Category Archives: podcasting

MXL Microphones

Mxl which had previously concentrated on professional audio products has begun to develop consumer level products. They have four Categories of microphones that they showed off at CES 2013.

The first category is the traditional microphone which is a condenser microphone. It is made for vocal live performances and studio work. This microphone is being refined but there’s nothing really new coming out on it.

The second category is the audio microphones for video. These microphones allow you to produce professional audio for professional video. Anyone who has watched a video with bad audio knows that good video means nothing with bad audio. The DSLR audio kit includes a wireless audio transmitter and receiver which is specifically made to record with a DSLR. It runs at 500 mg range which is a high enough range that it is noise resistant. It can run on either chargeable batteries or AA batteries. These batteries are user replaceable. It has a hot shoe adapter that goes on top of the DSLR. There is a lavalier mic included or you can use an XLR microphone. The kit also includes a shotgun mic that sits on top of the camera. There is both a wireless and wired version of the microphone. All controls are easily accessible. The total set runs $399 and is available through the MXL website.

The third category of microphones is a USB vocal microphone. These microphones are made to be used with tablets, desktops or laptops. They look like traditional desktop microphone. They are omnidirectional and are made for vocal recording to applications such as GarageBand. These microphones were made with podcasters in mind.

The final category was about pro audio for web-chat. This microphone is made specifically for web chat in an office environment. It is a boundary mic that sits on the desktop. It picks up audio in front of it up to 25 feet radius and locks the sound coming from the back. At this point time it is a wired mic however they are working on a 2.4 g wireless version. They decide to go with the 2.4 gig version rather than Bluetooth because the 2.4 gig version has a longer range. This microphone is specifically made to interface with a professional conference setup and not a phone. The wired version which is available now should run around $99 and the wireless version when available should be between $149 and $159. The final thing they talked about was the photographer’s essential kit. This kit includes a handheld grip where the DSL are goes on the bottom and on top is a hot shoe mount when you can put a microphone lights and a monitor. MXL is also working on a microphone that would plug directly into a smart phone either android or iPhone and then record the audio directly into the smartphone.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network and Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.

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Padcaster iPad Studio Mobile Recording Setup

Padcaster Basic Setup
Padcaster Basic Setup

Put together a mobile video studio using your iPad with this unique solution from CES 2013. Chris Montera checks out the iPad Studio.

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John from Padcaster talks with Chris Montera about this mobile studio rig he brought to CES this year. You pop your iPad into the rig which has a lens adaptor and mounting screws for microphone, lights, and monopod or tripod. It can also be used in a hand held mode.

Because of the versatility of the iPad and installed software, the Padcaster rig becomes a complete studio with recording, production, editing and distribution all in one place. The lens adaptor allows for different lens configurations.

Video of Chris Montera by special arrangement with Health Tech Weekly (

Griffin MicConnect for iOS at CES 2013

Griffin MicConnectJeffrey Powers goes all Pop Idol when he chats to Jackie from Griffin Technology about the newly announced MicConnect, which connects iOS devices to XLR mics with phantom power.

The Griffin MicConnect is a small brick adaptor with an XLR socket (input) on one side for the microphone and a 3.5 mm jack on the other to connect into an iPhone, iPod or iPad. A 3.5 mm socket provides for headphone monitoring of the sound source and for condenser mics, the unit takes two AA batteries to provide phantom power (48V).

(As an aside, I’m not 100% clear if this is iOS only – the 3.5 mm jack looks pretty standard and there’s no reference to special apps being required so if Android is your OS of choice, it might be worth contacting Griffin directly.)

Included in the interview is Griffin’s updated Mic Stand Mount, which is now compatible with all iPad models (not Mini), and unsurprisingly holds an iPad on a mic stand. Jeffrey reckons the MicConnect and the Mount are a great combo for the mobile podcaster. Pricing-wise, both the MicConnect and the Mount are $39.99 but the MicConnect won’t be available until June.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine for the TechPodcast Network.

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The GNC Podcast Story Started in October 2004

I have told segments of this story many times on my show. On June 1st 2004 I severely injured my spine in a swimming pool accident in Bahrain, that injury laid me up in the hospital their for 13 days. I was very lucky less than 3% of the people that suffered the type of burst compression fracture of their L1 vertebrae ever walk again. I was happy to be able to motor out of the hospital on my own two feet. Little did I know that event would change my life in more ways than one!

