Content Stagecoach: The Booth Junkie

Click Here to See a Larger Image...Humans have been traveling since – well, since Humans popped up, and what our collective travel experiences indicate is that there’s always something new to learn about. Time to Climb Aboard the Content Stagecoach and learn about new content!

We as podcasters are literally  GEAR JUNKIES. From the Podcaster that buys every new “thing” to the podcaster that WANTS to buy every new thing to the guy that HAS bought everything and it sits waiting in boxes in the basement – we are addicted to gear contemplation and acquisition. One of the most-focused cravings for is when anyone says or reads the word MICROPHONE. Ahh, microphones, the true luscious taste of digital sin, bitter the taste – that triggers visions of our available funds in a variety of all-too-limited bank accounts.

I recently had my Heil Fin microphones (used in our voiceover booths and The Podcast Bug) serviced and while putting a short polish on them, I was surfing through YouTube’s growing listing of digital libraries and – oh – whats this? A microphone review, for those interested in utilizing mics for voiceover. Very interesting…

After having clicked the fun image of a guy with a a couple of akin mics who also had wild hair, i clicked the proverbial “Play” button and what lept out of the speakers in my West studio was…

The Booth Junkie - In This Case: $50 Mic VS $1000 Mic...The Booth Junkie

In this particular episode, the host Mike greeted us all, put on his appreciative, crown-like  headphones and began detailing the always-fun-to-watch-people-hate “Blue Yeti USB Microphone” that is not only a good deal but a good starter, entry-level microphone that I myself have drop-shipped to people for interviews, live music collection and a number of other capture missions over the years. Without getting into too much depth, the bottom line is that I think the Yeti has become an easy target and for the most part is a shat-upon viable, variable tool that gets the job done fast for a very fair price and let’s you be “up and running.” Still, the Yeti has legitimate quirks and viable feature sets…

..and here was The Booth Junkie going over them all, with focused detail, clear experience in the realm of audio collection (in particular, voiceover) and an engaging voice that isn’t just seasoned, but FUN. Those of you that take in as much audio “listening” as I do in lieu of say radio or music will know the value of a good voice, but also – a personality. Mike DelGaudio (wait a minute, the guy has the word AUDIO in his name? Seriously? Yes, seriously) delivers a variety of details, perspectives and KNOWLEDGE that educates even someone that thinks they “know it all” when it comes to audio intake. There’s another facet of Mike’s gallery and it’s that there is FUN, yes, but also play. There’s a small, subtle dance being done between the capture of the content, the visuals that you get but also in the text’d dialog on screen. It’s a treat to be sure and one that leaves you satisfied as the episode goes by because it makes you wonder which mic it is you’re actually listening to because – I mean, we know, right? We know which mic is which right? Riiight?

While there are a number of episode styles in his library, one that captured my attention was his overall microphone review of a HUGE and growing number of mics. What’s also clear is Mike’s zeal in learning more about how the various mics (that both companies and other “Booth Junkies” themselves can loan to him to test) is his natural delivery of opinion, thought and not “THIS PRODUCT SUCKS”, regardless of the experience or happenstance. It’s all engaging, filled with well-paced content that makes you want to continue listening to more while glancing now and again to see what a short silence or “about-to-guess-about-something” phrase flip will deliver for the viewer. Inside another microphone comparison video (the $50 mic VS. the $1000 mic), Mike shares a divine process and nugget at the end that is something I’d LOVE to share here to explain how exemplary it is but hell – then why wouldn’t YOU go check it out, right?

The Heil Fin Microphone - Is Heading Booth Junkieward!The last nugget that should showcase my interest in Mike in general is one I can’t wait to share a follow up article about. Mike’s listing of microphones he’s put to the test and in digital voice-capturing battle is missing a KEY element. A shiny weapon that I myself have had as a sidearm in all of my studios for the last 12 years poised in all battles for podcasting and voiceover conquest. An always available tool that turns heads, collects bright sound and ushers in reviews, education and perspectives of all kinds. The Heil Fin microphone – is in-bound to Mike in the friendly East-coast-based confines as we speak for yet another engaging focus online. I. Can’t. Wait. It’s almost as if I am – addicted – to what he’s going to say? Where’d I put that mishapen’d spoon and rubber tube?

Turning to the digital pages that comprise YouTube.Com content today is a ROUGH road, but for those of us who like gear, let me confirm one thing: If you’re looking or detail about audio, in particular microphone-captured audio, by a guy named DelGaudio, with fun, engaging attitude that makes you send gear host-ward, then I have the PERFECT subscription to feed the poison stream of GEAR ADDICTION, and it’s right over here – you know the Booth – with the Junkie in it.

Tell him that Mike Wilkerson sentcha’.

Booth Junkie on YouTube
Mike DelGaudio – Voice Actor Website

Create Easy 301 Redirects Using the Yoast SEO Plugin

Yoast LogoSometimes, you may need an easy way to create a URL on your podcast site that automatically forwards to another location. For example, instead of simply asking your listeners to visit your iTunes listing by searching for your show inside of iTunes, you could simply tell them to go to ( being replaced by your own URL, of course) instead. You can achieve this by setting up a 301 redirect on your website. The redirect will automatically tell a web browser to go from your specially crafted URL to wherever you’ve sent the redirect.

301’s are usually added to your website’s htaccess file, depending on what type of software your site is running. I use WordPress for all of my podcast sites, and all WordPress installations include their own htaccess files.

