For each episode of Channel 2, there are two separate Google Meet sessions between Hugues and I. The second one, where we meet to actually record the episode - an edited form of this second call is what ends up being the conversation portions of a Ch 2 episode. The first one, though, where we meet to establish run order for the tracks for the episode, you never get to hear because we never record it.
Well, this time, we did. And the reason why we did was so that I could have something to listen to to see how Hugues and I sounded together with me using my new Rode Podmic dynamic microphone rather than my old AudioTechnica AT2020 condenser mic, to better help me decide which one I should use while recording with Hugues for Channel 2.
See additional notes below to learn more!
"AT2020 Raw" = Hugues and I's conversation with no post-processing except for volume adjustments, where I am speaking through the AT2020.
"AT2020 Finessed" = the same, except for with the full battery of post-processing applied.
"Podmic Finessed" = the same, except for my speaking through the Podmic instead of the AT2020.
"Podmic Raw" = probably self-explanatory at this point: no post-processing and myself on the Podmic.
Conversation begins with "AT2020 Raw" - 00:00:00
Hard switches over to "AT2020 Finessed" at - 00:03:39
Hard switches over to "Podmic Finessed" at - 00:07:15
Hard switches over to "Podmic Raw" at - 00:10:58
Hard switches back to "AT2020 Raw" at - 00:14:30
Hard switches back to "AT2020 Finessed" at - 00:17:47
Hard switches back to "Podmic Finessed" at - 00:21:45
And finally, hard switches back to "Podmic Raw" at - 00:25:11
Bonus: Excerpt from Archive SUPER BONUS "New Mic - Who Dis" featuring higher quality examples (both "Raw" and "Finessed") of me speaking into each mic than the lower-quality examples of each in the actual conversation.
Bonus begins at - 00:28:57
Total Episode Runtime: 00:34:16
Music featured in the background:
Track / Game / System / Composer (s) / Selected by
- Lovely City - Lovely Planet - Multiplatform - Calem Bowen - St. John
- Kimi wa HoeHoe Musume (Ending / Staff Roll) - Idol Hakkenden - Famicom - Kiyohiro Sada, Tomoo Misato - Hugues
- Evil Dante - Cratermaze - TG16 - Toshiaki Takimoto, Katsunori Takahashi, Takayuki Iwabuchi, Keita Hoshi - St. John
- Tiese Shopping District Theme - Gurumin - Multiplatform - Falcom Sound Team JDK (prob. Hayato Sonoda) - Hugues
- Stage 1-2 - Jumping Flash 2 - PS1 - Takeo Miratsu - St. John
- After School - Persona 3 Portable - PSP - Shoji Meguro
- Nice Day - Spindizzy II - X68000 - Toshiya Yamanaka and/or Tetsuya Nakano - St. John
- Dreams of Love and Literature - Doki Doki Literature Club - Multiplatform - Dan Salvato - Hugues
- Crystal Breeze Springs - Lovely Planet Remix - PC - Satsuma Audio - St. John
- Electoria - Sonic Crackers (unreleased) - Genesis - Junko Shiratsu, Masato Nakamura - Hugues
- Stage 1 - Chip Chan Kick - PCFX - Hitoshi Sakimoto and/or Masaharu Iwata - St. John
- Clothes Make The Man - Shakedown Hawaii - Multiplatform - Hugues
- Message from Nightopia - Nights into Dreams - Multiplatform - Naofumi Hataya - St. John
- Track 9 (ending probably) - Graduation II - PC Engine - Isao Mizoguchi (likely) - Hugues
Music first appears at 00:04:42
Since Hugues is using a condenser mic (more open, lifelike, more "in the room with you" sounding), I was worried that if I used a dynamic mic (more tight, smooth, warm, pinched, more "rrradio" sounding) it might make us sound really inconsistent, resulting in a more awkward sound. So, when we met to sort tracks for C2E7, I was talking into both the Podmic and the AT2020 at the exact same time, and we recorded our conversation, which I later edited to feature Hugues and myself together with me on the AT2020 and separately, us together with myself on the Podmic.
I also had versions on each mic where I put us through my new battery of post-processing intended to improve our sound, vs versions on each mic where I kept everything "raw", with no adjustments whatsoever except for volume. And then I listened to all four, and had others listen to all four, and put snippets of each into an Archive SUPER BONUS which went into detail on the mics and gave loads of comparisons.
Here's what I learned:
1) while we do sound slightly more consistent with me on the AT2020, and while I do sound slightly better on the Podmic, the differences in either direction were not "night and day". I didn't sound "way better" on the Podmic, and we didn't sound "way more consistent" with me on the AT2020. So, it was close enough that either mic would've worked. As such it mostly didn't matter, which left me feeling liberated to use the Podmic, which I did for C2E7 and C1E64 (C1E64 sounds even better than C2E7, in my opinion), as well as on my guest spot on NintenDomain episode 315 just a couple weeks earlier.
2) Don't attempt to use either of the good mics into both Audacity (good audio capture) -AND- into Google Meet at the same time. It made the output thinner, as well as way more prone to clipping / blowing out. There are a number of blow out moments in this recording that were not present in C2E7, and I largely attribute that to routing the Podmic exclusively into Audacity (which is what you heard in the final episode), and using a crappy set of Jabra mic/headphone combo headset (which you did not hear) for the Google Meet.
Audio routing in Linux is both more flexible and malleable than in Mac or Windows on the one hand, and less intuitive / automatic / fluid on the other. And in this process I learned that how you route your audio seems to make a big difference. Another thing that bolsters my theory that the reason the recording quality on my end is so much worse than it was in C2E7 was because of using the mics into both Audacity and Google Meet at once, and not, say, simply that I was using both the AT2020 and the Podmic at the same time, is because prior to this meeting with Hugues, I had recorded into both at the same time as a test, but only ran it exclusively into Audacity, and they came out spectacularly. I included them in the aforementioned Archive SUPER BONUS, and as a bonus, I added just that segment of that super bonus with the much higher quality mic samples to the end of this after the meeting ends. The really crappy mic I use in the narration of that snippet (I.e. "this is AT2020 Raw vs Podmic Raw") was recorded on the aforementioned crappy little Jabra.
3) If the original sound source is not high enough quality, "click removal" can do more harm than good, by introducing popping. Though I didn't know it at the time, the reason the post-processed portions of this conversation sound "poppy", especially Hugues' side of the conversation - is because the source recordings were not high enough quality for click removal to be a benefit. Click removal was not used in the post-production of C2E7, and that's why there's no popping. In short: click removal can make a good sound clip sound even better. But it apparently makes a marginal one sound a lot worse. :-)
Final Note: This conversation is slightly redacted, but mostly whole. There was a brief segment in the Spindizzy II conversation segment where I said something I felt shouldn't be in a recording, so I removed it. And then at the end, after business was done, we ended up talking for a while about living arrangements, which I felt also should be left out. This is why Hugues' "alright, I need to get out of here" at the end seems so abrupt. It wasn't abrupt. There was conversation missing. Other than for these two redactions, though, the rest of the conversation is otherwise complete and intact.