Stereo or Mono

Podtrak P4 connected with XLR cables to two Samson Q2U mics. I do interviews. I record NOT through Audacity. I just import it after done.

  1. It should be in Audacity as Stereo, right? that is better than Mono because there are two mics right?
  2. I did 2 interviews with the same person on a different day. Same location, same equipment and everything. When I dropped or imported the first one into Audacity it says it is in Mono. The next day dropped the second interview in and it say it is in Stereo. Why is that?
  3. How many of you import each mic and edit in Audacity separately (I do know if you do it that was mono is best)? That seems like a lot of work if you have pretty good equipment. I mean I don’t have a team. I don’t have a world famous podcast. I don’t want to be a overly perfectionist and never get anything complete. Am I a fool?
  4. So years ago when I would transcribe my interviews to written word to be published in magazines and such. So i recorded a really good interview with my Pixel 3 with Googles own Recorder app. I really want to use the audio so trying to clean it up and make it okay in Audacity. From my question above, if it is better to do stereo over mono and I know that a Pixel 3 has 3 microphones. A top Mic, a bottom mic and a mic in the hole in the top edge. So would that be considered left/ right microphones and could be imported or edited in stereo?

Thank you

Podtrak P4 connected with XLR cables to two Samson Q2U mics. I do interviews. I record NOT through Audacity.

That’s fine. There are advantages to using a stand-alone recorder. Computers are the least reliable things we own, the multitasking operating system often gets in the way, and you usually don’t know if there’s a problem until later.

So, somehow it was recorded in mono.

Generally, stereo is better because you can adjust the volumes separately if necessary. But it is an extra step to mix them (and you usually don’t want one person full-left and the other full-right).

and I know that a Pixel 3 has 3 microphones. A top Mic, a bottom mic and a mic in the hole in the top edge.

I dunno’ That’s a Pixel question but it’s probably not good for stereo.

So I got the P4 when it first came out and there was an update that was needed that I did between the two interviews. So maybe that is what caused one to be recoded in Mono and the second one is Stereo. Can you convert the mono to stereo or that is just how it is recorded and nothing can be done?

Why is stereo one more step in editing? is it because you have to edit each mic separately? If so, why? I mean I imported the whole thing and edited both at the same time and it sound good. Am I a fool? lol honestly

I like this thing. It might take you a while to get used to how it works, but I think somebody took a lot of time to iron out many common problems.

You used the USB cable to transfer the interviews, right? The memory card is not simple. Page 32 of the manual tells us the first level of the card has stereo files configured for podcasting. I can’t tell yet if it’s Mic-1 on the left and Mic-2 on the right. I suspect not because you couldn’t clean that up and post it immediately. I think it’s a convenient mix. That’s fast, but it has its Problems

Screen Shot 2022-06-11 at 19.55.13.png
Also in the root level of the card is a folder called Multitrack. That’s the one that contains the four microphones as individual sound files.

That’s where you go to import the (two in your case) individual microphones into Audacity as separate individual tracks. Apply corrections and effects to each as needed. Audacity will automatically mix the two microphones down into a mono-mix when you Export.

The hard part may be what to do for archival storage. Do you want to keep the two individual tracks around as well as the production mix? I think I would export each as its own mono WAV file and move them to somewhere safe.

HOST-MIC_20220611.WAV
GUEST-MIC_20220611WAV
PODCAST-MIX_20220611.WAV

The podcast will almost certainly be MP3, but you shouldn’t keep that as archive. Export the show as WAV and save that. MP3 has built-in sound distortion. You can’t make perfect mixes with them later and you can’t stop the damage.

Be absolutely certain that you have protection copies of the HOST and GUEST WAV files before you delete the work from the card.

Did I catch everything?

Koz

I imported the whole thing and edited both at the same time and it sound good.

You got lucky. If you have some sound damage and need to split up the two microphones for correction, you can only do that if they’re separate. Audacity can’t split up a mixed show into individual voices, instruments, or sounds. Once they’re jammed together, you’re stuck.

I think the only reason you would need stereo is if you have music. Do you? Intros, Outros, Stingers, Bumpers? You might want to keep them in stereo, but there’s no reason for a straight, simple interview to be stereo. You do not want to put you on the left and the guest on the right.

I like the microphone, too. Somebody was paying attention. I have a Zoom H1n recorder and I like it a lot.

Koz

Where is the show posted?

It is forbidden to do sales or promotion on the forum … unless an elf asks you.

Koz

I do have this thing about saving perfect quality WAV files of everything. Not everybody in Hollywood is on top of everything all the time.

“Hey Koz, I got a call from the production office. Do you still have that track you recorded last month?”

“Of course.”

Koz

Found it.
A recording file is made for podcasting. This combines all channels and the SOUND PAD sounds (through the master channel) into a stereo file.

The Sound Pad is so you can add theme music or other sounds live into the show.

[THEME] [MUSIC UNDER] “Hello, this is Bracken Helmes and today we’re talking to WhooHa Wizbang…”

All this stuff is insanely handy as long as you don’t many any mistakes.

