Sunday, November 27, 2005

Podcast Listening in the Snow

First time I have seen snowsports headgear with built-in headphones for music. The R.E.D. hi-fi audio helmet offers padded polycarbonate shell with built-in headphones and a cord-mounted volume control for use with MP3s, MiniDisc, CD Player or radio. Anyone tried them?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Wow-- keep the comments coming

Wow...I had over 150 reactions in 24 hrs about my call for comments on the ideal recorder for radio reporters. People seem to be mad as hell that the ideal, simple, foolproof recorder doesn't seem to be available.

I believe passionately that this situation needs to change. Keep up the comments stream. I am listening and your input is very important!!

More details here

Monday, November 14, 2005

Transom Tools Review Marantz PMD 660

Good review of the Marantz PMD-600 on this website, including comments about its sturdyness and a recommendation not to use dynamic microphones.
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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Heil Microphones

Heard Adam Curry record a recent podcast with a Heil PR-40 dynamic microphone and it really sounded rich and smooth (even in MP3). The closest sound yet to my Rode NT2 which I still think is classic microphone for presenters. Cost for the Heil PR-40? US$325. Advantage of the Heil is that it doesn't need phantom power.

Bob Heil is also well-know in amateur radio circles for his work in audio processing. The PR 40 features the new technology of the Heil DM 6 dynamic element with response down to 28 Hz. and stays perfectly flat up through 18kHz. with a beautiful mid range rise giving this new microphone gorgeous vocal articulation.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Not sure if this will work...

Below is a press release which came out today from the M-audio guys. Bearing in mind the price of a 8 or 12 channel Mackie mixer, this podcast mixer and audio package is on the expensive side (US$179). Looks kinda "fiddly" with the rotary faders - or is it just me?

Los Angeles, CA, November 10, 2005 — M-Audio, a leading provider of creative tools for computer-centric musicians, is proud to announce the release of the Podcast Factory professional podcasting solution. The Podcast Factory bundle includes all the hardware and software required to create broadcast-quality podcasts using a Mac or PC.

At the heart of Podcast Factory bundle lies the Podcast Factory audio interface with microphone preamp. This 2 x 2 mobile audio interface delivers professional audio fidelity up to 24-bit/48kHz. The first of two audio channels is a dedicated XLR input for the included dynamic microphone, complete with gain control and signal LEDs. The ¼” input on the second channel toggles between instrument and line levels to accommodate a wide variety of signal sources. Audio outputs take the form of dual RCAs and a front-panel 1/8” stereo headphone jack that share a common level control.

Direct hardware monitoring provides for synchronized overdubs, with the In/PB knob determining the monitor balance between input and output signal. For additional monitoring flexibility, the Mono switch sends the input signal equally to the left and right channels, allowing the source to integrate in a more balanced way with other tracks while recording.

The Podcast Factory bundle includes software that easily lets users of any level record and edit program material such as speech, add music and sound effects, and post MP3s with RSS feeds to the Web. Users also get a collection of music loops in a wide variety of genres.

The Podcast Factory bundle is compatible with both Macs (Core Audio) and PCs (ASIO 2 and WDM – Kernel Streaming). PC minimum system requirements are Windows XP (SP1) running on a Pentium II 350 w/ 64MB RAM. Minimum requirements on the Mac are G3* 300MHz/G4* 350MHz with OS X 10.2.8 or greater and 128MB RAM. The Podcast Factory interface is just 5.5" x 4.25" x 1.75” (14 x 10.8 x 4.5 cm) and weighs in at a mere .45 lbs (.2 kg).

“Podcasting is a major phenomenon, spurred in no small part by Apple’s iTunes initiatives,” says Adam Castillo, marketing director at M-Audio. “The Podcast Factory provides a comprehensive solution for producing professional podcasts for applications as diverse as personal broadcasts, music promotion, corporate training, virtual seminars, education and more. Podcast Factory allows anyone with a message to easily create podcasts that incorporate the production values of radio-quality broadcasts.”

The Podcast Factory bundle is expected to ship in November and carries a price of $179.95 MSRP.

* native USB port required; G3/G4 accelerator cards not supported.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Yahoo Think Tank

Yahoo Think Tank Check the link before Nov 17th. Like it...
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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Help needed with survey

Perhaps you can help me build the best independent consumer-advice guide for radio reporters and podcasters? Radio production went digital ages ago. But radio reporters (especially freelance feature makers) have been struggling with recorders that are either modified consumer equipment or "special" units designed by people who have never had to make a programme to a deadline. The picture above would be great - except that the Apple iPod doesn't make good speech recordings to broadcast standard! Many of the guides I have picked up at trade shows are hopelessly out of date or go into far too much technical detail. I believe passionately that this situation needs to change.

More details here

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Flashman Recorder

Mayah's Flashman recorder. This is a rugged Flash recorder designed for the radio journalist. It is rugged and accepts Canon inputs from a microphone. But at 1279 Euro from outlets in the UK (including VAT) it is very expensive compared to the newer competition from M-audio and Nagra. I wonder when the price will drop. They now come in various colours, though the website says the Silver (standard) colour is still the preferred choice for many.  Posted by Hello