Digital Media Insider Podcast 15: The Fat Man Sings...Digitally
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As mentioned, I usually record my voiceover with a Rode Podcaster mic, but I just received an SE Electronics USB2200a mic for review, so I tried that instead. I've been disappointed with the Rode's low output level and susceptibility to electrical noise, both downfalls the SE is supposed to fix. I recorded directly into Peak, with the SE in USB mode.

Next, I imported the voiceover file into Live, where I arranged it around the interview audio and the theme music. I compressed and enhanced the voiceover with Ozone. Finally, I rendered the mix to an AIFF file, converted it to an MP3 in Peak, and then imported it into iTunes to clean up the ID3 tags and add artwork.

The Digital Media Insider theme music came together in Live as well. The opening sound effect is a compressed mouth noise spliced onto a tone cluster I generated in Native Instruments Reaktor. The main groove is from Steinberg Xphraze. (Jim Aikin turned me on to both virtual instruments in his article "My Five Favorite Soft Synths.") The piano is from the Garritan Personal Orchestra, which I discovered when we interviewed Gary Garritan. Then there are a few percussion samples dredged from my hard drive. Altogether, the theme took just six tracks. Effects processing was courtesy of Live's default plug-ins and Freeverb.

Aerosol Grey Studio

Ecamm Call Recorder saves Skype calls as multitrack QuickTime files. The caller's voice is mono, but the recipient's is dual-mono. The text track contains location markers I typed in during the recording. Selecting a track and clicking the Extract button allows you to save individual tracks to new files.

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Links

The Fat Man—Home of the biggest name in audio for games.

3dB Research—The scientists behind the Vocalist Live's MusIQ harmony technology.

DigiTech Vocalist Live 2—Product page, including video demos.

Line 6 Variax—The guitar the Fat Man plays in this episode.

SE Electronics USB2200a—This new condenser mic features both USB and XLR output jacks for simultaneous digital and analog recording. Its unique voltage-conditioning circuit is designed to minimize USB electrical noise. A headphone jack lets you monitor your voice with zero latency.

David Battino is the audio editor for O’Reilly’s Digital Media site, the co-author of The Art of Digital Music, and on the steering committee for the Interactive Audio Special Interest Group (IASIG). He also writes, publishes, and performs Japanese kamishibai storycards.


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