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Reel Review Studio Upgrades

I get a good number of questions about how I record everything. So I Figured I’d pass along an update: I have been fortunate in always having been able to obtain a reasonable level of sound quality in my podcasts. However, over the last few weeks I have been trying to figure out how to get the best sound possible. This turns out to be really hard. (And involves a lot of reading for the non sound engineer.)

It is particularly difficult because the final step – encoding to mp3 causes all kind of issues with quality vs. file size. Don’t get me wrong – the good news is anyone can get a good sounding podcast with a minimal amount of effort. That is where we all started – heck, listen to some of the early podcasts. The first step is to start. My problem is I can never approach anything without going overboard.

In my quest for audio fidelity I have made some changes. Over the last month I have moved my recording off my laptop and onto a dedicated digital recorder. I use a Marantz PMD670. I couldn’t be happier. The thing works like a champ and completely eliminates all the issues with recording on the laptop (dropouts, hiccups, hard disk anomolies). I am a big proponent of a dedicated recorder! I pair it with a Behringer Eurorack UB802. Great little unit – perfect for podcasters. This week I upgraded my mic to a Electro Voice RE20. Following some suggestions I received I paired the mic with a Symetrix 528E Voice Processor. So how does it all sound? I don’t know I haven’t recorded a podcast with it yet, but when I do I would appreciate any feed back you have. This equipment gives you lots of control over everything – so it may be a few podcasts before I’m done tweaking and settle into the sweetspot. If I have any recording engineers or former broadcasters who listen I’d love to hear from you.

If there is sufficient interest I’d be happy to do a podcast about the podcast. Let me know via comments.

Here are some pics:

Everything is recorded down in the theater – that is why you see all the speakers and flat grey painted walls.


6 Responses to “Reel Review Studio Upgrades”


  1. Gravatar Icon 1 Patrick Fitzgerald Dec 3rd, 2004 at 8:18 am

    I would love to see a recommended audio hardware list, particularly with a description of complete recording packages one could get at various pricepoints: ($50, $250, $500, $1000). Maybe an article like that would be best written collaboratively using a wiki.

  2. Gravatar Icon 2 Brian A. Dec 17th, 2004 at 12:19 pm

    Patrick… I use a 25$ headset mic, and the results can be decent as long as the mic is positioned well away from the path air takes coming out of your mouth and nose. Mind you, if it’s too far from your mouth, you lose a lot of your voice to ambient sound and you get a lot of noise. I found the best place is about half an inch to the side of either nostril, and when combined with speaking in a loud, clear voice, it comes through pretty good. Admittedly, investing in a proper setup makes it better, but a little ingenuity can make for a marked improvement in quality.

  1. 1 MWGblog » Blog Archive » Reel Reviews - Updates pingback on Dec 6th, 2004 at 8:16 am
  2. 2 MWGblog » Blog Archive » Studio Picture Requests pingback on Dec 17th, 2004 at 8:07 am
  3. 3 Lenore Bremberg trackback on Aug 26th, 2005 at 7:07 am
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