Using Audacity from a prerecorded-file.

To whom it may concern,

(Sidenote: I am not sure what I’ll be using if a mac or PC, so if possible please link me both options - thanks)

I am starting my own podcast network. I’ve used Audacity before, this was a few years ago, but nonetheless I am
trying to figure out a few things. Firstly, I want to use a mic and connectible hard drive of sorts to download the
prerecorded audio to it. I am thinking of using a “Shotgun” Mic for sounds around me (Natural sound - everything that is not the main interviewee) and a mic for recording the vocal audio. All this with some kind of connection where it can be downloaded for retrieval at
a later time. I want to record everything then download it to my computer either as files which I will load directly to Audacity
or playback from phone or mic on to Audacity. I want to know if I’d even need two mics or not? What’s the best system for recording
the audio to files that can be uploaded to Audacity later? What is best for all of this? So far I’ve thought of using:
http://bluemic.com/snowball/#/desc/ with audacity, I am just not sure. I need answers fast I am trying to start in three-four weeks with my projects.

I am trying to make NPR (National Public Radio) style quality podcasts, where you hear extra sounds that make you feel what is going on around the people without actually seeing it. Not just Vocals of the interviewer and the interviewee.

Thanks,

I look forward to all the answers and help.

I am starting my own podcast network.

So more than one podcast? Do you have multiple people contributing to your network and more than one connection for listening?

“Shotgun” Mic for sounds around me

I suppose that’s the first problem. You use the shotgun microphone for the interview because it doesn’t pick up trash in the environment and you can use a second mic if you wish to put your questions on tape without waving the shotgun around. Shotguns work like tight flashlights. They pick up where you point them.

Typically, the interviewer microphone is sloppier than the interviewee and will pick up enough background sound to go around. You can mix them as needed in post production.

By far the worst problem is getting rid of environment, not worrying about capturing it.

Please note that the intro, base commentary and interstitials in NPR shows don’t have “environment.” They’re neutral and sound like somebody sitting next to you on a comfortable sofa in a quiet room talking to you. See attached, a segment from This American Life.

A common misconception is we can “clean up” a recording and fix all or almost all sound errors. Probably wrong on most counts. Noise Removal doesn’t actually remove noise all that well and we can’t take out echoes at all. You are urged strongly to make a simple recording and see the problems you run into and how to fix them. You can post here any time with a specific problem and we’ll do what we can to fix them, or tell you how to not make that mistake in the first place.

Never do production in MP3. MP3 is a delivery format and causes permanent sound damage.

~~

Are you following anybody’s commentary about how to create a podcast?

http://transom.org/

I really like this one. If you dig deep enough, they take you through the equipment they’re using and how best to use it.

Koz

First of, Thanks for all the things you said VIA your response.

I understand where you are coming from but what I need to be able to do is not have to use a computer, when recording every time. I was thinking I could record the sounds and interview then edit them together on Audacity. If not what can I do to not have to have a computer around with a mike plugged in ready to go each and every time? Another thing, THE SHOTGUN was only going to be used to pick up sounds around me for extra affect like car door closing when I walk up to the people’s location, etc. If I shouldn’t use a shotgun please let me know what would be better and I’ll use that instead. Also my podcasting network, is not going to be other people, what I meant was it wasn’t going to be just one podcast — it would be multiple series/subjects. Some of my podcasts are not going to be true “Podcasts” but more or less ads for people’s WEBSITES and such. But many will be 15-30 min long or more Talks or PODCASTS.

Lastly, During the last group of messages you said, the interviewee’s audio always sounds worse then that of the interviewer. So, what is the best way to fix this? I am going to look into the Blue Microphones company and see if their mics do two way recording, that’s what I was going to try even if I don’t use them. Looking forward to learning more and see what I have to do to make the best work out of my projects.

the interviewee’s audio always sounds worse then that of the interviewer.

No, the actor or talent usually sounds just fine, it’s the guy holding the microphone that usually gets stuck. One of three things happens: The recordist doesn’t move the microphone at all and the talent sounds just fine but you can’t…qu…hear…t…question.

The recordist moves the microphone rapidly back and forth to catch both people speaking and usually misses the first word of each one.

Use two microphones. The one for the talent can be the shotgun and you just have to get good at holding and pointing it, and the other one can be a “tie-tack” microphone that the recordist sticks on their chest to record the questions. That’s usually the sloppy one that also picks up the environment.

The desperation method is to do everything possible to capture the talent clearly and perfectly and then record your questions over again back at the studio. Edit your brains out to make it sound like real life.

That happens more often than you think.

