How long should I book my session for?
How much time you need varies from one person to the next, and based on the kind of recording you're doing. Be aware the there will often be another recording session immediately after yours, so you should expect to be out of the studio no later than the time when your reservation ends. The staff schedule will often be flexible, and we may be able to get your sessions started a few minutes early, but not always. If you have a reservation for 2 PM, please be prepared to sit tight until 2 PM for a staff member to get things set up. Please refrain from using the equipment prior to the start of your session without first checking with a staff member.
As a point of reference, if you are conducting a 30-minute interview, book time to include several minutes of setup (sound check, etc.) and some time after the interview ends to collect your files. Booking 30 minutes of studio time for a 30-minute interview likely will mean we'll have to cut you off early to keep things on schedule. If you think you'll need extra time, check with someone on staff prior to starting your session.
What equipment is in the recording studio?
Our four-person studio is double-walled and custom treated and tuned to create a speech-optimized space, which is outfitted with: (models and brands may be subject to change without notice)
- Four microphones with broadcast boom arms (Rode Procaster)
- Four headphones (Audio-Technica MTH30x)
- Recording interface (Focusrite Scarlett 18i8)
- Headphone mixer (Presonus HP4)
- Multi-track recording with multi-track backup on dedicated hard drive
Do I need an engineer for my recording session?
An engineer is not required to use the studio at Podcraft Studios. A staff member will always be available to start and finish your session. This includes a sound check, starting the recording, and transferring your files. If you are new to recording, we can also help you with good microphone practices. Podcraft Studios does not have an engineer on staff. If you do need an engineer, we are happy to provide information on how to hire an independent engineer.
If I'm an audio novice, can I still use the studio?
Of course! A Podcraft Studios staff member will always be on hand to make sure your recording goes smoothly. We offer preproduction coaching if you need help getting your show and episode concept and format together, and our optional professional production services can take your recording from raw to complete.
If you don’t want to or can’t hire a producer, you will know how to do some basic editing of the audio files you leave with in order to finish your project. Most recordings will need some editing, adjusting of levels, mixing, and mastering to be ready for distribution. The system does multi-track recording, so you need to know how to mix all the separate tracks down into a single MP3 file if you plan to release it as a podcast or other internet-playable media. YouTube, Lynda.com, and many other websites have great resources to learn the basics of recording, editing, mixing, and mastering.
Podcraft Studios staff will not be able to available for introductory tutorials or to help with production during your reservation.
Will you distribute my podcast once I'm done recording? Can you help me monetize?
Podcraft Studios does not offer marketing and distribution services. We are happy to point you in the right direction, whether it be help finding a podcast hosting company, ad insertion and sales services, or resources on how to do these things yourself. Podcraft Studios is primarily a content-creation facility, so please be aware that other than getting your studio recording started and finished, the staff generally won't be available to help with other aspects of your show.
How does my audio get recorded during the session?
In the studio, each channel (i.e. each microphone, Skype, etc), will be recorded to a computer, and to a second hard drive as a backup. Both will record a separate WAV file for each channel, so if you have four people in the studio and one person on Skype and you record for an hour, that session will result in five hour-long WAV files. The PC-based recording is always done at 48,000 Hz and 32-bit.
What happens to my audio at the end of the session?
If you’re using our professional production services, we’ll give you the opportunity to write notes for the producer, and you’ll simply be sent a link to your finished project as soon as it’s ready.
Whether you’re using production services or not, we transfer the multi-track recording files to a USB drive that you provide. Please make sure you leave the studio with all your files! You are encouraged to back up your files as soon as you can to ensure you don't lose any important data. We keep session files for several days in case of emergencies, but beyond that, we won't be able to help you recover any files.
We will not resample or do any conversions of the audio files before transferring them to your drive. If you need the files in a different format, sample rate, or bit depth, you should plan to do that conversion on your own.
We use SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 drives at Podcraft, so if you're looking for a good drive to buy that's the one we recommend. One hour of recording results in more than 1GB per track, so you’d want at least 8GB of free space on your drive to store the recording in the above example.
Do I need to bring anything with me?
If you need to pay for your session, you will need to have a major credit card with you. You will need to bring a USB drive that has enough empty space to transfer multi-track WAV files from your session. We cannot email such large files to you.
Please note: if you don't have a USB device to take your files away with, one will be provided and its cost will be added to the total price of your session.
How do I pay for my time in the studio?
Before leaving you will pay for your recording session with a credit card. You will need to pay for any time you reserved, even if you finish early. If you exceeded your reserved time, you will also be charged for the overage at $1 per minute. Exceeding the reserved time slot is at the discretion of Podcraft Studios staff and only possible if the schedule allows.
What kind of payment do you accept?
We accept all major credit cards. We do not accept checks or cash as payment.
What if I need to cancel or reschedule my session?
If you need to cancel or reschedule, please do so more than 24 hours before your session. Otherwise, we will charge you for the session that you originally scheduled as it prevents someone else from booking during that time.
Can people remotely participate in recording sessions?
The studio supports remote participation through software such as Skype. It is possible to include multiple remote participants through either method (i.e. three people on a single Skype call), but all of the remote participants will be recorded to a single track.
Can I bring my own equipment to use in the studios?
We generally don't allow people to bring their own equipment, like replacement microphones. If you do have needs that require specific equipment that is not currently available at Podcraft Studios, please give us a call and we can discuss options. Without prior permission, connecting, disconnecting, or moving any equipment is strictly prohibited.
What are your community guidelines?
All studio users must sign a user agreement in order to assure a welcoming and functional space for all. Here are some highlights:
- No demeaning language about any person or group
- Only water in the studio
- Be kind to our equipment
- Pay at the end of each session
- Remember a hard drive
- Let us know if you'll need extra time
Is food or drink allowed in the studios?
No food or drink is allowed inside the studio except for water in a resealable bottle.
Is there parking at the Podcraft Studios?
Yes, Podcraft Studios has limited parking spaces along Patton Avenue.
In the case of inclement weather, we may close the studio for the day. If so, we will call and alert anyone with a session and reschedule with them as soon as possible. We will also put a special announcement at the top of our website.