iChat and selected audio

I have an issue with iChat on the Mac. When I select my audio interface where my mic plugs in I get all audio going through that interface in both directions. Meaning if I play any sounds iChat hears them all. This is partly a side effect of my having a mix minus setup going to an external mixing board. What I need is an interface that ONLY lets iChat hear my microphone and any other applications I specifically select.

 

I found that if I use my Wiretap Anywhere (http://www.ambrosiasw.com/utilities/wta/) and setup an input with the interface my mic goes into plus say my Soundboard (http://www.ambrosiasw.com/utilities/soundboard/) program and select that as the input in iChat then it works perfectly. Now only my mic and selected audio is heard by iChat.

 

I suspect that using WTA ensures that only the input side of my Griffin iMic (http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/imic) is being sent through the virtual audio interface to iChat. I use the outbound side to send system audio out to my mixing board. That is likely why iChat hears everything. It’s grabbing both in and out of the selected interface. Using WTA seems to clip that. Regardless if I am right it sure solves my problem.

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Video – Setting up a Podcast Multitrack Project Template in Soundtrack Pro

I cover how I create a base show template using a Soundtrack Pro multitrack project. We keep with our Double Ender strategy and setup a submix just for the vocal tracks. We apply limiters and a fat eq to clear up the voice tracks by default. From this template you can tweak and update it specifically for your show format and usual audio characteristics.

 

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Video – Podcast Double End Recording with MP2 Transfer for Multitrack Editing

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

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55rZCNl2LCc?wmode=transparent
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Video – Multitrack Interview Recording for Podcasts

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.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXSNECaNAvc?wmode=transparent
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Video – Noise Reduction for Podcast Editing

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/)

 

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Podcast Noise Reduction Example – Cyber Speak

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.

Beforenoisereduction-wavBeforenoisereduction-freqAfternoisereduction-wavAfternoisereduction-freq
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