I came back to Hawaii and was laid up for 6 weeks recovering, after convalescent leave it was time to go back to work. I was still active duty in the Navy and the Navy fully expected me to do the job they where paying me for. I knew if I was unable to perform my job I would be medically discharged, and that was the last thing I wanted to happen.

Being I was still healing and going through physical therapy I was placed on Limited Duty, your not supposed to go on travel or do anything other than what the doctor instructs. I broke all the doctors rules and volunteered to manage P-3 aircraft modifications happening at L3 in Waco Texas. My boss agreed and let me go. I arrived in Texas in Late September wearing a clam shell body brace. It was still pretty hot that fall, and when I was not at work I hung out in my air conditioned hotel room to get some relief from the heat, I could hardly stand to be outside in the heat wearing the clam shell back brace.

I was spending a lot of time on the Internet in the hotel room, it was at that time I started to hear about Podcasting. Knowing my tenacity to talk and tell stories, I decided to start a podcast, in fact I could not move fast enough to get started It was almost as if I was drawn to it.

A Logitech mic purchased at Walmart across the street was all it took to get started. The first show I recorded on October 9th 2004 was about 40 minutes long from my hotel room. The first 2 shows where not podsafe, and had to be taken offline later as I loved playing some AC/DC non pod-safe music at the start of the show. In a very short period of time the show exploded onto the podcast scene. As near as I can figure it I was one of the first 20 or so podcast to launch. The show went from 400 listeners the first show to nearly 35,000 listeners in less than 30 days.  The show has never stopped growing and is what it is today. The first few years of what happened next has been a blur and simply incredible.

From there on it has been a Marathon. What’s amazing is how much ground we covered in such a very short time in those early years. Luckily for me and my pocket book my show, and RawVoice was cash positive almost from the beginning. Sponsors were and continue to spend money in the space it has been a crazy ride since.

My team at RawVoice has simply been incredible, we have had our ups and downs but we started with 5 and today their are still 4 of the core team members with the company, and whole bunch of great folks that work for us now and in the past.  It has not been easy but we have built some incredible products. The podcasting space largely fires on all cylinders today because of the Powerpress Podcasting Plugin.

I am proud of what we have accomplished as RawVoice Podcasters have earned millions of dollars in advertising revenue over the course of the past 7 years.  The service packages we offer provides distribution into a large segment of media devices.

There is a story I’d like to share that I tell from time to time. I know of a number of podcasters that earn well over $150,000 a year in advertising revenue per year. Those podcasters produce their shows week after week, and beyond the sponsor spot in their shows you would never know how big their audience is. One of them has joked privately we me that if his boss knew how much money they made podcasting, they would probably be fired as they make more money podcasting then they do their 9-5. While this may not be surprising today it sure makes me chuckle when the viability of the space is discussed. While not every podcaster earns that type of income I stand behind our choice not to cherry pick shows and give opportunities to all podcasters in the space.

Today podcasters are reaching millions of listeners daily, and the listener / viewers counts continue to grow despite what some naysayers portray. While this show on this site is one of 1000’s I feel pretty proud that from launching the show in a hotel room with a Logitech headset what has developed and what my team and I have accomplished since our inception. We are not done innovating and helping podcasters.

Here are a few more fun links I dug out of the blog here at GNC.

First Studio Gear Nov 2004
Portable Studio I travel with Today
The HD Skype Setup
The GNC Studio Setup Today

I plan on adding to the timeline over the next couple of months and want this post to act as historical document surrounding my involvement in the podcasting space and that of my team.

Image Microphone by BigStock Photo

Is Apple trying to kill podcasting? – How iOS6 Ruined my iPod Touch

Yesterday, I hurried home to upgrade my iOS devices to iOS 6, expecting it to go smoothly. I have an iPad (3rd Gen) and a 4th Gen iPod touch. I did the iPad first and was very happy to learn that Siri is now enabled. I spent some time playing with that on the iPad while my iPod updated. I knew I wasn’t going to get full blown Siri on my iPod, but I wasn’t expecting what I did get.

