The Great Dynamic Range Podcast Episode 2 | We're Getting Better!

Creative people, talking about creative things, what could be better. Well, if I could hear myself I would feel like my voice is there, but as this is only the 2nd episode of our fledgling podcast, I will give it a pass. I'm definitely glad to have this opportunity to work on being the engineer and doing post-production on the project because it's given me the chance to hone my skills in those areas. I know those types of skills are a very hot commodity in the audio industry these days, so I plan to nail it. This week I introduced some new mic techniques into the fray, with EVERYONE GETTING MICROPHONES! (Thanks Oprah!). This made a huge difference to the sound quality in the end, so I was happy with the choice. If you've sprung up out of your chair and are ready for some intense review of my latest podcast session, keep reading. I'll discuss my production techniques, why we interviewed Sean from Tech and what we have next week.

Is This Thing On - My Mic Choices

This week I was so keen to get into the studio and try out my fantasy microphone team for this podcast. I would give myself about a 6/10 for the mic choice. The Electro-Voice RE-20, Shure SM7B, and Heil PR40 are all terrific mics and well worth there weight but are all so different. My original idea was to have everyone choose a different mic and talk about their choice, but after getting feedback from the group I decided it was not a good choice (Just in case someone uses a Copperphone). I thought the SM7B, which was used on Roseta and Bree's voices, was much nicer for what we were doing, and the RE-20 had some nice warmth in it. It was my first time using the PR-40 and I have to say, it was better than I expected. A real workhorse and unusually shaped piece of gear for what it is. It's actually top directional and it looks more like an Audio Technika 2050. Luckily I'd done my research and knew this beforehand. As for the next time I get to throw this audio party next week, I may choose mics that are very similar which will help in post-production. 

Post-production

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm so glad we aren't amazing at this yet. It's been really good to use this experience to get better at my post-production editing skills. After having such varying levels of signal from the different mics, I really needed to use my ears to get everything sounding good. You can still hear minor differences in sound quality and tone because of the mic choices, but I think I can safely say I did well to cut out some sentences that were mildly inappropriate. I managed to edit those mistakes out so they don't even sound like they were made. I am hoping for more opportunities in future weeks to work on new issues and learn new ways to fix them. I used some HPF EQ's on each voice and added another layer of light compression to the track. All tracks were summed to a master bus compressor on the Audient 4816 and I used the Izotope De-Noise plugin to eliminate air-conditioner and electrical noise in the background. 

The video below goes through some typical microphone choices and techniques that are commonly used in podcasts. I think it's important to keep in mind that there is knowledge out there from experts on YouTube and I just need to do a little more research into my own set-up. Things like moving away from the mic, really effected the level of my vocals, and he speaks about that in this video as a common issue. 

This Week's Interview

I can't have written this whole blog without mentioning why Sean from Tech was our guest this week. Well, as interesting as Sean is, I messed up and I kind of hope David Page doesn't read this, but he probably will. Through the week I sent David Page an email inviting him onto the show, but in said email. I wrote the wrong date. I put next weeks date in and didn't even check my work after. So that was the reason for the interview, and to be honest we got lucky because Sean is an interesting guy and a former student, so it was great to get some perspective from someone who has already gone through what we are doing. It was fantastic to have Sean speak his mind about the industry and just talk about his career so far. I'm really looking forward to hearing all about the life and career of David Page next week and as usual I will keep learning from this project. Below is the audio from the podcast, unfortunatly this week we don't have photos.

 

 

References

 

 

5by5tv . (2014, October 29). Mic Techniques. Retrieved March 7, 2017, from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZe2ugX4h9A

Audio Technica. (2017, March 1). 2050. Retrieved March 7, 2017, from Audio Technica: https://www.thomann.de/gb/audio_technica_at2050.htm

Electro Voice. (2017, March 1). RE-20. Retrieved March 7, 2017, from Electro-Voice: https://www.electrovoice.com/product.php?id=91

Heil. (2017, March 1). PR-40. Retrieved March 7, 2017, from Heil: https://heilsound.com/products/pr-40/

Placid Audio. (2017, March 1). Copperphone. Retrieved March 7, 2017, from Placid Audio: https://www.placidaudio.com/products/copperphone/

Shure. (2017, March 1). SM7B. Retrieved March 7, 2017, from Shure: http://www.shure.com/americas/products/microphones/sm/sm7b-vocal-microphone