The Eurogamer Podcast - It's back

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  • Bertie Senior Staff Writer, 15 Oct 2013 16:45:06 1,765 posts
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    The Podcast is finally back in action with me as its host and Christian Donlan as a kind of producer. The first episode is live now...

    Here I am!

    ...and subsequent episodes will be published every fortnight.

    The reason for this thread is to establish a place where we can have an ongoing dialogue with you about how we can improve the podcast.

    We'd like ideas about what topics you think we should cover to suggestions about how we can improve the admittedly ropey audio quality.

    The main thing to bear in mind for now is that this is a softly softly approach; we want the Podcast to be brilliant and to entertain you every fortnight, but we're under no illusion that we'll get there overnight. Gradually we'll learn and improve, but it will take us time and we hope you'll be patient with us.

    This will also be the place we'll alert you about episodes you can get involved with and ask for questions for guests we may have on the show.

    In short: it's a start. We hope it's a good one but we know there's a long way to go!
  • imamazed 15 Oct 2013 16:46:51 6,322 posts
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    Registered 11 years ago underwhelming popular demand!
  • Bertie Senior Staff Writer, 15 Oct 2013 16:47:32 1,765 posts
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    @imamazed That's still demand!
  • imamazed 15 Oct 2013 16:48:05 6,322 posts
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    @Bertie touché
  • TheSaint 15 Oct 2013 16:48:34 17,645 posts
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    Link seems to be broken.
  • RobertChicken 15 Oct 2013 17:58:48 1 posts
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    @Bertie Hi, glad the show is back. I just wanted to say that episodes longer than an hour are more than welcome.
  • Deleted user 15 October 2013 18:49:50
    Yeah broken link
  • Deleted user 15 October 2013 18:50:31
    I am whelmed.
  • Deleted user 15 October 2013 19:01:47
    Do they feature Eurogamer legend and part time male model Tom Champion?
  • MightyMouse 15 Oct 2013 19:10:12 1,160 posts
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  • BillMurray 15 Oct 2013 19:11:42 9,148 posts
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    Great news!
  • squarewings 15 Oct 2013 19:27:22 32 posts
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    Apologies in advance for the monster post;

    I really am glad you guys are back, this was the first podcast I got into ever and I even ended up gushing at Tom Champion in person about how great I thought it was.

    I was interviewing with you guys back in August 2011 and a part of the reason I managed to snag an interview was that I mentioned being a sound engineer, the interview was for another position entirely so perhaps quite rightly so I didn't get the job! (although now I'm doing cool computery stuff over @ Spotify so it's allllll good) If James G is still working there please say hello from me, he's an amazing guy and gave me the best career advice ever that ended up being the reason I got my current job!

    I'd still love to try and offer some (maybe not too crap?) advice about how to improve the audio quality.

    It looked like back then you guys were using something like 4 Behringer dynamic mics and a cheap Behringer USB mixer. I'm not sure if you still use this stuff, but it's too bad to use in any professional context.

    I would recommend some better microphones first of all, mics are pretty complicated but for the purpose of dialogue there's two types

    - Dynamic microphones
    These don't generally require any 'special' extra power and are the kind of things that often look like what you see singers using at a concert etc..

    - Condenser microphones
    These look more like what you see people singing into in studios, usually with a 'pop shield' in front of them, they often require 48v phantom power which a mixer / audio interface can usually provide (some are battery / mains powered etc..)

    I would recommend some cheap Condenser microphones and pop shields first of all, Something like a Rode NT1A is usually about £100. These microphones aren't always ideal for spoken word but without knowing very much about placement or technique you can get a 'better' and more clear sound out of them. They have very low 'self' noise which from listening through old episodes and the most recent I think is a big part of the problem.

    I would also strongly recommend doing the recording part in the quietest place you have access to, ensuring wherever possible that you don't have outside windows open.

    When it comes to 'mixing' the podcast, there's lots of great free applications out there (and way better ones that you can pay for!). I have a suspicion you're using something like Audacity to do this now. If you have something like a Macbook / iMac around then Garageband should be on it and it's also super easy to use (for basic things).

    Editing dialogue is very complicated and for a podcast it's also largely unnecessary - really popular podcasts like 'Answer me this' and the 'Giantbombcast' don't really do much, they've both admitted to this previously.

    'normalising' the tracks is really useful though, that will make them as loud as possible without 'clipping' (becoming distorted) and will give you a good starting point.

    Compression is also really important but it's something you have to get a feel for, essentially this process involves reducing the difference between the loudest and quietest parts of the track in order to present something that's easier to listen to. If anyone in the office plays electric guitar / bass then they might be able to give you a good explanation of how they use it in their music.

    Try using a compressor in something like garageband / audacity and use one of the dialogue presets. Threshold is key here, you don't want the compressor compressing silence - this makes bad noise, there's some specific examples of this apparently happening in the first two minutes of the new podcast.

