Forums » Podcasting Rigs » Recording in a Hall - Using MacIntosh


Hi There,

I'd like to share the extent of my learning so far ;-)

Our wee group recorded our first Podcast in a hall with an audience using an Apple Mac G4 Powerbook.

The first being a Samsung c03 with a second stage microphone on stands placed to pickup panel members.

We used an M-Audio USB Pro interface/mixer linked to the powerbook. This provides mixing and Phantom Power for condensor mics, it also has unbalanced input for elctrolytic mics, Line IN and Line Out. We have the 2ch Version although I really wish I had gone for the 4ch version. If you are planning to record live events or a large group of people then go for more microphone inputs.

[b]AudioHijack Pro[/b] [Highly recommended for Mac Users] for recording. We recorded on AH Pro because we intend to use Skpe and other audio inputs in the future - AH Pro allows you to direct record any audio stream on a Mac and route that audio as you like. it is very versatile and, if setup properly, will allow you to do some amazing things.

[b]Audacity[/b] was used to Edit and Export the final MP3, you do Need the LAME libaries to export MP3. This sis a freedownload and easy to use programme - you can also us it to record your audio. {available for Mac, Windows and Linux}

The iTunes feed was produced by [b]PodCast Maker[/b] (Available from Apple Downloads, Shareware). A second feed was handwritten in XML.

[b]Problems [/b]
Our Audio quality was poor due to microphone placement. If you are recoding a round table discussion in a high noise environment then don't skimp on microphones ;) Next time, I intend on using more microphone, closer to the folk talking with less Gain on the input. Hoepfully this will provide cleaner audio with less difference in volumes.

As a newbie, I elected to have two feeds for our podcast. One standard RSS2 and one for iTunes. I'm not sure if this is necessary or not. Many of our members are computer newbies and the iTunes one click subscription appeals. I seperated the feeds as I wanted to use the extra Tags for the iTunes Podcast directory.

[b]Biggest Wish[/b]
A standard XML feed structure that allows other Podcast receivers (like iPodder) to retreive the same amount of extra meta information as the iTunes app does and a standard for enhanced Podcasts. Also, easier One Click Subscription. Maybe these will be realised whent he technology matures a bit.

[b]If I can do this ...[/b]
I was a total newbie to anything Audio and first podcast was quite ambitous. We planned our podcast very well in advance selecting the right equiptment for the job and learning how to use it. Initially, I was put off by editing the audio, creating feeds etc but soon found that it is incredibly easy and great fun.

[b]Top Tip[/b]
My Top Newbie Tip is Plan your Podcast, especially if others are involved. We had a host and a panel of 4 along with audience questions. We scripted a rough Running order that was displayed for the 'panel' on a monitor along with pre-planned questions and answers. We did not stick to this ridigly but it certainly provided a great reference and reduces the aount of Ummmmms and Ahhhhhhs and Errrrs. None of our panel are experienced and it is VERY daunting when faced with mics and an audience so preperation really helps a lot.

Whie the end product is a bit rough and boring it has taught me SO much about how to Podcast and I'm looking forward to learning how to insert jingles, interviews and Skpye next. It's amazing what Amateurs can come up with ;)

I hope this is of some help to someone trying a similair Podcast.



Mike -

Good information, thanks. I just did my first interview (for this saturday's podcast) in perhaps the worst conditions one could imagine, so having a quiet area to record would be a blessing (just wasn't possible this time around).

The problem I ran into was that while the four guys I was interviewing were all standing right around me, two of them spoke much softer than the other two. Even though I moved the microphone more towards them when they spoke, they still came out soft. I can see that that would also be an advantage to additional microphones, but could not be done in my case.

Cheers -


In reply to guest

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In reply to guest

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In reply to jamesggg

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In reply to ericweber