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Podcasting from your Home Studio

Plus a simple Recipe for Podcasting

If there was any one thing that happened in the 20th century that was significant, that never happened before in human history, it was the awakening of technology.  Telephone, radio, TV, internet.  We became accustomed to staring into glass tubes of moving images for long periods; we learned to identify ourselves with lyrics and melodies distributed worldwide through the thinning air. 

large product image

BLUE Snowball Condenser USB Microphone  Tweak:  Connects by USB to your computer.  No audio interface or preamp is needed.

Then we taught a basically stupid machine that stored numbers to connect to other machines that stored numbers. We trained these machines to use the same language and we taught it how to send and receive information.  Networks emerged and we connected through them.  Many of us braved the early discussion boards and chatrooms and actually made a live connection with other beings.  Now we sit in our chairs, 21st century wizards, and connect up via cell phones, webcams and blogs.  Now we can get music, send pictures, subscribe to podcasts on our computers and transfer it all over to an Apple iPod. 

"Oh so what, Tweak?" Newb yawns and starts fiddling with his laptop wondering if "ImUrBabe18" the princess of webcams, has uploaded her latest episode.  "Aha!", Tweak brightens, as he glances over to Newb laptop and sees ImUrBabe's camshot.  "You are the perfect example of this historical phenomenon, Mr. Newb." 

Why Podcasting is Important

See, one by one we are removing barriers to human connectivity and improving the quality of these connections.  Here in the USA, podcasting is taking off like a rocket. Thanks to RSS technology, we ca subscribe to video channels and let our computers download podcast video feeds in the background while we do other stuff.  In Japan, for example, they already have cell phones that can stream video as they have built up their network infrastructure to allow that.  Soon it will be everywhere. 

Once we get more speed and capacity in our networks, there are a number of transformations that can and most likely will take place in our world.  Everything that is information will be "on demand", not just movies and TV shows, but everything you want to know, all forms of entertainment media, and the connections to your international group of friends. 

Emerging technologies are forcing universities to refashion themselves as realtime knowledge hubs. We are already at the point where a technologically savvy student can, aided with a laptop and a WI-FI connection, challenge their non-tech professors, do Google searches on the spot and politely update their professor on the latest developments in the field.  After all, the whole university is founded on the bedrock of The Library, the repository of uh, dead, non-realtime, information. That is changing.  The true library will soon be the internet. 

And its not going to stop there.  Imagine the freedom of skipping class for a month because you can download the podcasts of all the lectures a week before the test.  Imagine podcasts on any subject imaginable.  It won't be long before you can get any information, learn any trade or skill or knowledge, without even stepping into a school. 

Doing a podcast already?  Or is it just a stupid fad? Take the poll and log your opinion at Studio-central.

Ok, enough of the university.  Now let's watch TV.   "Bah, TV, there's nothing worth watching!", someone shouts.  Right.  That is right now.  We may have a choice between 13 and 500 channels right now, depending on what you pay for, and 99.5% of it is corporate sponsored. 

Now lets up that to millions of channels.  Soon, my friends.  Subscribe to any you want, and watch them on the bus on the way to work.   And you will watch, because it will become clear that everything you want to know will be there.  Want the news from the Ukraine? Singapore? Brazil? Subscribe to some local pods.  There is a political side to this.  "Newb! Through the 20th Century who owned the means of information production?"

Newb coughs, feigns dizziness, anything to buy time.  "Uh, CNN? uh No! the corporations...?"  (The class claps)
Edirol R09HR High Resolution Wave and MP3 Recorder
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Good, lets take that thought. They produced all our music, TV shows, newscasts, movies, told us what to wear, what to drink and smoke.  They created, and still create, our shared reality.  What if we were able to make and get our own news?  We might find our world is a much nicer place...

Consider the potential you have in your home studio.  You can make an album, podcast a radio station or TV show, make a short documentary, score a soundtrack, do a complete Indie film, generate your own media by your own rules, and you can distribute it yourself. It is time to consider our studios as more than music making studios, but as a media production center.  Wake up my friends:  You now own the Means of Information Production.  Think Creatively Always!

A Simple Podcast Recipe


You don't need an expensive non-linear video editing suite of software to make a video podcast, though having one will let you do some amazing things.  You can start simply, with the software that came with iLife on your Mac.  Note you can also do all of this stuff on a PC.  On a PC you can substitute Sony's ACID for Garage Band.  You can download QuickTime for Windows and iTunes for Windows from the Apple site. 

1. Use Quicktime Pro to cut and paste captures from your webcam or camcorder into a sequence with it's audio.

2. Make additional audio (music) tracks in GarageBand. 

3. Save your music into iTunes. 

4. Load the QT file into iMovie and drag in your iTunes file to the timeline

5. Save the movie using the Apple H.264 codec.  You just made a video podcast with your own music.

Then you will need a place to upload the finished file.  Your own website will do, but there are places on the web that will let you upload to their server for free.  You can even submit your podcast info to Apple for inclusion in their lists.  There are thousands of free podcasts available from the iTunes site, and currently, they are all free. 

You can choose to make your podcast as well produced as you like.  You can use all of your audio and video post production tools to make a wonderful production, or you can keep it really cheap and simple and carry your whole studio in your backpack. 

Using your Home Studio Tools for a Podcast

If you already have a home studio going you already have a leg up on the bareboned podcasters.  You sequencer, audio interface, preamps, samples, and of course your music gives you rich resources for developing your podcasts.  Remember that podcasts are downloadable files, not streaming files, so you can have much higher audio and video quality than streaming formats allow.  If you have Sonar, Cubase, DP or Logic, you have the technology to create stunning audio that can surpass those using basic editors.  Still you might want to get a portable recorder to make it easy to bring in the content. 

After all, content is king in radio/tv production just as great material in king in music. 


Podcast Links

Free software for downloading podcasts--iTunes

What is a Podcast? (Wikipedia)

How do I make an audiofeed?

Using GarageBand to make an audio podcast

Using Quicktime Pro to make a video Podcast   

The HR264. codec



Visit Tweak's Audio/Video/Podcast Forums

Recording and Composition INDEX
Recording Process Made Simple
Inspiration and Style
Step-by-Step: How to write a Song
Write Drum tracks without a Drummer
Hip Hop Beat Construction Made Simple
Hip Hop Production and Mixing
Hip Hop Drum Tweaks
Using Electronic Drum Kits
How to Record Vocals
Preparing for a Vocal Session
Vocal Processing
Recording Guitars
Using Compressors
Using Effects Processors
Buying a MultiTrack: Watch Out!
Using an AW1600 Recorder
Podcasting from your Home Studio
MultiTrack Recorder Price List
Outboard FX Price List
Studio Racks List


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