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Subject: Girls' Game Shelf, about to brave the podcast world. rss

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Christina Aimerito
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Hi everyone!

I have a youtube series called Girls' Game Shelf that has been up for a few years now. We provide quick tutorials, gameplay highlights and then a verdict. I made the kind of show that I wanted to see, and we all have a lot of fun doing it.

But now, I'm in for a whole new world and I could use the input from fellow podcast listeners and creators.

We're recording our first one this week, and I'm super excited for the content we have planned (geared towards people newer to the hobby and about light to medium games). I have the equipment. But good lord I know so little about this world. Where do you folks post your podcasts? Is there any kind of etiquette that I should know about? Is sound editing as intimidating as it seems?!

I'd love to hear your experiences with this, if only to give me a little courage as I head into this. I'm trying to also learn more about navigating on this site, so if there are any useful threads on this topic you could recommend, I would be so grateful!

Thanks, and Happy New Year!
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Jordan Ackerman
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Tips on sound editing.

While recording...

Speak clearly and at a measured pace. This will make your sound editing easier.

Make sure you are getting a quality source recording (make sure it sounds good going in). If you have poor mic technique or a poor mic setup, you won't be able to drastically alter this later to make it sound good. You can add compression and reverb later, which will give you a professional polish to your audio, but you can't fix muffled recordings, hollow recordings (too far away from the mic), loud background noise including wind and chatter, proximity effect (too much bass), or popping plosives (p's and other hard consonants that cause the sound to clip/peak/overmodulate). You can clean some of this up after the fact, but you usually need to be a pro with experience and expensive equipment to do major fixes.

Editing tips...

Sound is intimidating because you can't see what you are doing, but trust your ears. They can detect quite a bit and your brain processes sounds to an extremely high degree. For example, your brain instantly knows if you have copy and pasted words repeatedly and can pick up on this every time, without fail. If you need to do advanced editing, it might be worth it to just go in and record a section over again.

Inflection is very important for good editing. You cannot edit words or phrases together if their inflections do not match.

When editing in conjuctions (and, but, or) and other small bits to bridge gaps between phrases, look for takes that will fit naturally. If I have to connect "take out the meeples" along with "dice", where I need to insert an "and", find an and in your speech that was followed by a word starting with "d". Even though you might have a few "and" options that will work, the take that goes into a "d" word with usually be a much more natural fit, so much so that with good editing our amazing human ears and neural processing can be fooled.

Do a few takes of "and", "but", and some other words on their own at the beginning or end of your recording to give you quick options while editing.

There are small pauses in between words in a sentence. In film, this translates into about 1 or 2 frames of pause between each word and about 5 to 10 frames between sentences. When editing, make sure you put a small gap between edits like this, but make sure there is natural sound in this gap (room tone, which is just recording silence while the subject is mic'd up and in the recording room). Often, I will keep all of the room tone at the end of a word attached and will make my edit at the first place the new, unwanted word starts. If you words are too close together at this point, you will need to spread them out, but make sure you have matching room tone in between.

Going back to the brain being very good at processing audio, if you copy and paste one second of room tone repeatedly to fill gaps, the human brain will notice. Try to record a one minute chunk of room tone for every recording (even if you are in the same space as what you recorded yesterday). This is more than enough to fill out any edits.

I mainly edit television, but I got my start on ProTools. I don't remember a lot of the ProTools program, but if you are looking for more advanced advice on compression, equalization, limiting, etc, I can certainly weigh in.
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Christina Aimerito
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That is incredibly helpful. Thank you so much for taking the time to share all of that advice. Learning to edit sound has me a little wigged out, but your comment is helping me wrap my head around it. I'm going to re-read it a few more times! Ha!
I haven't figured out which program I'm going to use to edit. I use premier for video and I'm self taught on that. They have adobe audition, but haven't looked into using it for this. I know nothing about compressing, equalizing or limiting. So whatever program I go with, I'll spend a good chunk of time watching tutorials for it!
I will absolutely take you up on your offer of weighing in on things, once I know enough to be able to ask questions!
Thanks
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Courtney
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FWIW: I use Audition to clean up the audio (amplify, noise reduction, etc.) and Audacity to actually edit, as it's a little more intuitive and therefore faster (at least for me).

I record and edit two sports podcasts. Here are a few of my experiences:

Hosting site: I used to host on Soundcloud, as I like their embed and layout, but have recently switched to Libsyn, which has better analytics. I also keep hearing whispers that Soundcloud might get bought or go out of business, so trying to get ahead of that.