That podcasting show is a mix of all four microphones. They warn you to turn down the ones you aren’t using to keep them from adding noise. Since you have experience with the “stereo” show, did the two microphones seem to shift from left to right as each person spoke? If not, then the podcast show is a stereo show with each microphone panned to the center. That’s fast and convenient, but as I said, it’s a lot less handy if you have any accidents or sound damage.

You may find a problem with the individual microphone recordings. Each performer’s voice is going to leak into their partner’s microphone slightly depending on the room. So there is no completely splitting each performer from the other.

The Interview from Hell is the two of them interrupting and speaking over each other.

Listen carefully and pray nothing goes wrong because that will be almost impossible to fix later.

Do test recordings so surprise problems don’t pop up when you’re interviewing the governor.

Do you have an address for your show?

Koz

You used the USB cable to transfer the interviews, right?
Yes I did

Audacity will automatically mix the two microphones down into a mono-mix when you Export.

So is mono better than stereo into Audacity?

Do you want to keep the two individual tracks around as well as the production mix? I think I would export each as its own mono WAV file and move them to somewhere safe.

I have done that. I would be very upset if I lost them.

The podcast will almost certainly be MP3, but you shouldn’t keep that as archive. Export the show as WAV and save that. MP3 has built-in sound distortion. You can’t make perfect mixes with them later and you can’t stop the damage.

Good to know!

You got lucky. If you have some sound damage and need to split up the two microphones for correction, you can only do that if they’re separate. Audacity can’t split up a mixed show into individual voices, instruments, or sounds. Once they’re jammed together, you’re stuck.

This is stressing me. It sounds like a lot of work to edit them separately then put them back together. I don’t want to become such a perfectionist that I never get anything done. In the research I did that was what everybody warned about. that most podcast never happen because people fret over the audio and don’t ever complete shows.

I think the only reason you would need stereo is if you have music. Do you? Intros, Outros, Stingers, Bumpers? You might want to keep them in stereo, but there’s no reason for a straight, simple interview to be stereo.

So Mono is better? I plan to do intro and outro, but don’t trust myself so need to find someone.

The Sound Pad is so you can add theme music or other sounds live into the show.

Yes, like I said I want to get an intro done and then just use the button on the sound pad.

[THEME] [MUSIC UNDER] “Hello, this is Bracken Helmes and today we’re talking to WhooHa Wizbang…”

Yesss exactly

That podcasting show is a mix of all four microphones. They warn you to turn down the ones you aren’t using to keep them from adding noise. Since you have experience with the “stereo” show, did the two microphones seem to shift from left to right as each person spoke? If not, then the podcast show is a stereo show with each microphone panned to the center. That’s fast and convenient, but as I said, it’s a lot less handy if you have any accidents or sound damage.

Are you asking about in my audio? Because I have not submitted a podcast yet. I wanted to get a few edited and ready to go and get the intro done before hand .

You may find a problem with the individual microphone recordings. Each performer’s voice is going to leak into their partner’s microphone slightly depending on the room. So there is no completely splitting each performer from the other.

Yes one interview I did we were sitting to close and this happened.

The Interview from Hell is the two of them interrupting and speaking over each other.

Yes I am worried. one guy I am friends with that I interviewed was a blabbermouth so I had to cut in a bunch. I am hoping that is not going to be bad for the listener :frowning:




Do you have an address for your show?

Koz
[/quote]

It sounds like a lot of work to edit them separately then put them back together. I don’t want to become such a perfectionist that I never get anything done. In the research I did that was what everybody warned about. that most podcast never happen because people fret over the audio and don’t ever complete shows.

You get to wear your Producer hat. That’s the person who signs the checks and makes executive decisions. You can go with the Live Broadcast model. You prepare as much as humanly possible and when the second hand on the clock comes around, what ever happens in the performance is the way it is. No going back and no editing.

[THEME] [MUSIC UNDER] “This is NBC Nightly News. Now, in Washington, Here is…”

In your case, that would look like producing the whole show, music, voices and all in that first file, Stereo for Podcasting. Don’t change anything. You get used to the stress. Between watching the meters and listening to the headphones, you get good at balancing the performance in real time.

[END THEME] [CUT] Pull the stereo mix file out of the P4, convert it to MP3 and upload it.

I was in the tech team that put Fox News New York on the air. For weeks, the whole studio was operated as though it had a hot satellite link … except we didn’t. Each time we screwed something up, the tech team pounced and fixed it for the next day. “What do you mean all three studio microphones didn’t wake up?” “Why are the studio background monitors bright blue?”

Now go back and pull out the three WAV files, host, guest, and show mix for archive.

Get ready for the next show.

You will want to go back and fix that one little problem. There is never “that one little problem.” That’s the first step to a four hour edit session.


Directional microphones tend to have a dead spot directly behind. If you ever watch Joe Rogan, the two people are directly in front of each other. That puts each performer in the microphone shadow of the other. If you do get voice crosses, it will be because of sound bouncing around the walls. That brings you to the studio. That’s what the fuzzy walls and ceiling fix for you.

