Perfect Media Productions, LLC is a media production and digital marketing consulting service. We specialize in creating audio for radio and podcast productions. We also assist our clients in creating digital media in the forms of online video and photography.
Our blog section features a variety of topics including media, business, and pop culture.
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.
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.
It’s pretty near impossible these days to do any kind of marketing without being aware of social media platforms. One of the new social media apps that keeps coming up more and more in conversation is TikTok.
For me, doing social media marketing is very much akin to being a politician. I always keep my options open. For this reason I seldom dismiss a new platform out of hand. The bright and shiny object off in the distance today can morph into the way things are done a year from now.
“TikTok is just for kids.” Okay.
Remember when Facebook was just for juvenile college students? Instagram was what your kids were playing with in the backseat? Before we knew it our competition had thousands of followers on their business pages and we were fumbling with how to set up our pages to catch up.
I have noticed this pattern of progression for most successful social media platforms. They generally start with kids as the primary members. Then they are followed by adults, many of whom were introduced to the platform by their children. That brings in more adults. As the population of users grow, influencers on the platform begin to emerge. Then, brands and advertisers follow.
During the first quarter of 2018, TikTok was the most downloaded (non-game) app in the Apple store globally reaching 45.8 million downloads. It is estimated that TikTok currently has over 500 million active users worldwide, and other data trackers put that number considerably higher.
I have spent some time experimenting with the app as a user. I wouldn’t refer to myself as a TikTok pro but this is what I’ve learned. TikTok is a video sharing app. If you use the app you can record for 15 seconds or upload your videos up to a minute long. The app itself has some nice special effects for video and graphics that are easy to incorporate into your content. If you amass a thousand followers this enables you to live-stream.
TikTok is owned by the Chinese company Bytedance. They purchased Musical.ly during November 2017 and merged the two platforms internationally in 2018. TikTok has many of its forerunner’s traits, including many dance and lip-syncing videos. At this time, by my estimation, this musically driven content has a dominance on the platform. A popular feature seems to be “duet,” which allows a user to lip-sync along with another user’s video.
However, influencers and brands are arriving. There are influencers well into middle-age and beyond on the app giving tips on everything from buying cars to how to stay motivated at life.
I don’t know if this shiny object will brighten or fade away, but TikToK is off to a fantastic start. I would stop short of saying that I would make TikTok a priority at this time but if you create content for other platforms anyway why not repurpose it for TikTok as well?
If you decide to do so you may wish to follow these three suggestions:
First, I would not follow or follow back accounts that do not have content or are listed as private.
Second, choose several hashtag subjects or genres of content to search. Interact with and like the content that interests you from the results of your search. Choose several dozen accounts that are creating good content and follow them.
Third, create good content of your own and utilize the proper hashtags when posting it. Be sure to acknowledge all of the positive feedback that you get. My general rule of thumb is to not engage negative comments on any platform.
If you care to say hello on TikTok you can find me at @billydees01