Critical Miss #002 - Sound Advice
Updated: Sep 3, 2020
One of our earliest learnings was that audio quality across apps like Roll 20 is good enough for a casual game, it simply won't cut it for a podcast. Also, gaming headsets are good for sound but poor for mic quality.
So, we quickly came to the conclusion that we would need to pick up some decent mics, install some recording software and all record our own audio. Once the new mics arrived and we did a quick test, it was obvious just how much better the audio quality would be. With improved mics and recording setup, what could possibly go wrong...?
Critical Miss 02 - Rushing into recordings
Hubris is a terrible thing. We were so excited and confident in our new setup that we quickly pushed ahead into our next recording session. We had another fantastic session. The #lions were on fire and we felt like we had a few fantastic episodes in the bag! However, after the recordings were complete and the dust had settled, we took a closer look at our recordings. At this point, our mistakes were laid bare and the pain settled in:
Powell had accidentally recorded using his webcam rather than his lovely new mic
Mark had recorded using his new mic but without headphones, so everyone else's audio fed back through his mic
Westy recorded using the corrected mic and with a headset to isolate audio but lost half of his recording due to a hard drive issue
Fortunately, while we get started, I record everyone's collected audio as a contingency plan. So, the session and its episodes weren't lost but we didn't gain the audio improvements that we were hoping for and expecting.
Recovery 02 - Thorough pre-flight checks
Our most important and beneficial learning from this was the importance of pre-flight checks. We haven't had our next recording session yet but, when we do, each of us is going to complete the following checklist:
Check that the audio input is set to the new mic and that output is set to the headset being used
Record a section of audio with everyone talking. Ensure that, when playing back, each person can only hear their own voice
When playing back the section above, check that audio levels span the majority of the track height but don't cut off at the top or bottom of the track
So, it was another painful learning experience but, to focus of the sunshine and positives, we've learned a lot more and the future sessions/episodes should really benefit from learning from these mistakes early on.
Remember, our first 2 episodes are online and available here. Please subscribe to us on your preferred podcast app.
What have been some of your most beneficial mistakes?