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Category: Meta Conversations

Podcast Episode Coming – Your Thoughts Are Requested!

I certainly do not claim to be a podcasting expert by any stretch of the imagination. Even after doing this for a bit over four years now, I still run into random tech problems and sound quality issues that I can not always perfectly troubleshoot, though I do the best I can.

The spontaneously-combusting XLR cables are not my fault, though. I swear.

I know it has been well overĀ  a year since the last podcast episode (if you could call it that) for this blog, but I made it a point to say that shows here would be when I have something to say, and I would not do them just for the sake of doing them. That being said, I actually have an idea for a show to do. It is incredibly “meta” (and specifically about podcasting), but that is OK with me if it is OK with you! You have read before how I have upgraded equipment over the years, and what my typical workflow is for producing a show. That was a while ago, though, and a few things have changed.

I really want to do an updated version of that, but more from the audio end of it rather than a text-and-images description. It fine and dandy to talk about it, but what does it all sound like…? Sure, you could compare the earliest episodes of Daizenshuu EX‘s podcast to some of the most current ones, but that would be a pain to do.

What I am planning on doing is recording a few segments, under very controlled (read: “ideal”) situations in terms of surroundings and acoustics, to showcase exactly what my different microphones really sound like, and how that makes a difference for the listener. With myself more than anyone else you will be able to tell how upgrading and tweaking a few things can make a huge difference — it’s no secret that my regular male co-hosts Jeff and Julian have amazing, deep, booming, perfect radio voices, where-as I have to over-compensate.

Not that I can’t form a coherent sentence, or anything like that. Oh, Hell… if you’re reading this blog, you know what I’m talking about!

In a nutshell, I have a pretty good idea of how that part of the show will go. You will hear the different types of mics, positioning from them, what the most basic of software can do to help with it, blah blah blah. What about the other side, though? Is there anything about the behind-the-scenes production that you are interested in learning about? Not necessarily the tech behind things… but the research, methods, reasons, schedules, time-sinks… that kind of stuff.

In general, is there anything about any of the shows I am involved with (Daizenshuu EX, lo-fidelity, vgconvos) that you are curious about? Why we do the things we do and how we do them? Let me know! I will probably pull Jeff on that later segment to answer with me, because he’s just such a swell guy.

Live Broadcasting Online

Jeff and I have streamed our recording of lo-fidelity live a few times. We do so over on my Stickam account through a second computer (my laptop) while his is busy with the normal audio recording for the show. Up until last night, we’ve always just done it where the laptop picks up the audio through its internal mic, since the mixer is outputting to the Mac for audio recording.

Well, the mixer has the main-out as well as the tape-out. I busted out my audio cables last night and did a proper line-in to the laptop to complement the video feed it was serving. The feedback from the audience was great (being that the audio was great… no-one ever said the show was great :P), so next time we broadcast, we’ll be doing it “correctly” again.

That gets me wondering, though… what do we gain from broadcasting it live?

I’m well aware of the effort it takes to build and maintain that “sticky” audience that we all so desire, and little things like fixing the audio on a live stream go a long way. How about that live stream, though? What purpose does it serve? Quite frankly, it seems pretty egotistical… people love us so much, they want to watch us as we record our shows! Aren’t we so flippin’ great?!

I don’t really think that about myself, though. No, seriously. If you were hanging with us last night, you heard me complaining about Jeff and his amazing radio voice and how much of a struggle it is for me sometimes to get into the range I want to be in. There are plenty of things I don’t like about my various shows, so adding a video stream on top of that just seems crazy.

I think it works for lo-fidelity, though. Jeff and I have both been podcasting for a few years, and we both edit our own main shows. We know the effort it takes. We know what goes into it all. Due to all that, this particular show is far more conversational than the one I do for Daizenshuu EX, and so it works well for a live stream… no random dead-air (not much, anyway ^_~), no confusion over what’s happening next, no piece-meal recordings (with the exception of the ahead-of-time Anamanaguchi interview), etc. We are able to get immediate feedback, too, and while we definitely gear it toward being a damn solid audio program and really just video stream because we can… it’s nice to pull in a couple random live things here and there, like someone’s off-the-cuff Top 5 list to go along with our own.

That doesn’t really address the bigger question of added-value, though. So I guess it’s best to ask you all — the ones who are following me enough to be reading this blog. Do you have any interest in video feeds of the podcast recordings? What do you find interesting / disinteresting about them? Know that we don’t have the time or resources to put on big productions, so if and when we stream anything, it’s just going to be… yep, some folks sitting around mics recording a podcast.

Really curious, though!

Thoughts On Donations?

This is a subject I am heavily conflicted on.

Ever since the dawn of Daizenshuu EX (and VegettoEX’s Home Page and Ultimate DBZ Links Page before them), I have done anything and everything in my power to keep things as “real” and “transparent” as I can with the site. I have never asked the community for anything, and do not expect anything in return for running the site. There have been plenty of generous “donations” over the years (for example, our buddy godofchaos has been hosting the podcast for us free of charge, and we’ll be porting over the forum to his server in the near future; many years ago our old buddy Scott, or SREDBZ, used to host our website for us). We’ve even had prize donations for website contests. These have always been unsolicited, mean the world to us, and make the community a better place.

I’ve had people ask about monetary donations in the past, but I’ve always struck them down. This is for fans, BY fans, gosh darn it! Things are a little different now. I’m not a 16-year-old punk kid starting a links page. The wife and I are lucky to be two educated adults with full-time, well-paying jobs, but there’s no denying what the current economic situation is.

Time to be a little realistic. Especially with our first home purchase entering the picture, one can’t help but wonder what a couple extra bucks would mean.

There are new guide books coming out. There are new CDs coming out. Shipping from Japan ain’t cheap. Equipment could use replacing and upgrading. Thinking about trying some new conventions.

Despite never having done so in the past, I’m seriously considering putting up a PayPal “Donate Now!” button over on Daizenshuu EX. Part of me feels… ya’ know, so what? Tons of other websites, blogs, and podcasts do this (including some of my favorites). I even paid for a premium version of a podcast for a while before it unfortunately passed on, and I didn’t think twice about supporting it. I tossed a couple bucks over to the CO-OP guys right after they got laid off from 1UP.

The other part of me freezes up and feels like a total sell-out. It goes against everything I’ve tried to do in the past. I feel like we are in such a (comparatively speaking) great, financially-secure place… what right do I have to ask anyone for anything, even indirectly like this? What reason do they even have to take me seriously?

So I guess that’s what my question is. What reason(s) do you have for even taking such a request seriously? If you saw that button pop up, how would you feel? How do you think the rest of the fanbase and community, the ones who don’t take the time to respond but are just as important, would feel? What would you like to see done with any donation you may or may not make, regardless of how little or grand it may or may not be?

I’m definitely waiting to hear your responses. It’s not as important or dire as I think I’ve made it out to be, but your thoughts and responses are genuinely welcome. I’m going to cross-post this on the Daizenshuu EX forum (there’s obviously a larger reader base there right now), but please feel free to leave blog comments. If you would rather privately send your thoughts, go ahead and just send them on over to VegettoEX@aol.com.

Thanks so much, everyone!

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