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General Category => Role Playing Public Radio Podcast => Topic started by: clockworkjoe on January 25, 2011, 11:03:43 PM

Title: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: clockworkjoe on January 25, 2011, 11:03:43 PM
hey

so a bunch of people keep asking me: How is Podcast formed?

So

Let's do a thread about it.

Here is an email I wrote a while back about this topic.

You need a few things to make a podcast:

1. Audio production tools (recording equipment, audio editing software) At the very minimum, you need a mic that records to your computer and some software to edit the sound.

2. Website with content management system (web hosting, FTP, CMS software)

The options available are incredibly diverse and it can be bewildering figuring out what you should use. Our setup is like this:

2 Shure M57 microphones on desktop stands with pop filters hooked up to a Tascam US122l audio interface which is connected to my Macbook Pro. I record with Garageband 09 and then edit in it as well. The only other software for production I use is Levelator. I would definitely recommend the microphone and Garageband if you use a mac. Keep in mind if you get the M57, you need to get some kind of audio interface to record directly to a computer.

Keep in mind there's always going to be a cost vs quality tradeoff when you're dealing with audio. If you want a crystal clear podcast, you need to take some time and money to get a decent mic and learn some basic audio production skills.

As for the web side of things, I use wordpress  and the powerpress plugin. slangdesign.com is hosted on bluehost.com which costs a little over 100 bucks per year and has practically unlimited bandwidth. Podcasts eat up bandwidth so keep that in mind when choosing a host.


LINKS
I talk about setting up a recording studio: http://www.pulpgamer.com/genconseminars/134171/setting-up-the-studio/

Recording game session threads (for AP podcasts) http://slangdesign.com/forums/index.php?topic=495.0

Another panel I did at gencon about podcast content: http://slangdesign.com/forums/index.php?topic=625.0
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: ThnJonWasAZmbie on September 27, 2011, 11:40:05 PM
How viable of a choice is the Zoom H2 for round table podcast episodes? What would be the negatives?
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: Tadanori Oyama on September 28, 2011, 11:33:19 AM
Quote
How viable of a choice is the Zoom H2 for round table podcast episodes? What would be the negatives?

In my recordings I've found the quality of the mike to be a problem for open area recordings. Unless I'm running a game in a controlled space, like a free standing home or especially enclosed room, it tends to pick up whatever else is in the background, especially if the sensativity is set above "low". You also end up with some people being louder than others unless everyone is equally distant from the recorder and speaks at about the same volume.

For a podcast (as opposed to an AP) you'd have slightly different problems. People who aren't "on air" wouldn't be able to talk or do anything noisy because the recorder is 360 degrees, so whatever they do will be caught especially if you use a leveler on the final product (which I recommend since it evens people's different voice levels out quite a bit). With directional mikes you can pass them from one person to another and they'll only really record the person that their pointed at.

Depending on the tone of your podcast you might have to invoke a raise your hand before you speak policy to prevent people talking over one another accidentally. If you like the round table, open forum tone than just let everyone talk and you should be fine.
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: Joven on September 28, 2011, 01:47:51 PM
Should clear up any questions:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nL3r0FH804U
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: Shallazar on February 29, 2012, 11:31:58 PM
Hey Ross! What about your Frapsing? Do you use the same Mic as you do for regular episodes? What's the recording process for lets say, the Dedicated server video?

I've started fiddling with it and I record to audacity my audio and use fraps for the vidjya game.
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: clockworkjoe on March 01, 2012, 01:22:59 PM
Hey Ross! What about your Frapsing? Do you use the same Mic as you do for regular episodes? What's the recording process for lets say, the Dedicated server video?

I've started fiddling with it and I record to audacity my audio and use fraps for the vidjya game.

I use a usb headset to record during games or I record narration afterwards with the same setup I use to record RPPR. There's an option in FRAPS about recording audio from a headset.

I convert the avis into a format that Final Cut Pro can read and then edit them there. I shot a lot of footage for the Dedicated video, which is why I haven't done it much. I have this tendency to stretch myself too thin and then a lot of shit doesn't get done.
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: Setherick on March 01, 2012, 02:16:16 PM
I have this tendency to stretch myself too thin and then a lot of shit doesn't get done.

I have no idea what you're talking about. It's not like you're at the moment working on Killsplosion, Heretic: Exile, New Arcadia game and sourcebook, RPPR Podcast, ZOTW Videos, ZOTW marketing, Ruins of Lemuria (still right?)...
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: crash2455 on January 16, 2013, 07:24:08 PM
What kind of backups do you do for your podcast data?  Also how much data are you managing at a time?
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: Tadanori Oyama on January 16, 2013, 07:59:36 PM
Quote
What kind of backups do you do for your podcast data?  Also how much data are you managing at a time?

*cough*New World Session 1*cough*
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: clockworkjoe on January 16, 2013, 10:18:38 PM
What kind of backups do you do for your podcast data?  Also how much data are you managing at a time?

AP episodes are saved to 2 external HDs, stored at different places. Bluehost has a backup service for the website and I download an archive copy of the mysql databases every once in a while.

What do you mean by data management?
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: crash2455 on January 16, 2013, 10:37:19 PM
Mostly just how much data you're dealing with on average.  I'm starting to get to a point where I have to consider getting rid of my raw data for most older works, as about a year of podcasting is around 700 GB.  I've got a 2TB drive that's pretty much dedicated to the podcast, but obviously at this rate that's not gonna be sufficient in another 2 years.

