Podcast Studio Guide: Initial configurations

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At our podcast studio you can make recordings yourself with easy-to-use equipment.

Please read all four guide blog posts before your first time using the podcast studio and reserve enough time at the start and at the end of your session so that you have enough time to set any configurations on the equipment and transfer the completed files to your computer.

The instructions on how to make a recording can also be found on the studio’s wall.

Guide to our Podcast Studio:

1. Upon arrival
2. Initial configurations
3. To remember while recording
4. Transferring files

In this second post of the blog series we go through the instructions how to set up the studio equipment to be ready for recording.

Rodecaster Pro

Studio equipment

There are ready-to-use Rode PodMic microphones and Audio Technica studio headphones for two speakers at the studio. The microphones and headphones have number tags: number 1 is for the person operating the mixer. There is also a third set of a microphone and headphones in the cabinet. You can connect them to the input number 3 on the mixer.

The recording is done on a Rodecaster Pro podcast mixer. An instruction manual for it is available here. This guide will give basic instructions on how to use the mixer so that you can make a recording at our studio and do any necessary editing afterwards. 

Important: Please do not change any other settings on the mixer, so that the next users won’t get any unpleasant surprises.

The mixer has a memory card on which the recording is saved as a multitrack file. You don’t need to bring your own memory card or connect any device to the mixer during the recording. However, you do need to have your laptop with you so you can transfer the recording from the memory card to your computer.

Remote participants

There is enough space for only 3 people in the studio, but it’s possible to participate remotely.

You can connect your computer to the mixer with a USB cable (the mixer has a ready-to-use USB cable) or you can connect your smartphone to it using Bluetooth connection (push the button with a Bluetooth icon on the mixer and connect your device to it). The voice recorded by your computer or smartphone will then be saved on its own track, and you can adjust its volume the same way you adjust the other microphones in the studio.

 

If you have remote participants, please take the following things into consideration:

  • The quality of the recording made by the remote participant is greatly affected by the microphone they use and the room or space where they are making the recording.
  • If you can hear the remote participant’s voice on your headphones, everything is working as it should. IF you can’t hear their voice, make sure that the device and software you are using for the remote voice connection has Rodecaster selected as the speaker and  microphone.

How to set the devices before recording

When all the devices are connected to the mixer, you can do the voice settings. Turn on the mixer by clicking the red button, which is located at the back right corner of the mixer.

  1. Adjust the microphone stands.

Adjust the microphone stands so that the speakers can talk into their microphones from no further than 4 inches away (the length of your fist). The stands can also be adjusted carefully during the recording, if necessary. Try to avoid adjusting the stands and microphones or any kind of knocking/clattering during the recording, as it might get picked up by the recording equipment and cause a disturbance in the final recording.

  1. Set the volume for each microphone

Each microphone has a number on it, and the corresponding volume slide control can be found on the mixer. If there are remote participants, you can adjust their volume from the slide control that has a Bluetooth or USB icon above it.

First move the slide controls of all the microphones you are using to the middle. Talk about something with your guests for a moment to test that each speaker’s voice is about the same level on your headphones. If someone’s voice is quieter, you can increase the volume of their microphone by moving the slide control upwards.

  1. Adjust the volume for headphones.

There is a numbered rotary control knob for each headphone at the top right corner of the mixer. Adjust the volume to be comfortable for eash headphone user. The volume on each headphone does not affect the volume of the recording.

You can now start recording, if you want. However, we do recommend to always adjust the the sensitivity of the microphone suitable for each speaker, to ensure the best quality recording.

  1. Adust microphone sensitivity.

Adjust the sensitivity of each microphone individually to suit each speaker, so that the microphone does not distort the voice of a louder person and the voice of a quieter person is heard well. Once you have found a suitable sensitivity level for a certain speaker, you can use the same settings for them in the future.

 

  • First, press the number button of the microphone above the slide control and select LEVEL on the touch screen.
  • Ask the person using the microphone to speak into the microphone as they would when recording, at a fist’s distance from the microphone. Watch the bars moving on the touch screen: they should reach at least the level marked in green, but not exceed it.
  • If necessary, adjust the sensitivity higher or lower on the touch screen. Note, however, that the higher the number, the more background noise the microphone will also record – this is why the level should not be higher than 42. You can also increase the volume by speaking louder.

Check the memory card

There is a memory card inside the mixer, on which your recording is saved. However, do check before starting the redcording, that the memory card is in place.

 

Check that:

  • On the touch screen of the mixer, the image of the memory card is shown in the upper right corner. If there is a red cross over the image on the memory card, the memory card is not in place.
  • REC button has a green light, and if recording, a red light. If the REC button is blue, the memory card is not in place. If it seems like the memory card is not in place, check from the back panel of the mixer if there is a memory card or not. If you see a memory card in its slot, press it gently so that it pops out of its slot, take it out and put it back in. If there is not memory card, or if taking the card out and putting it back in doesn’t help, there is a spare memory card in the cabinet. The memory card can be found in the “adapterit” / “adapters”  box, inside a Samsung adapter. Pull it out of the adapter and put it in its slot in the mixer.

 

If necessary, you can also do the recording directly to your own computer by connecting your computer to the mixer with a USB cable and using the recording software of your choice (e.g. Audacity or Audition). However, we recommend recording on the memory card of the mixer and transferring the files to your computer after recording.