I show how I approach recording a podcast that has two hosts remote to each other and a sound effects track going “live to hard drive”. We still end up with multiple tracks (three) for the ability to enhance each track as needed without modifying the others. I demonstrate the easy trick to lining the tracks back up in sync before editing.
We use Audio Hijack Pro, Soundboard and Mpeg Streamclip in our example.
http://rogueamoeba.com/audiohijackpro/ – $32 USD
http://www.ambrosiasw.com/utilities/soundboard/ – $29 USD
http://www.squared5.com/ – Free
This is the simple way I record just an interview with another person. I use Skype and Audio Hijack Pro ( http://www.rogueamoeba.com/audiohijackpro ) on OSX. This gives me two track files each with it’s own custom preprocessing filters. That reduces work in post edit. Also makes it easy to do later processing on each person without affecting the other.
I wanted to play around with sending video to YouTube. So I put together a few minutes on how I do noise reduction using soundtrack pro for podcast tracks. I use a combination of soundsoap (http://www.bias-inc.com/products/soundsoap2/) and the built in noise reduction in Soundtrack Pro. Alternatively instead of soundsoap another even better and of course more expensive noise reduction plugin is MR Noise (http://wavearts.com/products/plugins/mr-noise/)
Good noise reduction when editing a podcast is an important skill.
I received a vocal track for Cyber Speak (http://cyberspeak.libsyn.com). Bret’s voice is nice and clear itself. But his new recording environment put a low level of constant background noise into his track. So I pretty much pulled it all out completely leaving just his voice. This worked well because his voice was so strong over the noise. I stacked Soundsoap doing general broadband reduction making sure to adjust the settings so it did not noticeably distort Bret’s voice. That pulled a lot of the noise out or at least down. The problem is I always do RMS leveling on the voice tracks as I have mentioned in a previous post. So if noise is still present you amplify it too. So I stacked one more effect. I used the built in noise reduction for soundtrack pro. The trick was adjusting the threshold up high enough to catch most of the noise floor while relying on Bret’s voice volume to protect it from the reduction. It worked like a charm. See the before and after images below. I show both waveform and frequency views.
This is exactly why I recommend folks record five seconds of “silence” when they start recording. It gives you a nice region to sample noise for good reduction.
If you are curious to hear the final result check out the Nov 21 Episode of Cyber Speak.
Want to make a nice consistent level in your podcast production? Here are the simple steps if your software supports RMS and Peak leveling. These steps come from a ot of experience and guidance over the years from my friends Victor Cajiao and Paul Figgiani.
1. Record as clean audio as you can (minimal noise).
2. Do any noise reduction. This is so you do the least reduction BEFORE you start raising levels.
3. RMS level the track to something around -17.5dB. I actually use -13.1 for Cyberspeak because their mic levels match up the best here.
4. When done editing your show, mix down then Peak level to -1.0dB
That should do it. Now if you don’t have RMS leveling ability you can always use the free Levelator. Just remember. Do your noise reduction if any BEFORE you adjust levels. This increases the chance you pull the noise so far down it doesn’t also get amplified.