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…]

TPS Ep. 065 – Pro Mics into an H4n, Reducing Hiss, Hardware Processing, and Media Hosting

First order of business is Zune. It appears that links to my podcast and everyone else for that matter, are broken. That’s because Zune.net is gone. This means that when you click your old link to Zune (if you had one on your site) you are now taken to xbox.com.

Zune is gone and so is your podcast listing on the web. Apparently the name Zune is no longer in play either. It’s podcast on Windows Mobile or something typically Microsoft (unfriendly). [Read more…]

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

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.

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PQT – Choosing a Mixer for Podcasting

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.

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