~~

You can use a number of different hardware recording methods. That Transom web site tells you how to use various Tascam portable recorders. One of our other Audacity posters is about to do that. You can use external microphones with many of the Zoom portable recorders. I have a Zoom H4 and I’m planning wacky experiments with noise cancellation.

http://www.zoom.co.jp/english/products/h4/

I haven’t tried this, but I’m supposed to be able to jam a microphone into my old iPod and produce a simple, one-mic recording. Some cellphones can have remote microphones for use with their Personal Recorder APP.


Nobody uses portable drives. It’s always an SD Chip or other tiny Hardware Memory Device. Either pull the chip physically out of the recorder and plug it into the editing computer, or plug the whole recorder into the editing computer as a Remote USB Storage Device (the Zoom works that way) and edit the show that way.

Remember the more shortcuts you use the more likely you are to flush a valuable interview down the toilet if anything goes wrong.

“John? We had a edit crash down here. Do you have a backup of the Sally Ride interview?”

Koz

Nowhere is it written that you can’t have several recorders on an interview. The talent is going onto a Tascam multi-channel recorder with a nice shotgun microphone, but your questions are being recorded with your cellphone earpiece microphone. You’ll need to juggle to make the various voice quality shifts work out.

This is where doing it a bunch of times before a valuable interview is a good idea.

Koz

Thanks again for the responses…Keep them coming as soon as I figure it all out.
I’ll start my podcast with the knowledge everyone here has offered
! :smiley:

As for using two mics, if that’s gonna help I’ll do it. My only question is couldn’t both the interview and interviewee sit next together? (Just a thought) are you you sure there are no Mics which pic up good audio from both the interviewer and interviewee? Can you “Ever” Record two people from one mic and make the interviewer sound good….at all? Also an SD card, I’d rather have it as files not something small I have to take with me - what are the other options that can be used instead of an SD card. I’ll look and think about it, but if an SD card seems the best in the end I’ll use it. As far as Transom, I was thinking about using the Blue Microphones Snowball, ever use one any ideas about it.

What is a check list I should have when picking mics out? Another question I have is can you “Ever” Record two people from one mic and make the interviewer sound good….at all? Again, the big thing is all I want to have to take with me is my Mics, where I’m downloading my recording to/storage of it, and stands for the mics. No computer until later when I re-download the file to Audacity and start editing! For now lastly, the on the sofa feel you told about for the NPR story style how would I get the sounds when people are outside coming in to a building and all surrounding sounds that make you feel the story and not just hearing someone tell you it (That’s what I mean’t by environment before).

Thanks I look forward to the responses….

Saving to a wireless service is an interesting idea. I have no experience with that. Let us know if you get something to work. One problem I can see is you are at the mercy of whatever connection you can get. You’ve talked to people who couldn’t get a good cellphone connection and you know what they sound like. You can’t reliably use WiFi, either.

Admittedly a bad example, my local “Free WiFi” restaurant has dead spots at some tables.

Another question I have is can you “Ever” Record two people from one mic and make the interviewer sound good….at all?

Each time you post I get a slightly different mental picture of what your’e trying to do. You’re not field recording are you? Going out to the shopping center and interviewing someone? If you are limiting yourself to studio recording, then the obvious solution is a microphone that has a Figure Of Eight pattern — that can have reception both front and back but not the sides. You put that in the middle between you. All the old-time radio broadcasts were done like that. The RCA 44BX was bidirectional and you couldn’t stop it.
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/R44?utm

Attached is a modern microphone that can switch to a Figure Eight pattern. Look for that ability in a microphone you plan to buy.

And if you don’t care about echoes or room boom and only want to interview one person, then your’e good to go.

What is a check list I should have when picking mics out?

That’s the college-level course on sound production. I don’t think I can handle it in one post.

It’s iterative. You do a show and find something you like or don’t like. Some people rent equipment and slowly build their list of things they really like. Do fake or test interviews when you get that far before you commit to an actual shoot.

Trying to rent an interview package will tell you more in one afternoon than anything we can do.

Koz
Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 10.57.58 AM.png

……As far as wireless goes, I meant putting it to a hard driver that I can wirelessly retrieve items from… I am not doing field recording in the way that I am going to be outside and recording interviews. But, I want something this: if I do an interview at a restaurant, with say the chief, I want the sounds of the kitchen and the food being prepped. think of NPR when they cut to a segment of a recording that isn’t in studio, like a place where you hear some wind or people walking towards something and hear the ground they are walking etc.

What is a check list I should have when picking mics out? Response: That’s the college-level course on sound production. I don’t think I can handle it in one post.

Can you please let me know as much as you can. You’ve been very helpful thus far!

If you can to make sure “we” are on the same page, please tell me in your own words what you think I am
trying to accomplish as a podcast(er)….then I can understand if you get where I am coming from and trying to do.

Thanks.

