Welcome to episode 42. I’m your host Richard Dally. Each week I curate and discuss the latest news in podcasting and Internet Radio with a focus on the smaller podcaster, radio host and DJ.
Back after a bit of a hiatus, I am aiming to get back on track now and publish a new podcast each week. Let’s start off with news of a big update to Audacity. I know this software is popular with both DJs and Podcasters and version 2.4 has recently been released. In fact, in the last few days version 2.4.1 has been made available to fix a bug that was causing some audio corruption issues if you had two projects open at the same time.
As well as lots of fixes, there are a few useful new features – The recording or playing time display has moved and can now be made larger – definitely useful if you are using multiple monitors or if the screen is a bit far away from you.
One new feature added is probably more of interest to DJs and music producers. This is the ability to use a multi-view to see both the waveform and a spectrogram for a track at the same time. I think most people will be familiar with waveforms but spectrograms can be a great way of seeing variations in the sounds of a track. The frequencies of the audio are shown going up the vertical axis, and time is shown on the horizontal axis. The density of sounds is shown using colours.
Another new effect has been added, “Noise Gate”. This is useful to reduce the sound level of a portion of a track using a threshold level that you specify. Some podcasters as well as DJs who use a microphone will use hardware dynamic processors that include a noise gate that allows audio above a specified threshold level to pass through unaffected and stops or reduces sounds below the threshold level. Now you can do this in Audacity – obviously this won’t be useful for live-streamers but anyone who records in Audacity should try this.
The last new addition I’ll mention is Loudness Normalization. If like me you’ve been using the Normalize or Amplify to adjust the loudness of a track then you will likely find this useful. Loudness Normalization does what is says on the tin – it normalizes for loudness. Effectively this is changing the level of the audio but the difference with this new effect it that is adjusts the track loudness using the LUFS standard.
I’ll put a link in the show notes to the release notes for the latest version of Audacity so you can check it out for yourself.
I had a voicemail – richarddally.com/speakpipe by the way if you want to contact me. A message from Dan Franks the co-founder of Podcast Movement. Dan brought to attention that my post on podcast newsletters was missing the daily PodMov newsletter published by his organisation.
This looks to be a useful free newsletter covering podcasting news and topics of interest to podcasters and other members of the podcasting industry.
If you want to check this out you can use my link at richarddally.com/podmov
That’s P O D M O V
I’m not actually sure how I missed this given I’ve been on the Podcast Movement email list for a long time! Anyway, I’m happy to say I’ve rectified this omission now.
If you’re interested in reading about my favourite podcasting newsletters you can read my full post – link in the shownotes of course.
One piece of news about the next Podcast Movement conference too – the 2020 conference has a new date – 19th to 22nd October in Dallas. Registration is open now with tickets starting from $275.
Could you be the next Radio Star? Now in it’s third year, the Radio Star competition is run by Nails and Tracey from OnAirCoach. Their aim is to find the next big radio personalities and this year they are looking for two winners. There are two categories – one for those who have never been on radio, and the other for those who are already working in radio.
Open to everyone, to enter the competition, you need to showcase your voice and personality by making a recording of at least sixty seconds. Nails and Tracey are not looking for top notch audio quality but instead want to hear what you have to say and how you say it.
You can submit an audio clip up until the 1st of July and then the entrants will go though a four-stage process to whittle down the numbers to the two winners.
From following the work of OnAirCoach, and getting some coaching from Nails and Tracey myself, I can say with certainty that working with them will improve your presenting skills. If you are at all interested in getting into radio or even if you already are, then I would suggest taking a look at the details of the competition. The entry information can be found at onaircoach.net/radiostar.
Good luck if you do enter! Let me know how you get on.
Some good news for DJs now. Mixcloud has now formally released their new live broadcasting functionality – Mixcloud Live.
Mixcloud Live allows DJs to stream live, with or without video, 100% legally as Mixcloud make the necessary royalty payments for you. To support this, Mixcloud Live is only available to Mixcloud Pro subscribers which costs £9 or $15 a month.
The system is quite easy to use – anyone who has used another streaming service in the past will find that it uses the same RTMP process as most of those platforms and it will work quite happy with vMix, WireCast or OBS as well as many other broadcast software.
If you are looking for a tutorial to help you get started, I recommend one from Digital DJ Tips – I’ll put a link for their article and video in the shownotes at richarddally.com/42. They take you step by step through the process and explain how to set everything up to get you live.
Finally, this week I wanted to mention a new show prep service that anyone hosting a music-based show might find useful. Smash Prep provides interesting facts and information about hundreds of music artists and bands. It’s also a great source for news on these artists – many of the pages include links to the social media feeds of the artists’.
Smash Prep comes from the company that produces the Radio Warfare Show Prep service. It is currently being offered free until July 2020 and so is well worth checking out. If you want to try either of these services then visit richarddally.com/smashprep and richardally.com/radiowarfare. The second of these is an affiliate link that will give you a 7-day trial of the Radio Warfare Show Prep service for just £1.
Websites and articles mentioned in the show:
Audacity 2.4.1 Released – https://www.audacityteam.org/audacity-2-4-1-released/
New features in Audacity 2.4 – https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/New_features_in_Audacity_2.4.0
PodMov Daily Newsletter from Podcast Movement – http://podcastmovement.com/subscribe/
10 Podcast Newsletters You Should Subscribe To – https://www.richarddally.com/10-podcast-newsletters-subscribe/
Radio Star 2020 Competition from OnAirCoach – https://onaircoach.net/radiostar/
How To Stream Your DJ Sets 100% Legally On Mixcloud Live – https://www.digitaldjtips.com/2020/04/how-to-stream-your-dj-sets-100-legally-on-mixcloud-live/
Smashprep – https://www.richarddally.com/smashprep
Radio Warfare Show Prep – https://www/richardally.com/radiowarfare