Monday, June 05, 2006

Podcast and Hardware

Making podcasts of the William Hope Hodgson stories has somehow failed to set the world on fire. So far, I haven't gotten a single unsolicited comment about them, and the friends I've invited to listen to the podcasts have, rather than give me any feedback about the recordings themselves, just told me they don't want to listen to them. Sigh.

Anyway, my podcasting dreams have not died completely, although the project is a bit stalled. I did get some recommendations for hardware: a Focusrite Voicemaster Pro channel strip, and an ElectroVoice RE-20 microphone. The channel strip has an expander, to reduce background noise, an optical compressor, and some very nice EQ options that would let me emphasize the parts of my voice's spectrum that sound best. It also has some tools for adding harmonics, simulating tape saturation and tube drive. If I can't get a good vocal sound out of this thing then the problem is my voice, not the hardware! I have not tested that particular microphone, but it would probably do a good job.

I'd add a MOTU 828 Mark II audio interface. That puts it around $1700. For now I'd continue to use DSP Quattro for editing. A decent pair of powered monitors would cost around another thousand. I'd want some miscellaneous hardware: a rack, a power conditioner, a desktop microphone stand. Maybe some acoustic foam. Say, around $3,000 for all that.

Then, I'd need Mac of some type; for now it would have to be a PowerPC machine, unless I also want to buy all new software. There aren't many PowerPC models left; I might have to buy new/old stock or a used machine. Which model is quietest? Maybe an iMac G5, preferably a 20" model. I'd want a good pair of headphones. It looks like I could have a pretty decent complete recording workstation for recording for under $5,000. If I could guarantee that the recording would actually come out OK, it seems like it would make a pretty good hobby -- something I could do in small pieces, maybe 30-minute chunks, at night after the kids are asleep.

Well, it's just an idea for now. I don't think my voice is that bad. It was good enough for radio, at one time at least. I still think there must be someone besides my immediate family members who would enjoy listening to these classic stories!

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