Instructions for discussions
We have evolved a format for recording our conversations that makes it as easy as possible to produce reasonable-sounding podcasts without the need for a lot of complex production or post-production. This is how the process works.
1. We all meet online in Owen’s Zoom Room (provided for him by Arcada, where he lectures) at Zoom.us .
2. You can get to Owen’s Zoom Room by clicking here: https://arcada.zoom.us/my/owen.kelly or pasting the link into your web browser.
3. If that does not work for some reason then this will: https://arcada.zoom.us/j/4472846390. It will take you to the same place.
4. If you are using Zoom for the first time then you will be prompted to download a small app. After the first time you will simply get a dialog asking you if you want to open the call in Zoom. Answer yes.
5. The Zoom Room will allow us to record the conversation. If everybody’s connections are near-perfect and remain so then the recording will be good enough to use. However it will still be difficult to edit for coughing and people talking over each other.
6. You should use headphones or earbuds/earphones to listen to everyone else. You should speak into your computer microphone normally.
7. Everybody must also record their part of the conversation locally by using a dictaphone, digital recorder, a tablet or a high quality mobile phone.
8. The best way to do this is to set your recorder on a tripod or a pile of books, so that it does not register bangs and clicks if you put a coffee cup or water glass down on the table or pick up a book.
9. Please make sure that your recorder is picking up your voice at a reasonable volume before you start!
10. When we have finished the conversation please export the sound file from your recorder, using a lossless format if possible (.WAV etc). Send it to Owen at firstname.lastname@example.org using WeTransfer.com. This does not require you to have an account.
When Owen gets all the files he imports them into different channels in an Audacity project and then lines them up properly. He adjusts the volumes of each channel as necessary. He can also trim each channel individually to remove coughs and bangs, and edit several of the tracks simultaneously to remove any sections where people stumble over themselves and end up saying “let’s start this again…”