My Signal Path.

The picture below is my audio signal path that I use for when I am recording for the ACX. I can configure this signal path a hundred different ways depending on my recording needs. I will list just a few and my hopes are that you may have a similar need concerning your own signal path and you will be able to use the diagram below to help guide you.

1. Low budget audio. Notice I did not say “Cheap low budget audio”. You can take the ATR 2100 USB Dynamic mic, ($64.00) and run it straight into your computer via the USB cable and achieve professional audio results if you follow a few simple rules. (a). Record in a quite environment. (b). Use proper input levels between a -12dbs and a -18dbs. (c). Use proper mic placement. (d). Use a DAW like Reaper that can read the ISIO file. Audacity is not a DAW and does not have this capability. (e). DO NOT over process your audio.

The mp3 recording below is done at 44,100hz, mono, 64kbps using a $5.00 homemade face shield and two plugins. (1). A high pass filter set at 80hz. (2). A DC offset remover. It meets the AES Suggested Requirements for streaming audio. You can use this same setup for doing podcasting or volunteer work. You just need to change the kbps to meet their requirements for volunteer work and as far as podcasting goes, you can leave it as is if you are just using speech.

2. For Podcasting and I am the single host, I go from my mic into either one of my digital recorders or into my Alesis mixer and into Reaper. If the Podcast will be complicated, (many inputs or going live) then I will run everything into the Tascam US 16×8 then into Reaper, designating each input to it’s own track. I will then come out of the Tascam and go into the Alesis and broadcast live.

3. Remote recording for Podcasting or Volunteer work. There are times when I will be somewhere and I really do not want to pack a gator box to protect my gear. I will usually pack (2) ATR pro-70 lav mics, (2) Atr 2100s and (2) 6′ XLR cables along with my Tascam DR-40 digital recorded. This will allow me to record two tracks whether I am sitting by the river in a quite location or sitting in a restaurant interviewing someone for a up coming show.

I can run the mics for the interview while at the same time run the two internal mics to pick up the hustle and bustle of the people around us. Then it is just a matter of mixing all the tracks down in Reaper. If I use the lavs, they have a 6′ mic lead and when combined with the 6′ XLR cable, this spacing helps reduce the mic bleed greatly.