Sounding Better

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Let us talk technicals. Sound technicals. We are proud of how our sound has been evolving since the start of the podcast and we could leave well enough alone. The challenge with that option is that we each balance our day jobs, our nerdy passions as well as the podcast. This leaves us looking for ways to save on time for creating content while trying to push the quality closer and closer to professional levels.

In this episode and our next, we are trying out a new recording method and set of editing tools. No lies, I am not 100% satisfied with the methods and quality this round. I loved our gameplay, but I believe we have produced more consistent sounding episodes. Some of this is pure learning curve, most of it is learning curve. A smaller part of it is recording method. For those of you who want to start a podcast here are a few lessons we have learned.

There are 3 ways to record at the beginning of the podcast journey. You can plug in a basic headphone mic or USB mic into your PC or laptop and start talking. Download some free software and hit record and you are good to start. You can even fiddle with a few settings and sound decent. This is a great option for new streamers and online table-top players as well as single person podcasts.

When you are ready to step up your quality you adapt a mixing board of some form into the workflow. This is often the best idea for live streaming as the mixing board reduces processing needs from your capture set up for your audio and provides a wealth of options. A great live board can take streams and interview podcasts right up into the professional levels of quality. If you have the patience to learn the craft of sound design and mixing, you can find yourself sounding like the pros.

Adding live people in the same room is where we start getting complicated. Google up radio show sets and podcast sets for large groups, and you will see telltale signs of more complex recording set ups. Your sound engineer must account for where each participant maybe located, how the set is designed and then how their workflow will create the best mix for the content. Ever wonder why many professional voice acting sessions are done in single person sound booths? Recording multiple people simultaneously in the same room while technically possible, creates noise and overlap. It becomes an editing nightmare.

There are solutions. You switch from sensitive condenser mics to dynamic live mics. You use digital noise gates, condensers and limiters. If you have the budget, you look into analog versions to take the signal to the next level before digital conversion. Set up noise mitigation in your studio and always be hunting for new techniques. There is a vast amount to learn about sound, how we perceive it and use it.

Sound quality is critical and doubly so when there are limited or zero visual elements. When you begin to learn editing techniques and putting hours into making better sound you begin to hear EVERYTHING. You train your brain to look for hums, buzzes, lisps and breaths. Raw recordings become your playground and your computer has sound suites taking up gigs of space.

We could reduce our workload by being less obsessed with sound. Maybe that point is coming up as we land into where we should sound, and we can then focus on doubling down on content production. I hope that day is soon so we can get more Dice Fall out to everyone!

GM Chris

I am the GM and Producer and have been declared a monster and it maybe true. My TTRPGs experience extends back to D&D 3.0 from the year 2000 with periodic bursts of GMing. I enjoys digital TCGs, painting miniatures and dream of setting up the party for tragic yet heroic deaths that will emotionally scar the players until their dying days

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