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How to make something sound old?

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1118611.  Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:22 am Reply with quote

Dear Elves,

How is possible that the smartest bunch of elves records the dodgiest old sounding podcast on the interwubs!?

I love your podcast. But unless you are using twine and tin can's just for kicks, then the tinny audio quality is very difficult to understand.


1118652.  Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:21 am Reply with quote

The earliest podcasts had some sound problems, but if you have a lot of trouble understanding the recent ones, the problem might be on your end.

1118678.  Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:30 am Reply with quote

So I suppose the question is, pliddi - How do you make something sound old?

Let us know how you did it...

1118721.  Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:51 pm Reply with quote

Perhaps a good question indeed..

Lets do some digging.

'No such thing as a fish' (NSTAAF), even the latest episodes, sounds super compressed - like listening to an old audio tape.

I use 'Pocket Casts', a podcast subscription and download app.

NSTAFF is the only podcast that sound like this - going from say "99% Invisible" by Roman Mars to NSTAFF is quite stark. Which is why I cringe when I switch to one of your podcasts.

So, its not the app.

Is it the podcast? Downloading both episodes off the web:
99%Invisible - 128kbs 44kHz - 15MB - 16 minutes
NSTAFF - 44kbs 22kHz - 13MB - 37 minutes

(oh it sounds so bad.. am jumping between "This is 99% invisible, I'm Roman Mars.." to NSTAFF ep.43 - "Hello guys, before we start this podcast..").

Think that solves it! Should have just looked at the source first. The high frequencies - noticeable in female vocals - sound like digital clipping, because it is.

Listen to a music track with a cymbal (you know, drum kit cymbal) at the NSTAFF audio settings and you will hear exactly what I'm talking about - it sounds like a trash can lid.

Am not attacking the elves! This isn't middle earth and I'm not an orc (or a troll). Can totally understand not applying gobs of production values before knowing if the podcast will be popular.

Suggestion - up the quality, track downloads over a month, see if you deviate from present trend. (am saying 'trend' instead of 'reduce' as there's likely a steady week on week increase - who knows, download rate might go up!).

The 13MB podcast will be 30MB. Will that clog the intertubes? Other podcasts suggest it won't - have you checked out Hardcore History by Dan Carlin?

Speculation aside, could be a fun experiment!

I love your work and really think this will make a positive difference.


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