Saturday, May 15, 2021

Techno Babble

 As a belated 1 year podcastiversary present to me, from me, I bought a little tech gizmo to help address a weird audio problem I have wrestled with over the past year.

Seemingly at random, vocal takes (narration) would get somehow corrupted and distorted... well not exactly distorted, but degraded.  No amount of messing with settings in my VSTS or elsewhere helped.  It was a real head scratcher and honestly I still don't know what causes it.

In the past,  I've had to rerecord big sections of audio, losing hours (I know it doesn't seem like it should take hours to record a vocal, but with all the editing, it takes a minimum of 30 minutes to record 10.  Usually significantly more).

I noticed that the problem didn't start until about episode 16 or 17.  Could it be that, using a template for consistency has also introduced some kind of settings-clutter? I'm not sure. In 20 years of amateur engineering I have never seen this before.  To be safe, I am starting a brand new 'session' and so you might hear an audio change (hopefully for the better) in episode 44, which I am currently recording vocals for.

I also bought this gizmo.  It's an in-line FET booster.  The Shure SM7B mic is the absolute best podcasting mic, and I love it, but it is a very low sensitivity mic and you really need to crank the preamp to get a good volume. This 'Dynamite Stick' thing I bought should provide a big 'clean' boost at the pre-preamp stage, allowing me to dial in much less gain and hopefully to absolutely kill problems with hiss and distortion.  It is cleverly designed and even runs off phantom power, which is a nice feature.

If anyone reading this is an audio engineer and has experience with 'instantaneous' corruption/degradation of voice takes, please get in touch and teach me the secret to keep this from happening again! 

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