The Freedom Feens Guide to Podcasting and Radio

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Also read this post: Michael W. Dean’s 20-Minute Audio School

(NOTE: months after the above video went up, Podpress was discontinued from the WordPress plugin repository. Use PowerPress instead. It’s very good. And many of the setup tabs are very similar, and PodPress is much better. And FeenPhone is available now, and we recommend that over Skype. And I do not recommend the plugin WP Super Cache. It is problematic. I’ll be re-doing those videos at some point. The rest of the info in both is solid.

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Freedom Feens radio show: http://www.freedomfeens.com
Creamy Radio Audio blog: http://www.creamyradioaudio.com

BASIC GEAR LIST:
Audio-Technica AT2005USB mic

Mic stand.

Foam windscreens
Audacity (free recording and editing software)
MP3 Plugin For Audacity (needed to import and export MP3s)

MP3 Skype Recorder

Headphones if you don’t have any.
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ADVANCED GEAR LIST AND TOPICS COVERED ARE BELOW:

FeenPhone: http://feenphone.com/

Thank you: Davi Barker, Sean DuVally, Nikki Darling, Derrick Slopey, Lousander Feen, and all Large-F and small-f freedom feens.

People who gave feedback on the rough cut:
Jim Jesus, Ben Stone, Christian H. Seger, J. P. Briody, Jeff Lentz, Mike Cuneo, Randy England, Rod Ancap, Sean DuVally, Bill Buppert, Joel Nowak, Nick Hazelton

ADVANCED GEAR LIST AND TOPICS COVERED:
ADVANCED GEAR LIST

Sony MDR-7506 headphones

The spill-proof cup I use

Pamela For Skype

My Mixer, Behringer XENYX X2442USB Premium 24-Input 4/2-Bus Mixer

Good smaller Behringer XENYX USB mixers:

BEHRINGER XENYX X1204USB – Cheaper, but with sliders, AUX – can do mix minus, has compression

Behringer QX1202USB 12-Channel Mixer, no sliders, no AUX (can’t do mix minus), has compression.

My mixer setup, including MIX MINUS settings

How to set up a MIX MINUS

Davi’s scissor arm mic stand

Michael’s better scissor arm mic stand

5/8-Inch Male to 3/8-Inch Female Knurled 2 Piece Mic Adapter

Better USB cable for Audio-Technica AT2005USB mic, It fits perfectly and is much better made

RE-20 microphone

RE-20 shock mount

Adapter to fit one type of mic clip on other types of mic stands

Shure Beta 57a mic

SM58 mesh grill mic basket for Shure Beta 57a

Mic clip for Shure Beta 57a

Ground tester

Good UL-listed 12-foot extension cord

Good UL-listed 50-foot extension cord

Good power conditioner

 Surge protector

Uninterrupted power supply

XLR cable, 6 feet

XLR cable, 20 feet

SD recorders:

Zoom H2

Zoom H2n

Zoom H4n

SD card for Zoom

1/4 inch male to two 1/8th inch female headphone splitter

1/8th inch stereo male-to-male cable

Kidney bean in-line headphone volume control

2,3,4,5 or 6-way headphone splitter

Pro 4-way headphone splitter (with individual volumes for each)

-External rack mount compression (if you want it, it can be pretty sweet, use it INSTEAD of the mixer’s compression, and use it between the mic and the mixer): Presonus Studio Channel Tube-Pre Amp / Compressor / Parametric EQ unit. You can get it on Amazon, HERE.

Seagate Expansion 4TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB 3.0

Replace the stock tube with this Russian Tungsol 12AX7 Tube that is better than the generic Chinese tube that comes with the unit.

