Saturday, June 24, 2017

War and Beast 41: Optimus is a Monster


Greg used my title again!  I'd like to give you guys a quick peak behind the curtain on our recording process, since I don't have much to say about this episode.  It was fine, but I'm having to come to terms that the show isn't what I wanted it to be based on my memories of the first season.  Anyway, here's that peak behind the curtain.

We usually meet up on Skype after watching the episode around 8:30 eastern on Monday night.  More often than not, we have one or two stragglers and/or run into some sort of technical difficluties.  Then, we talk about nonsense for an hour or more before beginning the recording. 

My recording setup is a weird one.  I run the audio from the Skype call through my mixing board and USB interface into a second computer which records it onto Audacity, a free multi-track recording software that is one of the standard programs for amateur podcasters like us.  I also send my microphone through the mixing board and output into the laptop where the Skype call is(so Greg and the other cohosts can hear me) and into the USB interface which goes into Audacity.  My microphone and the feed from the Skype call are panned left and right respectively so that we can adjust the levels on each channel as needed before merging the tracks into one mono feed.  At that point, I export the raw audio, give it an incoherent title and send it to Greg, who does all the real work.

We usually power through recording the episode with maybe one short break if something comes up.  The whole experience goes until about 11 or 12 eastern time, which is particularly fun for Greg and I, as I work at 6 am on Tuesdays and Greg is actually an hour ahead of eastern time, whatever that time zone's called.  Oh, I almost forgot, Greg, Jordan, and Emily all use a program called mp3 Skype Recorder to record backup recordings just in case.  Having everyone record backups is just one of the little things that make this one of the only podcasts I've ever been on that never lost an episode. 

Once Greg gets the raw file, he runs a "noise reduction" filter to get rid of those pesky background noises and a "truncate silence" filter to get rid of the awkward silences after I make all of my unfunny, mildly offensive jokes.  He also runs the file through a program called Levelator, which does a great job of mixing and mastering the track so our audio levels are reasonably level.  Recently I've noticed that it's been leveling things a little too high and causing the track to clip a little bit, but that's something we're working on.  After levelating the file, Greg adds music, writes show notes, and schedules the episode to go public at the appropriate time.  He also edits for content to some extent, but I forget when he does this.

Well, thanks for reading if you got this far.  I recently read one or two blog entries like this from another podcast/blog that I follow and I figured there might be one or two people out there interested in reading something like this.  Without further ado:

Here's the episode!

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