Capturing Good Conversation Long Distance

Jeanne Giddens
Jeanné Giddens

This installment of our Twitter interviews is with Jeanné Giddens, otherwise known as @TuneTalks to her Twitter followers. Jeanné is a talented song writer, voiceover artist, and host.

As an old school radio and audio recording guy, I have always felt the best way to record an interview is with the guest in the recording studio. The benefits of this are obvious. You can interact with your guest one on one and have complete control of the recording. However, there are times when this is just not practical. For example, in this case Jeanné is based in Florida and I am in Ohio.

Recording options in these types of cases vary and a lot depends on the guest. Many interview subjects do not have any audio gear. Others have busy schedules promoting their work and do not have the patience to be walked through a technical process of some kind. In these cases phone signals may be the most expedient choice and other times maybe a VOIP service will work just fine at getting the job done.

With Jeanné, however, there were better options available. She is in the audio production business and has good tools at her disposal. So, we decided to use Zencastr for this interview. In simple terms this type of technology does not record “over” the internet per say. Both subjects are recorded locally and then those two audio tracks are combined in post.

The results are terrific but there are also other important steps to take.

For one, use the most dependable connections with your gear. I would avoid using WiFi with your computer or using any type of wireless microphone or headset. Also, close all of the programs on your computer.

Let me throw in some information about microphones. There is a lot of confusion about USB microphones in particular.

There are basically four types of microphones in terms of how they capture sound; dynamic, condenser, ribbon, and contact. There are variations of each but those are the basic groups.

Many of the widely popular USB microphones are condenser microphones. I have heard them referred to as “digital” microphones and that term is as overused as “pro” is in the audio and video equipment industry. The key difference between a USB condenser microphone and a standalone XLR condenser is that the USB microphone has a USB interface built into it. Combination units in general are designed to hit a price point and as plug and play devices for their ease of use.

I have used USB microphones to have my clients record audio into their PowerPoint presentations. They are also good for gaming, YouTube, and for basic podcasting. I would stop short, however, of considering any USB microphone truly a professional’s first choice.

I have been in many radio stations, media production studios in advertising agencies, and music recording studios. I have never run across a USB microphone being used as a primary recording tool in any of these applications. An entry level pro audio interface alone costs more than the average USB microphone. Many voiceover agencies will ask what microphone that you are using and if the answer is a USB microphone that might be a missing check mark on your credentials list.

The sky is the limit in terms of what you can pay for pro audio gear but there are cost effective options. Yes, separates do cost more but come with some practical benefits in addition to better quality, namely interchangeability. That professional XLR microphone that you bought for your podcast will plug into a USB interface, a digital recorder, a mixing board and so on. You can also upgrade your interface or microphone without replacing both or purchase more microphones to use with the same interface.

For the interview with Jeanné I used a (XLR) Golden Age D2 dynamic microphone. I happen to like dynamic microphones for voiceovers but that is largely my preference. My favorite is probably the (XLR) Shure SM7B and my runner up would be the (XLR) Electro-Voice RE20. Jeanné used her (XLR) RODE NT1 which is a condenser microphone. Both the Golden Age D2 and the RODE NT1 are not “cheap” when compared to most USB microphones, however, in the professional ranks these microphones are extremely cost effective and for anyone considering getting started doing voice work these are good choices. For this particular interview we both also used Focusrite interfaces.

To sample the sound quality captured with these microphones and Zencastr here is an excerpt. Notice how it sounds almost as if both of us were in the same studio.

For your convenience the entire interview is available at the bottom of this post. The Billy Dees Podcast is also available on your favorite podcasting service including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and iHeartRadio.

You can follow Jeanné on Twitter at @TuneTalks and me at @BillyDees.

People on Twitter by Billy Dees Interview with @TuneTalks Song Writer and Creative

HumorOutcasts Interview with Concha Alborg – Author of “My Mother, That Stranger, Letters from the Spanish Civil War”

Concha Alborg CoverThis episode is an interview with Concha Alborg who is the author of “My Mother, That Stranger, Letters from the Spanish Civil War.”

This interview was done with our partners at HumorOutcasts.com.

