March 18th 2011 2:56 pm PT

Equipment I use to produce my podcast

I have been producing my audio shows since December 2004. I have tried various hardware and software combination, and I have finally settled on a production process that works. Below is what I currently use to produce my shows. 

 

I will warn you: I am bit of an audio geek (years in radio will do that to you) so some of this may be over kill.

I record audio either in my studio in Seattle, or while on the road as I travel around the world covering events for Xbox.

I will break out the equipment list for both:

 

For field recording:

When I head out on the road, I use a Marantz PMD661 recorder . This is an amazing device that I really enjoy and has been a solid and reliable road companion.  I have a SanDisk 8 GB SD Card I use with the Marantz. I have the record set to record PCM 48k WAV files, and the 8 GB card allows me plenty of recording time.

Depending on the ambient audio situation,  I either use my Shure Beta 87A or Shure 58A mics with the Marantz. I own two of each. I then take the WAV files and import them into my laptop (below)

For studio recording:

I am using the Edirol R-44 for studio recording connected to 4 RODE NT1A Cardioid Condenser Microphones on desktop stands. The allows me to isolate all of the voice tracks for each of my guests separately. This is one of the most important steps in audio production, as it allows me to tweak each track for optimal audio.

For production, I use with a Dell XPS 1640 or an Apple MacBook Pro. Regardless of the laptop, I am running Windows 7 Professional and Vegas Pro, where I do all my editing and post-processing.  

During the production process, I use multiple tracks (sometimes up to 10 individual audio tracks) See a screenshot of Vegas while I am producing a show here. When I am done editing, I output the show as a 64kbs MP3 file. I add the appropriate metadata and album art to the file using AudioShell.

 

If I need to do any interviews via phone, I use a Broadcast Host which is a digital hybird similar to what radio stations use to take phone calls on the air.

 

I then upload the files to my hosting provider, Libsyn. Libsyn then caches the files at multiple data centers around the world to ensure delivery. Once the caching is complete, I post the show on my blog and iTunes.

 

If you use iTunes, you can click here to open up my show in iTunes, then click the subscribe button to add my show to your sync list and have my latest show automatically sync to your iPod. Or you can subscribe to the MP3 version or the WMA version of the show. I also support the Zune, and you can find my show in the Zune Marketplace here.

I am often asked what the name of the music is that I use to open and close the show. It is from the Atari Driv3r Sound track. I use cut 8 – “Move Over.”

As of January 2010, I am now using ‘Venice Rooftops’ from the Assassin’s Creed II soundtrack, © 2009 Ubisoft Music and used with permission.

 

Updated: 3/21/2010

By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

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