Preamps, Noise, Preamp Noise!

Do you have more noise in your podcast audio than you’d like? Do you know what is causing that noise? Is it your mic? How about your studio or maybe it’s your preamp…if you use one. I’m talking with Julian Krause all about the latter but of course we dive into many related topics surrounding preamps and noise, including: [Read more…]

Mackie Mix8 Mixer for Podcasting

Another solid entry into the sub $100 mixer shootout, the Mackie Mix8 mixer* has a lot of the features a podcaster would want at a budget friendly price.

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Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 Audio Interface Review and Demo

Why did I buy the Focusrite?

I bought the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4* (2i4 on B&H | 2i4 on Amazon) after my beloved Griffin iMic died on me after a few years of hearty service. The iMic is a simple, small audio interface that accepts both line and mic. level sources with a 3.5mm connector and it does its job really well. So why not just buy another one? I was going to but I’m a gear junky so upgrading is common place.

The iMic is a little pricey for what it does ($35-$40) but again it’s well worth it. The price of the iMic led me to see what I could get if I invested a little more and I’ve been wanting to try the Focusrite series of audio interfaces for a very long time. This was my chance and a better justification for finally getting one. If I tripled my investment in a new iMic (give or take), I could get a lot more capability and power from the 2i4.

First Impressions and Test

In the audio (above) you heard my very first recordings using the 2i4. I plugged in my ATR2100 and recorded using Adobe Audition. The first same is raw (as recorded) and the second was lightly processed and loudness normalized. [Read more…]

Mackie 402VLZ4 Mixer

The Mackie 402VLZ ultra-compact mixer* is an excellent audio mixer for first time podcasters. “Built like a tank” the 402 is encased in steel with quality feeling knobs, sealed to prevent dust from invading the insides of the mixer. The first thing you’ll notice when you pull this mixer from the box is how well it’s built and its small size. This thing feels like a road warrior, built to be taken with you when necessary.

 

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TPS 072 – FetHead In-line Microphone Preamp

Do you have a microphone, mixer or recorder that requires you to turn up the gain settings really loud in order to get a good signal? The FetHead might just be your answer to bringing those gain levels back down and reducing the hiss and noise you’re getting in your podcast’s audio.

To be clear, the FetHead is not a device you need. If you’re looking at getting an in-line preamp it’s likely that you take your podcast production pretty serious and you are now fine tuning your production gear in order to get the absolute best quality possible.FetHead

On this episode I talk more about why and when you might use an in-line preamp like the FetHead and demonstrate what it can do for your podcast setup. You’ll hear two audio samples that were recorded in order to demonstrate the preamp’s ability to bring down gain levels thus reducing the amount of hiss caused by cheaper preamps on a lot of mixers and recorders. [Read more…]

Purchased: Triton Audio FetHead

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…]

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