Tracks (in the order presented): Someone Great by LCD Soundsystem, my voice, and Getting There (ft. Nikki Randa) by Flying Lotus.
For this week’s project, I decided to use a program I am more familiar with, FL Studio, to create the podcast. I also used Adobe Audition briefly to translate the original mp4 files as an mp3 format so I could work with them (FL is somewhat limited in import types). I’ve worked with Audacity and Garageband previously, but found Fruity Loops (not to be confused with the cereal) to be the best-arranged and easiest to use when it comes to audio production software. Once upon a time, I was considering going into a minor in music (why I doled out the money previously on the software), but other interests overshadowed the amount of attention I wanted to put in learning everything. Most of the music I’ve made myself has been for projects or simple introduction sequences, but I’ve never actually recorded my own voice.
That said, introducing my voice and adjusting the levels of the tracks to duck under it was probably the hardest part. The initial recording of my voice was a bit quiet originally, but the microphone I was using wouldn’t let me record any louder. Using some of the software features, I was able to boost it to an audible level, but I had to reduce the original volume of the tracks accordingly, and then boost the overall “master” level of the podcast track to compensate.
Cross-fading the two tracks was a pretty simple endeavor. Had I done this when I was a bit more brushed-up on audio editing, I could have approached it a number of different ways. I thought about using side-chaining the three tracks (song one, song two, and my voice) using the mixer to have it automatically duck under my voice, but it ended up sounding a bit weird. Normally when you do this, it makes it so the music sort of corresponds to the level of the voice– great for singing vocals, not so great for a podcast intro. So I did it the manual / long way– adjusting the levels by hand to find a proper threshold that sounded good.
I probably didn’t sort the tracks in the “best” or “cleanest” ways, but I understand the way I organized them– and more importantly, if I went back to them at a later time, I would understand the arrangement. If I had access to a better microphone, the track for my voice could have been clearer/more audible, but working with that limitation, I think the sample podcast turned out pretty well. In my professional life, I will probably continue to use one of the production programs (FL Studio or Adobe Audition) sparingly, but probably not to make anything like this. Podcasting is interesting to me, but I don’t really see a future with it for myself.
As a side note, each software has strengths and weaknesses, but in the end it is important to use what you are comfortable with. People harp on Ableton for being the “best/most accessible” professional software, but use what comes naturally to you– it’ll save you a lot of pain, and your productions will come out much smoother. Personally, Ableton had too many intricacies to actually get anything done for my liking. If this is something that interests you, I’d highly recommend taking a look at the free trial of FL Studio. It’s a great program to start out with, and you can begin making music in it with very little knowledge of audio production programs.