That’s why field interviews are so much fun. Keeping the diner dish sounds, background music, and conversations out of the show is just the best.

Koz

He doesn’t usually do full-frames.

JoeRogan-2022-06-13.png
That was his Elon Musk interview. That’s you on the left. Everybody’s wearing headphones. The P4 is all set up for that. You have headphones, right?

The more trash you have, the better. It cuts down on echoes, slap, and wine glass distortion. I did a terrific sound test in my garage. I know people who do actual shows from their garage.

Koz

You know you’re ready for a “real” interview when you don’t have to look where the P4 knobs and buttons are.

Koz

You can go with the Live Broadcast model. You prepare as much as humanly possible and when the second hand on the clock comes around, what ever happens in the performance is the way it is. No going back and no editing.

No don’t want that raw, just don’t want to use a significant amount of time being to much of a perfectionist…not really sure where that point is yet. Maybe the point should be drawn on amount of time or work I am okay with putting in. Like for example if I edit it for perfection and spend insane amount of time and the audio is rated as a 10 and a live raw is rated at like a 4, but putting in a lot less time to separate and fix everything and just edit the file with both mics together it is rated at a 8 or maybe a 7 it is way more worth it to me to take the 8 in audio quality.


Directional microphones tend to have a dead spot directly behind. If you ever watch Joe Rogan, the two people are directly in front of each other. That puts each performer in the microphone shadow of the other. If you do get voice crosses, it will be because of sound bouncing around the walls.

I did not know that that is really good to know! Thank you so much for that. I have basically been sitting side by side, because I was video recording, but i need to give up on that until I get the audio figured out.

You have headphones, right?

Yes…well I wear them, not my guest. Why should the guest? They are just talking they are not paying attention to adjusting anything, right?

The more trash you have, the better. It cuts down on echoes, slap, and wine glass distortion. I did a terrific sound test in my garage. I know people who do actual shows from their garage.

This good to know. I mean I had an idea but not to this much extent. I have 2 garages and the small one has carpet on the ground and other storage so that is good, because I look at Garages as echoey but I guess it depends how they are set up.

They are just talking they are not paying attention to adjusting anything, right?

When you are listening to yourself you are much less likely to shift, weave, bob, and change your voice volume. It makes for a much smoother and more even presentation and you don’t even have to explain to the guest what they’re doing. It’s completely automatic.

I saw this in action when a guest leaned over and their interview voice volume dipped for a split second. They suddenly snapped back upright for the rest of the interview.

This is a cousin to land-line telephone “Side Tone.” A little bit of your own voice is fed back to your ear in the handset for a simple automatic volume control. Cell phones don’t have that which feels like talking into a piece of wood and gives you that constant “Can you hear me OK?”

<<<
I had an idea but not to this much extent.

Avoid plain facing walls. In one company office, I had surgically correct, flat facing walls and my joke was that I could clap my hands and go to lunch and that clap would still be bouncing back and forth when I got back. [tish tish tish tish].

There are some fuzzy rules, but a garage is not the worst place to announce. My garage is full of junk and boxes. I pulled two furniture moving pads over the metal roll-up door…


… set up a fake desk for pressure zone recording, and started to announce.



You can put a microphone directly on a plain quiet desk like that (the down side is you can’t make any desk noises), or you can suspend the microphone in front of you and put a furniture moving pad on the desk.

In this particular case, the boxes of Christmas decorations and National Geographic Magazines take the place of the pads on the walls. In my particular case, the garage has a peaked ceiling and that works even better.

I think I wrote this up once but I can’t find it. I did have to wait until the two rush hours were over and I still had to avoid the periodic metro bus.

I did several recordings in a room at work with boxes of invoices, receipts, promotion folders, and accounts. It was terrific until they decided to make it into somebody’s office.

“Linda? Let me know when you go for your department meeting. I need to shoot a voice track.”

Koz

I was video recording

Use one microphone in the middle for side-by-side video. If you use two microphones close, they will interfere with each other and give you odd tonal shifts and honking.

What you’re supposed to do is use a very, very directional microphone (shotgun) and keep flipping it back and forth as you perform. This also gives the guest the not so subtle clue that when you’re aimed at you, you’re not recording them any more. If they never stop saying valuable stuff, then that’s the clue that you should shut up and listen. You can cut this down later.

This is a pretty robust technique and you can do it literally on the run. The host is holding about a thousand dollars in that picture. That’s the down $ide.

Kzo

A word on editing.

Step one. Make a WAV protection copy of the show, errors and all.

Listen through the show to make sure you found all the errors and fluffs. If you’re announcing by yourself, you can clap or make some distinctive noise during the performance so you can find the errors more easily later.

[clock face rapidly winds forward]

At the end, you listen through the whole show to make sure you patched all the errors. Sometimes, patching an error will give a new error and you don’t catch it until now.

In the middle between those two, you carefully cut, polish, shift, patch, and filter the work. Note we’re up to three times the length of the show and we’re not even breathing hard. Five times isn’t unusual.

Editing expands very rapidly whether you’re being a perfectionist or not.

koz