Htaccess files may be difficult to find with typical FTP clients. You may need to alter a client’s view settings or you may need to access your server’s control panel to get to the htaccess file. This may be annoying, but it’s actually a good thing as you can do some serious damage to your site if you were to accidentally delete or damage the htaccess file. But you can easily gain access to your site’s htaccess file by using the free Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin.

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How To Remove An Episode From Blubrry Podcast Stats

Blubrry LogoI recently relaunched a podcast that had been dormant for a few years. All of the old shows had been taken offline quite some time ago, and instead of bringing hose episodes back, I decided to do a full reboot, starting over at episode one. I had used Blubrry stats with this show before and wanted to do so again. But when I logged into my Blubrry account, I noticed that these old shows were still being tracked by the stats system, even tho they were no longer online. (I’m guessing this was caused by external sites that had cached the media URL’s, and that most of the hits came from bots pinging those sites.) I wanted to get an accurate count of only the new shows, so I needed to remove all of the old shows from the system. Here’s how I did it. (Hat tip to the Blubrry forum for pointing me in the right direction.)

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Bossjock Demonstrates “Frankenskype” For Mobile Podcasting

Bossjock LogoBossjock Studio, developers of the popular Bossjock podcast-production app for iOS have released a demo of a mobile podcast production setup they call “Frankenskype.”

There are two topics of discussion that come up frequently on podcasting-centric forums: 1.) How to record Skype calls. 2.) How to produce mobile recordings. It looks like Bossjock  tried to solve both of these problems by bringing Frankenskype to life. To elaborate, Frankenskype isn’t a product so much as it’s a technique for using battery-powered mobile gear to record both ends of a Skype call into the Bossjock app.

The demo uses an iPhone, an iPad  and the 9-volt powered ART USB Dual Pre along with an Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit. Frankenskype breaks down like this:

  • * Camera Connection Kit plugged into iPad.
  • * USB Dual Pre plugged into Camera Connect Kit.
  • * Analog microphone (the demo uses an ATR2100, but almost any mic will work) using an XLR cable plugged into one input of the Dual Pre.
  • * Audio cable from the iPhone’s headphone jack connected to the other input of the USB Dual Pre.
  • * USB cable from the Dual Pre connected to the Camera Connection Kit on the iPad.

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Taking a Byte Out of Time

Sound Byte: Using sound clips  without adding time.

When I first started the SciFi Diner Podcast, I would record my shows through my mixer and into my Zoom H2n Handy Recorder, and then add my intro, outro, sound clips, and promos in post production.  All my sounds were banked in a folder on my desktop. I edited my audio files using Garageband at the time; when I found a spot for a sound clip, I would split the track, move it over, logo100and drag and drop the clip in.  After making sure the levels were correct, I would continue editing. The whole process, if I was organized, took two minutes tops.  I used about ten clips through the show.  You can do the math to see how much time that added to my editing. But Sound Byte changed all that.

What Sound Byte allows me to do is  organize my sound clips into an app that I can play while recording a show.  Black Cat Systems, who produces the app, has a Mac, PC, and iPhone/iPad version of the app. Sorry Android users. Here’s the way it works for me.

I use the Sound Byte app on my iPhone (there is a free and paid version of the app; the paid version is $4.99).  The set up takes a little bit of time, but believe me, using Sound Byte will save you time in the long run . I load my sound clips into the app page designated for my phone in iTunes and then sync it.

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 9.13.51 PM

When I open up Sound Byte on my iPhone for the first time, I am greeted with this screen.


This screen is called a rack (a location that holds all your audio clips); the individual boxes are called carts (a box to carry your sound clip). To get my clips to appear, I press one of the gray boxes for a few seconds.  This brings up a screen that looks like this.


Next, I click on the words “Sound File” to bring up my bank of sound clips.


After I select the clip I want to use, it takes me back to cart options. I can now test the clip, adjust its loudness, change to color of the cart, and much much more. Coloring coding is pretty awesome. I can make the clips I use all the time one color, promos another, and listener feedback still another.  Once I am finished tinkering, I click the back button and my clip is ready.


Then, all I need to do is connect my iPhone to my Zoom R16 Multitrack SD Recorder Controller and Interface
via a ⅛ inch jack to XLR chord and I am ready to record.  It seriously couldn’t be easier.

As I said before, it takes a little bit of time to load the rack initially, but after that, this program seriously knocks at least 20 minutes off my post production time. That is another 20 minutes I can be connecting to my listeners or writing blog posts.

If you are already using Sound Byte, let me know how it has helped you in your podcasting. If not, I encourage you to check it out. Streamlining your podcast couldn’t be easier.  It you want to hear another podcaster’s perspective on Sound Byte, you can listen to my interview with Ben DeBono from the SciFi Christian Podcast. If you want to find out other ways to streamline your podcast workflow, check out my post on Auphonic last week.




Clean up noisy tracks using the ReaFir plugin for Reaper

Reaper LogoIt’s always best to mitigate noise in your audio recordings before it can be picked up by a microphone. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen and it’s necessary to soften up that signal noise in post production. Most modern DAW’s (digital audio workstations, AKA audio production programs) use plugins to help with this process. And some DAW’s make finding those plugins a bit of a challenge. That’s why I’ve decided to post a quick tutorial on how to do noise reduction with the ReaFir plugin for Reaper.

Most unwanted noise in audio recordings tends to be constant throughout the length of the piece. Usually, these artifacts come from something in the environment such as a cooling fan or an electrical issue between the microphone and the sound input. When you have this type of continuous noise in a recording, noise-reduction plugins can come in handy as you’ll usually only need to set them once, and then they’ll apply the noise reduction to the entire track or noisy section.
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