Camera Dojo Podcast Equipment Setup

I get asked quite a bit about the equipment I use when recording the Camera Dojo Podcast. The answer to this has changed over the years as I have always tried to have the best audio quality I could. The setup today is pretty much the same as what I use to record videos but with a few minor changes.

The Mic

The mic is the Audio-Technica AT875R ($173) which is a shotgun style mic with an excellent price point for the quality. The AT875R does a good job of blocking ambient sounds making it pretty ideal for use in my office where I do the recording. The mic is positioned about 8″ away so as to have the best possible sound pickup.

The PreAmp

This is where the magic is. The Mic is connected to the JuicedLink RA333 PreAmp. While I can connect the mic directly to the Zoom H4n, using the RA333 gives much better audio quality.

Audio Interface

In order to get the audio from the mic and pre-amp, you need some kind of audio interface. For this I use a Zoom H4n. The audio input on the H4n is set to 1 and then the mic input on the RA333 is adjusted until the audio meters on the H4n are showing a good signal. By turning the audio input on the H4n to a very low level we basically disable the amps on the H4n which have a tendency to add noise when used at higher input values.

The Software

Since the guests on the show are always remote, the best solution I have found for dealing with this is to use Skype. However, Skype does not have a means to record the audio. For the recording, I use Pamela Pro which is a plugin for Skype. The only real downside to this setup is that it only separates the call into two channels, one for me, and one for “all the other guests combined” so if one of the two people that are remote is much louder or quieter than the other, that can cause real problems.

To try to solve the volume differences, the shows are run through a simple app called Levelator. Levelator does a pretty good job of automatically fixing all of the audio to a common level so it sounds as good as it can.

Next, the recording and the music pieces are combined using Adobe Audition 5.5 and saved as an MP3 file.

The final step is to open up iTunes, drag the mp3 file into my music library, right click on it, and select Edit Info. This allows me to add all of the mp3 metadata. Once I finished with the metadata I upload the file to the server and create the show notes post.

If you have any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to ask.

KerryG

Kerry Garrison is a wedding, portrait, and product photographer living in Castle Rock, Colorado. With 10 years of experience shooting products and 5 years of experience in the wedding industry, Kerry brings a good deal of technical know-how and can explain topics in easy-to-understand terms. Kerry's work can be found at http://kerrygarrison.com and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/KerryGarrison

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