DM Blog 3: September Session

actual dungeon

 

We have just finished recording our second session, for episodes 4 through 7. It occurred to me that one day our show might do something and someone could come back to this blog looking for podcast start up or technical tips. In my mind, with my oh-so-superior organizational and prep skills, I honestly (arrogantly) thought that we could get everything right to the highest standard from the very first episode. I was wrong obviously. But we learned a lot.

We use the now standard set up for recording pro standard pods without hiring a full studio: a mixer and a Zoom recorder. Specifically, we use the Zoom H4n and a Behringer Xenyx 1002b. If you have more than one person speaking, they need to have their own mics or you get room sound and you lose the ‘professional’ sound. We tried cheaper and older mixers and almost had to scrap the entire first session. A cheap mixer means no pre-amp power and to get the volume up you also bring up all the noise and hiss. Modern post software has amazing noise reduction, but if it has to remove a lot, the voices will become metallic and thin. We also use a soundproof room in a basement. The Behringer is so good, we have to turn down the Zoom’s rec level to almost 30, which keeps the noise table right down. Great.

Also, embarrassing to say, we almost got sunk because we had a duff cable, and no spares. And we had a mic with no windguard – resulting in overdrive every time I said P or B (plosives). This time around though, we had it all down … and then I left an air-con unit on for the first hour. Saved only by the previously mentioned software. The air con hummed away at the exact same frequency and could be taken out easily. Phew. So episodes 4-7 sound amazing. What else, we use Shure SM dynamic mics that are tough and do not require phantom power. They are fine, maybe if one of us wins the lottery we’ll get condensers, but it’s not necessary to start. If you have any other questions, feel free to mail me via the contact page, or Tweet us.

Pax Prime 2015 just went by and as usual the live D&D session is a lot of fun. It’s a certain type of play, because of the nature of the event, but everyone involved in it is so talented and funny that I think it catches the feeling of playing with friends when everyone is having fun and getting in the zone. The whole show is on Youtube now at the D&D official channel here Acquisitions Inc.  It’s set in the underdark as D&D 5 is doing a big promotion for a new ready made campaign set there and featuring one of their most popular ‘extended universe’ characters Drizzt. I read the famous trilogy of novels about him when I was an older teenager, Exile et al, but at that time we only played campaigns we had written ourselves. I remember playing with a friend’s older brother’s group once when they tried to run TSR modules D1-3 and Q. It was kinda cool but the maps and set pieces were really fuzzy.

I hope they don’t put drow in the upcoming new D&D movie, there’s almost no way to do it without being racist in a greater context of casting and the real world.

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