Concha Resize1This book is a memoir about Concha’s mother based on the letters her mother wrote to her fiancé who was fighting against Franco’s forces during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).

During this fascinating interview Concha talks about the scope of the Spanish Civil War, the plight of immigrants, and how she rediscovered her mother by researching and writing this book. We also discuss how certain historical elements and past political ideologies have relevance in today’s world.

You can find out more about Concha Alborg at ConchaAlborg.com.

Concha Resize2For your convenience the interview is available below at the bottom of this post. Just hit play. The podcast episode is also available on most of the major podcasting platforms including Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and many others under the “Billy Dees Podcast.”

The episode is titled on these services as:

HumorOutcasts Interview with Concha Alborg Author of “My Mother, That Stranger, Letters from the Spanish Civil War”

HumorOutcasts Interview – Patricia H. McLoud author of “The Green Goddess of Gardening”

Pat McLoud CoverOn this episode we talk with Patricia H. McLoud who is the author of “The Green Goddess of Gardening.”

This interview was done with our partners at HumorOutcasts.com.

This book describes exactly how and what to do to develop gardens and then care for them. It is a concise resource regarding the most important steps to achieve a beautiful garden in easy to understand terms. The book teaches the reader how and when to water, fertilize, prevent bugs, prune, and many other topics of interest to the aspiring gardener.

The book is written in dark print, good sized lettering, and is easy to read and understand. During our interview Pat addresses topics such as how the book is different from other gardening books and the proper containers for container gardening.

For your convenience the interview is available below at the bottom of this post. Just hit play. The podcast episode is also available on most of the major podcasting platforms including Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and many others under the Billy Dees Podcast.

The episode is titled on these services as:

HumorOutcasts Interview with Patricia H McLoud “The Green Goddess of Gardening.”

The TikTok Podcast Interviews – The First Guest is @KayPal7

KayPalIMG_1804
@KayPal7

If you follow my media blog or listen to my podcast you are probably familiar with my foray into the TikTok social media app. You can follow me @BillyDees01 on TikTok. Hopefully, you have had a chance to check out a few of my previous Twitter podcast interviews and I am now booking TikTok creators as well.

The first guest has the screen name @KayPal7 on TikTok. She has over 26,000 followers and that is a number that is growing. Her content is primarily political commentary. KayPal7’s videos are shot mostly as close-ups, often expressionless, and with a pleasantly acerbic cadence. She often sites her sources for information and doesn’t hesitate to address her critics.

During this interview she talks a little bit about herself, her political views and video styling, and why she likes the TikTok platform. It is a very interesting and entertaining interview.

More are on the way…

For your convenience you can listen to the full interview at the bottom of this post. Just hit play. The Billy Dees Podcast is also available on your favorite podcast platform including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and many more.

Interview with @KayPal7 from TikTok 

 

 

 

Social Security Scam Alert!

Cathy Social Security 16x9“PLEASE, DO NOT RESPOND IN ANYWAY TO A CALL THAT SAYS YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER IS SUSPENDED AND YOU MUST CALL BACK. JUST DON’T DO IT.”

Those are the words of advice from Cathy Sikorski. Moreover, it is information that we should all work together to spread the word about. It is not common knowledge as much as it may seem. This is especially true for our elderly loved ones whose alertness may not be what it once was during their younger days.

CathySikorskiSpeaker-Interfaith Gala
Cathy Sikorski

These calls are fully capable of being relentless. In numerous cases after repeated calls, the numbers have been blocked only to be followed by more calls with the same message from new numbers.

For more detailed information about this current wave of calls I would like to invite you to listen to Cathy during a recent phone interview. The interview also covers other various fraudulent tactics to be aware of online as well as by telephone. You can find more information about Cathy at CathySikorski.com and follow her on Twitter @cathy_sikorski.

We also would like to thank Donna Cavanagh from Corner Office Books and HumorOutcasts.com for her support regarding this issue.

For your convenience the interview is available below at the bottom of this post. The podcast episode is also available on most of the major podcasting platforms including Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and on your favorite Alexa device under the “Billy Dees Podcast.”

The episode is titled on these services as:

Cathy Sikorski with Billy Dees – Social Security Scam Alert