Try our Podcast

This entry was posted by on Saturday, 19 January, 2008 at

Oh noes, not another podcast!

Yeah, well, Fitz and I have been thinking about it for a while. The two of us already have this habit of speaking at conventions and geeky gatherings together; you can watch a couple of our talks up on YouTube. Whenever we speak, we always have tons of questions from the audience and end up chatting with people for an extra hour in the hallway. So, after three different people approached us and said we oughta make a podcast, we finally capitulated. The trick is, we need QUESTIONS posted to the website, so we have something to talk about.

To download the podcast, either get the mp3 directly from, or you can just subscribe to it in iTunes. You might be able to find ‘PC Load Letter’ in the iTunes podcast directory, but if not, just open the “Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast” menu in iTunes, and enter the address

About Episode 1: Because we didn’t have any questions yet, we didn’t have a lot to talk about. But at least you get to hear the thrilling theme music I assembled: I played a touch of banjo over some techno-loops, and got to use a nice open-source speech synthesizer while at it. PLEASE post questions to the main website, so we can start pretending our show is a live phone-in show like Car Talk. 🙂 If we don’t get any questions, we’ll gracefully let the podcast die.

Technical Details: I have a secret double-life as a sound-designer, so I brought a bunch of recording equipment from my studio to the office. A beautiful BLUE Dragonfly microphone, going into a PreSonus vacuum tube pre-amp, going into a MOTU Ultralite firewire audio interface, going into Digital Performer 5.1 on my Macbook. It’s a wonderfully portable setup which fits all in one backpack. For our next recording, we’ll use better limiting/compression, and a “real” free-floating mic stand (so that you can’t hear us bumping the table-stand!)

5 Comments to Try our Podcast

  1. Tom Russell says:

    January 19th, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    I have a mundane qustion about the gear you are recording with. I am recording with a laptop but putting my signal through an Art tube preamp. and then editing the recording with podcast station software. I use a technica microphone, But your sound quality is markedly better than my sound on the videos I have made. Mybe you could talk bit about your present set-up or direct me to the date where you hve covered this already
    Tom Rusell

  2. Ben Collins-Sussman says:

    January 19th, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Tom: I’ve already given you most of the details of my gear in this blog post — what more would you like to know, specifically? My sound quality is probably coming from two things: a very fancy microphone which has been ‘deepened’ by a vacuum tube pre-amp, and a high-quality firewire interface recording at 96khz/24bit. You can search the web for details and reviews of my equipment.

    Regarding your own setup: what microphone are you using exactly (‘technica’ is a big brand)? The Art tube preamp is similar to my PreSonus one, so I hear. You’ve also not mentioned your audio interface. How do you get the preamp signal into the computer? What resolution are you recording at?

  3. Jelmer Vernooij says:

    January 22nd, 2008 at 10:09 am

    I would be interested to hear your thoughts about release management. When is the right moment to put out the first release of an Open Source app? How often to release? When is the right moment to release “1.0” ? What about timed releases?

  4. John Zeratsky says:

    January 22nd, 2008 at 10:24 am

    No questions for you, but I will say this is a pretty cool setup, Ben. Back when I was dabbling in recording, I used a Motu 828 with an older version of the Presonus Blue Tube. (Presonus makes great gear!)

    My best mics were never as good as yours, regrettably, but I got decent results using a matched pair of Rode NT1s and a couple of the venerable Shure dynamics, SM57 and SM58.

    Oh, I do have one question: What kind of sound design do you do?

  5. Ben Collins-Sussman says:

    January 22nd, 2008 at 11:45 am

    John: see my homepage ( I write scores for theater, sometimes whole musicals. My collaborator does it for a living, and I occasionally get to ride his coattails now and then on an interesting project. 🙂