Does the MixPre need a Fethead or Cloudlifter?

The MixPre series from Sound Devices* is my favorite, sub $1000, audio recorder and interface. As you’ll read below, it has many advantages over other recorders in this class (Zoom H6, Tascam DR60DmkII, etc.) Of course that is built into the price but the return is worth it IMO.

At its core, it’s a professional level device that performs its main function really well…clean audio recordings. What makes this possible is the great preamp the MixPre has inside. It’s strong (+76db) and clean (doesn’t add noticeable noise to the recording).

To test this out, I plugged in my Shure SM7B (XLR direct to input 1), a notoriously low-sensitivity microphone, to see if the MixPre could provide enough gain to reach recording level (-20 to -12 peaks) without adding noise to the recording.

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103: THE SM7B – Popularity, Noise, & First Mics

Have you thought about getting the *Shure SM7B? Does it seem like every podcaster is using this microphone or saving up to buy one? On this episode you’ll hear the SM7B, learn some of its history and why it’s an industry standard and a podcasting favorite. Why did I buy this microphone and should you get one? Let’s dive into the SM7B and find out why I think it’s the most used microphone in podcasting.

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Podcasts Are Coming to Google!

Google is getting their own podcast directory and they want you to submit your podcast nowgplay

In exciting news, Google is finally jumping back into podcasts by announcing that podcasts will be added to Google Play Music.

“Podcasts” and “Google” are not two words that have gone together very well over the last five or so years since the demise of the Google Listen app which was just so-so anyway. Well they’re back and it sounds like they’re all-in.

This is great news for podcast producers and hopefully many, many new podcast fans to come.

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TPS094: International Podcast Day and the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4

IPD-Round-300International Podcast Day is September 30th, find out what you can do to support and grow the medium of podcasting.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i4* audio interface is a great little device for plugging analog gear (microphones, mixers, etc.) into your computer and getting clean sounding, high-quality audio.  [Read more…]

TPS091: Gain Staging Any Mixer

Setting up a mixer can be a difficult task. Even on the smallest mixers there are numerous buttons and knobs that all affect the audio you put into it. Knowing exactly which knobs to turn and when can be confusing at best and can wreck your audio at worst. In this episode I talk about how to gain stage (setup your microphone for proper audio levels) any mixer you might use as a podcaster.

Because beginning podcasters often start with a very limited budget, we tend to purchase mixers that don’t feature all the tools that some higher end mixers have such as PFL/Solo buttons for easier gain staging of your microphones. But even the cheapest mixers have the minimum controls to setup your levels properly. I talk about how to use both a channel’s peak light and/or the main mix meters to get your mixer operating a level that the manufacture intended it to be used at.


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Podcaster’s Pilgrimage – My Visit to the TWiT Studios

If you live in Northern California or are ever visiting and you’re a podcaster, I highly recommend you make the “podcaster’s pilgrimage” to the TWiT Brick House in Petaluma, California. The best part is that anyone can walk right in and see the studio for themselves. Here’s the experience through my eyes and lens.twit-logo

Following a week in Las Vegas, Nevada where I attended and spoke at New Media Expo, my friends and fellow podcasters Mike and Izabela Russell were taking an extended vacation which included a visit to San Francisco. At first, I was planning to show them wine country in the Napa Valley, a great California experience but then it hit me, what’s in wine country and specifically tailored for podcasters? TWiT! [Read more…]

TPS Ep. 066 – The Status of Podcasts on the Zune Marketplace with Rob Greenlee

The goal of this episode was simple. Find out what happened to Zune.net and podcasts on the Zune Marketplace.

To achieve this goal I went straight to the source. I talk to Rob Greenlee the Project Manager for podcasts on the Zune Marketplace.

If you listened to episode 065, you heard me say that links to Zune.net and your show page on the online catalog of podcasts on Zune were dead. [Read more…]

TPS Ep. 063 – Libsyn Updates and Insights into iTunes, Podcast Stats and Hosting.

Rob Walch from Wizzard Media and Libsyn.com joins us once again to talk about all the recent improvements to podcast hosting on Libsyn.

Even if you don’t have a Libsyn account or don’t plan to have one anytime soon, you’ll still want to listen as Rob provides many great insights into iTunes, podcasting statistics, hosting and more.

The most recent upgrades to Libsyn include improved stats, an HTML 5 player, and On-Publish which allows you to easily cross post your podcast episodes across your favorite social networks and media platforms. [Read more…]

DIY Desktop Rack Mount

I tackled another DIY podcast studio project today (see detailed pictures at the bottom of this post) and I’m happy with the results thus far.

I built a desktop rack mount which I’m calling the Podcaster’s Rack Mount because of it’s relatively small footprint. Designed to fit a mixer and two rack mountable pieces for recording in a home studio environment.

I created this rack because it couldn’t be purchased. This is the smallest rack mount for a desktop that I’ve seen. The unit is only 13″ tall, fitting standard rack units (19″ wide). I also included a base that tilts the mixer towards the user making it much easier to monitor levels and adjust knobs. [Read more…]

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