TCA (my initials)

March 20, 2008

blogcast numero uno

Filed under: podcasting — TCA @ 7:31 pm

I’ve taken a longer amount of time getting up to speed than I’d care to admit. I’m ALMOST finally ready to podcast.

“Keep it simple” is my mantra. I’ve gone through a maze of hellish complications to arrive at simplicity. So… Here I am! How did I get here?

The first topic that I researched was choosing a microphone. One option is expensive firewire or USB preamps and mixers and the like for conventional XLR mikes. As far as expense and complicatedness goes, the sky is the limit.

Another option is USB microphones. Phallic or boob… The choice is yours. The Rode Podcaster is phallic. It’s a majestic eight inches plus. The Blue Snowball is a boob. It would go nicely with my Apple Pro speakers. Remember the boob-shaped Apple Pro speakers?

The Rode Podcaster is dynamic, the Blue Snowball is condenser. Studio mikes tend to be condenser, on-stage mikes tend to be dynamic. Both are good quality. Both come with their share of problems because they’re very sensitive. Because of their sensitivity, mikes such as these are prone to pick up unwanted noises like hum.

That’s why pros rent an expensive studio filled with expensive equipment and hire technicians with union cards. If you want magic, hire a wizard. Wizards don’t come cheap.

But not to worry. Keep in mind that a podcast will be squashed into an MP3 file. The sound quality is not gonna be all that great no matter how expensive and fancy the recording equipment. So if all you want to do is yak, you don’t need to spend a lot of money.

Frankly, I spent a little more money than I had to. I blew fifty bucks at Best Buy on a Plantronics Audio 470 foldable USB headset with microphone.

It’s primarily designed for Skype. It can also be used for gaming. I’m using it for podcasting, needless to say. I said it anyway.

All right, selecting a microphone accomplished. Phase two: Software.

My computer is an obsolete G4 Mac mini running OS X Tiger. It has the stock half a gig of RAM. Not a computing powerhouse.

Anyway, after a good deal of trial and error, I figured out how to record a podcast using GarageBand 2. Unfortunately, GarageBand saves the recording as a porky proprietary file. So the podcast had to be exported to iTunes. iTunes 7 can convert the proprietary GarageBand file into an MP3. Select Advanced and then select Convert Selection to MP3.


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