Audio Investigation

Finding out intermediate level audio recording information is time consuming and a little daunting! Having recently entered the world of podcasting for Mad About Movies I'm researching the gear needed for great audio. There's lots of basic information out there that goes something like: plug any old microphone into your computer and record with GarageBand or Audacity. And this works, to a point.

If you want to go to the next level, information gets a little harder to find. Take microphones. You can spend anywhere from $10 to $5000. How does a person with no experience know the appropriate amount to spend? If you have more than one person on your podcast you quickly conclude multiple microphones would be very nice. Again, options for mixing microphones start at $40 and go over $10,000. And when you've finally made a decision on the gear you think you want, where the heck is the best place to buy it in Canada?

What follows are my research results, so far. Turns out one of best sites, Transom, comes from the world of radio. If there's one thing I've learned after following Todd Maffin, radio people are just short of fanatical about sound!

<rant>Google isn't as useful as it used to be for this kind of search. One has to wade through lots of product for-sale links that are devoid of useful information and obscure the real information. Please Google, give me a filter!</rant>
Transom is "an experiment in channeling new work and voices to public radio through the Internet, for discussing that work, and encouraging more." Their tools page is an excellent starting point to learn about audio.
Inside Home Recording (
Although it's primarily aimed at someone at the budget professional level like a musician with a full-on home studio, Inside Home Recording has good information for anyone interested in quality audio. Much of the information is in their forums. They have great show notes for their podcasts, making it easy to find relevant parts if you're not interested in the whole show.
Shure Pro Audio Educational Articles
A wide range of articles on everything from Audio Systems Guide for Video Production, Audio Systems Guide to Meeting Facilities, and Selection and Operation of Wireless Microphone Systems. It's refreshingly free of vendor bumf.
Podcast Academy (
Audio equipment commentary and news, as well as forums. I found useful information in their blog posts and forums but haven't had a chance to listen to their podcasts, yet.
Podcasting News - Podcasting Resources and Services
Some interesting links on this page, but "signal-to-noise ratio" isn't great.

If you have a good site, please leave a comment or drop me a line!