Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 Audio Interface Review and Demo

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someone

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…]

TPS092: Social Sponsorships and the Behringer Q802USB Mixer

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someone

What’s the value of a new podcast subscriber? Would you trade 20, 50, 100 dollars an episode for a new subscriber? Two new subscribers?

Social-Sponsorship-graphicA podcast sponsorship can be a hard deal to negotiate and for many smaller shows it’s not likely worth the tradeoff; having to put ads in your content for a small monetary return. But what if the exchange was not money but instead something likely more important to a podcast… new listeners.

Word of mouth is still the best form of marketing for any podcast. Trading ad space on your show for an introduction to a targeted, relevant, interested group of potential new subscribers may have bigger returns and is almost certainly a much easier form of sponsorship to obtain.

Social sponsorship is sponsorship deal for the rest of us. The average podcaster does not carry the number of subscribers that most ad buyers would want to see for CPM based deals. Yes you can cultivate a one on one sponsorship with someone who has a relevant business but when it comes to asking for money it’s often a much harder sale. [Read more…]

Behringer Xenyx Q802USB Mixer Overview

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someone

The Behringer Q802USB mixer* is a great choice if you are looking for a mixer that can handle most podcasting applications for less than $100.

A good preamp is where a good mixer starts. The Q802USB has Behringer’s Xenyx preamps and they perform very well in this mixer. With plus 60DB of gain, the preamps in this mixer are enough to power most dynamic microphones including the Heil PR40 and the ATR2100, two of my microphones that require the most gain. Even at the top range of this preamp, I was able to get clean audio.


[Read more…]

TPS084: USB Power and When Do You Need a Mix-Minus?

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someone

You’ve decided you want to record Skype interviews or a remote co-host and you’ve heard about using a mix-minus setup. How do you know if this applies to your podcast?

On this episode I talk about how to know when you need a mix-minus as well how I’m using a new piece of gear to power my mobile podcasting rig without plugging into a wall or having to throw away batteries. Anker USB Battery

There are really only two scenarios where you’ll need to setup a mix-minus for your podcast. The first one is if you want to record Skype and have the person on the other side hear your primary microphone; the mic you are using to record your podcast. In this setup, you need a mix-minus because you have to send the Skype audio back to the person on Skype minus their audio to prevent a feedback loop (hearing their own voice back). The second is if you want to do “live to hard-drive” podcast production. [Read more…]

TPS 078: Moving Your RSS Feed and Formatting Descriptions

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someone

The Podcasters' Studio What if you need to move your podcast RSS feed? I tell you how I accomplished this with one of the feeds we have at my work via a special RSS tag (see the links section below for the code).

Also discussed is the number of episodes you’ll see listed on your iTunes page. The answer is up to 300. If you have more than 300 episodes, congrats and don’t fret, all your episodes will be available to everyone once they subscribe.

Finally, I discuss the decision to include html tags in your RSS feed’s description tag. Some apps don’t display these tags and if they do they’re not clickable. However, more and more apps are starting to accept and honor code and links which could be a new way to get your audience to interact with your podcast.I recorded this episode slightly different. I used the ATR2100 directly into the computer via USB and recorded into audio editing software. The results sound fantastic and it goes to show you don’t need a lot of money to produce an awesome sounding show. [Read more…]

TPS Ep. 064 – The Future of FeedBurner, G+ Hangouts On-Air for Video Podcasting and ATR 2100 Mic Demo

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someone

Have you heard that Google might be shutting down Feedburner?

ATR2100

Lots of people have but is it true? I have some of my own ideas and great resources for getting a much better picture of what is really going on.

You’ll also hear about some resources for moving your feed away from Feedburner if you decide you want to migrate your podcast feed(s) away from the service. The good news is, as it stands, everything is OK. Don’t make a snap decision and worry that you have to move your feed any time soon.

Want a new way to make money from your podcast? How about the ability to sell your digital content as easily as you can share it (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, G+, etc.).

Gumroad is a new service that allows you to upload your digital files, host them at their site for free and link to it via a short URL created by the service. Then you put that link out into your social world. Purchasing your content is as simple as clicking on the link and entering your payment info. Gumroad handles the entire process and their commision is only 5% + .25 for each transaction.

You could sell your back catalog, bonus content or even a photoshop file. Whatever you can create on your computer, you can sell…easily. Let your imagination go wild and make some money from your podcast.

Want an easy way to get into video podcasting? Have you heard of Google Plus Hangouts On-Air?

This is a very easy way to create video via Google and YouTube. Simply join your friends, co-hosts, interviewees, etc. on a live Hangout and it will be recorded and uploaded to your connected YouTube account automatically.

After that, if you want to turn it into a video podcast, you’ll get access to the .mp4 video file. Download the file and upload it to the host of your choice. Put that link in your RSS feed and you have a video podcast. All you need is a webcam, a microphone and Google Plus account.

Beyond getting you into video podcasting, this also gets you into live-streaming since you can invite infinite numbers of people to watch the live recording. You could rip the audio from the video and turn that into an audio only podcast as well. There are lots of options. Play around with a Hangout On-Air today and you’ll be ready to go if you decide you’d like to dip your toe into the video podcasting waters.

Perhaps that most exciting piece of gear to come to podcasting since it’s inception (is that a bold statement?), the Audio Technica ATR2100 is a dynamic, dual USB/XLR connected microphone. This could be the only mic you ever need to buy.

