In short, being a guest on the Blue Collar Voices Show is a conversation between you and I… … and it just happens to be recorded.
After recording, I EDIT, to make YOU SOUND GOOD, and me too! The final product is NOT live. So, mistakes, etc, are removed.
Pretty basic and simple. No sweat.
The real value, of course, is when the listeners of our recorded conversation get to hear what we discussed. In turn, they might be inspired, entertained, sympathetic, motivated, educated – or all of the above!
I want the best recording possible, while being pragmatic.
With just a few considerations, the recording quality can be pretty good, even though it isn’t “Studio Quality”. But, that’s ok. “Studio Quality” isn’t that important compared to our goal.
There are two very important considerations.
1) When we record, the sound of my voice goes into your ears, and isn’t from a speaker out loud. Otherwise, it feeds back creating an echo.
2) Your voice is recorded fairly decently. Built-in microphones DO NOT cut it. No matter if they are on a laptop or a phone.
AN EXTERNAL MICROPHONE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF SOUND QUALITY
I’ve tested recording audio with the built-in microphone on both phone and laptop. I’ve also tested with earbuds that have a microphone, and a reasonable USB microphone.
The basic requirement for recording is using earbuds with decent microphone sound quality.
I’ve tested a number of earbuds, most have a terrible microphone, even if they sound good to YOU.
The most important thing is how well your voice comes across via the microphone, NOT how well your earbuds rock your music. 🙂
A few very cheap good options to use as a microphone for The Blue Collar Voices podcast (as a guest):
I bought this headset to test (from Five Below), and this is a pretty decent product. I especially like that you can put the mic right in front of your mouth.
The link to this product on the website is: https://www.fivebelow.com/products/work-headset-w-swivel-mic
The SKU: #129738-00
This product from Five Below is fantastic. However, it has been discontinued. The other day (1-18-2020), a local Five Below had two boxes still in the back. If you can find these, they are PERFECT. Yes, for only $5.00.
The model is SKU: 2651255, but discontinued.
Another choice for recording are the older Apple earbuds. I’ve not tested these myself, but the recommendations for these are strong from others that are involved in the podcasting ecosphere.
Remember, we aren’t producing recorded music that audiophiles will be critiquing. We are producing stories, from real-life people, like you and I.
If you aren’t sure, then just use your earbuds to record on either your phone or your computer. The most important thing is a clear pick up of your voice, not muffled or tinny.
A QUIET PLACE TO RECORD FREE FROM BACKGROUND NOISE
It isn’t likely you will be recording in a studio. But, a quiet place is possible. A big empty room will have a lot of echoes. People talking in the background will carry over substantially. Noises, glasses clinking, vacuum cleaners, doors slamming… All need to be eliminated as much as possible.
It might be that we record outside of regular office hours. I’m flexible enough that both very early, and very late, are acceptable as needed.
NOTE: You and I? We make a lot of noise. I’ve learned that I tap on things, move my chair, etc. This all gets picked up by the microphone.
What does this mean? We have to work on minimizing little things. Even sipping water out of a glass can be picked up. Especially the tinkle of ice.
I have no expectations that either you OR I are working in an expensive, quiet sound room. Just do what we can. 🙂
ELIMINATE ECHO AND FEEDBACK
If you are using earbuds with a built-in mic, it is not likely that speakers from your computer would be also be playing the audio coming in from my side. It can be possible that your headphones/earbuds are up so loud, the microphone built into your earbuds pick up the audio from the earbud part, and introduce a delay on my side. Don’t worry, we will test before we officially begin recording.
OPTIMAL RECORDING WITH ZENCASTR
Optimally, we will record using your computer, my computer, and software called Zencastr. This does not require a software installation. My testing shows Google Chrome is able to detect the external microphone, which is what a earbuds with a built-in mic is. It is recommended that you install Google Chrome if not already on your system.
I will send you a link for our unique session. Once we are both connected to this session, we will be able to chat back and forth and test that things are working. Once this is confirmed, we will start recording.
Zencastr will record your audio on your computer, and my audio on my computer. Once recording is stopped, both recordings are uploaded to Zencastr. I will then download, mix, edit, and make sure they are ready for posting.
NOTE: iPHONE is NOT compatible with Zencastr.
INSTALL GOOGLE CHROME or FIREFOX
At this time I can confirm that Zencastr works with both Google Chrome, and Firefox. I’ll add to this list as I can confirm others.
RECORDING VIA PHONE
There are a couple of ways we can record using phones.
The first, tested using Chrome on an Android phone is still Zencastr! (still need a decent earbuds with built in microphone at least). Zencastr is the preferred method, but if not, we can look at the alternatives below.
Second, is using an app called Ringr, which is found at ringr.com. This is software which is installed on your phone that will record your side of the call. Once the recording session is over, the audio is uploaded to the Ringr server. Then it can be downloaded, and mixed with the Blue Collar Voices side of the audio. This insures that the audio is free from phone dropouts, stutters, echo-y sound, etc.
The third method is where you do nothing except engage on a phone call. I will record both sides of the conversation using my mobile device. If your call audio is glitchy, so will be the recording. This can lead to asking for repeats, which would be edited out the best possible.
Once the call is completed, I simply edit as needed.
COMPLETELY RELAXED AND OPEN PROCESS
So. Just be relaxed. It isn’t anything to stress over, with regards to the technology, the process, or the conversation. I will guide you through all of it, so that when we do have our conversation, the listeners have a fantastic experience!
If you do have any questions, email me or use the contact form.
Now, let’s record a show!