Curse of Strahd, Dungeons and Dragons 5e, Podcasting

Podcasting

I listen to podcasts whenever I drive to and from work so I decided to give it a try myself…

Podcasts are an entertainment media unlike any other. The mind creates visualizations of the spoken word coming through the speakers. Be it fantasy, adventure, drama, sci-fi or talk-topics, the scenes painted by the listener are better than any 4k screen or video game console.

But how to get started? What equipment do I need? What should the setup look like? There are so many questions. Take your time, research the general subject. Watch what other people are doing.

I started with a general search for podcasting equipment and came up with these:

These plus many others proved to be invaluable resources when setting up my own podcast system. The first thing I needed was a mixer. I did not want to spend hundreds of dollars on a professional multi-channel mixer so the AW 8 Channel Professional Powered Mixer from Amazon fit my budget and need quite nicely.

Budget Mixer

While this model does not divide each input channel to its own output channel, it handles everything needed for a basic stationary setup.

Second Step – Microphones

After this, we added some mics, mic stands and headphones. The microphone is a very highly rated Neweer model that really impressed me. This is where you need to know about microphone types: Condenser & Cardioid.

Condenser microphones use a capacitor to convert the compression and rarefaction of sound waves into electrical energy. Condenser microphones require power (voltage) in order to operate.

Cardioid microphones, also known as dynamic microphones,
receive sound waves that cause a movable wire or coil to vibrate in a magnetic field and thus induce a current, to then be converted back to sound. No external power (voltage) required.

These microphones are great! They pick up audio like nobody’s business, also, they pick up background audio that you may not want. Add some mic stands and viola! Feeling good about now!

Mic Stand

Interface

Now, here is where I struggled. I repeatedly had to go to WalMart to get adapters until finally, I ordered this from Amazon:

USB Mixer Interface

This interface allowed me to connect the mixer to the PC and use Audacity to capture the inputs. This was a very long learning curve for me but well worth it!

Rounding Everything Out

Headphones: I checked Target for these headphones but found a better deal at Amazon. They guys say they are comfortable and they do indeed wear them for our 3+ hour gaming sessions so I believe them. Personally, I use the Altec Lansing Bluetooth Headset and absolutely freaking love this headset! I’m studying Web Development and I use these every morning in my studies.

A few other extras and we are now recording our Dungeons and Dragons Curse of Strahd and Lost Mines of Phandelver sessions every time.

This adventure was very informative and opened other tech doors for me. Like many of these adventures, the Halfway Home point felt like it was further out than the few steps it took to get back to that comfort zone but then again, I guess when we learn new things we move our comfort zone a bit without consciously knowing it. I hope this helps you in your pursuit of your podcast dreams and at the very least, gives you some ideas and options to pursue as you find your own Halfway Home adventure.

-DM Dave

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