Recipe for the DiscoPosse PodCast
A few people have asked about what goes into the DiscoPosse PodCast so I want to break down the 4th wall and bring you all inside.
I’ve been doing recording and musical performing off and on for many years and I can honestly say that the technology today could have reduced what was often days of work on recording and production, and turn out an equal or better product within hours.
There are some hardware and software products involved in the creation if the PodCast which I will explain as we walk through it together.
Let’s start with the hardware:
Microphone 1 – Eric’s Mic – AudioTechnica AT2020 XLR
While this is not a typical microphone used for personal recording, I use this for a number of situations and I find that it is a versatile and excellent sounding mic. It can be used for larger ambient recording, or with a lower gain as a great near-field mic. What you may have noticed is that it can be overly sensitive when it’s not placed right, which it wasn’t during the first episode. There are a few pops and bass woofs which I’ve fixed by better placement for other recordings.
Microphone 2 – Alex’s Mic – Shure SM58 XLR
The Shure SM58 is a great all around microphone and it’s economical choice for anyone getting started. For the first two episodes you can hear a nice even tone which also helps because Alex has a very consistent voice. This mic definitely a directional mic, so it’s important that you stay close to it and as with any microphone, placement is the key.
Mixing board – Behringer Xenyx 802
The Behringer Xenyx line of mixing consoles are great little units. The 802 and 1002 are the models that have been used for the DiscoPosse PodCast and they provide more than enough for some great multi-channel recording. This mixer works for our situation beautifully because it is a small form factor, and with 2 microphones, one mono input (guitar amp), one stereo input (Line6 TonePort) it still has room to grow if we want to add another channel as well as another RCA input if needed.
Guitar 1 – Alex’s Guitar
For the Footprints Music PodCasts, Alex and I have guitars plugged in. We will be making much more use of the guitars as part of future episodes.
Amp 1 – Alex’s Amp
In order to get Alex’s guitar, we have plugged him into his normal amplifier and then taken the line out from it and plugged it into the mixer as a single channel. It would be ideal to properly mic the amplifier, but because it requires a recording and a control room and additional mic inputs we’ve opted to just input directly to the board.
Guitar 2 – Eric’s Guitar
My guitar is plugged into the Line6 unit. We haven’t done too much with both guitars active so it may even be difficult to tell we have both on during the first episodes. Again, this is definitely going to be used more in the future.
Line6 TonePort UX2 – Eric’s Amp simulator
I’ve been a huge fan of the Line6 product line and the TonePort UX2 amp modelling system is my go to device I’ve used for the quite a few years. When I play live I often just use the house amps, but I’ve used the TonePort many times for live gigs and it’s does a great job. For recordings that require an additional mic we will use the XLR inputs on the TonePort to add up to 2 additional vocal channels.
Next up is the software:
This is what gives me the amp modelling for my guitar sound. It can also do vocal effects although for the DiscoPosse PodCast we use the British equalizers that are available for the two XLR input channels.
For the occasions where we inject some music during the recording, I simply run iTunes and we cue up clips as we need them. For the initial couple of episodes we’ve only used a couple of tracks on the fly. The rest of the bumpers and clips are added during editing in post.
The final recording is done using Garage Band which is the native iLife product that ships with any Apple laptop or desktop. I’ve used ProTools and some other Windows based products in the past but I’ve found that GarageBand is a nice, simple interface and is more than enough for something like a PodCast.
How it all comes together
The interesting thing about our configuration is the flow if sound through the different devices. Because I want to add music tracks to the live recording, I need to either use software to push the iTunes output to the input for direct recording, or the better choice for my situation is to set the audio output for the laptop to go to the mixer.
For this configuration to work I set the system output to be the TonePort UX2 and the input to be the Line-in directly in to the laptop. The TonePort output carries the iTunes content along with the guitar modelling output and then I run the stereo main output from the Xenyx 802 to a 3.5mm cable for the microphone/line-in port on my Macbook.
The most important ingredient is good people. Ultimately the content is the key in many forms of media and this is absolutely true with PodCasting. I hope that you find some good content and spread the word. There will be much more coming!
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