Let me backtrack a bit. I am an avid podcast listener (mostly audio podcasts). I drive a lot. I’ve put 10,000 miles on since June this year for a new business I’m involved with. So I have a lot of windshield time. That time is spent listening to podcasts and audio books. I bought the iPod touch because my old 30gig iPod just wasn’t cutting it anymore with a weak battery and lack of control though my car audio system (which has an iPod dock connection). The new iPod was perfect for my use. I would go though my podcasts that had been downloaded to my Mac and pick out the episodes I wanted to listen to that day and put them in a playlist. Then when I was plugged into the car, I would hit play and they would play, one by one, in the order I wanted them to. When I got out of the car, the playback would stop. When I got back in the car the playback would resume without me having to touch anything.

Much to my surprise, iOS 6 removed podcasts from the music app completely. At first, I didn’t think that would be a problem since they did include the new “podcasts” app. Surely Apple wouldn’t screw up podcasts! Well, they did. The problem with the new podcasts app is there is no way to do playlists. You can set it up to play all the episodes of a particular podcast (In the wrong order I might add) but there is no way to setup a playlist of episodes from different podcast feeds. The new “podcasts” app is NOT a great app. It looks like, to me, that Apple decided to force everyone to use this app instead of how iPods have worked since they added podcast support back in 2005.

Another thing wrong with the Podcasts app, for listeners, is that if the podcast isn’t listed on iTunes, and there are 1000’s of them that are not for one reason or another, you cannot easily find or subscribe to them inside the app. There is a way to do it, but it’s not easy. This is going to make it even harder for people to consume podcasts. This has been a problem from the beginning of podcasting and now, at least in the Apple world, it’s even worse.

In my case, I am trying out Downcast, a podcast downloading and listening app for iPod touch, iPad and iPhone. It still doesn’t have individual episode playlists, but it does allow me to make a playlist of the unplayed episodes of selected podcasts which should be OK. I will be testing this over the next few weeks and I’m sure I will find a way to do it the way I want.

I get the feeling that Apple wants to make it harder to consume free content on their devices in favor of the paid content they have in the itunes store. Shame on you Apple!

Livestream has Free, Ad-Free, Streaming Service

This is great news for podcasters as well as people who enjoy checking out live podcasts. Livestream has announced that is has free accounts that are ad-free. In other words, it is now possible to do a live podcast through Livestream without it costing the podcast producer any money, and without forcing the viewers to sit through a series of ads.

There are a handful of podcasts that I keep up with that do live shows. I try and catch them when I am able to because it is more fun to be in the live audience, participating, than it is to listen to the recorded, downloadable, version. (Admittedly, I will go and listen to the downloaded version even if I attended a live show).

As a viewer, I find it really frustrating to have the content that I came over to see and hear being blocked by a pop-up ad. I find this happens all too frequently with Ustream. The annoying, unwanted, ad cuts in right in the middle of what a podcast host is saying. When the ad ends, I am left struggling to figure out what I’d missed while the ad was playing.

Livestream has a solution. There is now a Livestream for Producers iPhone app. The Livestream for Producers Android app is coming soon. Use the app with a free Livestream account, and you are good to go. You can share live video to an online audience for free right through the app. You get unlimited free streaming to the web.

This is an easy way to do a podcast while you are at an important, interesting, or newsworthy event. Your viewers will not be forced to put up with a series of annoying ads in order to view your podcast. The downside is that your podcast will only be archived for a total of 30 days after the event. That could be a turn-off for podcasters who want to have an archive of all their shows available through Livestream.

Livestream made a video that compares how the Livestream for Producers iPhone app preforms as compared to JustinTV, Ustream, and Bambuser. It makes it pretty clear exactly how well, or poorly, each of the four services work.

So what is Podcast Dedication?

I don’t want to brag.. But you all know I am dedicated to putting out a show so that you are always in the loop of what is happening in the tech space.

Tomorrow I record show 800 of my podcast. I am proud to have been at this now close to 8 years mid October will be my 8 year anniversary.

So consider this. I record 2 shows a week here are the hard numbers!

If you think about it there are 52 weeks in a year 52 wks per year * 8 yrs = 416 * 2 shows a week = 832

So if I am about to record show 800.. 832 Possible Shows – 800 actual show = 32 I missed / 8 years = 4 shows per yr missed on average!

Yes I have only missed an average of 4 shows a year. Tell me that is not dedication to my listeners.

I am doing my part now I hope you will do yours, I encourage all of my Ohana to become an GNC Insider, get access to the private insider mailing list and be part of the team that drives this show forward.

Determination Overcomes An Obstacle Photo Courtesy of