Webcam Lighting Setup

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One of the biggest ways to make your Google Hangout or any other type of video look its best is to make sure you have good lighting. Really any lighting that you put a little effort into will do wonders. The key is to get adequate amounts of light in front of your face so the audience can easily see you and the camera will look it’s best.

You can accomplish this with any lights you have in the house, office or wherever you are broadcasting from. Often I just use a nice large window (see below) with plenty of daylight coming in. This looks wonderful but can be hard to control. When the clouds pass in front of the sun, your lighting will change dramatically. While I love the look of natural light, the best way to ensure you have consistent, great looking light is by using lights that you control.

Lighting setup for HOA

In the image below you’ll see a more advanced lighting setup that I recently used on my G+ HOA based show, Podcasters’ Roundtable. [Read more…]

Recording Skype with No Mixer or Software

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Recording a Skype interview can be a tricky process. There are “easy” ways to do this with software like Audio Hijack Pro for Mac and Pamela for Windows but they can still be hard to setup and of course anytime you’re using software you are at risk of it crashing and losing the entire interview. My other complaint about using software is that it’s not as easy to monitor the audio that you are recording to ensure that everything sounds right throughout the recording.

Here’s a very specific setup that while it uses a particular piece gear (ATR2100 or AT2005)* it gives you lots of flexibility with the final audio file(s) as well as a more reliable system for capturing your Skype interviews and achieving latency free monitoring.

In the video I say that you have to have an ATR2100 style microphone. For this exact setup that is true however you can achieve a Skype recording with your audio recorder with any XLR connected microphone (see section below).

[Read more…]

Purchased: Triton Audio FetHead

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I ordered a Triton Audio FetHead in-line preamp and it’s here. So what does it do?

You can click the above link for specs but the short of it is, it provides +20db of “ultra clean gain.”

Why would you want this? The simple answer is cleaner audio at higher levels.fethead

If you follow my microphone for podcasting advice, you’re likely using a dynamic microphone (Heil PR40, Shure SM58, ATR2100, etc). Often, these mics need a lot of gain in order to achieve proper audio levels which means cranking the preamp (gain knob) on your mixer or recorder close to its max. In general, I like to keep any preamp I’m using below 70% of full when possible. (Audio sample below). [Read more…]

Rode VideoMic Pro for DSLR Video Production – Demo

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*Best viewed and heard in HD. Select 720p in the player options. This demo also works best if headphones are worn.
 

Here’s a quick demo and test of my newest piece of Studio gear, the Rode VideoMic Pro (currently being sold with a free accessory mount AND PluralEyes3!)

Upon receiving this mic I plugged it into my Canon 60D to make sure it worked the way I’ve seen in previous tests online. In this demo I used the +20db gain switch to limit the use of the 60D’s pre-amp and compared that to the audio produced by the in-camera microphone on the 60D. [Read more…]

Rode NTG-1 Microphone Demo and Review

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The NTG-1 shotgun microphone by Rode is the best mic I’ve used (in terms of audio quality) so far for DSLR video production. Just take a listen to the quality of the mic and learn why it’s important to get the microphone away from the camera and close to the talent.

Description comparison (as listed at B&H)

“The Rode NTG-1 Condenser Shotgun Microphone is designed for professional audio capturing in the field or indoors. With a history of manufacturing quality studio microphones, Rode has implemented low noise output electronics and wide bandwidth, both of which attribute to the NTG-1’s broadcast sound quality.”

In this video you can see I’m suing the Rode indoors. The mic performed really well and I didn’t have any issues with echo despite being in a fairly square, open room. Shotgun microphones can sometimes get confused when they recieve time delayed sounds that are a repeat of the sound they just took in however I didn’t have that issue with the NTG-1. One explanation is the proximity of the microphone to my mouth. I was really close to the mic. You can hear the mic really shine when used in the boom setup I used in the video. [Read more…]

PQT – Recording with the Zoom H4n

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Looking around my studio, I counted almost ten different ways to record a podcast. Over the next few episode of Podcast Quick Tips, I’m going to be using each of these methods to demonstrate how you can produce a quality sounding podcast many different ways.

Recording with the H4n on-board mics about 7-10 inches from my mouth

First up is the Zoom H4n. This digital audio recorder is an amazing little piece of technology and really the only thing you need to record a podcast. You’ll hear how I use the on-board condenser microphones of the H4n to record this episode.

Coupled together with some post production, you can create some fantastic sounding audio. A little compression, a limiter, some EQ and a touch of noise removal can really improve the audio that comes off the Zoom. However, this device is powerful enough to produce a show without using any post production. It can even compress your raw audio file into the mp3 format for you.

I also talk about BlogWorld NYC 2012. I’ll be speaking on two different panels and co-teaching a two part class titled “Podcasting 101” along with Daniel from The Audacity to Podcast, Dave from The School of Podcasting’s Morning Announcements and Dan from Podcast Like a Radio DJ.

If you’re considering attending this year’s BlogWorld, which will have an incredible podcasting track, make sure to use my promo code: PodRay10 on checkout to save 10% off the price of your ticket. And, if you purchase by May 15, 2012 you’ll save an additional $100 off the price of a ticket.

If you’re going, make sure you let me know so we can meet in person!

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TPS Ep. 057 – The Benefits of Using a Mixer

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Adding a mixer to your podcast studio will allow your productions to grow along with your show.

As you get further along in your podcasting venture, you’ll likely want to add in more capabilities such asdesktop rack mount Skype hosts and guests, more in-studio microphones, and built in capabilities for backing up recordings to avoid loss of your audio. Having a mixer in your studio allows you to easily add in these and many more features as your skills and productions progress over time.

On this episode I explain the many ways a mixer allows you to easily expand your studio’s capabilities and what features you might want to look for when choosing your first mixer or upgrading your old one.

TPS Ep. 031 – Mixers, Mix-Minus, and Edirol vs Zoom Comparison

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On this episode I’m talking about new gear in the studio including a Mackie ProFX12 mixer and the Zoom H4n.

I also discuss how I do a mix-minus setup for recording Skype calls. And I’m curious as a podcaster, do you apologize to your audience when you miss your regular schedule?

Learn about why I chose the Mackie mixer and how I set it up to perform a mix-minus which allows you to record a Skype conversation. I also recently bought a Zoom H4n for my HDDSLR video setup and I explain what I like about it in comparison to my other audio recorder, the Edirol R-09HR.

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TPS Ep. 019 – Deciding on a Show Topic and Developing Show Ideas – (GV Expo 2009 Podcasting Presentation)

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A presentation given at the 2009 GV Expo on strategies for deciding on a podcast show topic and developing ideas for show content. Above is the powerpoint slides I used in the presentation.


Other things to take note of during this presentation and before in the introduction is the use of new podcast gear. The presentation was recorded using an Edirol R-09HR connected to the lapel mic from Sennheiser eW 100 G2 wireless mic system.


The microphone used in the introduction to this episode is the Heil PR40 connected to the Heil boom and an after market pop filter. For the introduction of this episode the Heil PR40 was connected to an Alesis MulitMix 8 firewire mixer (discontinued) which then took the audio out and into the Edirol.

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