitor the audio if I'm not there. I'm thinking that having them all in headphones would make the whole thing feel more radio-show-ish and keep them energized through the 30-45 minute discussion. The problem with lav mics is that they don't give you that I'm-on-the-air feel that you get with a big mic stuck in your face. :)

As far as I know, only one of the podcasters has any radio/mic experience.

Thanks for the input!

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Four Person Podcast Recording
on Jan 25, 2015 at 6:14:29 am
Last Edited By Richard Crowley on Jan 25, 2015 at 6:16:40 am

The Edirol R-44 is nice. I have one. It would do a good job recording the production, but there is one caveat you should consider. It is rather "old school" in that it uses a CF card (or internal hard drive which must be downloaded via USB). CF is rather an old medium and I would not want to commit to that if there are more convenient options.

For example, the new Zoom H-6 records to SDHC cards which are available everywhere and an order of magnitude cheaper than equivalent CF. I have used it for a couple of broadcast TV series and it performs quite well.

The show is 4 guys sitting around a table for 13 one-hour episodes. We used Countryman lav mics hidden in the guys' shirt collars. Because the table was so small (~1m square) we get a lot of leakage between the mics which is problematic in post mixdown.

My choice would be to have them use headset mics. That would keep the mics in optimal position no matter whicn direction they are looking. Especially if they have no previous experience on-mic. Consider something like the Audio-Technica BPHS1.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003D87JI2


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Four Person Podcast Recording
on Jan 25, 2015 at 6:54:15 am

[Richard Crowley] "The Edirol R-44 is nice. I have one. It would do a good job recording the production, but there is one caveat you should consider. It is rather "old school" in that it uses a CF card (or internal hard drive which must be downloaded via USB). CF is rather an old medium and I would not want to commit to that if there are more convenient options."

They must have updated it, because the one here: http://www.dvestore.com/audio/recording-devices/roland-r-44-solid-state-4-c... records to SD or SDHC and has an OLED screen.

[Richard Crowley] "My choice would be to have them use headset mics. That would keep the mics in optimal position no matter whicn direction they are looking. Especially if they have no previous experience on-mic. Consider something like the Audio-Technica BPHS1."

Those headsets looks pretty nice!

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Ty Ford
Re: Four Person Podcast Recording
on Jan 26, 2015 at 12:15:44 pm

Hello Jason and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Richard makes a very good point about the headset mics. Closer (mic to mouth) is better when you have 4 people sitting closely and talking and you don't know when they are going to talk.

Yes, headphones for all so they can get into it.

If the space is particularly lively, also consider an auto mixer that will suppress the level of the mics not spoken into. It'll give you a tighter sounding show.

Here are two:

Audio-Technica: http://tinyurl.com/kjd3vpn

Shure: http://tinyurl.com/ljngcbx

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Four Person Podcast Recording
on Jan 26, 2015 at 2:08:05 pm

[Ty Ford] "If the space is particularly lively, also consider an auto mixer that will suppress the level of the mics not spoken into. It'll give you a tighter sounding show."

Thanks, Ty. The EdirolR-44 has some built in effects; one being a noise gate. Would that be similar to using one of these auto mixers?

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Ty Ford
Re: Four Person Podcast Recording
on Jan 26, 2015 at 3:20:07 pm

Maybe.

The Shure and AT have a NOM circuit (number of open mics) that reduce total output to allow each additional mic being open in addition to the expander/gate. If you're getting each mic on a different track you can fix the problems in post (if they pay you for that sort of thing). Otherwise, doing it on the fly with an automixer can work really well as long as the levels are st properly and no one get "creative" wiht the settings or their performances.

I think both mixers give you a mono output. The 8 channel versions let you take isos to a multitrack as a backup), plus give you a mixed mono out.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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