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Behind Bzp - Recording The Powercast

Posted by Black Six , in Uncategorized, BZPower Jan 22 2012 · 138 views

Powercast Behind BZP
As I discussed last week, I was thinking of ending my Weekly Update series. And I am. Last week was the last one. It had become too much of recap of the news than anything substantial. You can get the same content from reading the front page.

So I'm trying something new - 'Behind BZP' - where I'll pull back the curtain a little on the things the staff an I do. It won't be every week, but I'll be doing it as often as I can think of things. If you have something you'd like to see me talk about send me a PM and let me know.

Recording the Powercast
There's a lot that goes into recording an episode of the Powercast, which is why they're every month and not every week or something crazy like that. Let's see how it goes.

My recording starts with a MXL-990 microphone, suspended by a Heil PL-2T boom arm. Be aware that I do not pay retail for any of this, I always search around for good deals. :P A Nady MPF-6 pop filter attaches to the boom to keep those harsh consonants from coming through too strong.

The mic is plugged into an M-Audio Fast Track Ultra mixer, to which I also plug in me Sennheiser HD-380 headphones. Then the mixer plugs into my laptop (a MacBook Pro).

So that's how I sound so good, but there's a lot of software involved to get everyone else on the show. Once we decide on a topic and who's involved, we use Skype to talk to each other. I record that conversation using Audio Hijack Pro.

After all the segments have been recorded, I open them up with Audacity. For some reason I've yet to determine, my mic only gets recorded on the left channel while everyone else goes on both the left and right. I use Audacity to split the two channels, get rid of the right, and save it as a mono-track file. I then run it through Levelator to even out the volumes of all the different speakers and to help remove noise. This saves me from actually having to do a lot of advanced audio editing. :P

Then I pop open Garageband. All the tracks get brought in, I cut and splice things together to get rid of awkward pauses and some of the 'ums' and 'ands' and such. This helps make the show flow better when you're listening. Around now I'll record the intro and outro pieces too. Once all the audio is in place, I add in the transitions. Then I listen through the whole thing (again) and adjust the levels so the volume doesn't change dramatically between segments. Finally, the metadata gets added and I export it into iTunes.

The file then gets uploaded to BZPower, I edit the XML file with the new episode, and post a news story.

Pretty simple, right?

Oh, and since I still have some questions, here's a Mailbag. I'll keep doing these if you guys keep sending questions.

Mailbag

1. Best Doctor? (Sorry if you've answered this before!)
2. What is your favorite BZPower fad?
3. Least favorite?
4. Favorite internet-wide meme? Least favorite?
5. Have you played Cave Story? If so, what did you think?
6. Does the set of all sets that do not contain themselves contain itself?
7. Will you consider on purpose a train at some point in the future?

-Canama

1. Hmm. I think I'd say David Tennant, even though Matt Smith is quite awesome.
2. There've been so many they all blend together.
3. The ponies are starting to get a little old.
4. Lolcats for sure. Rickrolling might be my least.
5. Nope.
6. By definition it can't.
7. Sure?

What's your favourite:

1. Rahkshi power?
2. Mask power?
3. Toa element?

1. Invulnerability
2. X-ray vision
3. Fire

Want to see your questions answered? PM them to me and put 'Mailbag' in the subject line.

I hope you all enjoyed that. Please let me know if you did! And let me know if there's other things you want me to discuss here.

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-Windrider-
Jan 22 2012 08:44 PM
My setup: I have a really bad USB Logitech headset that I use to talk with you guys on Skype. Get on my level!

I was genuinely wondering how you manage to sound so good, so this was enlightening.
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I know that a lot goes into the making of any podcast, but the making of the Powercast seems even more complex. One episode a month seems about right, considering all that goes into it.
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Hahli Husky
Jan 22 2012 09:09 PM
Also you guys can use Screaming Bee's MorphVox Junior if you want to sound like Hapori Tohu. :P But make sure you're using a really lame headset that doesn't even have a brandname printed on it, and say "like" and "uhhhh" a lot.
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Heh, I use Apple headphone's built-in mic.
Which is why I sound like total crud. :P

3. The ponies are starting to get a little old.


:(
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EmpressYumiwa
Jan 22 2012 09:48 PM
And now Black Six, the Macadamian Killer, ventures into the real world of blogging for what he hopes will be a longer stay that his previous minute-long sojourns. The people of the blogosphere welcome him.
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Toa Kovolta
Jan 22 2012 10:42 PM

For some reason I've yet to determine, my mic only gets recorded on the left channel while everyone else goes on both the left and right. I use Audacity to split the two channels, get rid of the right, and save it as a mono-track file.


So that's why I can only hear those parts out of my left earphone...
I would just like to point out that it's only like that for the Skype parts, not the intros and stuff. Don't know if that'll help you solve the problem or not.
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For some reason I've yet to determine, my mic only gets recorded on the left channel while everyone else goes on both the left and right. I use Audacity to split the two channels, get rid of the right, and save it as a mono-track file.

So that's why I can only hear those parts out of my left earphone...I would just like to point out that it's only like that for the Skype parts, not the intros and stuff. Don't know if that'll help you solve the problem or not.

It should be fixed in the most recent episodes. Like I said, I convert it to a mono track.
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I never thought it was so complicated. Thanks for the insight, I look forward to hearing this month´s result and to the next BB episode.

~Gata. ;)
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Voltex Oblige
Jan 24 2012 05:36 PM
This entry is useful; I'm considering Let's Plays to put online in the future, and this helps with research into the technology I'll need.
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Welcome To My Blog

I'm glad to see you made the trip intact.

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Name:
Andrew
Alias:
Black Six
Join Date:
August 2, 2001
Staff Since:
August 6, 2001
Position:
BZPower Administrator
Forums Currently Moderated:
Bionicle RPG, LEGO RPG, News Discussion
Forums Previously Moderated:
Fan-Created Games, Promotions, Marketplace Banter, Storyline & Theories, Buy/Sell/Trade, probably some others
Other Responsibilities:
Making sure news is posted, keeping the forums running smoothly, learning the ways of server-burping.

Video Games!

Most Played Games (as of late):
  • Halo 4
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  • Plants vs Zombies 2
Currently Playing:
 
 

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It's A Trash Can!

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