    Finally, many podcasts simply produce a mono track (with the output duplicated in both channels) this allows for a much greater degree of intelligibility and a reduced filesize.

    I hope that's enough to get started, if I can provide any more specific help please get me on Twitter (I'm just @squarewings) or send me a PM for my email address or something.

    Best of luck guys!

    Edited by squarewings at 19:27:44 15-10-2013
  • monkehhh 15 Oct 2013 19:40:55 4,817 posts
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    Doesn't sound too bad, if it didn't have that horrible hiss-y noise. I think squarewings has a slightly more technical critique :) Definitely interested in an EG podcast though.
  • StixxUK 15 Oct 2013 20:16:33 7,889 posts
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    I feel like I shouldn't let this podcast back into my heart... It's left me once, I know what kind of beast it is!
  • DJ-KNIGHT 15 Oct 2013 20:42:11 1 posts
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    Fix the boo- hiss background noise and we will all be happy.
  • danathjo 15 Oct 2013 20:50:16 8,093 posts
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    looking forward to listening to it later
    thinly I've done them all apart from the WoW one and one of the spoilercasts
  • Unclebaby 16 Oct 2013 10:54:10 4 posts
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    How nice!
  • Phattso 16 Oct 2013 10:59:34 22,905 posts
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    Hey, if you'd just asked I'd have happily done a replacement intro jingle for y'all. The last one is a bit long in the tooth now, I did it YEARS ago! I've got a dubstep remix waiting in the wings, guys. You knows you wants it. ;)
  • Ignatius_Cheese Moderator 16 Oct 2013 15:12:15 11,048 posts
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    @Phattso That intro jingle is totally staying! Its like the inside of an early 00's gay club. Love it! :)
  • Ignatius_Cheese Moderator 16 Oct 2013 15:18:19 11,048 posts
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    Also, Industrial Revolution puns FTW!!
  • binky Moderator 16 Oct 2013 16:17:10 10,863 posts
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    Ooh, missed this - Will download and listen tonight. Yay for the EG Podcast return \o/
  • binky Moderator 16 Oct 2013 16:17:37 10,863 posts
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    Ignatius_Cheese wrote:
    @Phattso That intro jingle is totally staying! Its like the inside of an early 00's gay club. Love it! :)
    Sounds a bit OVERLY FLAMBOYANT to me.
  • Armoured_Bear 16 Oct 2013 16:19:37 21,963 posts
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    Sounds lively and decent so far.
    You all sound so frightfully well-bred and middle class, I reckon you need some working class ranters in there or even a proper toff.
  • Ignatius_Cheese Moderator 16 Oct 2013 16:29:38 11,048 posts
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    @binky OVERLY FLAMBOYANT!!!??
  • OxWearingSocks 18 Oct 2013 15:48:36 2 posts
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    Love me some podcast action! My 2 cents:

    -Love the intro track from way back when. Evolve it, don't scrap it!

    -I'm sure it's a time consideration in office as to why it's fortnightly an hour, but ideally I'd suggest short and often works great or a bumper 90-120min episode if it's every 14 days.

    -That hissing was drowning out the whistling noise from my dodgy car window as I sailed down the M40. And that whistling noise is loud enough by itself!

    -Talking at length about games which have a small audience due to closed beta, and are already niche in genre. I would hate for it to be full of AAA game discussion, but I did find myself very tempted to repeatedly +15secs the podcast to get away from the Hearthstone/MTG topic. You've just had a massive expo, almost a years worth of non audio discussed news and have two major console releases in a months time but went straight to a card playing sim!

    Have to say, the last one may be a personal preference thing, but I'm not a fan of any of my 'entertainment' podcasts when they have any episodes dedicated to a single event in place of their normal broadcast. It's all good as a bonus episode but frustrating if it replaces their weekly show.

    All that being said, I appreciate that the podcast is a free piece of media for me to consume and who am I to tell you what you're doing wrong!

    Biggest bit of feedback though, Bertie is great shout to be host.

    Edited by OxWearingSocks at 15:49:16 18-10-2013
  • squarewings 21 Oct 2013 18:06:04 32 posts
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    @Bertie Nobody from the Podcast actually going to reply in this thread then? :p
  • danathjo 21 Oct 2013 18:12:17 8,093 posts
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    possibly 5 minutes before they record

    we should have a code word to prove that they actually listen to our feedback
  • imamazed 21 Oct 2013 18:14:10 6,322 posts
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    I don't know how I stayed awake through that (what felt like) 4 hour conversation about playing cards with wizards on them. Fuck me. Picked up after that though; fix the audio and I'm in :)

    I realise that first bit is just personal preference I'm sure lots of people /nerds enjoyed it fine.
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