A few weeks ago I traveled to Indiana to go visit the Delta Faucet world HQ. This was a three day event for bloggers. I attended this event for the Handyguys Podcast as their correspondent. I will write in detail about this event in a future post.
Part of the agreement was that I would report back to the Handyguys about my experiences at this event. Podcasting is much different than blogging as you have to do editing with sound, voices, background noises, etc… As someone who used to do a lot of live sound I felt that I had a reputation to live up to. Additionally, the week before the Handyguys did a podcast on how they record their show, going over all of the equipment they use and how they do it…
No problem I thought, I will just contact the music department, or IT Department, or Video Department of the University I work at, and I can put together a decent rig to have professional level sound. Guess what, no one answered when I contacted all of these departments… I also had a looming deadline ahead (tonight) to get everything set.
Now I will say quite clearly that the Handyguys never pressured me to do anything fancy, I’m sure they would have been fine with me calling in on Skype through my cell phone, however I am one to never take a shortcut and I wanted this to be one of their best episodes ever So I looked around my resources and came up with a decent rig (or at least I hope I did!)
Project: Recording Studio
Time: 20 Minutes
Cost: None for me, $15 if I started from scratch
Satisfaction Level: Awesome
From experience, I knew that the closet would be the best place to record. With the “Dead” sound level (no echo) it would help record my voice and not the outside sounds that were going around me. So I moved a small dresser where I could setup the equipment.
The setup. I made the mess. My wife keeps an organized closet!
Quite simple looking, however a lot of thought went into the way this was setup.
The microphone I had was purchased years ago when AIM was still Social Media King and voice chat was something groundbreaking. However it was still better than my laptop mic. When I tested this mic out I noticed that there was a lot of hiss and pop from my voice.
The microphone had lost its stand years ago and had no wind protection.
After a little trial and error I found that a thick ply microfiber cloth was the best windscreen I could come up with on the spot. Thankfully my wife sells these and has a lot of them in the house!
To help with hissing, I wrapped the mic in a thick microfiber cloth.
Next step was to make a “Mic Stand” that I could use to keep the microphone at the right spot. I happened to have some piping and flanges that I could use as a holder. Combined with a rubber coated stick and an inexpensive clip I had my mic stand all set!
To make the microphone the right height for recording, I put a rubber coated stick in the pipe.
I found that the stick wobbled, so I put a lens cleaning cloth between the pipe and stick so it would stay put.
I clamped the mic and cloth to the stick. Making sure it was the appropriate height.
My fancy "Mic Stand"
Because I like to run cables hidden and out of the way, I ran the cables through the pipe and out the bottom. To help level the stand I used another cloth to help keep it from tipping around during the interview.
I used a microfiber cloth under the flange and pipe stand to stop the mic from tipping.
The mic and headphones are ready to be plugged in!
All of the equipment was simple and inexpensive. As this was my first podcast I felt there was no reason to purchase anything special.
I used a set of headphones I got on Woot years ago for $2
The whole setup all ready to go. With my phone as backup.
The podcast was recorded through skype. If you want to hear about their recording process and equipment you can listen to this podcast.
Connecting with the Handyguys through Skype was easy.
Once we were all set, they checked the levels and I sounded good on their end. Now all we have to do is wait for the episode to be released.
I setup a small workstation with just a few parts to make the call. Here they are all laid out.
A simple microphone I bought 10 years ago for a few dollars
Microphone, headphone and a computer. All you really need.
After years of listening to the Handyguys it was surreal to talk to them in real life. It was a great honor to represent them at this Delta event and I hope we continue to have a great friendship!
That is how I setup my recording studio. It was a combination of knowledge, resources and planning to have a successful session.