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A Simple In Home Recording Set Up to Create High Quality Audio Products For Your Business
When I first heard about podcasting almost three years ago, I knew right away that I wanted to do it. As soon as I learned how, I decided to have a small recording studio at home to record my podcasts. With the guidance of my webmaster who is my tech guru, I was able to freely put together everything I needed to register. She was able to shop around and get my equipment at a reasonable price and all the equipment was easy to use.
Now if you are thinking “Well, she could do that, maybe she is in technology”, you would be very wrong. I am a Baby Boomer woman and when I was in college, computers took up the size of a large climate controlled room and you had to make keyboard cards to program the computer. Personal computers came along and the most technical thing I could do, until I learned about podcasting, was to create Word documents and open email. But I learned and if I could learn, you can.
So what’s missing in this simple indoor recording setup? In fact, not much is needed. I have 7 pieces of equipment. I have my laptop (of course you can use your PC), a studio quality microphone, a desktop microphone stand, a pop screen, a converter, a microphone mixer (to amplify the sound) and a Y adapter cable (to connect a mixer to). converter). That’s it.
I use an Audio-Technica Pro series vocal microphone (PRO 31 QTR). A wide diaphragm condenser microphone is recommended for voiceover but I find that my 2.09-inch (53.1mm) head diameter gives me good sound for my podcasts and CD recordings. This microphone comes with the cable and stand clamp.
The stand microphone I use is a desktop model and comes from On-Stage Stands. I use a metal pop screen from NADY but there are many to choose from that can clamp into your microphone stand. Pop screens cut down on the popping or wind noises we make when we say certain letters.
My microphone mixer is from Radio Shack and is a 4-channel Stereo mixer. It uses a 9-volt battery.
My converter is from Behringer (FCA202). It is compact and really high quality for the money. It ends with a FireWire audio interface.
All my equipment has lasted beautifully for over two years so I have yet to replace any of it; the model numbers seem to have changed.
The microphone receives the sound which is sent to the mixer which sends it to the converter via a Y adapter cable. The converter is where the magic happens – making your voice that is analog signal and converts it to a digital signal that it sends via FireWire to the laptop and the recording software.
Now comes the software part. You will need a software program to record and edit audio. I’ve always used Audacity; it is an open source program so it is free. (There may be a licensing fee for Audacity in some countries.) The software can be downloaded from the Audacity site. There are other fee-based programs available such as SONY Sound Forge.
You will also need a software program to export the audio file you create in your recording program to MP3 or WAV. The LAME registrar does this for you; it is also open source and can be downloaded for free. (There may be a license fee for LAME in some countries.) Just Google LAME encoder and it will take you to the site. Note that it will not work in all recording software programs but it will work with Audacity.
I convert to both MP3 and WAV, using the WAV files if I’m going to burn a CD of my recording.
You might be saying this is a lot…why don’t I just record on the phone and use a program like Audio Acrobat? You could but the sound quality is nowhere near the quality of the setup I recommend. My recordings are always like I recorded in a studio (except when I do phone interviews).
Sound quality is important when offering long audio recordings…especially if you’re recording for a home monitoring system or sending out your lessons or teleclasses via MP3 download. After a while, the thumping and scratching sound of phone records wears out your listener’s ear. Why not go with the highest quality you can for your audience?
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