Audacity is an open source, cross-platform sound editing application. It is the sound editor I use for producing the PodLeaders and it@cork podcasts.
The process I use for producing the podcasts was:
- Record the interview using Skype and Wiretap Pro (with Wiretap Pro set to save as mp3)
- Import the mp3 file to Audacity and edit
- Export as mp3 and publish
After a recent conversation with Doug Kaye, I decided to try his Levelator application to get the levels on the recordings the same. This meant I had to change Wiretap Pro to output to aiff ( a lossless format) instead of mp3.
I did this and recorded a number of interviews successfully, saving the interviews as aiff. However, yesterday, when I went to edit the first of those interviews, I was disappointed that the Levelator couldn’t work with the files (gave an error and stopped trying to level them).
However, I was horrified when I tried importing the files into Audacity only to find that the imported files had massive echo problems, echo problems (!). No matter what I tried I couldn’t get rid of the echo and it made the audio useless.
Finally, I hit on a solution:
- Import the aiff files into iTunes
- Export from iTunes as mp3
Import the mp3 file into Audacity – no echo (phew!)
I should have hit on this solution sooner but it had been a long day!
IT@Cork is a not-for-profit organisation which facilitates networking amongst IT Professionals – by the holding of evening events, mini-conferences and the annual conference. IT@Cork has 220+ member companies drawn from fmcg, to banks, to pharmas to IT companies.
I have been working with IT@Cork to set-up a members podcast and we published the first podcast yesterday. The most time consuming part of the process was sourcing a sponsor for the podcasts – thanksfully Microsoft Ireland stepped in and offered to sponsor the first five of the podcasts (if anyone would like to sponsor the next five, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org).
The first podcast was an interview with Shemas Eivers – Shemas is the MD of Client Solutions and an engineer by training. Shemas has some interesting views on software development (“software development hasn’t changed very much in the last 5 years”) and he reckoned that one of Client Solutions recipies for success is by avoiding the bleeding edge!
I changed my podcast production strategy fot this podcast – I wanted to try out GarageBand 3! I should have listened to Shemas and avoided the bleeding edge right there! Editing of sound files is painful in GarageBand 3 – I quickly reverted to editing in Audacity. I then imported the edited file into GarageBand to take advantage of its easy music integration – I added the jingle at the start and finish using GarageBand.
One real pain factor in GarageBand is that the Export function exports to .m4a, not mp3. It is possible to import the m4a files into iTunes and convert to mp3 (which is what I did) but what is the point in forcing that extra step on podcasters? Why not have an export to mp3 natively in GarageBand, as it is in Audacity?
I’ll have to play a little more with Garageband to see if it is worth keeping but right now, I am thinking the extra time involved isn’t worth it – anyone think the sound in the IT@Cork interview is superior enough that I should stick with Garageband?