Podcast – Assignment Reflection

After working on the podcast assignment, a number of items have cropped up that I need to look at in detail.

I feel hugely frustrated by the assignment, as a Radio Presenter, as this assignment should have been something that completed way before the deadline set, and I know that if I had worked on this on my own, my product that I handed in would have been significantly better than the finished article.

That said, there has been some positives to come out of the assignment, with learning new software in Pro Tools, and a better understanding of what Adobe Audition can be used for.

I will be looking to purchase my own mixer desk and microphone in the near future, so that I can produce higher quality voice recording at home, that I can use for podcasts, and also for voice-tracking some of my radio shows.

Audio Production

The production of the audio for the podcast has been a great process to go through.  After having voice coaching from Cat Hepple, it has helped my projection of my voice, both in this podcast, and the work I do at the radio station.

By using the diaphram correctly, I am able to control my breathing, so that I can sound professional, without straining my vocal chords.

When I’ve listened back to recordings before, and after, there is a very distinct difference between the two, and I will move forward with this new control, to bigger and better things.

Audio Editing in Adobe Audition

Having used Audacity for a number of months, it has taken me a little longer to get to grips with Adobe Audition than it should have.

However, once I have seen the full functionality of the product, I felt that it was necessary to learn more about it, as it, along with Cool Edit Pro, is an industry standard and will look good on the CV.

There will be further posts to this blog, looking at what can be done with voice and music files, using Audition to create better sounding files to export.

Lesson Reflection – Sound

In my absence last week, the team have come up trumps, with almost all of the audio recorded and assembled into the two podcasts required.

So, today, we have started to assemble the paperwork that we need to ensure that the assignment is handed in on time next Tuesday.  It’s a great feeling to know that everything is coming together on this, and I can get back to doing a full breakfast show on a Tuesday morning, well for the time being at least.

Sound Assignment – Reflection

Less than a week to handin, and I’m looking forward to catching up with the team, ready for next Tuesday.  Last week was the only Tuesday session I’ve missed during the semester and believe me I would rather have been there than being wired up at the doctors.

Still, I’m fighting fit and raring to go this morning, with the deadline looming, I want this assignment done and out of the way, so that I can concentrate on the other ones that are closely coming over the horizon.

Sound Assignment – Advice to others

At home, I use a USB microphone, which gets it’s power from the computer.  I have a top tip for anyone who is going to do this…think very carefully when making your purchase.

I have tried my best to work with the USB microphone, but with every recording I make, it sounds like there is something missing.  I’ve increased the bass and treble, normalised the file, increased the volume of it, but it just sounds a little empty.

Once I have got the relevant funds, I will be investing in a small externally powered USB mixer and microphone, as the tone sounds a lot richer, and more suited to the podcasts and voice tracking that I am wanting to create.  £120 buys the mixer and microphone below and a XLR cable, so that is high on my purchase list ready for next year and beyond.

 

Behringer C-3

Behringer C-3

Behringer Xenyx 1002

Behringer Xenyx 1002

Reflection – Sound Lesson – Rode NT2-A Microphone Patterns

Whilst discussing microphone pickup patterns, I have researched the different settings for the Rode NT2-A microphone.  I looked at this within the Sound lesson, and as a radio presenter, I feel that learning about the different ways that microphones can be used will be beneficial to my course, and I can take this information into the world of work.

The NT2-A has 3 different ways in which the microphone can pick up sound.  These are Cardioid, Omnidirectional, and Figure8.

When visualising the pattern, the diagrams show the pattern from above the microphone.

Cardioid

The cardioid pattern picks up the majority of it’s sound from the front side of the microphone, with a little amount from the rear and from the front sides.

rode_nt2a_polar

 

Figure 8

The Figure8 pattern allows for equal recording of both sides of the microphone, whilst controling the sound from 90 and 270 degrees.  This is suitable to be used if two people are chatting on a podcast, where the style is conversational, without speaking over the other person.

rode_nt2a_polar2

Omnidirectional

This option allows for recording all the way around the microphone, so would be suitable for recording ambient background noise.

rode_nt2a_polar3

Directional Microphone Testing

During the sound lesson, we discussed the varying patterns that are used with a directional microphone.

These can be very useful for different types of recording, be that within a gig recording a band, recording a 2-way interview, or a 360 degree recording of ambient noise.

We initially looked at the RØDE NT2-A microphone, which is Steve Cutler’s own microphone.  The NT2-A has a feel of quality, and that’s what you expect with a price tag of around £200.  This microphone offers 3 different pickups, Omni, Cardioid, and Figure 8, and are changed via switches on the microphone.  There are also options to remove sound below a certain frequency, and reducing the volume picked up.  These options are shown below.

RodeNT2A

 

Within the group, we used the H2n recorder from Zoom, and went into Queens Gardens to test the different settings that the H2n offers.

The 4 options offered by the recorder are 2 and 4 Channel Surround, Mid Side and XY Stereo.  The switch to change these options are shown below.

H2NSoundPatterns

 

By using the different settings, the group recorded speech audio, and compared the files within Audition to see what the changes make.  When recording our podcasts, it will be imperative that we use the correct settings, so by experimenting at this early stage, we can find the settings that are most appropriate.

Event Research – 7/2 – Sound

For the podcast that I have to create for my assignment, I’m working with Alistair Kenyon-Brodie to work out what content we will be adding to our 10 minute creation.

As the brief states, it needs to be a Events diary, focusing on what is coming up in the next few weeks and months in and around Hull and East Yorkshire, so the plan for the next week is to identify events that are happening and will be of interest to the target audience.

Initial ideas were discussed during our pre-production planning meeting, so we are actioning those before meeting up for the lesson next Tuesday.

Sound Assignment – Planning

During the assignment, the group has a very strict timetable to maintain, and needs to have flexibility in case of any issues.

We have worked out what needs to be done, and given ourselves a manageable timeframe, given other assignment pressures from both courses that feed into this assignment.

organisation

By using this online gantt chart, we can, as a group, see who is responsible for what, and by what deadline.