How to build the Catmaster 300

Creative Commons license to use:

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Good, inexpensive computer to get:

This one kicks ass, is Windows 7 pro (which you want), for under 500 bucks:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LSRW8P4?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00LSRW8P4&linkCode=xm2&tag=www30dollarfi-20

mouse, keyboard, monitor to get, I use all these:

Mouse:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003B4BBFK?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B003B4BBFK&linkCode=xm2&tag=www30dollarfi-20

Keyboard:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ELVLKU?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B003ELVLKU&linkCode=xm2&tag=www30dollarfi-20

This monitor is great for the price:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005BZNDOO?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B005BZNDOO&linkCode=xm2&tag=www30dollarfi-20
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TOPICS COVERED:

INTRO – why we’re qualified

MWD AND DAVI SHOW HOW THEY PODCAST REMOTELY OVER SKYPE

–setting levels on the fly
–using mixer slider to mute for coughs
–turn off Skype video for better sound
–cooling and heating room before show
–not using pipe during a show
–remove all noise makers before show
–preparing for a show
–do not disturb signs
–cuss dump
–gear priorities (forget the “ON AIR” sign)
–using Mute Button on Skype.
–mic set up with scissor arm and shock mount
–cheap headphones
–foam shock suppressor for scissor mount clamp
–good conversational methods for remote hosts
–not talking over each other, but not having dead air
–How to make your show different than all the other shows
–Special interest and general interest liberty podcasting
–clearing throat and coughing off mic
–let your personality shine
–troubleshooting
–wired computer better than wireless
–you must use headphones
–save recording every 30 min
–brick houses more soundproof
–difference between soundproofing and sound conditioning
–DIY no-cost sound conditioning
–cars and hotel rooms are good studios
–RSS feed on your site
–have simple usable site, nothing fancy
–autoplay sucks
–use Creative Commons Attribution license
–a collection of audio alone is not a podcast
–different computers for different tasks
–don’t take calls, or prep callers if you do
–pre-game before interview
–be clear with time (and time zone) for remote hosts or interviewees
–doing media for the ages
–restart computers well before a show
–start Skype well before a show
–don’t promote your show until you’ve tested and done your first episode.
–Use Creative Commons covered podsafe music, not copyrighted music
–use your friends’ music.
–have a co-host, solo shows suck and are nutty
–make binge media that will keep people coming back
–maintain your amateur status to keep your quality high
–learn your garbage schedule
–have a good time all the time, and be excellent to each other

UNBOXING AND SET UP OF Audio-Technica AT2005USB MICROPHONE
–what you need and what you don’t in the box
–don’t use the included stand, you need a real stand
–setting up and using a good mic stand
–plugs and switches on the mic
–importance of a windscreen
–plugging in min-USB plug
–installing drivers
–blue light on mic only indicates connection, switch must be on to hear audio from mic
–importance of having mic near your face
–must use headphones
–use non-leaking headphones
–picking mic as audio device in and out on your computer.
–getting a good audio level
–stereo vs. mono recording
–sound testing
–hitting space bar to stop and start
–normalizing
–more on sound conditioning
–triple ply windows
–turn off noise sources before show
–desktops give you more for the money than laptops
–OS – Windows 7 better than Windows 8
–dynamic mic better than condenser mic
–you need a mic stand
–don’t touch table with mic stand
–with good mic technique, you don’t need a great mic
–Yeti mic sucks
–mic must be on stand, with a windscreen, in front of your face
–more on setting up the AT2005USB mic
–more on setting mic as default sound device
–any good dynamic mic will work

ELECTRICITY
–using a ground tester
–bad grounding can kill you
–do not use a ground lifter
–hiring an electrician if you own the house
–getting your landlord to hire an electrician if you rent
–keeping liquids away from gear
–spill-proof sippy cups
–traveling with ground tester
–power conditioners
–surge protectors
–uninterrupted power supplies
–why you should use more than one computer if you can

RECORDING A SHOW OVER SKYPE
–setting mic as default audio input and output in Skype, Windows, and your recording program.
–scratch test to determine if mic is being used
–in Skype, turn off “automatically adjust volume” for input and output
–settings can change after Skype update
–What is a mixer, what is an input?
–mark mixer channels with label maker
–use shortest cable possible to reduce noise

