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Discussion on: DevDiscuss podcast production tools and process?

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levisharpe profile image
Levi Sharpe

Hi Rowe,

Sounding good "lately," and not for all time??! ;)

• What tools are you using? … mostly interested in the software.

I edit and mix the episodes in Pro Tools. I use a range of plugins from Izotope, Waves, Fabfilter, and some other places.

• How do you record remote guests?

We record remote guests through Zoom, and I have the guests record a local recording on their end typically using Quicktime or Audacity on whatever the best microphone they have is (this is the biggest variable, and ranges from professional quality mics, a MacBook Pro internal mic, USB mics like Blue Yetis and such, or their smartphone as a secondary recording device that they hold up to their face while doing the interview).

I record two backups, one through Zoom itself, and the other through Audio Hijack. The difference between a good producer and a great one is paranoia.

• What is the production process for recording, editing, mixing down and publishing?

It starts with all of us sitting in an editorial meeting pitching episode ideas and potential guests. Then I generally have a short chat with those guests to get a feel for them and what they might be excited to talk about themselves on the podcast, which helps be build a script/interview prep for the hosts. The day of the recording, we all connect through Zoom and I make sure that the guest's setup sounds as good as it can. One of the biggest bummer factors is if they are in a super echoey space, which mitigating in post usually makes their audio sound the most processed.

After the interview is done, I have the guests and hosts send me their audio through a pCloud link. I import those files into Pro Tools, sync up the audio, which is generally and hour to an hour and a half of recorded tape. Then I typically edit down that audio for time and flow to get it down to about 40 minutes. What gets cut are things that I think are extraneous, ums, stumbles, and repetition.

I polish and mix the episode along the way, but do a final pass at the end just to make sure nothing sounds off.

• File formats? … assuming 48khz 32bit mono wav track for each guest, then a stereo music track. What are you mixing down to? do you render out the mp3? what bitrate, etc?

I make and export my sessions at 44.1khz, 24bit, and bounce the file as a WAV and an mp3 at 192Kbps.

• Microphone hardware? compression settings?

We have most of our hosts using a Shure Beta 87 microphone with a USB adapter.

Plugin settings for compression and such be my little secrets :)

dev-to-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/up...

I hope that satisfied your curiosity, and thanks for listening!

Best,
Levi

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rowemore profile image
Rowe Morehouse Author • Edited

Your podcast sound totally dope. It's great.

> We record remote guests through Zoom, and I have the guests record a local recording on their end typically using Quicktime or Audacity

How do you help them do this? The input audio stream would have to go to Quicktime as well as Zoom, yah? Do you help them set up an "aggregate input device" assuming they are on mac?

> I record two backups, one through Zoom itself, and the other through Audio Hijack.

Nice. I use SoundSource from Rogue Amoeba instead of Hijack or Loopback. SoundSource is the best $39 bucks I spent on software in a long time. Have you tried it? Also I use Existential Audio BlackHole as part of the internal stream routing. Are you familiar? I can share my setup config with you if you want.

> One of the biggest bummer factors is if they are in a super echoey space

Hate that. There are people on the web that record podcasts and webinars daily, professionally, and they have so much echo and room-tone — don't they listen back and realize they're sounding like dog doo? :)

> After the interview is done, I have the guests and hosts send me their audio through a pCloud link

You have them record in 44.1khz 24bit?

Thanks for your responses! … the show sounds great and the content is great too. :)