Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Busy Life of a TSHF Episode

In case you are interested in podcasting, here's the process we use to deliver weekly shows to you, the Listener:

First, Katie and I spew crazy shit from our mouths that is captured by our Samson C01U USB Studio Condenser Mic ($169 retail price) and I diddle with it in Audacity (Free), save it as a WAV file, and run it through The Levelator (Free) to give the episode an even, consistent volume. The last thing I do before uploading the file to the interwebnets is convert it to an MP3 format (68 kbit/sec on longer episodes, 96 kbit/sec on shorter episodes, to keep file size down).

Then, I host the finished audio file at Liberated Syndication ($5-50 per month, I opt for $10), post the file link and some text commentary on Blogger (Free), and it's all delivered to your iTunes or Zune--or whatever else you listen to podcasts with--in a neat, encapsulated form by Feedburner (Free).

The podcast is then played by you, the Listener, while you're jogging, eating, fishing, masturbating or punching homeless people in the face. Sometimes, it's burned to a CD and played quietly in the background to keep pets and senile grandparents from getting lonely when their family leaves the house.

But that's not the last step of the process! Finally, the Listener, sends Katie and me messages through Facebook or our email address or leaves comments on http://twosmokinhotfreethinkers.blogspot.com so we can interact with the listener and incorporate their feedback into the show.

Also, here's a handy money saving tip, because I love you, Listener:

Since the MP3 format is a lossy format, but it is the most compact and acceptable format to reach a wide variety of listeners, you don't need a huge, expensive microphone to do the trick. I use my microphone for recording music in lossless formats, so I shelled out extra money for extra quality. By the time I convert a podcast file to an MP3 format, a simple $5 headset mic from the bargain bin in Wal-Mart sounds almost exactly the same as my high-quality Samson condenser. Don't shell out $170 for a computer microphone if you don't need it. Your listeners won't be able to hear the difference.

It took us almost a year of trial-and-error and lots of help from our dear friend Jake at Just Not Right to figure out the best way to transfer gallons of faeces from our mouths to your ears and we're still learning. There are hundreds of ways to do this, so don't be afraid to experiment on your own. Let us know if you start a podcast and we'll definitely start plugging the heck out of you if we like what we hear... and how could we not? You're at Two Smokin' Hot Freethinkers already, so you obviously have good taste!

- Reed

3 comments:

Free said...

Reed conveniently left out that we record into GarageBand on my MacBook. He did this because he hates Macs. But he secretly loves the variety of heroic sounding jingles which we later decide to add voice-overs to in order to stroke our own egos.

i <3 macs. and reed. and the listener.

--katie

Rev. Reed Braden said...

The jingles aren't worth the pain of editing on a Mac. I can find my own copyright-free jingles on the net, thanks.

Rev. Reed Braden said...

No, I left it out because Garageband, while it's a decent programme, won't allow me to save into WANo, I left it out because Garageband, while it's a decent programme, won't allow me to save into WAV or AIFF lossless files so in order to use the Levelator (which only works with lossless files) I have to export as an MP3, open into Audacity, export as WAV, Levelate,open in Audacity and export back to MP3. That took me almost an hour of sitting and waiting for different programmes to process the gigantic file, something my PC does much faster than your Mac. At one point, your stupid Mac's stupid sound card just gave up--Gave the fuck up! Not a ding or a ping or a ring out of the thing!--and I had to restart the whole damn computer. Never again.

Macs are a tool of Satan and I will never again edit an episode on Garageband. Audacity does what I need much better than Garageband and Audacity works better on PCs.