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…]

How to Setup a Mix Minus for Recording Skype

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If you need to setup a mix-minus to record Skype for your podcast, this tutorial will show you the gear* you’ll need and how to connect it all together.

Below is a complete photo walkthrough of the mix-minus setup demonstrated in the video above.

The basic concept of a mix-minus is to input multiple sources of audio into an audio mixer (your microphone, sound cart, phone messages, Skype, etc.) then send that audio back out to Skype, minus (without) the Skype caller’s voice.

This setup is achieved by using an auxiliary output to selectively send certain audio out of the mixer. If you send all the audio that is in the mixer, back to Skype, then the person on the other side will hear a feedback loop of their own voice. So we need to exclude (minus) Skype’s audio (the person’s voice) from going back into Skype.

Depending on your mixer’s manufacture, the auxiliary output may be labeled Aux, FX or Mon Send. They’ll all work as auxiliary outputs in this setup.
[Read more…]

Soundation Adds Audio Recording and Editing to G+ Hangouts and Hangouts On-Air

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UPDATE: Soundation is limited to a ten minute record time which essentially makes this unusable for podcasting. I’m talking with the devs to see if there is a solution moving forward for podcasters. Stay tuned.

Soundation is a new Add-on for Hangouts and Hangouts On-Air that lets you record audio inside a Hangout. Why is that so cool? Cause you can produce a high quality podcast with separate channels of audio for post production all inside the wonderful UI of Hangouts/HOA.soundation

It’s essentially an easy system for doing double-ender recordings with anyone in a Hangout!

BOTTOM LINE: This workflow is not for the average podcaster but for those who are trying to get the top quality productions, G+ now gives you the ability to produce a high quality, fully featured podcast (720p video, .wav audio, all live-streamed) wow.

I might sound a little more excited than reasonable but that’s because this is something I’ve been wanting to see for awhile now; so much so that I almost had it created on my own. I’m excited someone built it and built it well.

Here’s my walkthrough video showing how I will use this for the production of one of my shows, Podcasters’ Roundtable.

[Read more…]

TPS Ep. 049 – Noisy Headphones, Free Graphics Editor, and Creating Supplemental Video

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On this episode I talk about the effect that bad headphones can have on your podcast’s audio. Headphones that don’t fit properly, are not well built or are simply turned up too loud can affect that amount of feedback that your mic hears. If the audio going into your headphones leaks out and into your mic

Sony MDR-7506 Professional Headphones

you could hear some weird results in your final audio or be unable to properly edit your audio in post production. I talk about how to make sure you headphones are not the cause for problems with your final audio.

Creating great looking graphics for your podcast can be a challenge if you can’t afford to

purchase quality image editing software programs. Now there is an incredible, free option available via your browser called Sumo Paint. This free web service works and looks much the same as Photoshop Elements which I enjoy using for creating my own podcast graphics. Give it a shot and enjoy the power of free, quality graphics creation.

If you have an audio podcast you can benefit greatly by adding video. Creating a YouTube channel to supplement your audio content can attract many new listeners that you would have otherwise never reached. Can you think of some quick, valuable content that is related to your show and would benefit by being seen as well as heard? I recommend creating your own channel and try adding video to your multimedia arsenal. You might be surprised by the results and feedback.

Links mentioned in this episode:
Sumo Paint – Free browser based graphics editor
Phandroid Podcast Video – Hosts talk about Google Plus Hangouts
Zoom H4N audio recorder
Struggling Entrepreneur Podcast – I was interviewed for the Struggling Entrepreneur podcast.

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