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Getting Started in the Media Lab: The Podcast Studio

Guide to basic Media Lab information

Podcast Studio

In the podcast studio, you can record podcasts or any audio files using our studio quality mics and headphones.  Just bring your laptop with your favorite recording software, plug in the USB and you are ready to record.  If you don’t have your own software, we recommend getting the Adobe Creative Cloud, available at no cost for students.  Reservations are required prior to room use.

Before You Leave

  • Make sure all headphones are with their corresponding microphones
  • Reset all sliders to the bottom
  • If you have changed any settings in the Rodecaster, please change them back
  • Return the microSD card and aux cable to the VHS case
  • Turn off the Rodecaster
  • Check to make sure you have all your belongings
  • Turn off the lights!

Features

Microphones

There are four Shure SM7B microphones, windscreens attached, in the podcast studio. They are attached to the table by a boom arm.

Mixer

The podcast studio is equipped with the RØDECaster Pro. Each microphone connects to the RØDECaster Pro by an XLR cable. There are also four Sennheiser HD280 headphones and a USB-A cable connected to the mixer. Patrons may use the USB cable to attach their laptop to the mixer and record directly into an audio editing program of their choosing.

Tips for recording

  • Keep an eye on the levels of your recording. If they look too low or too high, adjust the faders
  • General rule is to keep the level fluctuating around the yellow and green zones
  • Try not to go into the red zone! This will distort your audio and is not easily fixed
  • Speak carefully! 
  • If you mess up, wait a moment before continuing on so you can edit it out
  • You can add a marker to note the time of a mistake or anything else that you want to come back to by pressing the flag button on the touchscreen.
  • These markers will automatically be placed in the timeline when you open the file in a DAW
  • Do a test recording and listen to the playback before recording your actual project
  • Not all audio can be fixed or improved in post, so it is important you record the best sound possible
  • If you are hosting a podcast or a call, use the headphones and microphone associated with (1) on the Rodecaster (the ones color coded as red). Doing so will allow you to hear soloed mics
  • Combine this with the mute button to listen to an input before adding it to the actual recording
  • You may want to take a break or exclude parts of a conversation while keeping everything in a single audio file. When using a microSD card, press and hold the record button for 2 seconds to pause the recording
  • The button will blink red when paused. Press the button again to resume recording

Multitrack Recording

The RØDECaster Pro allows users to record multitrack audio; that is, each input can be recorded to its own track in a given audio editing program, or as its own file when recording to a microSD card. By default, the podcast studio mixer records to multitrack only when recording to a microSD card.

MicroSD Card Multitrack

All audio files recorded to a microSD card using the RØDECaster Pro will be a poly .WAV file. When placed into an audio editing program (our example is with Adobe Audition), it will look similar to a stereo file, except with more waveform lines. There will be as many waveforms as input tracks from the recording setup. The RØDECaster Pro will record 14 tracks.

To extract the individual tracks, click the arrow in the Files panel in the top left corner. Doing so will show the individual tracks that make up the full poly .WAV file. You can then click and drag the track to the main timeline.

USB Multitrack

By default, recording directly into an audio editing program via the USB cable and a laptop will result in one track containing all recorded audio, no matter how many microphones and other inputs are used. Recording each input to its own track on a laptop is a more involved process. RØDE provides step-by-step instructions for a variety of audio editing programs.