Where the Magic Happens

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So yeah, it took us a bit longer than usual but we managed to kick out a new podcast this week.  The different thing about this one was that I got to take the reigns of the editing of the podcast subsequent to recording.  It’s a lot different than I expected.

One of the things that probably helps one out while doing this is a good initial recording.  Obviously when first doing a podcast there’s going to be a lot of stuff that gets edited out, but Urbo and I have been doing this for a long time now so our uncut originals are pretty clean overall.  Well, for the most part.  That makes the job easier, so my first experience with cutting together a whole cast went pretty smooth from my end of things.

For those who don’t know, Warp Drive Active is done as a recorded Skype conversation using a handy piece of software called Pamela, which lets us actually save the audio stream of a Skype call.   We record both ends of the conversation since the local voice quality’s always going to be better than the remote’s, but for the most part we use a single side to do an edit and cut in bits from the other if the quality requires it.

The only downside to doing it is the fact that you actually have to listen to the whole podast raw file from beginning to end, to make sure you’re cutting out bits that should be cut, and that process alone can be a pain in the butt.  When the finished product is over two hours, you can imagine how long it takes to listen through a huge raw file from beginning to end.  I figure I should start taking notes on time indexes that I should revisit to work on instead.

At any rate, I watched a couple of Indiana Jones movies while doing this, so Urban’s QA on the final cut found a cut that I forgot to make.  As an aside, that new Indy movie was a huge pile of crap.

I use Audacity for my editing while Urban prefers the more commercial Soundforge, and while Audacity is a bit more rough around the edges it’s an extremely capable piece of open source sound editing software.  I’d have no issues recommending it to anyone with the caveat that you should make sure you’ve got enough free space on your drive (the project files are quite large) and that you save often.  That’s not so much of an issue for Audacity users I find, Urban sometimes kills a whole podcast when Soundforge crashes and nukes the original files.

It’s a learning experience.

5 thoughts on “Where the Magic Happens”

  1. You guys ever considered both recording locally, as well as the Skype conversation? Then uploading the local file to the editor and just sync it. If it breaks just use the skype backup.

  2. What I’ve heard works really well for recording both sides of the conversation is something like 3 loud claps, and then when you get both sides of the audio you just match up those soundwaves and then they’re all sync’d up.

    I also use Audacity and really like it (it’s free) and have used skype call recorder (also open source) and it works really well.

    Always good to listen to your podcasts and I hope you enjoy the editing process as well as the creation.

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