Perfect for the brand new podcaster or someone who has been recording since 2004. The ATR2100 sounds about as good as my Heil PR40 (you’ll hear this in this episode), a three hundred dollar mic. For only fifty dollars you get the benefits of a condensor mic (nice low end sound, bass) with the advantages of a dynamic (superior rejection of unwanted noise).

The mic allows you to plug directly into your computer via USB and start recording. The mic also grows with your studio and podcast. When you decide to upgrade to a mixer, you can plug this mic in via XLR and continue to use this mic in your podcast productions.

Check out the gear page located on this site and linked below for the ATR2100 as well as a complete list and guide of my personal podcasting gear.

Get a free month of Libsyn hosting with a new account!

Do you need a reliable host for your audio or video podcast? Consider moving your show to Libsyn.com (my chosen host) and get your first month free when you use promo code: podcasthelper at checkout.

Links mentioned in this episode

Need helping starting your first podcast or improving the one you already have? Contact me to work one-on-one setting up or upgrading your show.

Subscribe to The Podcasters Studio Podcast
itunes Zune Miro

TPS Ep. 054 – Free Audio Hosting Woes

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someone



Blip.tv announces they will no longer accept audio only uploads. For the past six years or so, Blip.tv has been kindly hosting audio only files for free. Blip.tv is primarily a video site and nowblip.tv they’re cementing that with the discontinuation of audio only uploads. Here’s the official announcement:

At blip.tv we’re focused on being the best home for high quality, original, episodic, video web series. To that end, we have focused on making our upload process as easy and fool-proof as possible. For a number of years we’ve permitted the upload of non-video formats, but beginning December 13th, 2011 we will be turning off the ability to upload all audio-only formats, including MP3.

Pro accounts will still have the ability to create MP3 conversions from their source video files, but direct MP3 uploads will no longer be allowed. If you are uploading an audio only podcast, we strongly recommend using a more appropriate platform such as Libsyn or Podbean. By next week at the latest, we will begin offering an option in your Dashboard to re-direct your current feed to a new location. This will allow iTunes to move your subscribers over to your new feed and host automatically.

Thank you,
blip.tv

As of December 13th, 2011 Blip.tv no longer allows you to place your .mp3 files on their servers. This means if you hosted an audio only podcast on Blip.tv, you need to look for a new host for your show. Blip will be deleting any remaining audio only files that are hosted on their servers in July 2012. This means you must get your episodes off of Blip if that is the only place they live. Download them now and save them to your desktop.

Also, if you are using Blip’s feed features to deliver your podcast RSS feed (i.e. to iTunes), you will have to use their redirect tool to ensure that your listeners are not lost in the transfer.

Hear my opinions on the the Blip move as well as learn what to do if you need a new host. I also talk about my newest resource for podcasters, www.PodcastingQandA.com. A great place to get your podcasting questions answered or explore the catalog of questions and answers to learn a lot about producing podcasts.

Links mentioned in this episode
Podcasting Q & A (Learn about podcasting while getting your questions answered)
Vimeo.com/RayOrtega (Learn about HDDSLR filmmaking and browse my videos)
Auralex 1’x 1′ acoustic foam treatment kit – 24 pieces (Follow along as I treat my studio for better sound).
Blip.tv RSS feed redirect (use this to redirect your Blip.tv RSS feed to a new feed).
Zoom audio recorders

Subscribe to The Podcasters Studio Podcast
itunes Zune Miro

TPS Ep. 040 – USB Mixers, Recording Skype Video, and Podcasting Statistics for 2010

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someone

When choosing a mixer for your podcast there are some special considerations that I think each podcaster should think about before making their purchase. Some of these include the number of mic inputs your mixer will allow. Can you grow your show with the mixer you are planning to buy? Can it power condenser microphones and will it record multiple channels when connected to your computer? I bring up these questions and more to help you understand the special needs of a podcaster when choosing a mixer. I take a listener question from Gene who called in to find out how to record Skype video and how to take that video and put it on your blog/website. Also I take a look at the new statistics published by Edison Research and their “Current State of Podcasting” report for 2010. Tom Webster presented the information at Blogworld 2010 (see below for the entire talk and slides) and I discuss some of the most important insights that I think podcasters should take away from the talk. Finally, I tie in the information provided by Tom with recent actions I took on my site to upgrade the social sharing features I provide. I explain why I changed wordpress plugins in an attempt to clean up my site while still providing a way for users to pass on my content to their favorite sharing sites. download this episode (48 min. | .mp3 | 47 mb)

The Current State Of Podcasting from Tom Webster on Vimeo.

links mentioned on this episode Call Recorder – for recording Skype video on Mac Pamela – for recording Skype video on a PC ShareThis – WordPress plugin for social sharing buttons (twitter, facebook, digg, etc) The Current State of Podcasting for 2010 PDF” – slides from Tom’s presentation

Subscribe to The Podcasters Studio Podcast
itunes Zune Miro

PQT – Choosing a Mixer for Podcasting

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someone

When you’re deciding on what kind of mixer to get for your podcast there are several things to consider before making your purchase. I run through the most important things I think you should be looking for in a mixer that will be used for producing podcasts.

Some of the things I like to have in a mixer include USB 2.0 or better, insert channels to properly attached effects processors, real faders, mute buttons, and a few more things you’ll hear about on this episode.

Subscribe to Podcast Quick Tips
itunes Zune MiroGoogleEmail 
Secured By miniOrange