Constructive Criticism

Just a word of advice to you new podcasters getting in the game – watch the music levels. I’ve heard a number of otherwise excellent podcasts that were marred by having an intro, outro or music bed so loud that it obscured what you were saying. If you are mixing live, keep an eye on that. It might be a good idea to do a dry run a few times just starting up, talking for a few seconds and going out, so you get a feel for the right place to put volume sliders at the critical moments. If you drop your music in at the end in a second track in Audacity or SoundEdit or Sourceforge or the like, learn how to use the envelope tool to drop the levels and/or the fade in/out controls. You undo all your hard work creating the bundle of passion when you drown it out, so please just take a little extra effort to calibrate this one aspect. Once you learn how it feels, it will be nearly effortless to hit it every time.

Remember, when the music drowns you out the Maciej Ceglowskis win.

4 Replies to “Constructive Criticism”

  1. Man, Dave, was I ever having a hard time with this last night. I couldn’t get iTunes low enough to play a bed without having to shout, and overall my vocal levels were way low. I know part of it is just getting a decent mic.

  2. I had some problems with the relative levels myself last night, running a variant of the Hugo configuration. Not having good levels in the headphones means that mixing live will be off by an offset. That’s why I’m suggesting that everyone do it a few times, compare with what you hear in the “cans” to what you hear when you play it back. Even if the levels are way different, this will let you get the feel for which way to correct.

  3. I’ve heard a number of otherwise excellent podcasts that were marred by having an intro, outro or music bed so loud that it obscured what you were saying. If you are mixing live, keep an eye on that.

    Hey! I resemble that remark! 🙂

    Well, perhaps except for the “excellent” bit. 🙂

    I’m workin’ on it.

  4. I’ve noticed this too… Things will get better, we’re still at an early stage in the game. Oh, and I’ve heard a few ‘echo chambers’ as well. Audacity can fix some of these issues, maybe we need some HOWTO’s written up?

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