Recording: It all depends on your set up (how many podcasters, recording over Skype or in the same room) and budget. At it's most basic, get a good USB mic (the Blue Yeti is solid) and record over Skype. To make the audio particularly good, have everyone record themselves on a recorder (like an iPhone or portable recorder or ideally, an actual mic) during the call so you have their individual tracks. Cleaner audio and you can tighten it up so there's no "phone lag" or unwanted cross-talk. With proper editing, it will sound like you're all in the same room.

Never let people record via their apple headphones. Sounds terrible and laggy.

If you need any equipment suggestions, just holler.

But otherwise, my biggest tip is to just fire it up and get rolling! You'll learn the editing side as you go and you don't want to get bogged down with equipment paralysis (tho the better/smarter your equipment design, the easier the editing is anyway).

Two podcasters, a healthy internet connection, and Skype, and you have yourself a podcast right there. If the content is good the rest will be super easy!

Have fun!
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Michael Dart
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Good luck and have fun.

Try to remember to re-state the name of the game after you've finished talking about it. People often listen while doing something else (driving, running, cooking), and may not hear it in your opening. They may only realise they're interested in it once they've heard you describe it. But it can be awkward to go back and find it later, or look in the notes. I really appreciate it when podcasts say the name again in closing.
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Lizzie
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mjdart wrote:
Good luck and have fun.

Try to remember to re-state the name of the game after you've finished talking about it. People often listen while doing something else (driving, running, cooking), and may not hear it in your opening. They may only realise they're interested in it once they've heard you describe it. But it can be awkward to go back and find it later, or look in the notes. I really appreciate it when podcasts say the name again in closing.


Yes! And if you're doing a longer chat about it then once in the middle too is also helpful.
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Liz D
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Congrats on trying something new! I listen to a lot of board game podcasts and will be on the lookout for yours.

I was a guest on a podcast for the first time recently (Co-Op Cast's episode on Dragonfire, if anyone cares!). I recorded our conversation on my end using Audacity and sent the file in after we recorded. Also, at the beginning of the episode, we all clapped in unison to make the tracks easier to line up. I have no idea how to actually handle the files on the other end, but I had fun with my part!

From a listener's perspective, I can say these things:

1) As noted above, repeat the name of the game you are talking about every so often so nobody gets lost. Most listeners will tune in and out of your podcast without really realizing it.

2) This is hard for me, because I am a fast talker myself, but try not to speak too quickly. Talk just a little slower than would feel "natural," because that's closer to the pace your audience can listen at.

3) Opinions vary a LOT on this I am sure, but long podcasts drive me crazy. I don't like episodes to last more than about an hour, and I really like when they are in the 25-45 minute range. That usually means that the podcast is more focused, which makes it easier for ME to focus and stay interested.
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Christina Aimerito
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Thank you all so much for all the advice. We made the leap and posted our first episode to sound cloud a little over a week ago. I'm looking at putting it up on other hosting sites soon.

The editing was way less terrifying than I had anticipated! Though it did take me a while to get comfortable with it. And I promise we tried to repeat the names of each game, but I know we can do better.

I agree on the time frame. Under an hour is always best for me when I'm listening, so we kept ours around 45 min.

Everything you guys said definitely came in handy, so thank you all again!

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Jen

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Hi Game Shelf Girls!
My advice is to just do it. Don’t over think just create the cast.

1. invest in a solid mic.
2. It’s best to record a lot of footage and have it edited ready to go.
3. Cross post in both iTunes, SoundCloud, YouTube.
4. You will get way more views if you live cast and post it to YouTube.
5. Have your topics prepped ahead of time.
5. Make multiple sources of content stuff ranging 5-30 mins max for YouTube A full hour for iTunes.
7. Also, if you do post cast to YouTube keep it light and save the analytics for iTunes.

Also, it’s okay to script and rehearse what your going to say.
The less “umm” and blank spaces between topics will keep people vested.
Don’t be shy about making a patron. You product is worth the cost.

I’ve been doing a television recap review podcast for a year. We started from scratch and this is what I discovered. We bought a SoundCloud account, posted on iTunes, and launched on YouTube at one time to keep the media all together. So passing it on. Personally, I think doing a YouTube channel is way harder you're already off to a great start.
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Christina Aimerito
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Thanks so much, Jen! This is all fantastic advice and I'm taking note.

Appreciate you passing it on.
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