Thanks again.

if I do an interview at a restaurant, with say the chief, I want the sounds of the kitchen and the food being prepped.

I’m clear about that, but did you notice in all the interviews, discussions and shows, the background sound never overwhelms or competes with the voices? The establishing sound is always perfectly well behaved? Sometimes they spend hours in editing and post production to get it that way. I wouldn’t be surprised if they shot it in two segments: One is the talent voice with a shotgun or other isolating microphone — maybe in the dining room or parking lot after hours — and then again without the talent and with a broader or maybe even stereo environment microphones in the active kitchen. Meld them together in post production.

Before you gasp in horror, what makes you think a chef is going to stop what they’re doing in the middle of serving dinner to 80 impatient people to have a nice chat with you?

~~

I still can’t form a picture of where you’re going to put the sound after you capture it. I would reach around to my hip and start my recorder and slate the clip. “Chez Casa Maison interview, Thursday April 14th 2014. Test, test, test Wooooooooof. Woof Woof [adjusts volume]. OK, we’re ready. When did you decide to open Chez Casa Maison?”

At the end of the interview, I reach around and stop the recorder and maybe run it back a few minutes to see how it went. I’m wearing headphones, of course. Then either mount the recorder on a computer at the studio or slide the chip out and mount that.

Where did I go off the rails?

Koz

if I do an interview at a restaurant, with say the chief, I want the sounds of the kitchen and the food being prepped.
I’m clear about that, but did you notice in all the interviews, discussions and shows, the background sound never overwhelms or competes with the voices? The establishing sound is always perfectly well behaved? Sometimes they spend hours in editing and post production to get it that way. I wouldn’t be surprised if they shot it in two segments: One is the talent voice with a shotgun or other isolating microphone — maybe in the dining room or parking lot after hours — and then again without the talent and with a broader or maybe even stereo environment microphones in the active kitchen. Meld them together in post production.

(I am not putting what was said in quotes due to some issue it makes everything part of a quote block of text when I only want one section…so that I can answer under the quote)
(Sometimes they spend hours in editing and post production to get it that way. I wouldn’t be surprised if they shot it in two segments: One is the talent voice with a shotgun or other isolating microphone — maybe in the dining room or parking lot after hours — and then again without the talent and with a broader or maybe even stereo environment microphones in the active kitchen. Meld them together in post production. ------That’s what I’ve been saying the “whole” Time.)

(PS: Can you give me a list of the best mic to use for getting the surround sound and for the actual interviews…I was thinking of using one of the Blue Mics for the actual interview)

Before you gasp in horror, what makes you think a chef is going to stop what they’re doing in the middle of serving dinner to 80 impatient people to have a nice chat with you?
(I have things already set up and I know the chef, also it’s a small restaurant plus it would when there isn’t many people around)

I still can’t form a picture of where you’re going to put the sound after you capture it. I would reach around to my hip and start my recorder and slate the clip. “Chez Casa Maison interview, Thursday April 14th 2014. Test, test, test Wooooooooof. Woof Woof [adjusts volume]. OK, we’re ready. When did you decide to open Chez Casa Maison?” At the end of the interview, I reach around and stop the recorder and maybe run it back a few minutes to see how it went. I’m wearing headphones, of course. Then either mount the recorder on a computer at the studio or slide the chip out and mount that.
(Okay, when I capture the sounds I want to be able for them to become files, automatically then pop them on to some kind of storage device and leave to go to my office - where I’ll start editing - hope that makes sense - now what do you have to say about it? Is there any way to use the captured audio and send it somewhere without the need of me having to lug a laptop around, which I really would rather not do!)

Where did I go off the rails?

Nowhere LOL. I would have heard about it as an audio file, “Off the rails” LOL
http://www.nitrome.com/games/offtherails/

  1. Click the “Post Reply” button. A new message window opens.
  2. Ensure that the editing cursor is at the place that you want the quote inserted.
  3. Scroll down and select the text that you want to quote.
  4. Scroll up slowly and look for the “Quote” button in the top right corner of that post.
  5. Click the “Quote” button. The selected text is inserted as a quote at the place that you put the editing cursor in step 2.


Yes, absolutely.
There are high quality, pocket sized, digital audio recorders that are ideal for this type of job. (I have a Zoom H2. Other make/models are available).

Ideally you would record the interview NOT in the restaurant. Restaurants are terrible places for audio recording. Problems include lousy acoustics, unpredictable background noise, accidental recording of copyright material, accidental infringement of privacy. Recording “on location” in the restaurant is the absolute last resort.

Much better to get the Chef over to your “studio”, or failing that, a quiet room above the restaurant, out back in the car park, wait until the restaurant is closed, in your car outside the restaurant, or just about anywhere except in a working restaurant.