3 WAYS TO RECORD
Different methods, cheapest to best:
–RECORDING ON ONE COMPUTER WITH THIRD-PARTY UTILITY
–RECORDING FROM ONE COMPUTER TO ANOTHER
–RECORDING FROM A COMPUTER INTO A MIXER, WITH YOUR MIC IN THE MIXER, OUT TO AN SD CARD RECORDER

RECORDING SKYPE ON ONE COMPUTER WITH THIRD-PARTY UTILITY
–downloading MP3 Skype Recorder
–examples of podcasts done this way
www.napodcast.com
www.an-yak.com
–installing MP3 Skype Recorder
–changing to better sample rate and bit rate settings on MP3 Skype Recorder
–picking default drive to save media
–doing Skype call test, playing it back to test
–recording a Skype call over MP3 Skype Recorder

RECORDING SKYPE FROM ONE COMPUTER TO ANOTHER
–setting Windows input and output devices to set same in Audacity
–restarting Audacity to deal with a common error
–recording sound check, setting recording levels
–playing back to check recording
–normalizing file
–hit space bar to stop and start playback

RECORDING FROM A COMPUTER INTO A MIXER, WITH YOUR MIC IN THE MIXER, OUT TO AN SD CARD RECORDER
–Mixer and mic setup
–using XLR cables
–EQ, compressor, pan and volume setting on mixer
–balancing volume between channel volume and master volume
–get a good sound when you “print to tape”, don’t “fix it in the mix”
–engage low-pass filter
–don’t push in mute button
–setting and checking volume on SD card recorder
–mix minuses
–using a Y-splitter
–starting and stopping recording on SD card
–one switch to turn everything in your studio on and off
–recording in the same room with multiple hosts

OUTPUTTING TO MP3
–how to output to MP3 in Audacity
–96 k vs 128 k
–dedicated server vs. shared server
–outputting to MP3 in Audacity vs. outputting WAV and dragging into LameDrop
–Don’t put ads in your show or on your website until you’re popular
–Saving WAVs for the future
–needle drops to check a few places in a file
–once an hour re-connect on Skype

MIC TECHNIQUE
–what it is, how to get good mic technique
–adjusting your distance from mic depending on your volume
–importance of a windscreen, and a close mic
–compression
–again, get a good sound, don’t fix it in the mix
–more on no-price sound conditioning

SHOW PREP
–saving e-mails in dedicated folder
–learning to riff on the fly
–keeping topics as jumping off point and backup
–notepad on your table to make and update notes during show

INTRO TO EDITING
–any editing program works, but I like Sound Forge 8 the best
–scrolling in and out
–cutting out tiny “ums” and spaces, but not ALL of them
–adding markers
–scrolling view in and out for macro and micro view
–cutting and pasting
–normalizing
–adding ads if needed

ADVANCED EDITING
–all the magic that goes into editing an actual Freedom Feens episode

MORE ON GEAR: MIXERS
–Why I like the Xenyx series
–downloading drivers
–get a mixer with volume sliders
–XLR or balanced ¼ inch cables have lower noise
–compression knob
–external rack mount compression
–tip to prevent overheating on smaller mixers
–Y splitters to monitor and record
–powering down after a show – cover the mixer to keep off dust and pets

OUTRO
–a few final tips from MWD:
–don’t call your show “daily” “weekly” or “after dark.”
–Cats and windscreens don’t mix
–Vacuum regularly
–Don’t do high-memory stuff while doing important things
–Don’t blow smoke or vape on mics
–Tell two friends, and please donate

One thought on “The Freedom Feens Guide to Podcasting and Radio

  1. Hi MWD,

    I am looking to do a podcast with a local friend. We will be in the same room using AT USB mics. Potentially I would want to use Feen phone to have remote guests. Do I need a mixer?

    Is mix minus necessary to take remote guests?

    Thanks

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