“Podcast mix” – The Pilgrim’s Pod Radio Hour – Pilot Episode!

Last Friday, a few of us gathered in in London’s Fitzrovia suburb to put on the first Pilgrim’s Pod Radio Hour – a pilot of a show that we hope to continue on a monthly basis.  As their technician, I can say I had an absolute blast making this all work for them.  The idea was that we’d have a live audience in the room, we’d stream it live online, and then release a podcast recording.  The latter is still in progress, but I have permission to release a copy of it here as a showcase, and as an additional plug for the show! 🙂

More details about the show itself are available at its blog:  The Pilgrim’s Pod Radio Hour

Given the technology used, and the fact that this was a first-time run for both the technology and the format of the show, I’m really pleased with how it came out – hence the post here!

A rough tech-spec can be summarised as follows:

  • Rode Procaster microphones for Will and Sarah (@Sarahlynne42)
  • Shure SM58 for Paul Enns vocal
  • Baggs Venue Active pre-amp/DI for Paul Enns acoustic guitar (Paul and I have worked together for a couple of years, and we both love this on his various guitars!)
  • Shure SM57 for snare drum
  • EMO E520 passive DI’s for keys
  • DI-out from amplifier for acoustic bass guitar
  • AKG C451’s for ambience, acoustic guitar, fiddle, mandolin
  • Pre-show music playback from Asus netbook, plugged directly in to sound desk stereo input strip, running Multiplay for Windows
  • Mixed on Soundcraft Spirit 8 32-channel (analogue) console – not keen on the pre-amps, and headroom leaves something to be desired, but it’s more than workable!
  • 8 groups (Will, Sarah, Ambience L/R, Paul vox, Paul Guitar, Band L/R) used for:
    • Live room mix (via matrices for FOH and simple foldback, each derived from mixer sub-groups)
    • Live streaming mix (via Main L/R, derived from groups)
    • Group outputs captured for multitrack recording
  • 2007 MacBook Pro 15″ computer for live streaming and recording
  • Presonus Firestudio Project firewire audio interface used to capture the 8 mix groups.
  • Mixlr.com app used for live streaming to http://mixlr.com/pilgrimspod

The “podcast mix” heard here was recorded from the groups, and some  limited editing and processing was carried out in Reaper using its built-in plugins.  The only real “cheat” was the free flux ST-Tool, used to expand the stereo image apparent on the ambience mics; necessary because I wasn’t able to use my preferred spaced-pair ORTF mic setup due to the layout logistics of the venue.  Maybe next time I’ll work out a way to fly a pair on sky-hooks, or something…

As for the show itself – we’re taking a break through the Autumn to gather our thoughts and take our pre-planned holidays.  We’ll be back in December with a new episode – the actual date and time will be announced later.

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