Last week I had the privilege of chatting with Doug Payton from the Consider This! Podcast regarding his use of Auphonic. This week I spoke with Georg Holzmann, the creator and brains behind Auphonic.
The one thing that continues to impress me about Auphonic is how it streamlines the podcasting post-production experience. We podcasters know that planning and recording a show almost seems easy compared to everything that needs to be thought about in post-production. If editing down a show was not a job in itself, we need to pay attention to leveling tracks, normalization, files size and format, and meta-tagging. Doing this manually each week takes time, time quite frankly that I as a podcaster producer just do not have. In comes Auphonic.com.
With a free account, I can have all the above done in one pass. And here’s the thing. I can save my work as preset so that each week when I release a new podcast, all I have to do is load the preset. Auphonic loads all my meta-data (tags, show art, licenses, show description, etc.), remembers in what formats and bit rate I want to export the audio file, hooks up to my Libsyn, YouTube, and Soundcloud accounts, and remembers that I want normalization and adaptive leveling done. Auphonic will even throw in a preloaded intro and outro if I don’t want to mess with inserting that each week. All I have to do in the preset is load my new raw file. In a click of the button, the work is done. Well, your files needs to be uploaded first.
When everything is finished, I can listen to the finished episode online. If something doesn’t sound quite right, I can go back in and edit the episode. For a new podcaster, it really couldn’t be simpler.
And for those of you who produce your own videos, it will handle video too!
Let me know what you think. Are you using Auphonic? Something else? What do you use to tag your podcasts?
Term of the week: Compression
Compression can be confusing to first time podcasters. Here’s the situation:
Possibly the single greatest challenge facing the podcaster is finding the right balance of audio. On the face of it, the task should be simple: I adjust the channel faders until I hear everything in the right proportion. My voice, audio intros, and guests are all theoretically coming through the headphones at the right, equal level.
But my voice fluctuates. It rises and falls in intensity and pitch; at times it is louder and at other times more quiet.
If I push the level up so that the quieter moment are able to be heard more clearly, then rest of the vocal will suddenly become to loud. No single setting gives a good balance because the difference between the highest and lowest signal levels (what is called the ‘dynamic range’) is too large.
Compressors remedy this by reducing the audio track’s dynamic range: compression reduces the level differences between the loud and soft words. The compressor does this by turning down (or ‘compressing’) the louder signals so that they match the quieter signals more closely — and all it needs from me is an indication of which signals I think are too loud.
There is a discussion about wether to use hardware or digital compression, but that is a discussion for another time.