Technical Info – Recording As A Guest with the Blue Collar Voices Show

In short, being a guest on the Blue Collar Voices Show is a conversation between you and me…   … 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

BLUETOOTH is a PROBLEM! Bluetooth introduces a bit of a delay. If possible, either USB, 3.5mm or if using Apple, the special connection that Apple has on some of their equipment.

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 minimal good option to use as a microphone for The Blue Collar Voices podcast (as a guest):

It is tough to find a really inexpensive microphone to use. I’ve tested these Samsung earbuds, and they are very much the minimum that I would think is acceptable:

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 me.

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 pickup 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 me? 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 a website called Zencastr. This does not require a software installation. My testing shows Google Chrome and the Brave browser are both able to detect the external microphone, which is what earbuds with a built-in mic is. You will need to have a recognized browser installed on your computer – currently either Chrome, Brave or Microsoft Edge.

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.

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NOTE: Mobile devices are NOT compatible with Zencastr. 

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INSTALL GOOGLE CHROME, BRAVE or MICROSOFT EDGE

At this time I can confirm that Zencastr works with Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and the Brave browser. I’ll add to this list as I can confirm others. Firefox DOES not work. Information current as of August 2022.

RECORDING VIA PHONE

We can use Ringr, which is found at ringr.com. This will work via browser on your phone, or as an app 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 second 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. It will be unlikely that this method will be used as the quality is just so inferior.

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!