Take you pocket digital recorder to the restaurant and record about 3 or 4 times as much “ambient noise” as you need for the show. You can probably get away with much less, but better to have too much so that you can just use “the good bits”.

If there is absolutely no alternative but to record the Chef in the working restaurant, use a directional microphone and keep it as close to the Chef’s mouth as possible, Don’t worry about the sound quality of the interviewers voice, you can re-record that later.

This is not rocket surgery.

http://www.kozco.com/tech/pix/ZoomFieldRecorder.jpg

Koz

You can do quotes manually. Copy the words you want from wherever they are and Paste them into a blank message block. Type left-bracket, q, u, o, t, e, right-bracket before the words and left-bracket, slash mark, q, u, o, t, e, right-bracket after. It should look like the attachment.
Koz
Screen shot 2014-04-14 at 10.21.16 AM.png

I think we’re getting dangerously close to the three heavy books: “How to ride a bicycle.”

Go out and do interviews with the personal recorder on your cellphone. Come back and edit them in Audacity and see what went wrong — if anything. I know people who do that.

“Look, there’s Jan Suarte from that new Fox TV show. [starts personal recorder] Let’s see if she’ll talk to us.”

Koz

what I need to be able to do is not have to use a computer, when recording every time. I was thinking I could record the sounds and interview then edit them together on Audacity. Yes, absolutely. There are high quality, pocket sized, digital audio recorders that are ideal for this type of job. (I have a Zoom H2. Other make/models are available).

Do any of these use mics as well, I mean can I put a mic in to them to use? Like the blue mics companies products. I want both a mic to record the “Ambient Nose” and one to record the interview with…? Understand?

Ideally you would record the interview NOT in the restaurant. Restaurants are > terrible > places for audio recording. Problems include lousy acoustics, unpredictable background noise, accidental recording of copyright material, accidental infringement of privacy. Recording “on location” in the restaurant is the absolute last resort. Much better to get the Chef over to your “studio”, or failing that, a quiet room above the restaurant, out back in the car park, wait until the restaurant is closed, in your car outside the restaurant, or just about anywhere except in a working restaurant. Take you pocket digital recorder to the restaurant and record about 3 or 4 times as much “ambient noise” as you need for the show. You can probably get away with much less, but better to have too much so that you can just use “the good bits”.

I am going to do my work when the restaurant is closed on the weekend or early before it opens. I’d want to get sounds that make you get the flavor of where we are like…the sounds of the cooking going on in the restaurant and the wal-wala of people being around, but I would do capture only myself and the interviewee. i totally understand…as far as getting what “Ambient noise” I need.


If there is absolutely no alternative but to record the Chef in the working restaurant, use a directional microphone and keep it as close to the Chef’s mouth as possible, Don’t worry about the sound quality of the interviewers voice, you can re-record that later.

I wouldn’t only do it when i could have good clear sound of me and the chef I am interviewing…

These is a test I shot this evening with a very similar setup to that picture on the table. It’s a different, similar microphone, but everything else is the same. The first clip is raw capture with the volume adjusted. The second clip is volume adjusted and a rumble filter applied to get rid of the wind noise.

I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary except tell the Zoom recorder to pay attention to the external microphones instead of its own built-in ones. As I’m finding now that it’s too late, Zoom has a rumble filter as an option. Good to know.

Clip-1 has some rumble and thump noises missing from Clip-2. If you can’t hear any difference between the two clips, then your speakers may have a problem mixing sound.

Koz

I’m standing outside for this capture. That’s what my neighborhood sounds like at 17:30.

Koz

I can’t speak to the other Zoom products, but the H4 and H4n have XLR3 female connections in the bottom suitable for any microphone that accepts XLR. This includes microphones that require 48v Phantom Power — sometimes referred to as “P48.”

http://kozco.com/tech/audacity/pix/XLR-Cable.jpg

And Attachments.

USB microphones are completely different. They plug right into the computer and don’t use memory cards, XLR cables, Phantom Power, mixers, recorders or anything like that. They’re self-contained except for the computer. They’re also aggressively nonexpandable and they’re forever tied three to six feet from the computer USB connection.

Koz
Screen shot 2014-04-17 at 11.59.22 PM.png
Screen shot 2014-04-17 at 11.58.39 PM.png

The Zoom H6 has options that allow it to accept up to 4 XLR microphones and the H2 has the ability to accept a separate “computer microphone,” not a pro/broadcast microphone.

The Tascam DR40 will work with XLR microphones.

These people call out the Zoom H4n and have some other options.

http://transom.org/2013/tascam-dr-60d/

There’s still one missing that came up recently.

Koz

There it is. I know nothing about this, but it has all the parts needed for a stand-alone recording.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DP008EX/

Koz