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Hands On Studio Podcast

5

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Studio podcasts at your church can be a powerful way to communicate with your congregation and even the world about the greatest message ever and living in the community that God has called us to. That's what we talked about last week when we discussed the theory of studio podcasting. This week we take studio podcasting and get hands on. We talk gear, we talk setup, we talk about spending your money. This episode is all about the tools and workflow of producing a studio podcast. We talk about microphones (including some you might already have sitting around your church), we talk about mixing equipment (wow, has that stuff come down in price in recent years), and we talk about all that connector equipment. Curious about the cost? Well help you answer that question.

But, before we dig into the details we talk about building a podcasting site with drupal and we get into a case study for a church studio podcast (give feedback on it here). Stay tuned... it's Geeks and God...

A good podcast on microphones (Geartech media)

A really good video podcast on microphones and other recording tips, techniques and hardware can be found on iTunes at GearTech Media. They have a good two part episode just on microphones.

Software

I have been using Sony Cakewalk Producer edition it seems to be very capable, how does this compare to Pro Tools when it comes to features?

Geeks and God: Accountability Partners?

Over the course of this podcast, you guys have talked about your target audience and whether or not you're reaching it. I fit the model you described recently: the IT professional who volunteers at their church.

On the other hand, while I know a lot of people who wouldn't sit down and listen to G&G every week, I've been able to recommend individual episodes to a lot of non-technical people, and sometimes those people actually go listen. I push the Drupal series pretty hard, but there have been other episodes or series, too.

For myself? You usually cover topics that I already know something about, but often from a different perspective. You tend to get me thinking about how I could expand or improve things. You're kinda like accountability partners, and sometimes I really don't like it.

This last episode had me in anguish. I know there are areas where we should do things better, and where we're using inferior gear. I guess that's really a good thing, though. I never want to get to the point where it's “good enough,” so I suppose there should always be some area where I'm a little dissatisfied.

So keep dishing it out. It really does help!

Micah

Other gear

Enjoyed the show and this series very much.

A while back I came across this post about using cheap gear as well as this technique.

I wonder if using such a setup would be an easy way to get into podcasting on a small budget.

FWIW.

Double Standard?

The first link is interesting. He talks about using inexpensive equipment and recommends that. But, in his photo on the right he is using what looks like the same mic we are using. It's one that costs about $350. If his recommendation is less expensive equipment, why isn't he using that?

I am all for small budgets. But, don't forget that you get what you pay for. Good free software as altered our expectations. We want really good quality at a really low cost or for free. The problem is that just doesn't work. Higher quality products cost more to make and the parts cost more. So, realize that if you go to something really inexpensive you are going to have a noticeable quality difference.

You may have noticed the should quality for the first 2 episodes in this series sounded differently than the second 2. We pointed out our new mics. The ones we used for the first 2 were not low end mics. But, there was a difference in the quality.

If you are just getting into podcasting and testing the waters I'd say that lower end equipment is ok. If your not sure it will work out why invest a lot in it. But, there will be a certain segment of people who won't listen if your quality is poor. And, I'd suggest being decently thought out on what you are going to podcast about before you jump in. Don't just do it to do it.

For a church that's going to do a studio podcast I'd say be planned out and think through this long term. If they are just testing the waters, like my church currently is, grab some equipment from around the church and try it. Most churches already have decent mics and most of the other equipment needed to record a show.

My 2 cents.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.innovatingtomorrow.net
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

Testing the Waters

In episode 59 you hammered home that a lot of elements need to be right for a podcast to be effective. I strongly believe that the content and host have to be right or people will unsubscribe. I listen to a lot of podcasts that have bad audio quality because I enjoy the content. I have unsubscribed from some with excellent audio quality because the content didn't interest me. My point is that content is more important than pro audio quality.

I enjoyed episode 60 as the target for when we know that we have an audience, but do you have any suggestions for "testing the waters?" I am thinking along the lines of using USB headsets and recording with Audacity or Garage Band.

I know this idea will be traumatic for Rob, but I think it is a valid consideration.

I'll suffer through :)

Ok ok...I'll suffer thru this :)

Kidding...this is a great idea that you suggest here. Before investing a bunch of dough, make sure you can deliver the content in a way that's intriguing. I think that's a great direction. We push pro quality gear only for podcasts that are committed to doing a quality podcast...i f you're testing the waters, I think you can start cheap, then buy "the real thing" once you know you're going to commit.

My suggestion would be exactly what you say here. Grab a USB headset (or 2) and use garageband or audacity and give it a go. It costs you (probably) nothing and gets you started.

That's exactly how G&G began...MF and I started with usb headsets, recording in garageband over iChat. We did this until we felt like this was something worth committing to...but, it's an important note that our listenership didn't grow until we switched gear and took time producing a quality sounding 'cast. Once we did that, our content was generally the same, yet our listenership went through the roof. So, no one will convince me that recording quality doesn't matter...I've seen the difference in numbers.

But, kswan...I think you're right on here....thanks for thinking in this direction.

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

Work That In

Tomorrow morning we are going to be recording. I think we can work that topic into the next episode as our opening. We can at least share our experiences.

Good call.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.innovatingtomorrow.net
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

Podcast Recipe

Apple has some information called the The Podcast Recipe. Its a free online seminar on podcasting. I havent watched it yet but did register. Might be some good information there.

Interested in how your church is doing

I just listened to ep. 60 today at lunch. You asked for feedback on whether we are interested in how your church is doing with its studio recorded podcast.

I am interested in the process. I think it would be easier to sell this idea to the pastoral staff, if I know what you guys had to go through to get it set up and running.

It would also be good to have an episode of a church studio podcast so they can get an idea of how different it sounds.

Keep up the good work guys. I'll catch up eventually. 8-{)>

...Joel

Update...

Hey Joel...
We're on episode 4 of the podcast....you can listen to the previous episodes on our very unfinished (and not technically public) church community site at: http://www.thesixpodcast.com

We're currently still trying to shape the format...as you may hear if you listen to multiple episodes, we're trying some different things here and there to see what will work.

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

I'll give it a listen

Great. I'll give it a listen.