Putting Together The Right Pieces
Two out of three of the “Oh Fudge! Podcast” episodes were produced this past week, and each had their own snags when laying them down. The snags ranged anywhere from technical malfunctions to having to tweak scripts to ensure they read correctly. Ultimately, the productions came out fine.
The “Oh Fudge! Podcast” was originally supposed to be recorded using a Behringer microphone on a microphone stand with a pop filter in front to eliminate hard “p” and “s” sounds. The microphone was then going to go into a PreSonus audio box, where the volume could be modified before going to the computer.
The initial recordings of the intro and outro consisted of this setup and sounded fantastic. Here is a schematic of what it looked like:
After running into technical difficulties, an audible, or backup plan, was called. The new setup included a microphone with a pop filter in front, which was then connected to the Zoom H4N recorder using an XLR cable. Once recorded, the SD card from the H4N was inserted into the SD card reader on a Surface Book 2, where it was imported into Adobe Audition for review. The sound came out ok but needed to be processed during the editing process.
The problem with the sound from the Zoom was that it picked up things like the hum of the HVAC unit in the house and sounded a little “tinny.”
Here is a schematic of the setup using an H4N:
Sanjay Manaktala created a guide on using the Zoom H4N for podcasts. The best thing about the recorder is that you have the option of connecting more than one microphone into the device. For the “Oh Fudge! Podcast,” only one microphone was needed this go around.
Here is a clip of Sanjay using the H4N during an interview for his podcast:
As mentioned before, microphones can pick up the slightest sounds. It is very common to hear humming sounds when the recording is played back through a set of headphones.
Fortunately, programs like Adobe Audition and Adobe Premiere Pro can process sound and remove these little nuisances.
The “Oh Fudge! Podcast” was edited using Premiere Pro, simply because it was easier for the editor. Some editors choose to use Audition instead. In this case, it really does not matter – it is more of a preference.
When laying down the podcast, first start by creating a new project and naming it. In the case of the first episode, I chose “Wehner-Podcast-Shit.”
Once the project is created, you should setup your workspace by clicking on Window => Workspace => and either Assembly or Editing.
If using assembly, right click on the left-hand side panel and choose import, then select the audio files you want to use.
From there, you can click on each sound file, which will then open in another panel.
If you do not want to use the entire clip, you can select portions when playing it back by using the “I” and “O” keys, for in and out. Then you can click and drag the audio clip to the timeline.
The timeline is your canvas – it is where you place the sound clips and move them around. If you are familiar with layers like in Photoshop, the timeline is similar. When two sound clips are stacked on top of each other, they will both play when the marker in the timeline is over them.
One reason I like Premiere Pro over Audition is because of the ease when it comes to modifying the sound levels. For example, if you have a music track playing and you want the volume to decrease when a person is talking, you can create key frames in the timeline for the music track and drag them down to reduce the sound. Premiere makes this easy to do.
When it is time to export your podcast file, click File => Export => and Media. From there, choose “H264” as the format, give your file an “output name,” uncheck “export video,” then click “export” at the bottom.
The final product is an MP4 file, which can be opened on most computers.
The week certainly had its challenges, but through research, trial, and effort they were all resolved. Now that the podcasts have been created, the next steps add the finishing touches and push the productions to publication.
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Manaktala, S. (2019) Podcast Mastery Guide with Zoom H4N (Since Manual Sucks). Retrieved October 24, 2020, from https://www.sanjaycomedy.com/how-to-use-zoom-h4n-podcast/