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Recording Your Podcast with Two Microphones, and ynu5photos August 20, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Audio Equipment.

I got a email from Alec McAulay last week who, among other things, wrote:

I am trying to figure out the least painless way to record an interview.  I’d like a recorder that I connect two external mikes to, and then upload one sound file/track into iMovie.  I am not sure if I need a portable recorder or audio interface.

Alec, a Scottish EFL lecturer in Yokohama, Japan, says he has “just dipped his toe into the podcasting pond.”  Check out http://www.youtube.com/ynu5photos… I’d say he’s doing VERY well.

Now, about his question.  There’s a problem with interviewing with one track… you have two voices that are completely different.  Even if you have two microphones, one voice will be a higher pitch than another or need more equalization/compression than another.

I’m not sure what he would have access to when he records (like being able to bring a laptop along)… but I would think that he could do what you want to do with the Zoom H4 Handy Recorder.

See the picture?  See the two XLR inputs in the bottom of the mic?  You can actually plug two microphones into the bottom of this
recorder.  Then, you can choose to record them to one stereo track, like he was  saying to upload into iMovie… but in my opinion, you would use the multi-track option.  You can record each speaker to their own track.  When you do that, you can upload the tracks into
Garageband and then set one as the male voice, one as female (if interviewing a female) and/or tweak the audio, use compression, cut
and copy as needed, and put music in on the front or back end.

You can then take THAT garageband mix and export it as one track to place as the sound track in iMovie.  Add your pictures, and you’re done.

There are many other ways to do this, but for ynu5photos’ purposes, I think the Zoom will be the best portable purchase for him.  If he had a laptop and an audio interface, he could record directly into Garageband and skip the portable recorder step.  A usb audio interface with a dual track input would allow him to plug two microphones in and send them to two different tracks in Garageband.  Not as portable or convenient as the Zoom H4, but maybe a bit less expensive… anything on this page with a “2” in the name has two channels to record with: http://www.fullcompass.com/category/USB.html

Again, I think the Zoom H4 is the best option.

Thanks for the question Alec, and keep up the great work!!!



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