2 locations is a good idea, most definitely.  I think I'm gonna invest in a second external drive for that purpose.  Thus far I've been backing up from my computer's internal drive to an external HD and started thinking about it more when one of the drives on my tower started dying.
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: clockworkjoe on January 16, 2013, 11:31:15 PM
There's about 200 gigs of raw AP episodes I think and about 700 gigs of Garageband files for the main podcast.  Storage space is cheap and your raw work files are irreplaceable so I would never get rid of them. Buy another external HD.

Why wouldn't you spend the money for it? You've spent a lot of time and energy to create the podcasts and if you lose the raw episodes, you'll lose your chance to work with them again. You never know when you might need them.
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: crash2455 on January 17, 2013, 12:03:37 AM
Good point.  I'll throw down some cash for another 2TB External when I can.
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: Review Cultist on April 09, 2013, 04:10:21 PM
How much gets edited out of the APs? I'm just starting to edit recordings I've done for my one set of games, my group tends to put a lot of thought/write stuff down during the game (names of people, places, clues that sort of thing). As such I get a lot of dead air during fair portions of the game and I'm curious how you deal with this if you do at all. I generally tend to clean it up a fair bit but how much should I take out? Also should I bother with vocal ticks? I know it comes up some in the comments of some of the RPPR AP's, and just listening to one of my games for 30 minutes I hear a lot of um's and uh's coming from me?
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: clockworkjoe on April 09, 2013, 04:40:35 PM
edit APs? lol

I try to record only the relevant material for an AP - if there's going to be a lot of dead air, I stop the recording and then start a new one when we resume play - then stitch all the recordings together later on. I don't edit for removing vocal tics.

The fact is, I know the quality of the APs could be improved if I edited them but for me, the effort/reward ratio is too far skewed. Editing a 3 hour AP to remove every single vocal tic, pause, and other distraction would take at least 6 hours, if not more. I estimate that a well-edited AP would be 10-30% better than a raw AP but I do not have enough time to do this. If I was paid $50-100 per AP, I would do it, but this is a free podcast.

Now, if your APs are far worse when it comes to pauses, verbal tics, etc. then you might try editing an episode. Certainly if you only do 1 AP per month or something like that, you could do it (and you're not doing another podcast and writing a book at the same time so you have more free time)

If you're not comfortable with releasing a podcast because of your verbal tics then edit it. I wouldn't release material I'm not comfortable posting and there's nothing wrong with wanting to present yourself in a better light.
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: Review Cultist on April 09, 2013, 10:56:34 PM
What your saying is true and helpful for my inquiry, just looking for some advice on the subject.

So you don't listen through the games at all during the "stitching" process?

I definitely understand where your coming from on the effort/reward ratio thing, I also have a limited time to work on recordings (full-time job, writing the next game scenario/fiction, drawing and other creative ventures, etc.). I still want to go through and do something with these recordings, post them somewhere with the write ups and whatnot that I make for each game. Again, was just looking for some advice on the post game work.
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: clockworkjoe on April 10, 2013, 01:22:01 AM
What your saying is true and helpful for my inquiry, just looking for some advice on the subject.

So you don't listen through the games at all during the "stitching" process?

I definitely understand where your coming from on the effort/reward ratio thing, I also have a limited time to work on recordings (full-time job, writing the next game scenario/fiction, drawing and other creative ventures, etc.). I still want to go through and do something with these recordings, post them somewhere with the write ups and whatnot that I make for each game. Again, was just looking for some advice on the post game work.

I talk about what I do to stitch/encode episodes here http://slangdesign.com/forums/index.php/topic,495.msg8332.html#msg8332
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: D6xD6 - Chris on November 10, 2013, 11:10:00 AM
If anyone is interested in trying out podcasting/recording actual plays to see if they enjoy it, I would recommend this budget recorder:

http://www.amazon.com/EtekcityŽ-Hidden-Drive-Digital-Recorder/dp/B00CH5U24A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384098177&sr=8-1&keywords=etekcity+8gb+recorder (http://www.amazon.com/EtekcityŽ-Hidden-Drive-Digital-Recorder/dp/B00CH5U24A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384098177&sr=8-1&keywords=etekcity+8gb+recorder)

It records in .WAV files, and I used Switch (it is free) to convert the file to a 64kb/s MP3. 

The quality of the recording is solid.  The only time it struggles are when there is a loud noise (i.e. a group of people laughing).  It has decent range and the speech recording is good.

Again, it is only a basic recorder, but it is a great entry product to play with podcasting.

If you want to hear the quality, I recorded an AP with it.  On the Community AP page, listen to a few minutes of "Cthulhu Dark: School Spirit" to get an idea of the quality of the recorder.  For your reference, the recorder is in the middle of my dinner table which I had to put two leaves in to fit all 6 players and myself, so there was a wide range for the recorder to pick up.  The farthest people away from the mic were myself and my friend Dave, who was playing the character Chet Lockjaw, and you can hear how it picks up the sound further away (we were on the ends of the extended table).  You can hear the range in the first minute while we introduce characters.  There are also moments where I walk across the kitchen to grab more booze, which is probably 20 feet away, and you can still hear me quite well.
 
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: clockworkjoe on November 10, 2013, 12:37:53 PM
Levelator can put a bit of polish on WAV files http://web.archive.org/web/20130729204551id_/http://www.conversationsnetwork.org/levelator/

Give it a run through and see if that helps the quality of your next AP
Title: Re: Podcasting FAQ
Post by: D6xD6 - Chris on November 10, 2013, 12:51:53 PM
Cool!  I will test that program out.