Audio 101


One of my new duties as Executive Producer is recording what we call the show IDs and the intros and "outros" for the IT Conversations series. The show ID is the very first portion program that introduces what's coming up: "Up next on IT Conversations..." The intros and outros are the pieces that are specific to a given series: "And now, here's out presentation from Emerging Technology..."

I have a pretty good set up, MOTU Traveler firewire mixer, Audio Technica mics, and so on. My goal is to get good sound, but I noticed as I recorded some things that it was muddy. There was also some hiss that I cleared up by changing mics to the Audio Technica from a Beringer I'd been using. I also wasn't happy with the audio editing software I had. Garage Band is limited, Audacity is buggy, and Audio Desk (which came with the Traveler) seemed overly complex.

So, I went back to school this week to learn more about audio recording the production. My schoolmaster was IT Conversations' Senior Audio Engineer Paul Figgiani. The old saw fits perfectly here: Paul has forgotten more about audio than I'll ever know. Paul runs a great site called PodCastRigs where he blogs about audio gear and has some recommendations on set ups for entry-level, basic, ultra, and pro bloggers.

Paul set me straight on Audio Desk, showing me how to customize it so that it was just what I needed, and also how to use the parametric filter to get rid of some of the muddiness. He's been a big help and I'm thankful to have someone to turn to with my newbie questions. I spent quite a bit of time fooling around with all this over the past week and feel like I've made some progress. Hopefully you'll be able to understand me now.